Blogging is a given when you run an online business, but it’s a time-consuming process. Coming up with ideas, managing your editorial calendar, creating post graphics – oh yeah, and actually writing the post – can make blogging feel like more work than it’s worth.
It can be tempting to slap together a post and hit “publish” as soon as you’ve typed out your first draft, but that skips over one huge part of the blogging process: editing. Your blog will do nothing to build your authority and expertise if it’s riddled with spelling errors and missing links. (Let’s not even talk about those embarrassing comments that point out a simple typo you wish you’d caught.)
The good news is, your blog can be well written without taking over your life. Follow this step-by-step process to craft error-free blog posts in record time.
The secret to fast editing is to start with the big picture and work your way down to the nitty-gritty details. The first step to editing your blog posts starts with having a plan before you even start writing.
Planning ahead gives you the chance to edit your post ideas before you spend time and energy writing and editing them. Use an editorial calendar to plan out your posts for the next few weeks. Does each post help you achieve your blog goals, or are there outliers that aren’t a good fit for what you want your blog to accomplish? By asking yourself questions like these, you can revise much of your content before you even write it.
Use an outline
How many times have you been frustrated with yourself for wasting time revising a post that ended up half in the trash bin because it went so far off-topic? Working from an outline will help you avoid that problem.
Since you’re already planning your post ideas ahead with an editorial calendar, why not jot down two or three main points that will become the guiding subheads of your post? You’ll be able to see at a glance if any ideas don’t fit with this post, saving you loads of editing time down the road. Bonus: the outline will jumpstart your writing process when you’re ready to get it all out on paper.
Call in reinforcements
When it comes to spelling and grammar, getting help is often the most effective (and efficient!) way to edit your posts. Even the best editors have trouble spotting their own errors. And spelling and grammar aren’t the only things that can go wrong in a blog post: you also want your writing style to mesh with your readers and your brand.
You could hire an editor or VA to help you catch errors, but there are plenty of automated tools to help you on this front. I love the Hemingway App for keeping my style simple and avoiding wordiness, and Grammarly is great for enhancing clarity and catching errors your average spellchecker might miss. Using these tools can cut your editing time in half while still yielding great results—and they’re free!
Put on the finishing touches
This is your last chance to catch mistakes before sending your post out into the world. If there’s one step it’s worth taking your time on, it’s this one. Your best bet at a successful last edit is giving yourself space between writing your post and checking for last-minute errors. If you’ve got time, let your post sit for a few days. Then hit “preview” and give your post a final read-through.
Sometimes goofy errors are introduced when you put the finishing touches on your post. While previewing your post, make sure the formatting and graphics look good, links are all working and set to open in a new tab, and you’ve placed your SEO keyword accordingly. And of course, be on the lookout for any sneaky typos that found their way in at the last minute.
Editing any blogger can handle
Not all of us are born editors, but with the right blogging process and tools to help you out, you can streamline your blog editing and stop worrying about the grammar police.
What’s the most time-consuming part of editing your blog? Let me know in the comments!