When marketing your business, one of your main goals should be effectively communicating with a target audience, but it is difficult to do so if your copy is filled with spelling and grammar mistakes. To avoid having errors, you need to carefully edit your content marketing copy before you share it with the world. This can mean the difference between a typo-filled quick idea and an eloquent call to action. Editing turns a rough idea into refined content that can make a mark on the world. In this article, we explore tips for the editing process, so you can successfully edit your own content marketing copy.
What Is The Editing Process?
Almost every piece of content you encounter online has gone through an extensive editing process. The process starts with a first draft that goes through several rounds of edits before becoming the polished final version you see on social media, a blog or other platform.
Here is the most common process for editing marketing content:
- First Draft: A first draft is the starting point for any piece of writing. Often, first drafts contain many mistakes or are underdeveloped. That’s okay! It’s important to get all your ideas out on the page, even if it’s not perfect. Remember, you can’t improve what isn’t there.
- Content Edits: Content editing looks at the substance in your writing. Narrative choices, plot lines, themes, messaging and ideas are all part of the content editing process. In this stage, look at what you want your work to say. This is big picture editing — don’t focus too hard on the little details yet.
- Line Edits: Line editing checks for attributes like style and word choice. Are you following your style guide? Check for excessive repetition, passive voice, jargon and sentence fragments in this step. Don’t be afraid to break out the thesaurus and upgrade your words to say exactly what you mean.
- Proofreading: The final step of the editing process is proofreading. At this point, your content should say exactly what you want, so now you’re just checking for smaller details like spelling and grammar mistakes. Tools like Grammarly are incredibly useful for finding and fixing little mistakes in your content. Check for any red spelling error indicators or misplaced commas in the proofreading stage.
- Final Draft: Congratulations, you have a finished piece of content!
Why Is Editing Important In Content Marketing?
Caroline Forsey of Hubspot wrote that, “[For content marketing,] I thought one skill — and one skill only — would serve me well enough to succeed: the ability to write.” She later learned that, while the ability to write copy is important, so is the ability to edit your copy. Editing is a fundamental pillar of content marketing, and it plays a pivotal role in ensuring your message hits the bullseye with your audience. Whether you’re crafting a blog post, a social media update or an email newsletter, taking the time to edit your content should never be overlooked.
This process also allows you to maintain consistency in your brand voice. When you’re consistent in your tone, language and style, your audience becomes familiar with your unique personality and begins to form a connection with your brand. This consistency fosters trust and reliability, making it more likely your audience will keep coming back for more. Imagine your brand as a person. It needs to have a consistent personality that people can recognize and relate to, which can only be achieved through careful editing.
Moreover, editing is crucial in improving your professional image online. In the digital world, where competition is fierce and first impressions matter, typo-filled and error-ridden content is detrimental to your credibility. In a recent study, Contentsquare found that “the average time [viewers spend] on a page across all industries is 54 seconds.” This number is often even less on social media sites. Spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and unclear messages will make your audience question your professionalism and attention to detail and can cause viewers to spend less time reading your content. On the other hand, well-edited content conveys a sense of competence and respect for your audience’s time and intelligence.
Beyond that, editing ensures your content communicates effectively. You might have a brilliant idea or a fantastic product, but if your message is buried under a heap of confusing sentences and jargon, it won’t reach its full potential. Effective editing streamlines your content, allowing your core message to shine through and resonate with your target audience.
Not only does editing polish your content, it also plays a crucial role in enhancing your online credibility. Misinformation runs rampant, so credibility is paramount. When you present well-edited, accurate content, you demonstrate you’re a reliable source of information. This leads to increased trust from your audience, positioning you as an authority in your niche.
Editing also helps tailor the content to your specific audience. Every demographic has its unique language, preferences and pain points. The same is true for different communication platforms, like social media, email marketing or blogging. Through the process of editing, you can fine-tune your content to speak directly to your intended audience, making it more relevant and engaging for them. This targeted approach can significantly boost your content marketing efforts, driving better results and a stronger connection with your audience.
Well-edited copy keeps your marketing strategy on track. By reviewing and refining your content regularly, you can assess what works and what doesn’t. This iterative process allows you to adapt your approach, making data-driven decisions that lead to improved performance over time.
By following best editing practices, you can transform your content from good to exceptional, capturing the hearts and minds of your audience and driving the success of your content marketing efforts. So, don’t skimp on the editing. It’s the key to unlocking the true potential of your content.
Tips for Editing Your Content Marketing
Here are some of our favorite tips for how to edit your content:
1. Have Someone Else Review Your Work
One of the best ways to edit is to collaborate with other people. Ask a colleague to review what you’ve written and get their feedback. Different people bring different perspectives to the table, which is immensely helpful when editing. Even the strongest writer or editor can benefit from a second pair of eyes on their work. Content marketing is about reaching your intended audience, so find someone in your target demographic and ask them what they think. This can provide insight into what your audience is thinking when they read your piece.
After someone else reviews your content, take a minute and sit with their feedback. Did they comment on the style or the wording? The message itself? Did they find grammatical errors? These are all important things to consider when making adjustments to your writing. Take the feedback and keep it in mind when writing other copy in the future.
2. Step Away And Come Back
If there isn’t anyone else around to look at your work, have no fear. There are still ways to bring different perspectives to your work, even if it’s just two perspectives from you. Often, once we are immersed in our own writing, we miss things because we see what our brain wants us to see. Once you get your first draft (or any subsequent drafts) completed, set the copy down and walk away. Take a walk, talk to someone or work on other things to clear your mind.
Once you’ve taken a break, come back to your content. Often, you will find things you missed when you were initially writing. This is a good time to look for small details that may get lost, like spelling, grammar or incorrect word usage.
3. Read Your Content Out Loud
Like stepping away from your content, reading aloud what you wrote can provide a whole new perspective without another person’s input. When reading your content out loud, you are forced to look at each individual word instead of just glancing over the whole passage. This is an especially helpful tip for the content and line editing stages, which focus on messaging, tone, voice and style.
If you want to take it a step further and really look at the small details, start with the last sentence and read each sentence aloud from the bottom to the top. This breaks up the copy and forces you to look at it in new ways.
Alternatively, if you do not want to read aloud yourself, many computers and phones have speech-to-text functionality that allows you to type words on the page and have the machine read it out to you. This provides the additional benefit of showing you how your content will be conveyed with accessibility functions like screen readers.
4. Print Your Copy
In this age of word processors and digital writing, sometimes it helps to work on a physical version of the text. Double space the writing on the page, print it out and grab a pen. Things like stepping away, reading aloud and printing out your copy are all methods of introducing new ways of looking at what you have written. When you look at something for too long, it’s hard to look at it critically and see where you need improvement. These methods break up the monotony and allow you to see what you’re doing more clearly.
5. Use AI To Provide A Starting Point
As a writer, a blank page can be intimidating. As we said, you can’t edit what isn’t there. AI tools like ChatGPT and Jasper.AI can take your ideas and translate them onto the page. These tools take into account things like word count, keywords, style and tone to help you get started with your copy. Once you have the starting point, go through the editing process on the generated material and turn it into a piece of content marketing that fits your business’s style and message.
A word of caution, however. AI generated material is not completely bulletproof, so always look for incorrect information, spelling and grammatical errors, repetition and stylistic inconsistencies when utilizing these tools.
Still Need Help With Editing Your Content Marketing?
If you find yourself stuck in your content editing process, contact us at Three Girls Media! We offer a complimentary 30-minute phone consultation with our CEO, Erika Montgomery, and offer a wide range of content marketing services. Let’s discuss your business’s specific needs and how we can help you!
Sign up for a complimentary consultation during January and receive an Email Marketing Guide valued at $475! We offer a 30-minute phone consultation with our CEO and can answer your questions and discuss your specific marketing needs – no strings attached. Call 360-955-1410 or contact us today to arrange your consultation!