You can’t have great writing without great editing. This goes for whether you’re in a newsroom or handling the words of a freelance content writer. Writing and editing are a team effort.
Here are some tips that will improve your editing skills:
1. Take your time. This is especially important with content writing. Unlike newsrooms, these deadlines allow more time to read, edit and give proper feedback. It’s important to read through an article more than once, but take a breather in between. You might miss something if you go over it too fast. (A related tip: Read longer sentences aloud to see if they’re too airy. If they’re wordy when spoken out loud then they’ll be too long for readers to digest.)
2. Keep the voice. Every writers has their own style. You can tweak grammar, structure, and content while still maintaining someone’s voice. Editing multiple pieces from the same writer will also allow you to take mental notes and recognize their tendencies.
3. Be constructive. Content writers produce a lot of work. Revision notes and suggestions should cut to the point. You should also be prepared to talk about changes if the writer defends the original work. Healthy conversation leads to better work on both sides.
4. Understand ego. Writers are known to have egos because their work is a form of self-expression. Of course, editors themselves were writers at one point; therefore, they should have no problem being mindful of a writer’s process and work.
5. Be consistent. We all have personal preferences, and that shows in editing. However, it’s important to edit consistently and not deviate from the particular style. This makes for uniform copy and lends credibility to your editing efforts.
Good luck putting these editing insights to work!
About the author
Brad M‘s career has spanned more than 20 years in various newsrooms and for multiple online publications/blogs as a contract and freelance writer. He entered the business as a sportswriter, but has extensive experience in entertainment, news, blogging and general opinion writing. He was a Digital Editor most recently, which required handling of all publication Social Media pages as well as web content and design elements. One can expect credibility, responsibility, hard work and reliability from him in all projects, large or small.