When composing business marketing materials or press releases, we constantly harp on the importance of producing “quality content.” And most of the information you will find on how to produce such content is focused on the writing process – which is paramount. However, there’s another piece of the puzzle that is often left out, and I’d argue it is just as important – editing.
You see, no matter how awesome of a writer you are, your work needs to pass through the critical eye of an editor, if for no other reason than to catch simple typos or misuse of punctuation. Failing to edit a piece properly can rob your work of that “it-factor” you seek to achieve.
However, if you are a small business owner, you may find yourself in the position where you don’t have another set of eyes to comb through your work. This leaves you in quite the difficult position – editor of your own work.
If you’re forced to proofread your own materials, follow these steps to become the best editor you can possibly be.
- Wait. First things first. Never attempt to edit your work immediately after writing. It’s too fresh on your mind and you’ll be tempted to cruise through, ignoring or simply not catching little problems. You have to get away from the content for a while so you can re-approach it with a fresh set of eyes.
- Read aloud. Sometimes you can only catch issues by hearing them. For example, if you naturally pause when reading but there is no period, you might have yourself a run on sentence. Read slowly and listen carefully.
- Focus on removal. Our tendency is to add to our words when going back. Fight the urge! More than likely, you are in danger of your release or copy running too long. Remember – be concise. So when you remove text, don’t replace it.
- Is it necessary? Remember, every single word in your piece matters. Or it should, anyway. If you have anything whatsoever that fails to add to your main message, nix it. You should have one main point you want to get across – everything else should support it.
- Stay active. Verbs like “are” and “were” weaken your writing. Stick to verbs that show action to draw the reader in.
Don’t be scared to be critical of yourself. If you don’t, the reader will!
Leave a comment sharing your best editing tips.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 8 Shocking Secrets Press Release Distribution Firms Don’t Want You to Know here: http://www.ereleases.com/landing3.html