Most bloggers – Especially newer bloggers – Are happy to learn content editing tips, or content editing hacks, as they are sometimes called. This article, by Janice Kersh, offers five to help you improve your content marketing performance…
Guest post by Janice Kersh
Are you a blogger looking for content editing hacks to improve your content’s exposure?
Day in, day out, you create web content. You have great writing abilities and the subject matter you share is comprised of topics that your readers want. Still, you have a hard time meeting your content goals.
Not everyone knows how to do content editing. This may surprise you, but the most successful content creators have a secret – they work with an editor.
You could hire someone for content editing services (if your budget allows) on Fiverr, and Essay Writer Pro, or you can learn the most powerful editing hacks for yourself.
Here are five content editing hacks to improve your marketing performance…
1. Check The Tense Of Your Language
Three types of tense are used in writing: Past, present, and future. Take the first step and scan your articles and other content for tense continuity. By default, everything should flow in the present tense.
Use past tense for flashbacks and future tense only to flash-forward. Writing with an uninterrupted tense creates ease of understanding.
Implementing the first of your five content editing hacks — As you make your way through the unedited piece, make sure that you use the same tense throughout your work. Commonly, slip-ups in this area create unnecessary confusion in your reader’s mind.
He wrote prose from the depths of his soul.
He writes prose from the depths of his soul.
He will write prose from the depths of his soul.
2. Trim The Excess Fat From Your Meat
The “meat,” in writing, is where the valuable mind nutrients exist. Web content needs only the words necessary to state your point. Unnecessary phrases become wordy and, frankly, boring. When you want readers to hang on until the end, cut off the excess fat – it will only weigh down your work.
Comb through your content, looking for unnecessary verbiage, and remove it.
Here are examples of heavy phrases and alternatives:
- “According to the data we’ve compiled” becomes “we find.”
- “Despite the reality that” becomes “although.”
- “It is frequently the case that” becomes “often.”
- “Under conditions wherein” becomes “when.”
Simple enough, right? Liking these content editing hacks so far?
3. Apply The Basic Comma Rules
Incorrectly used commas lead to confusing statements. You need to know when and where to use them correctly. Step three of the editing process is to check your comma placement.
Learn all of the basic comma rules and apply them…
Lists should include a comma before the final conjunction.
Using Commas Properly:
She has seven orange hats, six yellow shirts, and three red pairs of shoes.
Not Using Commas Properly:
She has seven orange hats, six yellow shirts and three red pairs of shoes.
Independent clauses should be separated with a comma.
Using Commas Properly:
He held the door open for her, then suddenly ran away.
Not Using Commas Properly:
He held the door open for her, while she struggled to hold her books.
Hopefully these content editing hacks are coming back to you from childhood language lessons. 😉
4. Lose These Boring Words
Overused words are boring – once they’re seen hundreds of times, they lose their effect. So, rather than seeming elementary, drop the overused words from your vocabulary.
Everyone knows what these words mean, but they paint a vague picture and should be avoided:
Some of these words need to be used, but only sparingly:
- Used to
- Have Got
5. Conclude With A Call To Action (CTA)
Web content is written with a goal in mind, and your readers need to be guided to the next step. When editing, the final step for you is to tell them what to do.
A CTA serves as a jumping point for readers making their way through your sales funnel at whatever stage they stand. So, though you may be wrapping up your content with some witty conclusion that is meant to make readers remember you, re-think that strategy. Your web content serves the purpose of generating leads and sales.
So, how will you make that happen?
Use CTAs to ask readers to go out and apply the knowledge they have gained, move onto another piece of content, sign up to your newsletter, or buy something. An understanding of online sales funnel stages will help you decide what type of CTA to use with the content at hand.
Note that a blog isn’t the best place to make a sales approach, so don’t ask your readers to buy your products. Instead, most of your content should lead readers to another piece of content that will give you an idea whether or not the reader fits your target market.
Ebooks and gated content are a great way to find out and gather contact information. After that, you can use your email newsletter to build a relationship. After proper tracking and nurturing, you’ll be ready to show people how your products or services will help them.
Listed above – All five content editing hacks to help your content performance.
Now that you know what you can do to exponentially improve your content with easy edits, decide for yourself whether you want to do it yourself:
- Check the tense
- Trim the excess
- Double check your commas
- Get rid of boring words
- Perfect your CTA
Then, once you’ve seen how easy it is to deliver polished web content, make your decision. Either use these content editing hacks each time you write a piece of content, or outsource the task to a specialized web content editor.
About the Author
Janice Kersh is a freelance writer and content manager. She is also a science-fiction nerd and a cookie lover. You can connect with Janice via Twitter.