How to: Edit your blog post

How to: Edit your blog post

So you've finished the 1st draft of you your blog post. And now you're looking at your jumbled assortment of words and wondering how you're supposed to turn it into a coherent piece of work. The answer is editing.

Cut out the nonsense

Remind yourself of the point of your blog post. Does it do the job you wanted? E.g. inform, entertain etc. 
If it doesn't, start ruthlessly cutting out the parts that are not related to that job.  

Let your blog post breathe

Sometimes (if you've got time) leave your blog post alone for a day or two and come back to it. 
You may come up with some fresh ideas of how you can improve it. 

Print & Read. 

Print out your blog post (if you've typed it on a computer) and read it out. 

We find this to be particularly effective as you pick up on more mistakes (sentence structure, inadequate wording etc.) than you would when reading it silently. 

Also get someone else to read it. When writing blog posts I sometimes "get in my own head" and can't see my some of my own mistakes. I always get our founder and/or another member of our team to read my writing before it's published. 

Novelist Zadie Smith makes a great point on how to edit your work: "The secret to editing your work is simple. You need to become its reader instead of its writer." 

Coach Buzz says:

It's difficult to self edit as your brain already knows what you're trying to say. 

Use tools to help you

Once you've got some feedback from reading and other people, it's time to use some editing tools. 

One of my favourite tools is Hemingway. It's a software that gives a detailed structural analysis of your writing, showing you where you've tried to be too complex and where you can use simpler words. etc.

Grammarly is another tool that I love, it's like spell check on steroids. Great for grammar corrections too. 

Get into the minds of your consumer

Who exactly is your blog post for? Try to become that person. 

Read your text as that person. Does it make sense to him/her? if it doesn't, make changes. 

For example, if you're blogging for experts in your field, avoid jargon more than you avoid spiders. 
The general reader won't be able to understand words that only an expert would use. 

Give yourself a deadline

Create a deadline (and stick to it) otherwise you'll likely always find an excuse about why it's not perfect for public consumption. Writing of any kind is rarely perfect, even the final draft! 

Get someone else to hold you accountable if you struggle with this. I have a deadline of Thursday evening, as we send out emails with the latest blog post/s on Friday mornings. 

Remember that you have to publish!

Once you've been through the steps of editing your blog post, publish it! You may end up enjoying (or hating) the editing process so much, that you forget that you have to actually release it to the world

It's like being at the barber or hairdresser. When they are nearing the end of their appointment and they keep snipping meticulously at individual hair strands

They could, in theory, keep doing this for hours on end and never actually finish. (You have a countless amount of hair follicles)

Eventually, they have to say "finished" even though it's not completely, absolutely finished. But it is to a very high standard that you are more than happy with. 

Writing is subjective. So there is in theory always changes or improvements that could be made, depending on the person analysing the piece

Writing is like cooking 

At the bare minimum, your blog post needs to make sense and meet the objective/s that you set out.

If you think of your blog post as food (brain food!) It needs to at least be edible and provide nourishment. 

The seasoning, and garnishing of it is great. But if you can't find any (videos, images, links etc.) don't worry too much, particularly if you're short on time. Ideally though you want every blog post to look fantastic as well as being fantastic. 

Leonardo Da Vinci summed this up brilliantly when he said: "Art is never finished, only abandoned"

Coach Buzz says:

Questions to ask yourself when editing:

Is it readable? 

Will my audience understand it?

Will my audience appreciate it?

Does it meet my objectives? 

Have I used the simplest words and phrases possible?

Next week's blog post: How to promote your blog post

Until next time

Asher & The BuzzRamp team