Five Simple Steps to Editing Your Blog Posts

In a ideal world, you’d never have to edit your own work, but well, you know the drill… life’s not fair…

So, how do you go about editing your posts?

Here are five simple (and kind of easy) steps to editing your blog posts.

Step One: Walk away

It’s true in all aspects of life that being too close to things means we don’t see them clearly enough.

See, you know what you meant to write, so your eyes just fill in the blanks, overlook typos, etc. That’s why you need to get a little distance.

After you write your first draft, go get a cup of coffee or take a walk to clear your head.

Step Two: Think of the readers

Imagine you’re the intended audience reading your blog post for the first time. The big questions you want to answer here are:

  • Would the reader understand what you’re trying to say?
  • Does it hold your interest from start to finish?
  • Does it include all the information you need (e.g., important numbers, URL, event location)?

Step Three: Edit to make everything clear and concise

Edit to make your writing as clear and concise as possible:

  • Trim long sentences: If any are longer than 25 words or so, consider turning them into two sentences or removing any unnecessary words.
  • Slim down the words: Replace long words and phrases with short ones. In other words, why say “ascertain the location of” when you can just say “find”?

Nothing is more daunting to a reader than a dense block of text. Add some breathing room with white space between paragraphs, bold subheads and (where appropriate) bullet points.

Step Four: Edit out the mistakes

Here are a few major points when it comes to editing blog posts:

  • Good writing is error-free. This means perfect spelling and no typos.
    • Check for the correct use of homonyms like to/too/two, their/they’re/there, etc. Spellcheck doesn’t always make those distinctions.
    • Confirm you’ve spelled all names correctly. This mistake can be particularly embarrassing.
  • Good writing avoids the energy-draining passive voice.
  • Good writing is formatted correctly. Check your margins, use of spacing and consistency in style of headings — font, bold or not bold, capitalization, etc.

Step Five: Now clean it up and read it again. Out loud.

After you’ve made your revisions, it’s time to read it again. Out loud. From start to finish, and then the other way around. Why? Well, if you go about it from the end, you’re reading individual sentences, so it’s easier to catch mistakes and typos and such.

And now what?

Depending on your time, you can repeat the process a few more times.

How long should it take to edit a piece?

As long as it takes for you to feel like you never want to read it again. I’m serious.

Rewrite, edit, read out loud, and edit, and proofread until you can’t stand the idea of having to do it one more time.


Editing is a skill that can take years to perfect. But if you follow these recommendations, you’ll greatly improve the quality of your blog posts.

You’ll have done your best, which is all anyone can really ask of you.

66 thoughts on “Five Simple Steps to Editing Your Blog Posts

  1. You may think I’m crazy, but editing has become one of my favorite parts of writing. I find such pleasure from streamlining and focusing the ideas I attempted to pour out in my first drafts. I’ve also found that writing to a word count will really help with Step 3. I learned this from the various writing contests that limit the word count in the final submission. If you know you cannot exceed a certain number of words you can focus on what you need to say and eliminate the fluff.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Very useful…especially for my blog where I mainly write art tutorials and being consistent is crucial to help the reader follow the line. No doubt avoiding typos and good formating shows professionalism. Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your advice about re-editing until you never want to read the thing again strikes a chord with me. I enjoy editing more than the initial writing. I like rewording for clarity and simplicity. I enjoy moving the paragraphs around so that the logic flows seamlessly. My problem is dragging myself away from the thing to submit it (and even then I always find something I missed in the Preview stage).
    And, of course, finding stuff to write about.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Ha I can relate so much to the how long should it take part. I would even suggest having a few reads on preview after you think you have finished editing. I find the different format helps in seeing mistakes.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. All good ideas. I like the reading backwards idea. Means you have to be more exact in your observation and not get lost by the flow of what you are reading.
        Thank you very much. Your posts are most helpful.
        Best wishes to you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, otherwise you get distracted because you tend to focus on different elements, such as paragraph and sentence logic. Reading it backwards means all that doesn’t have to make sense anymore.

        And thank you for your compliments.

        Like

  5. Editing – the necessary evil.

    I find that when I’m putting a post together and slogging through the editing bit, that often simple errors whether it be spelling, grammar and such keep getting missed. I think it’s because my mind knows what is coming next before my eyes get there. As an example, my mind knows the word should be “were.” I’ve typed “where.” My mind thinks,” it’s all good – keep moving along” before my eyes get there and we simply keep slipping over it.

    Slowing down certainly helps. A trick I learned years ago was to read what you’ve written backwards. It forces you to go very, very slow and to read each and every word.

    Reading out loud is a great help as well.

    Great tips, to help anyone with the editing process.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, reading backwards is a great way to spot mistakes. Also, if time allows, you can print out your post in a different font that you are used to. That also does the trick.

      The thing is that mistakes are kind of inevitable. Even “professionally edited” books have them.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. To me, these excellent tips are essential. “Walk away” is strangely effective. I may read a draft 20 times and think it’s in good shape, but then wait one more day just to make sure. The next day I always find something I missed. It’s rare that I write and post on the same day. Solid advice, as usual.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I will take these ideas very seriously – and try to do a much better job of editing BEFORE I hit the “Publish now” button. Thank you, Cristian. BTW, when can I expect to see those 10 ideas for improving my blog??

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m the type of person to write, read over it once, maybe twice and post. I’m glad I read this because now I’m going to spend way more time on making sure my piece is perfect. At least as perfect as I can make it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Excellent advice for bloggers and writers. Your point on slimming down words has come as a revelation. It has made me understand fancy vocabulary doesn’t always work.

    Like

  10. I like editing my own work. I can’t imagine someone else doing it for me. I know that’s how it’s done professionally, but still. “Walk away”, is the best advice. You can’t properly edit what you’ve been looking at for hours on end.

    Like

  11. I clearly understand there is a big difference between editing and revising. Almost anyone with proper knowledge can edit but revising seems to be an art residing within the soul of the writer.

    Like

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