Have you ever faced the situation when the blog post you’ve put so much effort into looks boring, lengthy and unengaging? The first drafts, especially if you’re a beginning writer, often look like this. And, as a beginning writer, you probably can’t afford the services of a quality editor, so you’ll need to master the editing techniques if you want to advance your writing and make it appealing to your readers.
Editing requires as much time and attention as the writing does. However, our resume services online want to offer you a number of valuable tips to smooth up your editing. By using these techniques approved by skilled writers and editors you’ll be able to make your blog posts, cover letter or any other copy shine.
What makes your writing dull, lengthy and heavy?
The biggest problem with lengthy articles is overuse of complex, sophisticated words. Most writers use complex words to sound smarter; however, it doesn’t work this way. In fact, it has the opposite effect: people are willing to read about difficult things in simple words.
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So, if you still use the smart words to impress the reader, give up this habit.
Editing tips to clean up boring writing
- Control your use of adverbs
Although the adverbs aren’t bad on their own, the overuse of them makes your copy sound weak. Words like “actually”, “really”, “basically” don’t add much meaning into your sentence, so try paraphrasing it to avoid the use of adverbs – unless you really need to modify the idea. Some writers suggest that you cross out all the adverbs, and if the meaning of the sentence doesn’t change, leave them out.
- Avoid weak sentence starters
“There is”, “there are” or “it” aren’t the best way to start the sentence. Your writing should capture the attention from the first sentences – how are you going to achieve it using these fluffy words? If you’ve ran out of ideas, learn more about interesting writing styles or read the other bloggers to find the source of inspiration for your own writing.
- Have something to say
The secret to clear and effective writing is that you should have something to say. When you have a clear idea in mind, you’ll likely to be straight up to the point and enthusiastic, which will reflect in your writing.
- Be careful with weasel words
Weasel words are often used in speech, so if you write as if you were speaking to someone, your copy probably contains a great deal of them. Although they aren’t bad (just like the adverbs), using them too much makes your writing look you lack confidence in your own words. If you try building a reputation as a person competent in your industry, writing that you sort of recommend using the software solution that might be helpful for your readers won’t make people trust you.
Make your arguments strong and your statements trustworthy by removing the words that don’t express confidence.
- Write short sentences
One sentence should convey one simple idea. Our brain remembers simple ideas given in simple words better than sophisticated and witty explanations. If you overuse long sentences, try breaking one long sentence into two simple ones to achieve clarity in your writing.
- Opt for short paragraphs
If you’re absorbed with the writing process, it’s easy to focus on your thoughts and forget about the readability. The purpose of editing is to fix it and make your copy easy to read. With a reader’s convenience in mind it’s recommended that your make the paragraphs short. Short pieces of information are easier to read and remember. Moreover, when a lengthy blog post is divided into small chunks (for more tips on blog post writing, see here: http://resumeperk.com/blog/tips-on-content-writing-how-to-make-your-post-outstanding) it makes the reader think that the text will be easy to read – even if it’s really complex.
- Don’t overuse the negatives
“Can’t”, “won’t” or “needn’t” are often used in writing of any kind. However, such words can spoil the reader’s mood if used too often. When editing your copy, replace the negative statements by positive ones whenever possible. For instance, “You shouldn’t use any lengthy sentences when writing a blog post” can be changed to “You should use shorter sentences while writing a post”. The meaning is pretty much the same; still the second one contributes to the mood of the reader and improves your writing.
- Don’t ramble around the subject
White paper writing and copywriting requires you to stick to the subject. This is necessary to communicate your thoughts and be understood by a reader. When you get distracted and switch the subject throughout the writing process, the reader will struggle understanding your main idea which will make your writing ineffective. Every copy should have a key point; so, make sure it’s clear for anyone reading it.
- Use a more informative word instead of “thing”
“Thing” is used here and there in writing on any subject out there in the web. Its popularity is explained by its simplicity – when you’re too lazy or uninspired think of a better word. However, in this situation simplicity isn’t your friend. Spend a minute or two to come up with another word which is more specific and to the point.
- Replace the blocks of texts with bullet points
If your article has a step-by-step guide for doing something or lists advantages/disadvantages, do use the numbered or bulleted list. You can’t underestimate the helpfulness of bullets for the writer. First, they organize complex processes or ideas in a simple way. Secondly, they are appealing for a reader as they won’t need to read into blocks of text to find what’s most important. And third, they look great in any type of writing.
- Strengthen your verbs
Strong action verbs make your copy extremely persuasive. Just like with weasel words, weak verbs can’t make your statements strong. You can check here for examples of strong verbs: http://resumeperk.com/blog/185-powerful-verbs-and-45-adverbs-to-make-your-resume-awesom. For instance, the use of make as a verb isn’t much informative – replace it with one verb that would be self-explaining.
- Minimize the use of passive voice
An active voice proves to be more effective in making your writing clear. Of course, there isn’t the way to avoid the passive voice at all. When editing your copy, follow this rule: if you can use active voice, never use passive.
- Pay special attention to punctuation – and simplify it whenever possible
Punctuation deserves close attention because it often determines how well the idea will be delivered to the reader and shapes your thoughts. After the editing stage, you should get down to proofreading and polish the copy for typos and punctuation errors as well. However, this isn’t the only thing that your punctuation requires.
You need to avoid complex sentences in your writing, and the same goes for complex punctuation. As you shorten your sentences, the punctuation marks get simpler as well. This doesn’t mean that you can be relaxed about punctuation in your post – check the punctuation tips for resume to make sure your punctuation is flawless.
Any kind of writing needs a long way, and you never reach perfection. However, by practicing writing and learning the rules of effective, reader-focused editing you have all the chances to make your writing spectacular. In the web writing, every word matters; so learn to cross out the irrelevant information and fluffy phrases. This approach will pay off as your writing will become more concise and the number of your loyal readers will only increase.
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