To market your website online effectively the creation of written content is becoming increasingly essential. Above all, to maximize your results from content marketing your content needs to be well-written, read well, and avoid errors.
You don’t have to be a natural born writer to create such content. It’s not as difficult as it may seem, and will also improve with practice.
To get started, create your first draft version without worrying too much about the writing itself. You just want the content down at this stage.
Some people find it easier to speak than to write. If that includes you, try using your smartphone or your PC to record your thoughts on a topic, and then get it transcribed.
Once you have the draft, you can then improve it and hone it into its final form. Use the following content editing tips to do so;
1. Leave it alone.
That’s right, just ignore it for a few days. It’s hard to go over something properly straight after you’ve produced the draft. By leaving it a while, you’ll come back to it afresh and will find the editing process more efficient.
2. Read it out loud.
It may look fine if you read it in your head. But by reading it aloud, it’s surprising what you can spot. You’ll notice awkward phrasing, parts that don’t read well, and areas that need some improvement.
3. Spell check it.
It might sound obvious, but it’s surprising how many people forget the basics. A simple typo can turn readers off and make your content (and therefore your business) seem unprofessional. Be sure to run your content through a spell checker.
4. Use another pair of eyes.
Someone else will always spot issues that you’ll be blind too. Ask someone else to review your content and let you know what they find. Even better, pair up with someone and review each other’s content on a regular basis. That way, you both win.
5. Avoid jargon.
Don’t speak your language. Speak the language of the audience you’re trying to attract.
Industry-related jargon won’t impress your potential new customers, it will turn them away. Put yourself in the shoes of the people in your marketplace, and translate your expertise into language that they can relate to and will benefit from.
6. Read it in reverse.
This sounds a strange one, but it actually works. By reading your content backwards, your brain steps up a gear because you have to be more mentally alert. As a result, you’ll spot things you would have otherwise missed. Better to spot it now than a few weeks or even months down the line.
7. Be active, not passive.
Check your content for passive sentences and try to turn them into active sentences. Active sentences are stronger, help bring your writing alive, and can make your writing easier to read.
But what is a passive sentence? It’s a passive sentence if the subject is not performing the action, but the action is being done on it.
Here’s an example of a passive sentence: The content was written by Brian.
Here’s what happens when we rewrite it as an active sentence: Brian wrote the content.
Stronger? Clearer? More succinct?
Yes, this is a more complex one, but it’s simple enough after a bit of practice. It’s certainly worth mastering it to improve your copy.
8. Cut ruthlessly.
Most of us tend to write more than required. Go through your content, and justify why every sentence, every paragraph and every word is there. If it’s not absolutely needed or your content could survive without it, cut it out.
9. Check your readability score.
Run your content through a readability checker to get your Flesch Reading Ease score. Google ‘readability check’ to find some tools you can use.
You’re generally aiming for a score over 60 for best results. For example, the score for this content is around 80.
To conclude, try using the above editing tips with your next piece of written content. You’ll be surprised how much it improves your writing, and therefore the results you get from your content marketing activities.
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