5 Copy Editing Tips to Transform Your Content
Writing content can be pretty straight forward, but the tricky part is making yours stand out from the crowd, compelling your readers to share it with friends and engage with it on social networks. The key to creating great content is to really captivate your reader and hold their full attention on the article or piece you have put in front of them.
If you are a blogger, then the likelihood is that you write about your interests and expertise, so it’s crucial you come across as a thought leader and can convince your readers that you know what you are talking about. What you write needs to be readable, understandable and manageable if it is information that you want your audience to take away with them after reading it.
The easiest way to start your piece of content is to write down everything you have in your mind for the article or blog post you are creating and make a first draft. This way you can include all the information and ideas you have without worrying too much about the final piece. By editing your draft, you can transform your work into an engaging story or a powerful article, here’s how:
One of the best things you can do when editing your content is to walk away from it. This might seem crazy when you’re looking to get a piece of work finished, but it will help to reset your mind and give you time to think about what you have already written.
Whether you leave it a few hours or over night, when you come back to revisit it you will look at what you have written with completely fresh eyes. New ideas will pop into your head and any previous mistakes will become much more obvious.
On a separate document write down exactly what your objective was when writing this piece of content. Read through your work and decide whether you have given your content a good introduction and conclusion, and whether you feel your objective has been met.
Take your summary and condense it – this will be your title. Remember, there are a few different things to keep in mind when creating a catchy title for a blog post, but the four “U”s of copywriting are the more important ones to remember – keep it unique, useful, urgent and ultra specific. You are more likely to attract readers and they are more likely to share your work.
Simplify and Cut Down
It can often be tempting to ramble away thinking that the more you write the better your content will be. It is all about cutting out unnecessary text and ensuring that everything you have left in your content needs to be there.
When you have finished editing your final piece of work, it should actually be shorter than your first draft. Make sure you haven’t repeated anything or said anything just to throw it in there, it needs to have a point. Don’t be afraid to chop bits out, if you condense what you are saying your content will be better.
Get a Second Opinion
One of the best copy editing tools is another human being. You may feel protective of having a critical eye cast upon your writing, but it is often one of the best ways of finding out if your content will be successful (assuming of course you choose someone who will tell you honestly if they didn’t like it!)
A second person can often find tiny mistakes that can be easily missed by the person who wrote the piece and has read and re-read it a few times. You also want to make sure that whatever you have written actually makes sense. You may know exactly what you mean, but if no one else does then your content won’t get too far.
Use Your Eyes and Ears
The text you have included may be great and provide all the information needed, but how does it sound and look? Step back from your work and take a good look at it – are there any long and intimidating sentences and does the layout work for the type of content you are producing?
Once your content looks right, think about how it will sound. Reading your work out loud is one of the best ways to check how it is going to sound in the mind of your audience when they read it. By speaking it out loud, you may hear a few clunky phrases you have included or sentences that have missing commas.
Most writing will never be perfect, but before you send yours out into the world, make sure it is as good as it can possible be. Follow these steps before you publish your work and you will be able to turn your writing into an engaging and shareable piece of content.
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