Don’t just throw up a few articles on your blog and expect to attract site visitors. Editing your prose so it shines is vital to achieving high search engine rank and grabbing the attention of readers. Think about the sites you most like to frequent. Does the prose flow smoothly? Is there a balance between white space and text? More than likely, your favorite sites are easy to read, well edited, and on point.
Tips for Editing Your Prose
When it comes to editing your prose, there are some tips that will help you accomplish your task quickly and easily. Follow these steps to ensure your blog posts look professional.
Tip # 1: Do a Spell-Check
It might seem like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how often website owners forget to do a simple spell-check. However, don’t just rely on the built-in WordPress spell checker or one in a word processing program. It is very common for people to misspell a word out of habit.
Yes, do the automated spell checker. Then, go back through and read your text carefully to see if you’ve missed any errors, typos, or other issues.
Tip # 2: Read Out Loud
I am a firm believer that the very best thing you can do to edit your work is to read it out loud. When you read out loud, you will “hear” any awkward phrasing or words that just don’t sound correct. You can even use a program to read the post to you while you listen for problem areas.
Tip # 3: Grab the Reader
Take the time to check your opening line. It should be interesting and should grab the reader and make her want to read more. You can accomplish this with an interesting statistic, by posing a question, or even by quoting an expert. The key is to find something that is related to your topic but is unique.
Tip # 4: Check Your Sources
If you want to lend credibility to your posts, you’ll want to use credible sources. By weaving in quotes from experts and statistics, you can make your prose shine. However, using sources that are not always seen as reliable can hurt you in the eyes of your readers and even in search engine rankings. Look to government websites, libraries, encyclopedias, professional journals, and respected newspapers.
Tip # 5: Watch the Formatting
When you’re writing for the Web, the formatting of your piece matters greatly. People online are busy. Many are accessing websites from their mobile devices. This means that your article needs to be skimmable. Readers should be able to look over it and know the main points at a glance.
You can achieve this by using subheadings, bullet points, and short paragraphs.
Tip # 6: Add a Call to Action (CTA)
What do you want to achieve by posting this article? Is it to get the reader to subscribe to your newsletter or to take some other action? Think about your purpose in writing the piece and then create a strong call to action in your final paragraph or two.
Tip # 7: Re-Read Out Loud
Once you’ve finished all your other edits, go ahead and read the entire thing out loud one last time. More than likely, you’ve made some changes through all these edits, so you’ll want to ensure that editing your prose makes it read more smoothly and that you haven’t created any awkward parts.
It’s important to add fresh, new ideas to your blog. But it is equally important to vet the posts and make sure they are well written and sparkle. Your readers will thank you.