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Tips for copy-editing: Before you revise your content

Compelling content will captivate and hold your audience’s attention and perhaps even motivate them to retweet, like, bookmark or email to their friends.

To establish yourself as an authoritative publication in your niche, you need to critically examine your content.  To strengthen your ability to create content, you also need to improve your editing skills.

Once you have written the first draft, you need to copy edit it for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, factual errors, and consistency in tone and style. Copy-editing can transform basic content into powerful stories, influence your readers and persuade them to take action. But before your begin copy-editing, it is important to take a break and switch from a content writer to a copy editor.

Here are some pre-revision rituals that you can follow before you begin to copyedit your content.

Take a breather

Unless you have a strict deadline to meet, take a break for at least a day after you have completed your web copy, blog posts, landing pages, webinars, or podcasts. Once you create some distance from your initial creation, you will be able to come up with new ways to modify your writing.

Become detached

Release the writer’s ego and transit to an editor’s mindset to review your work with clinical detachment. As a copy editor, you will have no problem in evaluating, deleting or closing loops in information flow to produce a more coherent article.

Create a new document

Writing consistent content is a fluid process. Content that is irrelevant or in excess of a certain post should not go waste. Save the original file so that you can use the content you have not used in a particular post as ideas for your next blog post.

Skim through your text

Perform one fast, superficial reading of the content you have created to ensure you have covered all the points you had in mind. Each subsequent reading should be meticulous review of the text.

Self-evaluate

While skimming through the text, add comments without actually changing the draft of your content at this stage. If you didn’t communicate your intent accurately, you can use these comments to reorganize your thoughts when you are copyediting the text.

Content writing and copyediting are two different skill sets. Writing has a rhythm or a flow while copy editing requires an eye for detail. Pre-editing rituals are therefore important to shift from one skill set to another.


Posted in: Blog on November 5, 2013 by admin.