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The Art of Self Editing

For some, writing a post isn’t the hardest part – it’s self-editing your work that’s tough. Here’s how to master this art.

The Art of Self Editing - blog article image for Actually
Hey, we all make mistakes. They happen when we’re having creative flashes of genius writing a brilliant blog post or article. We think that because what we’ve written is so amazing, there can be no changes made to it – it’s perfect! Thinking like that is a mistake. Even the most awe-inspiring posts can have mistakes in them. And if you’ve got no one around to proof or offer critiques of your work, it makes the skill of self-editing a necessity.

We know, the art of self-editing can be as much fun as a giving yourself root canal, but if you’re running a small operation, it’s a skill you need to work at. Here are a few tips on how to make the tweaks that your readers and Google will love you for.

  1. A compelling headline or title. How juicy is your headline? Does it make people want to click through to the whole article? And is the title relevant to the article’s content? Get specific, add some humour or an intriguing promise – a well-written headline can make or break your post.
  2. The all-important first sentence. It hooks the reader and promises more engaging content to follow. So how does your first sentence read? Does it fall flat or sound bland. Time to give it a shot of caffeine to wake it up and give your readers a jolt of awesome information.
  3. Are you considered an expert yet? You will be if you include a tonne of resources relevant to your industry. How about other industry experts? Have you talked to them yet? Tap into their big, juicy brains and use some of that info to pump up your post.
  4. Do you really know your audience? Who are you writing for (hint: it’s not for you)? And how are you writing? Is your style indicative of your cool, unique and informed voice? You’ll get more response if you write from a personal place, as that is what readers can relate to. Go over your posts and make sure they sound like they’re coming from that unique voice and style of yours.
  5. Are you rambling on (and on, and on, and on)? Think about how much time people have – think brevity here. More people are catching up on their smart phones or don’t have enough time to commit to a 1,000+ word article. Turn those super-long posts into a series and keep your audience coming back for more. Keep it short and sweet. We know it’ll be hard to keep that brilliance contained, but if your post is too wordy, it’s time to start slashing.

Do you have issues when it comes to self-editing? What do you do to make the process less painful? Leave your tips in the comment section below.

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