Self Editing 101: Five Tips for Bloggers

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

If you are like most bloggers, you probably don’t have your own personal editor to make sure that all your blog posts are properly worded and grammatically correct. This means that you most likely rely on your own editing expertise. If you don’t know the basic dos and don’ts about editing, you can end up doing yourself more harm than good when trying to edit your own posts. Next time you find yourself in an editing bind, turn to these self-editing tips to help your correctly write your blog posts.

Read Your Work Out-Load

Sometimes reading your work out loud can do you wonders. It allows you to pick out the sentences that sound a little funky and replace them with ones that go with the flow better. It can help you pick out repetitive words, misspelling, and missing phrases. Next time you find yourself staring at your computer wondering how to start the editing process, try reading your work out loud.

Take A Break

Sometimes your brain can get a little fuzzy if you’ve been writing for too long. You can start writing sentences that make no sense at all. Take a step back from your computer to rest your eyes and brain for a bit. More likely than not you will find some sentences and words that need a little editing.

Use Commas

The comma; the oft forgotten punctuation. Using commas correctly makes a world of difference in your writing. However, most people choose to leave them out all together or place them randomly throughout their writing. Some common mistakes include using commas in dialog. For example, you should place a comma before a direct address such as “Let’s eat, Mom.” Without the comma, the sentence has a different and disturbing meaning. The Oxford comma is often debated these days. However, when you need to list multiple items, using a comma helps to keep the list organized.

Passive Terms

We’ve all heard of passive voice, but what does it really mean? When writing a blog post, it’s best to try to avoid passive terms. The best way to identify passive voice is to look for helping verbs. Most blog writers pull back when a statement sounds too abrupt. This is done with the use of helping verbs. For example, “The dog can bark.” is a passive sentence. If you want to say that a dog barks, say it without the helping verb; “The dog barks.”  Be direct with what you want to say. This helps the reader fully understand your topic.

Weasel Words

Weasel words are words that we use in our everyday life out of habit. While words like “very” and “just” sound good in casual conversation, it’s best to leave them out of your writing. I always think of Robin Williams in Dead Poet’s Society. Instead of writing, “very sad,” you could write “morose.” Find these words when editing and replace them. If you need help, try using an online thesaurus. Using an accurate word when describing something makes your writing more appealing to your audience.

Self-editing seems like a difficult challenge. Moreover, It’s hard to know where to start and what to look for when it comes to editing. Thankfully, these five tips help ease the self-editing process. What’s better, they also make you feel prepared to properly edit any of your blog posts.