Posts Tagged ‘writing and editing’


Online Writing and Editing Tips

In the online world, success is all about generating traffic. Traffic is measured in terms of “hits” (the number of times your page is accessed by someone on the Internet). Your hit count is a measure of how many potential customers or readers you are reaching and is also used by advertisers to determine where they choose to buy ad space. The better written your content, the more likely readers are to return to your site again and again, thereby improving your hit count. But beware; writing for an online audience is very different than writing for a print audience.

Writing Advice

Online visitors don’t actually read, they scan. Online articles must be brief, informative and attention-grabbing to be effective. Headlines should be short and should clearly inform the reader of the article’s topic. Avoid exclamation points, jokes and puns in your headline unless you are writing a humor column. Use a conversational tone, but don’t be sloppy. Avoid slang, jargon or undefined abbreviations if you are writing for a professional site. Personal bloggers have more latitude in terms of language and tone, but the most respected bloggers adhere to professional rules. Remember that new readers will likely find you by entering one or more keywords into their search engine. Scatter the keywords a searcher is most likely to use throughout your text.

Editing Advice

Grammar, spelling and punctuation still count. So does accuracy. Check your writer’s facts, particularly in scholarly settings. Online researchers typically consult more resources than print researchers. Literate and correct content implies professionalism and expertise—two things that will keep researchers coming back to your site in the future. Rein in flowery writers and those fond of dependant clauses. Two short sentences make for better online reading than one long one. Base your stylistic corrections on the approved source guide for your site (Chicago, MLS, SLS, AP, etc.) Monitor keyword saturation. Gratuitous use of keywords can actually cause your search engine rating to drop.

General Advice

The rules for online content are different than those for print content. Keep sentences and paragraphs short. Never underline a word or phrase unless it is an online link to another site. Always write in the active tense and use the fewest words possible to get your meaning across. “Experts consider blueberries a healthful fruit” is preferable to “blueberries are considered to be a healthful fruit by most experts.” Assume your audience can read at a ninth-grade level unless your site is directed at highly educated or technical audiences.

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How to ProofRead Your Content

Proofreading is a real another level to editing an content or written material.

While editing, you’re looking for clear introduction of related content. In the proofreading level, you’re checking for any small misplays, so easy to lose when you’re writing but which make specified a bad effect on the reviewer.

Among the real troubles here is that is really difficult to spot errors in your personal writing. These are frequently named ‘typos’. Ideally, you should get somebody other to proofread your copy, but that’s not always possible, especially in today’s fast moving worlds of blogs, social media, twitter and email.

Still when deadlines are pressing, you should assume the practise of giving your copy a well check over ahead publishing it into the wild. Here are a few basic proofreading tips:

  • Use a spellcheck

This may appear obvious, but it needs to get on the list. Personally, I find grammar checkers annoying but your mileage can depart.

  • Check for typos

Your eyes will see what you meant to write, not necessarily what is there. This makes it really difficult to spot typos and missing words. Hunt them down. You need to focus and actually concentrate.

  • Read it backwards

Scan the copy from right to left. This helps you spot typos and similar mistakes.

  • Print it out

You will frequently spot errors on a written page that you won’t see on screen. It also gives you chance to move to different room for a read direct. This often helps you see the copy in a whole fresh easy.

  • Read slowly

Read what is actually there, not just what your mind thinks is there.
Several minutes spent giving your content, blog posts and another piece of writing a actually well proofread will pay off in the end. It will vastly perfect the impression your writing makes on the reviewer.