4 Easy Steps for Effective Content Editing

It’s not always easy editing someone else’s content writing. Sometimes, you may be tempted to change so much of the original writer’s work that you don’t know where to begin. To keep from becoming overwhelmed, try organizing your editing process step by step. We’ll take you through the process.

1. The Proof’s in the Reading

Knock the basics off your list first. Read through the entire piece and eliminate any spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors before you concern yourself with anything else. (Your computer’s spell check tool is great, but don’t let it be a substitute for your own eyes. Use it as a backup). If the writer has included any hyperlinks, make sure they work. If he has cited any sources, verify that the information provided is correct. These are the easiest mistakes to correct, and once you’ve done so, they won’t distract you as you make more significant changes.

2. Evaluate the Flow

Now give your content a second read-through, but this time, look out for anything that interrupts the flow of the piece. Eliminate any extraneous information that feels like a speed bump in the logic of the narrative. Put yourself in the shoes of a reader who knows almost nothing about the subject of the article, and ask yourself if the order in which the information is presented makes sense. Don’t be afraid to move sentences or paragraphs around if the original SEO content writer didn’t get the order just right.

3. Avoid the Department of Redundancy Department

When writing articles for a retailer or service provider’s web site, it can be easy to fall into the trap of rehashing the same points to meet the word requirement. Remember that the goal of your content is to engage the user and turn him into a customer. You’ll lose him if the writing is redundant, so read your content thoroughly, and ask yourself if any sentences or paragraphs are reiterating something you’ve already said. If they are, delete them. Replace them with something more relevant, such as a brand new point or some additional information.

4. Don’t Tell Them – Show Them

Some writers like to tell readers what to do and move on, but keep them engaged by providing them with relevant examples and details. If you’re editing content for an online cosmetics retailer, for example, and your writer has included one sentence about “this season’s beautiful lipsticks,” that doesn’t tell the reader much. Make the information more appealing and useful by mentioning specifics—in this case, popular color families and where to find the best deals. (Didn’t that real-life example make the point clearer to you?)

Getting frustrated? It happens. If you don’t understand what the original writer was trying to say, it’s difficult to know what changes to make. In that case, don’t be afraid to connect with a reputable SEO content writing service. They’ll help you to make that content excellent.

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  • By Jody Mullen
  • Published on July 3rd, 2013