Five Editing Tips for Bloggers

by · June 26, 201216 comments

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Chandra K. Clarke, the founder of Scribendi.com, a sponsor of Social Media Explorer.

Blogs are one of the most popular forms of media, and many marketers would argue that they are one of the best online avenues for profit generation. Starting a blog is easy and once you do, you have the potential to reach millions of people. Unfortunately, the fast-paced nature of blogs and blogging often breeds a careless mindset for writers constructing blog posts. Bloggers are often too caught up in the thrill of their story, opinion, or tip to properly edit or proofread their piece. Follow these tips and your messages, thoughts, arguments, or ponderings are sure to be well received.

1. Edit for context

As a blogger, you need to know your audience. Your tone should be aligned with that of your readers. Your blog post says a lot about your personality, so be mindful of your tone. What’s more, when you’re publishing things online, anyone can find your entry and read it. Take your personal context into account in the editing process; remove any language or thoughts that you wouldn’t want your boss or co-workers to read.

You also need to be sure to pay attention to the structure of your blog post. Do your headlines properly identify what you will discuss in that section? Does your post look cluttered, or can a reader easily scan it? These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself when looking at the structure of your post.

Blog of the day once again

(Photo credit: the Italian voice)

2. Check your facts

Your blog must be factual. The Internet may not require citations and references, but presenting false statistics or flat-out lies as facts will reduce your readership. It is important to check your facts in relation to the context of your blog; a humor blog is more likely to exaggerate events in order to get a laugh, but if your genre doesn’t call for outrageous antics, edit them out. Your competition is a tough crowd, and if you’re constantly spouting lies and false truths, your credibility will forever be in question.

3. Don’t rely on spell checkers

There are numerous ways to spell check your work (in your browser, through built-in spell checking programs like the one used in Microsoft Word, etc). If you are going to use these tools, proceed with caution.

Be careful about relying on word processor spell checkers to help you find and correct problematic grammatical instances, homophonic problem words, and improperly constructed sentences. Not only does a spell checker not always catch the problems, but also when it does, it sometimes suggests an incorrect alternative!

You should never rely entirely on automated software. If you take the time to do the editing on your own, you will catch errors that spell checkers miss.

4. Be concise

Do not let your blog post get tagged as TLDNR, which stands for “too long, did not read.” If your blog post is too long to quickly and efficiently attract potential readers, then your ideas won’t be heard. Who wants to read a 10-page blog post when the same reader could potentially get the same information on Twitter in 140 characters? Cut out any redundancies and get straight to the point. Your readers will thank you.

5. Cut out the rambling

In the blogosphere, a coffee-induced stream-of-conscious rambling tends to draw negative comments or even result in a loss of readership. So stick to the important parts of a blog and cut out the rambling! Edit the language of your posts to remove redundancies and unnecessarily descriptive words such as definitely, of course, obviously, etc. Your readers won’t frequent your blog for long if they can barely understand what you’re talking about.

If you want people to read (or continue to read) your blog, you must ensure that what you are writing is not only worth reading, but also plainly readable. Try applying these five steps to your next post and keep an eye on the comments section; chances are your feedback will be more about the content of your post than any grammar or stylistic errors. If, as a blogger, you want to spend more of your time writing and less time editing, that’s OK! Submit your entry to our blog editing services – or, for those bloggers who use WordPress, try our WordPress plugin. A second set of eyes is always helpful when it comes to catching errors.

Chandra K. Clarke has a BA in English and an MSc in space exploration studies. Her life-long devotion to the written word started when she joined The Chatham Daily News as a regional stringer. She then worked as a reporter/photographer for a large chain of weeklies before becoming the managing editor of an independent paper, a post she held for two years before striking out on her own. She has authored two books, dozens of short stories, and numerous newspaper and magazine articles. She is an enthusiastic supporter of space exploration and scientific research. The founder of Scribendi.com, Clarke oversees day-to-day operations, and provides strategic management.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://www.ivisionmobile.com/ Mobile Marketing

    Thanks for such great tips for us who enjoy to blog!

  • Melonie Dodaro

    Yes, we should not really fully rely on spell-checkers.  While they may be a really helpful tool,
    re-reading your article – checking for grammar & spelling is the best thing
    to do to check the accuracy of your articles. 
    This is definitely a must-read for all the bloggers out there. 

  • http://propertyagents.co/real-estate-lead-generation-course Muhammad Ayaz

    Yes I agree with you on the point of be concise and I think that is the very crucial point where your reader get the point which you tries to convey through blog post and is that not clear and easily understandable for the reader than that’s make a bad effect. 

  • http://www.timsminions.com/ Andi the Minion

    I find the Word spell checker pretty annoying, I write in my voice which reads well and is understandable however Word likes to tell me that most of my sentences are fragmented and I should consider revising. I usual ignore it. :-)

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    I thumbs up this post! Writing for online differs from writing for print. One should write a blog as if he is just speaking or talking to the readers. Simple and short words are advisable for blogs because it is harder to read on a monitor compare to a paper. May I also add that one way of effective editing is to ask our self: if I were the reader of this article, will I read it? Put our self in the shoe of the target readers.

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  • Melbestel

    Well constructed blog.  You demonstrate the advice that you set out: visually clear and concise.

  • http://www.callbox.com.my/ Christine Steffensen

    Blogs in particular – increased in popularity, marketers began to recognize the potential of content marketing. Thanks for sharing this post. This can be a huge help for all bloggers.

  • SticklerEditing

    Totally agree with this post. Well, as a fellow editor (SticklerEditing.com), I guess that’s no surprise :-). Thanks Chandra!

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