You rarely get it right the first time. If you find someone who can, let me know. I’d like to have a few words with them. Bloggers read their works up to five times to get it right, sometimes even more. For those who write books, they have their publishing house editors to help them with that. For a blogger, it’s upon you to do it yourself.
Is it possible to edit your own work? Yes! Absolutely! Let tidy up that draft then, shall we?
Read it out loud
Pretend you are reading it to an audience. Hear yourself pronounce the words. What your eyes didn’t catch, your ears certainly will.
Have someone else edit
A fresh pair of eyes is likely able to see mistakes that you may have missed. It makes sense; you have been staring at that draft for hours. Have a friend edit for you, making sure they point out the mistakes so that you don’t repeat them.
Let it simmer
Do something else to get your brain off your article. Take a walk, cook or paint. Come back later and edit it. You can be your own fresh pair of eyes.
Yes, I know, it sounds crazy. How is reading you’re your work backwards going to help you edit? Well, our eyes tend to see what the brain wants them to see. Reading backwards throws the brain off-kilter thus preventing the brain from being too obvious.
Don’t rely too much on your spell checker
Your spell checker can only take you far, after all, you are working with a computer. It doesn’t know the difference between their and there. For a computer, the context is all the same. You can use the checker for the first editing round. It makes your work easier. Then, go back and edit afresh. You would be surprised at what your checker missed.
Edit in multiple rounds
One can easily write a 500-word blog post is 30 minutes. At that time, words are flowing like water. You can’t stop writing even if you wanted to. You can’t edit your work in 30 minutes though. Editing is a process and is the hardest part of writing. Edit and re-edit and when you think it is better, edit.
Get rid of the excesses
Avoid redundancies and excess words. Instead of having two words, have one word that means the same thing instead. For example, instead of saying do it again, try redo. Someone can’t be very dead. They are just that, dead. Come back again can be come back.
Print your work and sit down with a red pen so that you can mark out the mistakes for later. Sometimes, working from a printed copy away from the monitor helps.
Make the first sentence sing like a siren
Have you heard the myth of the siren? They were dangerous creatures (irresistible women) that lured sailors with their beautiful voices and enchanting music to shipwreck in their coasts. Am not saying you lure men by singing. I mean, enchant your readers with the first sentence such that they don’t stop reading until the article is done. That can’t happen if the sentence has grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, now can it?
Remember, editing is like killing your story, and then slowly bringing it back to life.
What other editing techniques do you use for your blog posts? Let us know in the comments section.