There are certain smart ways to edit a blog post to make it stand tall within the crowd.
But before we delve into that let us give a direct answer to the below question.
What, in your view, is a great online article anyway?
Is it the one with super-useful content? Maybe it’s the one that speaks to the reader as if they were listening to the voice of the writer standing right in front of them!
Wow. That must be a really interesting post. Call it a living post, if you like.
A great blog post could as well be judged in terms of …
- how SEO-friendly it is
- the right mix of media attachments
- interesting expressions that keep the reader fully engaged
- proper focus on the topic being discussed
- appropriate use of internal and external links
Well, I intend to save these issues to form the subject matter for subsequent posts.
Apart from all the above, there are certain key elements of your post which deserve a great deal of attention if you really want to make a good and lasting impression on that first-time visitor to your site.
While you begin to edit your draft before hitting the publish button, pay extra attention to these aspects I’m about to show you.
So here we go. Ready? Go!
1. Edit overused or repeated words.
It is easy to fall in love with certain words to such an extent that you keep using them in almost every sentence. I catch myself committing this grievous sin quite often.
What I do in such situations is to delete the word and replace it with a different one which can serve the same purpose. Sometimes, I let the sentence be without any such word if this is possible.
Varying your vocabulary is one sure way of making your writing truly engaging.
2. Edit your spelling thoroughly.
Let me tell you something interesting.
The variety of English I grew up learning at school is British English. Clearly, you will expect me to have my spelling look like favour, colour, smelt, dreamt, defence, judgement, organise, catalogue, programme, centre and cancelled.
This is exactly when my American-born Windows programme and its word processor, along with that grammar app, begin to play tricks on me.
They would insist (forget about suggest) I should rather choose favor, smelled, defense, program and so on.
This can get really confusing especially if you begin to get Americanized by virtue of your continued exposure to American English which dominates the web.
What happens is, you’re likely to start mixing your original British spelling with American spelling.
I do this in many instances; sometimes without knowing.
My worry is some online readers may not appreciate this dilemma we face. They could consider your spelling to be substandard depending on where they’re coming from. And this could put some of them off.
Don’t you think so?
So what is the solution?
Well, until the day these two major varieties of English fuse into one, at least with regards to spelling, I strongly suggest that you always check your writing for any inconsistencies in spelling.
What I mean is, just try and stick to one variety as much as you can.
What about “your” vs “you’re”, “thus” vs “that’s”, “it’s” vs “its”, “belief” vs “believe” etc?
I need to publish a separate major post on these confusing spellings which are clearly a headache for some online writers.
For now, let’s just have a few pairs of sentences to guide you get your spelling right in the case of words of this nature.
- Sandra is your friend.
- You’re my friend, Sandra.
- Your readers will judge your work by the accuracy of your spelling. Thus, you need to take your spelling seriously.
- Kindly change the spelling of that word. That’s if you don’t mind.
- Don’t go out now. It’s still dark outside.
- Your cat looks very healthy. Its dark colour is so bright.
- Do you believe in the existence of ghosts?
- She continues to have this rather weird belief that ghosts exist.
In fact, there are many other areas of spelling difficulty which I cannot deal with in this post since it is not specifically about spelling.
I will certainly publish a separate post which will cover, in greater detail, how to improve your spelling of English words.
3. Put your punctuation and capitalization in order.
Apart from knowing when to use the apostrophe sign for it’s, you’re and the like, you must edit your draft blog post effectively to rid it of the following errors and many more.
- Names of people, places and major events which start with small letters instead of capital letters.
- Words that are supposed to be compound words but have no hyphen joining them.
- Extremely long, difficult-to-understand sentences which should have been broken down into shorter ones with the use of a few full stops.
- Careless use of other punctuation marks like the comma, question mark and exclamation mark.
4. Sentence structure
To make your blog post not only readable but also enjoyable, you need to edit those sentences which come out as dull and confusing.
One way to do this is to revise most of your passive sentences into active ones. You should also do something about varying the order of the elements forming your sentences.
Let me explain with an example.
Adverbs, adverbial phrases and adverbial clauses, for example, are easy to shift around in a sentence. Therefore, varying the position of such in your sentences will prevent your article from sounding too monotonous.
Take a look at these two sentences:
- Remember to leave a comment in order that I may know how you feel about this post.
- In order that I may know how you feel about this post, remember to leave a comment.
This is just one of the numerous ways you can vary your sentence structure and make your article flow seamlessly like a melody.
It is possible that upon a closer look at your new draft, you will discover that certain elements are not following your desired order.
Worse still, you may find out that whatever ideas you’re trying to communicate to your audience could be disjointed or mixed up, making understanding become very difficult.
Seize this opportunity to introduce the necessary linkages.
You may have to introduce linking words or expressions like moreover, similarly, on the other hand, however, nonetheless, as a result, further, as you can see, in addition, to explain further, secondly, and so on.
Consider reordering paragraphs and points so as to make your writing flow naturally and logically. This will make your reader find it easy to follow your line of thinking.
Honestly speaking, the above are just a small fraction of the areas of your online article that need proper editing before you go ahead to publish your beloved post.
Nonetheless, they’re about the most important ones, if you ask me. So, next time you finish drafting your online article, whatever the platform or purpose, just remember to do justice to these critical areas.
I will always wish you successful online publishing. You owe me one too, don’t you?