Is editing a blog post really important? And If yes, what are those steps that are absolutely important when self editing your blog posts?
When I first started blogging, I thought that blogging was just writing your thoughts and publishing them. I wrote exactly my first three or four posts like that. I did not have the least idea of what I was doing back then.
Then, I would read the published post just to realize that I had spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes or even I had written the same sentence twice in the same paragraph. Yes, I was awful.
As I continued blogging, I decided I should be more careful with my content. I was reading beautiful pieces by other bloggers and I was eager to develop my writing and become as good as them. I tried to learn and educate myself better on how I could effectively write better posts and add value to them.
One of the major lessons I learned so far is that before I publish my post, I have to make sure I have edited it the best possible way. However, editing is more than a one-step process.
Let me share with you the major steps you need to follow when self editing your blog posts.
Read also: 12 Useful Tips to Empower Your Writing Skills
Table of Contents
- Steps to Self Editing Blog Post
- Useful Tools to Help You Through the Steps of Self Editing Your Blog Posts
- Final Thoughts on Most Important Steps to Self Editing Your Blog Posts
Steps to Self Editing Blog Post
1. Validate Your Outline
Before writing a blog post, it is important to have created an outline. You could use an outline as your guide to reassure that you analyze all the important points related to your primary subject and also build some kind of structure to the way you expose your ideas and thoughts.
However, sometimes you might be eager to say as much as possible and you may add in your outline headers that are not really important or you could merge them with existing ones. It is best if you proceed to this validation of your outline before even start writing your post.
Yet, sometimes, when you create the outline, you believe some headlines are different. You can only realize they are practically the same after having written about them. For these cases, validation of the outline will take part in the final editing process.
Read also: How Does Freewriting Help to Writer’s Block
2. Separate Writing and Editing
Writing a post and editing it should be two different things. While writing, your mind operates creatively and you should allow it to make mistakes as long as ideas come easy and you keep punching the keys with your fingers. Trying to edit while writing will only slow you down dramatically and probably block your creative thought.
To edit effectively, your mind should operate in a more critical manner. Operating this way, your mind can judge the writing you have produced. It would be even better if you had some time distance between the writing process and the editing process. Some time during which your mind can take away from a specific written piece. A day would be perfect, but even a few minutes could also make a difference.
You should be able to read the post as if it was someone else who wrote it. We all usually are more strict and see it more subjectively this way.
Read also: 8 Practical Ideas on How to Effectively Develop a Writing Schedule
3. Review The Big Picture First
The big picture involves the main contents of your post. It involves your headers and the ideas shared throughout your post. Now that you see it completed, have you said everything you wanted to say? Do you feel that your structure is satisfying? Is there a flow in your ideas or do you just jump from one thing to another?
Some more questions you should ask yourself during this step are:
- Do you understand everything you write about? Should you explain something a bit more?
- Do you over explain some things that someone could easily assume?
- Is the way you write your post consistent from beginning to end?
- Is this post consistent with your own writing blogging style or does it feel strange?
4. Get Into More Detail
Start getting into some more detail. Check your post sentence by sentence and word by word. Correct any spelling and grammar mistakes you may find. Are your sentences too big and hard to understand? Try to break them down into smaller ones. You are the reader now and if you, the one who wrote it, find it hard to understand a sentence, possibly another reader will find it hard too.
Think of alternative ways you could use to say something in a more simple way. Understand if your arguments are well justified. Think of whether you are using specific terms that you should explain more. Check whether you use the same words to start your paragraphs and sentences again and again. You probably don’t want that.
Do you use too much or too little passive voice? Do you use the same tense throughout your post and when you don’t, is there a reason? Are your paragraphs too long? Most blog readers nowadays read your posts on their mobile phones and long paragraphs are difficult to read on them. Have that in mind and break your paragraphs into shorter ones.
Read also: 6 Great Tips to Use Storytelling in Blog Posts
5. Cut Down Everything Unnecessary
Do every paragraph, every sentence, and every word have a reason to exist in your post? If you think that something you read seems similar to something you have already said, just delete it.
If it does not add value to your content, then your content can easily live without it. Do not just have the word count in mind. Word count is important, of course, but meaningful word content is precious.
6. Preview Your Post
As I mentioned above, some writers prefer to perform their editing process on printed paper. Blog posts, when published, look different from what they look like in your editor. Preview them and read them again from a different perspective. While previewing, you may spot errors you couldn’t see otherwise. Does it look exactly as you wanted it to?
Read it aloud while previewing it. Does it flow like you wanted? Does your voice sound the way you wish? If yes, then you are ready to press publish or schedule.
Read also: Tips That Will Help You Get a Good Writing Flow
Useful Tools to Help You Through the Steps of Self Editing Your Blog Posts
There are some tools that could prove extremely helpful to you during the editing process.
Personally, I have been using Grammarly for some time now and I am pleased with the way it helps me locate my spelling and grammar mistakes. It has a free extension for Google Chrome which you may find it here.
A fellow blogger also recommended ProWritingAid, which is like Grammarly. I have just tried checking this out and I think it is really handy as well. It allows you to choose the tone of your writing, e.g. whether you are a blogger or a fiction writer, and makes you relevant suggestions. It also has a free extension for Google Chrome which you may find it here.
Last but certainly not least is Yoast SEO plugin. It really does all the hard work to scan your post and let you know of your weaknesses and strengths regarding the readability of your post and how well structured it is for SEO. If you hold a WordPress blog, Yoast has a free version plugin which covers most of your needs as a blogger. You can find both the paid and the free version here.
Remember that tools exist to make our lives easier, but do not follow blindly whatever they suggest. The final and most valuable editor is always yourself.
Read also: Introduction to Creative Writing – Benefits of Writing?
Final Thoughts on Most Important Steps to Self Editing Your Blog Posts
Writing a blog post is not a simple job. Bloggers publish quality content every day and if you do not want your posts to look like a poor relative, you better think of doing the hard work of self editing your blog posts before publishing them.
First of the steps you should follow when self editing your blog posts is to validate your outline. Make sure you separate your writing time from your editing time. Start with the big picture of your post and get into more detail later on. Remove everything unnecessary and preview your post to verify that the outcome pleases you.
Tools like Grammarly, ProWritingAid and Yoast SEO are available for you to use them and help you guarantee a better quality of your posts.
I hope you found this post helpful and if you have any other additional tips on how to effectively self edit a post let me know about it in the comments below.
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70 thoughts on “6 Most Important Steps to Self Editing Your Blog Posts”
Great post. I usually take a day to let the words flow, no editing, just writing my thoughts out. The following day, I set my mind up for editing and critical thinking. Grammarly and Yoast are very helpful with this aspect as well
Nice to read you follow the right approach Rayo. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂
Great advice. Thank you
Great tips to help when editing a blog post. I like to read it and check if everything is explained well.
Thank you Frank!
Fantastic advice! I find looking at my post in preview is so valuable as I often miss a word out or auto-correct changes a noun.
Yes, I totally agree! Preview before publishing is precious. Thank you for commenting 🙂
Great tips to help when editing a blog post.
This is an informative article. I have seen errors after publishing in websites. Editing is very important before publishing. It is awkward when readers point out the mistakes.
It is awkward and makes you feel ashamed of what you have produced. Thank you for commenting!
Fab tips! I have to admit my editing really does need work, I tend to just write my post, schedule it and then leave it, which is a really bad habit. I think setting aside different times for writing and editing is super important and previewing it sounds really handy too – I love the idea of reading it aloud! Thank you so much for sharing such a helpful piece.
I am really glad you found it helpful. I think you should be more careful with your editing from now on. Thank you for reading and commenting!
Love these helpful and actionable tips! I am all about doing the writing first; I get every thought out and then I go back and start polishing and editing. Cutting repetition and making sure each section is clear and concise always helps make for a smooth reading experience too. 🙂
Your posts are always well polished Jaya. I am glad you found this one helpful. Thank you for reading and commenting!
I have to say I’m quite lazy about my editing, I do it, but I’m quite speedy after all these years, and have probably checked it over several times when rewriting before putting it into wordpress.
I guess with time everything can be faster Emma. Thank you for reading and commenting!
These are great tips! I’m really big on steps 4-6 but I must admit, I don’t utilize proofreading tools as much as I should. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for reading and commenting Angie!
I really like these tips! I definitely agree that writing and editing are two different processes. I try to let my writing/thoughts flow as I write, then edit afterwards x
I am glad you liked it Caroline! Thank you for commenting 🙂
Yes!!!!!! These are the things I do to edit my own post. Thank you for sharing.
Glad to know you are on the right path Fadima. Thank you for commenting!
Excellent tips. I agree that it is essential to preview. Since I am a visual person I like to see what the post will look like exactly when it goes live.. though it is annoying when I spot a typo and have to quickly go back to the editor to fix.
I can definitely relate Helen. There were plenty of times I spotted typos while previewing my posts. Thank you for reading and commenting!
These are incredible tips, and we greatly appreciate you sharing them. Editing blog posts go a long way in building credibility and presenting the best possible product. Thank you for sharing!
I am glad you found my post helpful. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!
We did, and you’re welcome!
Very useful advice! I’ve learned that editing is worth doing properly and that you can’t rush it so everything you’ve included here is exactly right. Thanks for sharing!
Glad you found it useful Molly! Thank you so much for taking time to read and comment 🙂
Great tips you shared, I must implement right away when I’m drafting my blog post for my blog. thanks for sharing.
Great post Eri! I absolutely agree that writing and editing should be two different actions. I don’t think you can effectively edit as you go along. I’ve also learnt recently to proofread a few times before hitting publish. I actually proofread on my phone as I find it easier to read and then I edit on my laptop. Thanks for sharing your helpful tips!
I am glad you liked it Vourneen. I also preview my posts on mobile. It helps me see it from another perspective. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!
These are some great tips. Wish this blog was around when i started my food and travel blog. You are right, editing is very important to the quality of a post. I use Grammerly to help with spelling and punctuation; it’s a very good tool for bloggers.
I sm glad you found it helpful Kevin! Thank you for commenting 🙂
I’ve often read that it’s best to write, then edit, but I’m yet to put this into practice. Editing a sentence to the T before moving on. It is fair to say once written; I edit even more. I also read aloud and transfer to a different document to help spot any other errors.
I used to do edit while writing too but noticed that it would slow me down too much. Thank you for reading and commenting!
I often find the odd typo in my blog post, so I could definitely do with editing and previewing my work a bit more! I have a pretty standard format for my posts, which is really helpful because I already know how they’re going to be formatted before I start!
Standard format is really helpful I definitely agree with you. Thank you for commenting 🙂
Thank you for the good advice! I often find typos or broken sentences when taking a deeper look. Typically I write a post, let it sit for a few days and then get back to it to see a) if I still like it b) how many spelling mistakes there really are and c) if it needs more depth.
Glad you liked it Jenni. I think you cover the most important with your strategy. Thank you for commenting!
You’ve shared some amazing tips here, thank you so much for your good advice. I’ll 100% be applying this into my blog writing. I always find myself re-reading my posts to make sure there’s no typos or broken sentences. I often like to write a post, leave it a couple of days then head back to it to edit ready to then go live! Xo
Elle – ellegracedeveson.com
Glad you found it helpful Elle. Thank you for reading and commenting!
This was helpful, thank you! I think I’ll start doing an outline going forward and less editing initially. I typically take a few days to do a post so I can come back and look at it with fresh eyes twice. Thanks for the tips!
Glad I was helpful! Thank you for commenting 🙂
These are useful tips – I don’t usually outline, but it’s important to check that your content is condensed and easy to understand.
Glad you found it useful. Thank you for reading and commenting!
Great tips for writing and editing!!
Love these tips! Editing is definitely an important step, but one I don’t always dedicate enough time to. It’s reminders like this that help me refocus.
Glad you liked it. Thank you!
Amazing tips, thank you so much for sharing! Separating writing and editing has helped me massively while editing my blogposts. xx Penny / http://www.whatdidshetype.com
I think it is the most important Penny. Thank you for commenting 🙂
Great tips here and I like most of all the difference you explained between writing and editing. It’s important to let the creativity and ideas flow during the writing stage! Very helpful post 🙂
I am glad you liked it Andrea. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂
I usually have several drafts on the go at any one time. If I’m editing I always split it off onto another doc, then another for final draft and then another to put the whole thing together!
I see Nyxie. I usually have a draft in word and another one in Google docs and of course the final draft on my blog editor. What works for each one of us I guess🙂. Thank you for commenting!
Useful post with great tips. I always go back and edit more than once before posting!
Glad you found it useful. Thank you for commenting!
Very interesting! I realize after reading this how free I am with my blogging. It seems to work for me. But I do edit fiercely, even after publishing. It’s not uncommon for my posts to have been updated 15 times!
Really great tips here, definitely important to read your content back!
Thank you for commenting!
Previewing your posts are so important, which i learned the hard way, lol
Thinking you had the perfect blogpost, post it and then hours later realize that all the pictures are a mess.
Thanks for sharing these tips 🙂
Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂
As a new blogger, these tips are super valuable. As someone who has a tendency to ‘waffle’, your cutting out anything unnecessary is super useful!
Glad it was helpful to you Emily! Thank you for commenting ❤️
I am really glad you fould it helpful. So happy I can help. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂
Thank you for this valuable post