To my fellow Copywriters or anyone who wants to earn money writing content.
Most people overlook the value of editing, do you? Here are reasons to spend more time on editing before pressing the send button.
Unless you are one of the few and fortunate that get everything right the first time you will need to spend at least %60 of your time editing. Have you ever posted something only to find a typo that your editing software didn't pick up? Embarrassing right? Nobody is perfect, but I think we can lessen these experiences by double checking our work. Usually, you need to put the piece away for a day or two and then come back to it with fresh eyes. If you don't then you will not see your errors, and somebody else will:( It's a given!
A few simple suggestions to help:
1) Don't edit as you write, you will stall those creative juices from flowing, and you will lose your concentration. So write as much as you can with a free mind, before stopping to edit.
2) Does the piece stick to one main message. If not get rid of the text that doesn't.
3) Is the title a good fit for your piece, or could it be improved.
4) Use strong verbs and avoid passive language.
5) Does everything make sense?
6) Does each paragraph flow together nicely?
7) Check your word choices.
8) Is it too long or too short?
9) Read out loud.
10) Avoid the passive voice, unless it's called for specifically.
Yes, you can learn from other writers mistakes too.
Eleanor Roosevelt wrote: "Learn from the mistakes of others, you can't live long enough to make them all your self."
If you don't sharpen your editing skills you will lose your credibility and even your reputation as a writer, so it is very important to learn how to edit your own work, unless you have the means to hire an editor. There are no software programs advanced enough yet, to do the job. It's better to rely on your own skills, it will make you a better writer in the long run.
Keep checklists by your computer to help remind you of the steps to take. I am working on developing my own. I keep adding to it. Check back soon and I will have one available for you to download.
I have found that if I free write, put it away for a brief period, the editing process is so much easier. In the meantime you can start writing an another piece so there is little disruption in your work day. Good writing without errors will set you apart from others, if you take the time to do it right. Don't let anybody tell you that you shouldn't have to rewrite your work!
Happy Writing :)