Pat Flynn woke up to $7,008.55 in his bank account the first month after launching his ebook.
He couldn’t believe it. The blog he’d built to help him study for an exam turned out to be the perfect sales funnel.
New writers often think of themselves as artists, equating success to luck.
But the kind of writing we love to read has a template we can follow. Good writing should pull you in like a good friend leaning in to tell you the sordid details of their last date.
Conversational writing takes on the same rhythm and form as talking to your best friend does.
“I don’t believe in being serious about anything,” jokes Ray Bradbury, “I think life is too serious to be taken seriously.” Bradbury’s priority was connecting with his readers. His writing makes you crave the next line.
Editing Tips That Will Leave Your Readers Wanting More
So write to your readers like they’re across the table having tea with you. This article will show you 10 editing tips for blog content that keeps your audience wanting more.
1. Quickly get rid of adverbs.
See how the first word in that last sentence is unnecessary? If you took it away you’re left with, “Get rid of adverbs.” The same message gets across with less
Use forceful verbs that pull the reader into the action. Instead of the football player running quickly, say the football player dashes.
2. Jargon doesn’t make you sound smart.
It makes it sound like you were too lazy to provide a simple definition. Editing writing often means throwing out big words for understandable words.
The truth is there is almost always a simpler way to convey complex ideas. Even when writing for a specific niche, if your vocabulary is going over your readers’ heads, it’s your problem, not theirs.
Even with informative writing, someone with little to no experience with the topic should be able to understand what you’re trying to say.
Try having a friend that is unfamiliar with the subject matter read your writing. If they can’t follow along, break down your ideas into more digestible segments.
3. Contractions make you sound like a real person.
Never using contractions makes your writing sound unnatural. They’ll be out all night sounds more conversational than they will be out all night. Edit sentences that sound too wordy by simplifying them with contractions.
Contractions mimic the way we use language in real life. When you use them while speaking, you don’t even have to think about it. That’s why it’s important to take Bradbury’s advice and write drafts without taking your writing too seriously. There is always room for editing after.
4. Put your readers in a position to act.
That doesn’t mean telling your readers what to do, but giving them the option to do something. Subscribe now, buy my ebook, listen to my podcast. These are all calls to action. Copy edit this into all of your articles.
Direct calls to action prompt your readers to take the next step in engaging with your content. Instead of leaving after reading your post, they now have the option to check out your paid content or subscribe to your email list.
Email lists are key to converting readers into paying customers.
5. Don’t let editing stop you from writing.
If you’re struggling to get enough content for your blog because you’re worried about making it all perfect, cut back on your editing time. Over-editing can make your writing feel overthought and boring.
Being too hard on yourself during the editing process can make even the most talented writers feel like they have writer’s block. Write your drafts fast and worry about mistakes and improvements after.
6. Use illustrations of the data you’re talking about.
Charts and graphs give numbers and statistics a face. This is most important for factual writing. Droning on about percentages and quantities can put a reader to sleep.
By putting your findings into a chart, you can focus your writing on engaging the reader. Instead of listing a bunch of statistics, you can explain their significance to the topic at hand.
7. Are you using keywords?
Keywords are words and phrases that signal to search engines that you have relevant content. If you were writing an article on sea lions, incorporate phrases like, “what do sea lions eat, can sea lions breathe underwater, how long do sea lions sleep?”
Search engines change their methods all the time but keywords are still their native language.
If you’re not targeting the words and phrases your customers are looking for, they’re going to land on a competitor’s blog that is.
8. Make an editing checklist.
Write down the necessities all your blog posts should include, like grammar, spelling, and keyword use. This way you’ll never miss an important aspect of making your blog posts stand out to readers.
Here’s my editing checklist template you can personalize:
- Did I meet my word count requirement?
- Are statistics linked to their source?
- Did I maintain present tense throughout?
- Does the content of the article live up to the headline?
9. Use headlines that grab your readers’ attention.
Without a good headline, your article may not get read at all. A sentence editor like the Emotional Value Headline Analyzer can help you tweak your headline to make it more compelling.
10. Very and really don’t add much to your writing.
Kind of like adverbs, these two words don’t add to your description. They dilute the important message you have for your readers with excess words.
Too many unnecessary flabby words can bore readers before they’re done reading your post. The goal of every line should be to get your reader to the next line. Too many words slow you down like a cheetah that’s had too many Cheetos.
Writing a Successful Blog Is Easier Than You Think
Pat found that when you provide people with the information they’re looking for you can establish yourself as an expert.
You’re writing should be second to the value of the information you’re providing. But clear, easy to read writing makes you sound more knowledgeable. It will make your coverage of the topic stand out amongst your competitors. These editing tips will help you get there.
For more help on how to turn your blog into your full-time living, read this article now.