5 Editing Tips for Blog Writers

Writing quality content on your company's blog takes time, but if you don't edit before you publish, your hard work may never pay off. Here are five editing tips for blog writers with little time and lots to say.

Alison Martin
07/24/2018
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Blog writer sitting crosslegged on bed and writing on laptop
Photo: Pexels

When most blog writers finish a post, they feel a sense of relief coupled with dread. Sure, the writing may be finished, but now it's time to edit. After pouring so much hard work into writing a good blog post, you may feel sluggish and anxious to just hit publish already, but if you don't stop and edit, you may be doing yourself a major disservice.

It's not enough just to reread your blog and look for grammatical errors. Good blog editing involves looking at key aspects of your post that will help you maximize your SEO and content strategy, and if you want to be a good blog writer and help your business's blog grow, then you need to be editing.

So while you may be exhausted after you write your blog post, stay focused just a little longer and follow these five editing tips.

Optimize for your keywords

Over the last few months, we've been asking experts for help in crafting a digital marketing strategy. All of them agree — using keywords effectively is vital to the success of your digital marketing efforts. So if you're not using keywords, then it's time to step back and learn how to use keywords well.

As a blog writer working on optimizing your website and blog for keywords, you likely did some keyword research before you started writing. Now it's time to go back and make sure your keywords appear where they need to, mainly in the:

- Headline

- Deck/Meta Description (This is the blurb that will appear in Google search results under your link.)

- Subheadlines within the blog

- Image alt tags

As Amanda Churchill told us in the July 2018 issue, keywords should make up about 2 to 3 percent of your overall word count. Remember, you don't need to use the exact same keyword over and over. Good blog writers use similar phrases, such as "patio furniture" instead of "outdoor furniture," to break up their writing and make it more interesting. Google is smart enough to know that these terms are similar.

Break up large paragraph chunks

Think about how you read content online when searching for an answer to a specific question. Do you read every single word carefully or do you scan stories and look for the section most likely to answer your question?

More than likely, you probably skim before you read, and it's safe to assume that readers will do the same with your blog. They'll look at subheadlines and short blocks of texts to guide them as they look for information. If your post looks like a wall of text, then you will likely lose readers who don't want to strain their eyes.

This can be tough to swallow for even the best blog writers, but don't sweat it. Work with it. Before you publish your blog, go back over it and look for any large paragraphs. Break them up into smaller paragraphs. If you have important points to make, give those sentences a line to themselves. This will help your scanner readers pick out what's important, and they may slow down and read more. Score one for blog writers everywhere!

Give credit to your images

As any interior designer will tell you, there's nothing worse than finding your photo on another website without credit or even a link back to your site. Just as blog writers want credit for their content, photographers want credit for their photos.

If you're using photos from another business, a designer or even a free site like Flickr or Pexels, make sure you give credit. While you're at it, double check that you have permission to use the photo at all. Not every photo on Flickr is part of Creative Commons.

Add internal and external links

Internal and external links to other pages help you in two ways: They help readers navigate around your website and they give credibility to your website.

Blog writers use internal links to keep readers on the site for longer periods of time. By linking to other relevant pages on your site within the copy, you can direct readers to other pages that may interest them. For example, if you're a blog writer doing a series on outdoor styling tips, link to previous posts on the same topic within your new blog. This will keep readers bouncing from post to post, lowing your bounce rate and increasing their time on your site.

External links are links to other websites, and while they may seem counterintuitive if you want to keep readers on your site, they can help your SEO. Smart blog writers use the credibility of other sites to bolster their own, so by linking to good websites (Houzz, Pinterest, other local businesses), Google reads your site as being more credible.

You obviously don't want to link to your competitors, but you can to non-competing local businesses in your area. Spread the goodwill, and maybe that company's blog writers will return it by linking to your site.

Add a call-to-action (CTA)

A CTA tells the reader what to do next. Blog writers use them to compel readers to complete a certain action, whether that's sign up for emails, follow them on social media or leave a comment. This encourages readers to further interact with your brand and stop them from just clicking the back button.

So on that note: blog writers, what do you struggle with the most when you edit your work? Share with us in the comments!

Photo: Pexels

 

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