5 Quick Tips for an Effective Blog Post Revision
This article is #3 of 6 in our series about content marketing. As a certified Content Marketing Expert, I share what I’ve learned at the Hubspot Academy and as Sunbird’s Content Manager.
You’ve created an educational, inspirational, and interesting post. You’re proud of the work you put into it. But something’s missing. Why do you feel like you’re not ready to make the post go live yet?
Simple. Because it hasn’t been edited properly.
Rereading your post once or twice can be helpful, but it’s not enough. Even professional writers use a revision process. There’s no shame in using time and resources to make your writing better! Many writers echo E.B. White’s sentiment: "The main thing I try to do is write as clearly as I can. I rewrite a good deal to make it clear."
Revision is a simple but powerful process that doesn’t have to be gut-wrenching. It can actually make writing more fun, and certainly more effective. Here are 5 tips for an effective blog post revision process.
Here are five tips for an effective blog post revision:
1. Enlist help from a coworker or peer.
There’s no better way to see what’s wrong with your piece than to have someone else read it with fresh eyes.
Before you start the revision process, make sure you set clear guidelines for whoever is reviewing your post. What should he or she be looking for? Grammar mistakes? Spelling? Are they making sure your post is free of jargon? Make this clear from the beginning so you don’t waste your time or the reviewer’s time.
2. Track your changes.
My writing mentor always used to say, “What’s the point of me editing your work if I don’t tell you why you need those edits?” If you don’t know what you did wrong or why, then you can’t possibly learn from the revision, and you’ll most likely continue to make the same mistakes in future pieces of content.
At Sunbird, we’ve found it best to edit our blog posts through Google Docs. When Bianca edits my posts, it’s a collaborative process between the two of us. Instead of making changes directly to the post, Bianca uses Google Docs’ “Suggestion Mode.” This allows any edits that Bianca makes to be suggestions for me to either accept or decline. In this way, I am able to see exactly what edits need to be made and why.
3. Use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) best practices.
SEO determines how high you appear in search queries. The best way to make sure your post performs well with SEO is to use the right keywords. Our previous post about writing the perfect blog post explains how to do proper keyword research. Use subheadings and break up your text with images and bullet points to make it easier to read. Search engines track whether your content is valuable and easy to read!
4. Double check that your piece is readable.
Many people equate using jargon with sounding professional and using a “writerly” style with sounding smart. Don’t! Follow Elmore Leonard, who said, ““If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”
How do you make your post more readable? Use “you” or “your” whenever possible to make the reader feel as though you are speaking directly to them. This makes reading your post a much more personal experience. Avoid jargon and embrace contractions. This will help you appear more relatable. Cut the fat. Not even your longest posts should include unnecessary sentences and phrases. Don’t be cute. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short and sweet, so your readers will stay engaged.
5. Receive the okay from whoever is in charge of the brand’s content.
For me, the same person who edits my content is the one who approves it. If Bianca gives it the okay, my post goes live.
At the end of the day, whatever content is publicly released is a reflection of your brand and whoever owns it. Make sure what you’re publishing is okay with them first. If you are the person both writing the content and approving it (because you’re a super hardworking solopreneur), then go ahead and approve the post yourself! Hit that publish button with triumphant independence.
Bottom Line: Don’t rush your blog posts. Get a fresh pair of eyes to ensure that your piece is grammatically correct, jargon-free, empathetic, and SEO-friendly. Setting aside time to revise your blog post (at least 2 rounds of edits) will make it more effective at gaining the attention of your target audience and search engines.
Any questions or thoughts? Leave a comment below! We love to hear from you.