40 Quick Editing Tips for Writers

40 Quick Editing Tips for Writers

Reader Comments (45)

  1. Great post Stefanie!

    I’m glad you covered the design part of the blog as well. People tend to overlook this aspect.

    Everything from design to content should be aligned with the objective that you’ve set for your blog.

    Very useful post.

  2. Fantastic post! I love all of these tips. I think my favorite is “write one compelling line”. Really puts things in perspective – writing is at the forefront.

  3. “If the latest and greatest widget, post formula, or social media app won’t benefit your readers, don’t use them.”

    Don’t believe the hype! Just because it is hot and new exciting doesn’t mean it will do you or your readers any good. By all means test but don’t think you HAVE to use the cool, new tools every time.

  4. Hi Stefanie,

    My favorite is #17 nooks and crannies. You never run out of ideas if you expand upon previous posts with additional info. And if you cross-link them (as you did) it makes the blog so much more user-friendly. And easier for search engines to index, I’ll bet.

  5. Wow…I’ve been doing most of them but I guess I need to update my checklist. My favorite one being “Highlight a reason to subscribe”. Getting users to subscribe to your email list is hard job these days. You need to give them reasons as to why should they subscribe to your blog.

    • It’s another opportunity to show you offer something special. When readers think they can get useful information from you they can’t get anywhere else, they become more open to subscribing.

  6. Awesome tips! I use many of them. They have brought me more traffic than when I wrote using only my own ideas.

    My best post editing tip deals with the way you look at editing. If you see it as a boring, nitpicking task, you might not like it. Look at it as putting the finishing touches on a beautiful work of art instead. Your point of view can make a HUGE difference on how you see the proofing process.

    • That’s my outlook, too, Malinda! And make it fun! 🙂

      I like to treat editing and proofreading as more than just spotting errors. You’re really making sure each word helps communicate your point and the ideas in your head match the sentences on the page.

  7. Great post!

    I definitely need to work on #20, log out and mute. I always find myself falling victim to distractions such as sports games on TV and other things that are taking my focus away from writing.

    Thanks for the insights.

    Jake Johnson

    • Distractions are everywhere, huh? Super easy to procrastinate.

      It’s tough, but once you sit down and block out everything else, it’s always pleasantly surprising to find that your writing and editing work takes less time than you think it will—so that’s at least one incentive to overcome distractions!

      Work always takes longer when I’m in half-focusing mode.

  8. My favorite is “pick 3 easy words that differentiate your business.” It’s so simple to say, and so hard to do. But it works. Really, really well.

  9. Excellent post Stefanie. Contains valuable tips and rule of the thump advice on how to organize, edit and produce content of value. Thank you for sharing.

  10. I like your point of view Stefanie…very useful for all of us who wants to create something new and in style…congrats

  11. Perfect!!!!!

    Every angle of making your blog irresistible to your readers are covered, and I love the line “Fall in love with your website”. It is self explanatory, how are you going to write quality posts if you don’t like your site. Make it your inspiration in writing…..


  12. Great article! Giving everyone the chance to “reset” their eyes on what they’re doing!

    Time to tweet this article out! A definite value-add.

  13. I LOVE this piece. Great info.

    All of the points are note and action-worthy, but I especially like #29–I have a tendency toward constant flow and need to remind myself to take time and step back sometimes.

    I’m also finding that, the older I get, the more time I need to invest in #28. I’ve found some insane typos/errors in my writing that would normally be unheard of coming from me–after I’ve posted something–and often, even after editing!

    Thanks for such a great post!

  14. I’d like to add something else to this list. I’m not recommending this only because I’m a freelance editor, but also because it’s extremely useful (I’ve done it myself!): Submitting a piece, or a variety of pieces, to an experienced freelance editor–not for proofreading, as the post states, but for content editing–will likely open your eyes to follies in your writing that you weren’t aware of. After they’re pointed out to you, though, you won’t want to wait a minute before changing your approach.

    It’s a cool technique that I feel enough copywriters don’t take advantage of because they don’t want to spend the money. It’s certainly worth it, though.

  15. Wow. Those are some of the best writing tips I’ve ever come across. I love #21…Fat Ass Fudge diet. It made me laugh because in just a few words it actually says it all. Great stuff Stefanie. All of my writers should read and memorize this entire post.

  16. Some great advice here. Prompted a second look at my website to see what can be improved. Best tip for me was “13. Take Yourself Out Of The Equation”. Practical tip that I would not have thought of.

  17. I enjoyed Seth Godin’s quote at the end. I’ve found that you can’t write for everybody, but over time, you will find the audience that hangs to your every word. That trusts you. Seth is an advocate of writing to small niches. A lot of people try to write on “The 7 sure ways to get rich” to get a big audience. If you can write on your passion, say, “A trick to get lawn mowing done 30% faster”. You will find the right audience and be successful.

  18. Really great post! These are some great tips, not just for editing, but for whipping your blog into shape. I especially like saying no to yes men. Any of your friends will be willing to tell you how awesome a writer you are. It’s more important to know what can be done to make your work better.

  19. This is a awesome list! As a copyeditor it’s vital to proofread for more than just grammar and your really address that here and I love it! So many times I run across copy that is completely filer and goes off track of the focus of what the person is trying to communicate. I especially find 26-28 to be the most helpful. So often we get caught up in finishing our work that we don’t take a step back to ensure it’s of the highest quality.

  20. Helpful tips on content editing. “#18: Tighten up” stuck out most; as we continue to see at Prose Media, it is definitely more important to have fewer well-written and thought-out posts than more posts that won’t entice the reader as much. Quality, not quantity.

  21. Hi Stefanie!

    These are great tips. What a list. I like the adding carbonated water advice. As a writer, you are always learning tricks and techniques that can go a long way.

    Thanks a bunch for sharing this!


  22. Excellent post!

    I must work on item #20, log out, and mute. Sports events on TV and other diversions that divert my attention from writing are something I always find myself falling prey to.

    I appreciate your insights.

  23. A magnificent article again.
    Thanks a million, Stefanie!
    By ” Getting ready to Edit”, you got me sitting on the wings of a fresh article idea. Something like – 10 pre-activities for getting ready to edit….ha!ha!
    Here are some:
    By observation – Read 4-5 pages of a book by a great author and observe how the text is structured.
    By actually doing it – Hover over an academic essay by a school or college student and correct the mistakes therein.
    Reading an article – Like this one written by you.
    Going through a basic grammar lesson – Such as direct and indirect speech. (My Gosh! I find the punctuations in narrations so horribly confusing!)

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