Professional Editing Tips You Can Execute in Minutes
This is my first post! I am brand spanking new here at Wealthy Affiliate. I've been so pleased with all of the welcoming messages and amazing content available, I thought no better time than the present to give the community some quick tips on polishing content. And yes, I am a professional writer and editor. :-)
Once you have finished writing your content, go through this quick three step process and you'll be amazed at your improved effectiveness:
1. Zoom Out. Zoom out so your article is about how it will appear on your website. Look at your article (without reading!) and identify oversized paragraphs. They are unlikely to get read. Then (now you may read), ensure your paragraphs begin with key ideas (and links!). If a visitor only read the first sentence of each of your paragraphs, would they receive value? If you have images, linked quotes, etc., how likely are they to be clicked based on the content around them? Don't overthink. Just zoom out, take in the big picture, and make small adjustments.
2. Search and Replace. The word "that" is a flow ruiner. Your content will immediately and miraculously be improved by searching for the word "that." Here are some examples:
Example 1 - In the example below, inspired from a post on SmartPassiveIncome, you can see a few simple changes make a significant impact on creating concise, active content. I also removed the words "at this point" because it doesnt add value.
BEFORE: Before I share the techniques that I’ve used to generate over $20,000 in affiliate commissions per month at this point, there are two extremely important rules that I use when promoting products that are not my own.
AFTER: Before I share the techniques I’ve used to generate over $20,000 in affiliate commissions per month, there are two extremely important rules I use when promoting products not my own.
Example 2 - Removing "that" eliminates flow stops. I recommend reading aloud whenever possible; if you trip up on your reading, your readers who are not familiar with the content will trip up as well.
BEFORE: She believed that if she took more risks, that she would fail.
AFTER: She believe if she took more risks, she would fail.
Example 3 - The following is pulled from an article on this site with great concepts (https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/henniesteyl/blog/the-key-con...). I have changed it a bit for the purpose of this exercise. As you remove your "that"s, you may find opportunities to improve the efficacy of your writing.
BEFORE: It is highly likely that you are looking into working and earning online if you are here on this website. I would think that is the very reason why you signed up for the membership here at Wealthy Affiliate.
AFTER: If you are here on Wealthy Affiliate, it is highly likely you are looking to work and earn online and it is the very reason you signed up for a Premium Membership.
3. Read Aloud. In step 2, I mentioned reading aloud. I recommend reading your entire article aloud and making changes wherever you trip over your words. It will only take a few minutes, will avoid the time-consuming plague of overthinking, and will immediately hone in on those areas needing work. Because you already know the content inside and out, reading to yourself is not effective. Your mind autocorrects. Reading aloud requires more work for our brains and engages different areas of our mind. It levels the playing field.
I hope these three quick tips help you make the most of your time spent in quality content creation.
Please let me know if you would like to see more posts about editing, content strategy, or if a video review of this process would be helpful.
Have an amazing, successful day!