Does the thought of having to publish a new piece of content send shivers down your spine? Are you already envisaging the tonnes of time you will waste just writing, editing, re-writing, re-editing, re-re-editing…?
If you spend more time editing your content than writing it, it’s no wonder you will try to postpone content publishing for as long as possible. But as we all know, procrastination is no excuse. So let’s see some easy content editing tips that will turn you from Mr Edit-It-All into the Writer Of The Day…
- Build your content just like a construction site
Every piece of almighty content started out as ideas jotted down on a piece of paper. Start by creating the skeleton of your content: introduction, body, and conclusion. Write the main points you want your content to touch upon. These will be your subheadlines.
Tip: There are many ways in which you can choose your subheadlines. The easiest? Put yourself in your audience’s shoes: what would they be interested in?
This can help you get the bigger picture of your writing process. And more importantly, once you have the layout it is easier to stay on topic, which means less time on editing.
- Choose a powerful headline and stick to it
The headline is the first contact and impression readers have with your content. You want them to find it useful, impressive, and what’s more important, it has to be right on the topic.
You cannot have a headline that talks about a topic and your content developing on something “close enough”. Your headline should tell the story. Make your readers feel intrigued by the headline and anxious of reading the content.
Useful tip: Select your headline before you start writing. This is way is easier to make sure you are staying on topic. By the time you finish writing the content you can go back to the title and change it if need be.
- Pick keywords sooner rather than later
Yes, it is important to choose your content’s keywords carefully, for every post you are writing can have a positive impact on your SEO. It might take a few minutes longer to finish the content, but in the end you’ll get more traffic. Plus, doing keyword researches is a way of learning what your audience is interested in reading.
The most important thing to remember is that you should select your keywords as soon as possible. You don’t want to finish the copy and then realise you need to edit the keywords. It’s not only difficult, but will also eat up a lot of your time.
- Take inspiration from leading content marketers
Following industry leaders can give you an idea on how much content you can really write every week. Some writers are so prolific, they manage writing +17,000 words a week! Of course, you don’t have to spend all that time writing and editing your content when you could focus on running your business. This is what Digital Marketing Concierge is for.
Here are some of pieces of advice when it comes to writing content:
- Start to speed up your writing – You can increase your writing time by timing yourself. See how much time you need to put together an article and then try to speed things up a little bit each day.
- Create a list for your ideas – Make a list of all your ideas that come through your mind and then select the best ones. Believe it or not, the world’s top copywriters sleep with a notebook right next to their bed. It takes the idea of “writing on the spot” to an entirely new level, doesn’t it?
- Make a layout for your content – Design your content layout so you can have an idea of how the post will look like once it is finished. This is the post’s skeleton, so pay attention to it.
- Make some research first – Research is always a good idea. You want your visitors to find your content useful so you need to cover your ground as much as possible.
- Don’t worry now about the editing, just write – Don’t worry about the editing, or about the spelling. Just write like a romantic and leave the editing for later. As it’s famously said, “Write drunk, edit sober”.
- Give yourself a break from time to time – A break is recommended to clear your head and to put your ideas in order. Take a break especially when you finished writing your piece, then come back to content editing with a fresh mind. You can’t underestimate the power of breaks when it comes to writing!
- Set a deadline – This way you can make sure that the content will be ready in time. Make sure to set realistic dates, or else you will either end up extra-stressed out, or super-laid back. None is good.
- Choose simple words to write your content – No one likes fancy words, it makes writing and reading a lot harder.
- Think about your most efficient time of the day and write then – We all have specific moments in the day when we feel the most efficient. Think about yours and pick that time as a writing time. Some of us are morning persons and some of us are night owls. Which one are you?
- No distractions allowed – Use tools like Google Docs and Evernote so you can eliminate any distractions. Close social media tabs when working. Hey, I mean it! Now!
- Take a break, then re-read.
Re-reading your content with a fresh mind will give you an entirely new perspective over your writing. You can’t believe the clarity it projects over your work. You’ll know exactly what you need to cut, chop, edit, remove, or add.
Sometimes it may need just a few changes and it will be ready to go. Sometimes you’ll just end up thinking, “this copy really needs some editing”.
Content editing means checking for grammar, SEO, graphics, headlines, meta description and keywords and see if you are happy with the result.
To wrap it up…
Plus, we are usually more critical with our own work than we are with someone else’s. So, at the end of the day, you are left with 2 options: continue to write content and invest a significant amount of time in doing it, or take back your time and lifestyle and let the pros do it.
Now back to you…
- How often do you post content on your website?
- What are your top “secrets” to NOT waste your time and energy when writing content & editing it?
- Do you think a non-writer can create content just as good as a writer? How?