You’ve finished writing your blog post. Congrats!
Now, remove your finger from the “Publish” button. I know; it’s tempting. But before you press it, take a moment. Ask yourself: “Is there anything I can do to improve this post – even the smallest bit?”
You know the answer to that question. And don’t worry; there are fixes you can make that won’t take long – or lots of work.
Here are five quick edits you can make right now that will tighten up your post and help you tell a better story. Simply go down the list, check them off, and once you hit the bottom, publish away!
I always write my headlines first. And my first headlines always suck.
Writing the headline first helps me formulate my blog post concept. However, a lot can change during the writing process. Which means by the time I’ve completed a post, my initial headline is never as compelling as the content I just crafted with care. It needs to be reworked with diligent focus before it’s ready to publish.
If you write like I do, top to bottom, I guarantee that your headline needs more attention once your article is written. Don’t skip this critical step! Because if no one is reading your headline, no one is reading your article. Get more: 13 Expert-Proven Tips for Writing the Ultimate Blog Headline.
For some reason, short sentences scare a lot of us writer folks. We like to string ideas together with ands and therefores and in additions. It’s as if we expect our readers to be too lazy to make the leap from period to new idea.
But short sentences are bold. Exciting. They give your writing an energy and a bounce that is essential online.
So read through your post. Are there sentences that can be split in two – or three? Can you cut out words that aren’t necessary? Is there a shorter way to explain the same idea? Be ruthless with your editing! Slash, slash, slash!
When I open a blog post (or an email!) and all I see is a wall of text, I: 1) cry inside, and 2) slam my MacBook closed with a flourish.
Ok, perhaps it’s not that dramatic. But it does make reading feel more like a chore than a pursuit when content format is not user-friendly.
Break up that wall with subheads and bullets.
Subheads are a great way to engage readers and move them through your content. They give your readers the key takeaways from your article, so that when if they don’t read your entire post, they will still find it useful.
Bullets are also a breather in heavy content. They break up text from an aesthetic perspective and allow readers to absorb quick ideas rather than lengthy information. When it doubt, bullet. Trust me.
Ok, this is as grammar-y as I’ll get in this article. But seriously, read your post and see if you are using the passive voice anywhere. For you non-grammar nerds, here’s a refresher:
Passive voice is when you make the object of an action into the subject of a sentence. So, the subject is being acted upon. For example:
The boy was bitten by the dog.
(Boring! This is passive voice, because the dog is doing the action.)
Once you’ve identified passive, lazy sentences, switch them up! Make them active by swapping the sentences around so the subject is performing the action:
The dog bit the boy.
(Bad dog! Good sentence!)
One final edit, and this is universal for all of your content. When you are finished writing, ask yourself:
Who is the star of your article?
Is it you, or is it the reader? Are you talking a lot about what you can do, what services you provide, what your experience is … or are you talking about what your reader needs, how your reader feels, what your reader can do to improve?
Wherever possible, talk about your readers, not yourself. Frame your expertise or services or products in the context of how they answer your readers’ needs. Remember: No one cares about you. They care about how you can help them.
There you go; not too hard, right? Now you’ve made some simple edits that have seriously beefed up that handsome blog post. Go ahead, press publish and send that charmer out into the world!
Still need more help crafting the perfect post? Contact us to learn more about our copywriting services for small businesses and schools.