5 Content Editing Tips to Save You Time
It’s important to deliver high-quality content that’s free of errors so that your readers see you as a knowledgeable and skilled authority within your field. After all, how are you supposed to get your point across when your business blog is littered with typos?
Of course, if you ask most writers, they’ll tell you that they hate the editing process. They either don’t understand it, or they’re just not good at cutting their work. It can also take a lot longer to edit than it does to write.
However, you cannot afford to skip this essential step. The good news is that plenty of content editing tips and tricks can save you time and help you produce the best blogs, landing pages, and more.
We’re not talking about getting your drink on while tailgating. After all, friends don’t let friends drink and edit. Writing might be a different story.
No, we’re talking about preparing before you even start writing. This step makes the entire process of content creation easier, including editing.
A good way to start is by creating an outline that lays out your plan for the piece, structuring it from beginning to end. This reduces the risk of suffering from writer’s block, where you’re unsure of what comes next. Even better, it will prevent you from rambling on for a few pages about something that has nothing to do with the topic.
By visualizing your end product, you can significantly reduce the time you spend fixing and rewriting your content over multiple drafts.
2. Only Edit After You Finish Writing
One of the quickest ways to kill your momentum is to try to edit while you write. It’s a huge time waster because it’s all too easy to obsess over your work, insistent on finding the best way to phrase a specific sentence. Save that for the editing phase.
Write your content, and don’t stop until you’ve reached the end. Then, go back over it with a fine-tooth comb to catch mistakes and tighten your work.
This is another tip you should keep in mind while writing, but you’ll thank yourself for it profusely while editing!
If you run into a wall in the middle of your draft and you can’t figure out what comes next, jot down a quick “TK” and move on. You don’t want to lose momentum, and if you sit there and obsess about the next sentence, you’ll run out of steam and waste plenty of precious writing time.
TK stands for “to come.” Why it’s a K and not a C is a story for another time, but this handy mark will serve as a placeholder until after you’ve had more time to think about it. When you’re in the heat of getting your first draft down, this handy abbreviation will allow you to move on to the next part and keep your pace.
4. Know Your Weaknesses (and Write Them Down!)
Every writer has flaws.
Some writers mix verb tenses. Others use run-on sentences. Some have trouble maintaining a consistent tone appropriate for their target audience. Whatever your blind spots are, you should make a list to refer back to during editing.
That way, you can watch for specific issues rather than risk letting them sneak by unnoticed. This strategy will also help you become a better writer as you correct your mistakes, saving even more time in future writing and editing sessions.
5. Limit Distractions
One of the greatest enemies of writers and editors alike is distractions. Distractions can lead to mistakes, prolong the editing process, and pull you away long enough to disrupt your natural flow. By the time you look back at your screen after a round of Angry Birds, you’ll have lost your train of thought, requiring you to look back over the content you’ve already edited.
You also risk forgetting critical pieces of information, like the fact that you used the exact same analogy three sentences ago, resulting in repetitive copy. So close the door, turn off your phone, and focus. The pigs and the birds can wait until after you’re done.
Bonus Content Editing Tip: Hire Copywriting Services
If you don’t want to spend your time agonizing in front of a laptop screen at 3:00 a.m. because you can’t remember the difference between “who” and “whom,” there’s an easy solution that will save you hours. Work with Write Collective, the best content writing agency for brands that want more time back in their day to do what they love most.
You won’t have to remember these content editing tips and obsess over perfecting your writing. We’ll take care of the copywriting and copyediting and deliver error-free and publish-ready content. Check out our content marketing packages, and get started with copywriting that converts leads into paying customers today.