[guest post by Janice Kersh]

The best content creators do just one thing differently — they edit.

When it comes to editing, you can go two ways:

1) You could hire an editor:

– on freelance websites like Digiserved and Upwork;

– on Fiverr — where for just $5 you can get your content edited;

– at a writing service: use the help of professional writers to do the editing for you.

2) You can learn some of the best editing hacks and implement them yourself. These powerful tricks will slam your content writing out of the park.

Scan for Tense Continuity

Before you move on to cutting out words and re-organizing phrases, check the tense of your writing, from start to finish. Especially if you write quickly, chances are you’ve mixed up past with present tense, etc.

In relation to your web content reader, you want to be speaking in present tense. They are “here now” and that’s how they should be addressed. If you’re telling a story from the past, you can move to past tense. If you’re projecting a desired result of a CTA, future tense can work.

Past Tense Example:

“He gained thousands of new followers.”

Present Tense Example:

“Gain thousands of new followers.”

Future Tense Example:

“You will gain thousands of new followers.”

Articles are more prone to mix up tense than landing pages, so pay extra close attention when editing “About” pages, blog posts, and FAQ answers.

Check for Wordy Statements

In the case that When you start noticing that you’re creating wordy statements in your writing, cut them out entirely. There’s no need to Don’t clutter up the page with unnecessary fluff. ⅙ of your words are likely to be removed by the final draft. Here’s a list of common, unnecessary phrases and what to replace them with.

Replace:

  • “according to our data” with “we find.”
  • “take into consideration” with “consider.”
  • “regardless of” or “despite the fact that” with “although.”
  • “based on,” “due to,” or “in view of the fact that” with “because.”
  • “it is often the case that” with “often.”
  • “a majority of” with “most.”
  • “(a study) was carried out (to examine)” with “we examined.”
  • “in most cases” with “typically.”
  • “under circumstances wherein” or “in a situation” with “when.”
  • “is possible that” or “is able to” with “can.”
  • “in order to” or “in an effort” with “to.”
  • “in the event that” with “if.”

Include All Necessary Commas in List Statements

When writing out lists, be sure to use a comma between each item, after the conjunction.

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Correct:

She has one apple, three bananas, and an ice cream cone.

Incorrect:

She has one apple, three bananas and an ice cream cone.

Replace Weak Words With Powerful Alternatives

One of the final editing steps to take is replacing weak words. Use a thesaurus to help you avoid word overuse. For your convenience, here’s a list of common web copy words to avoid and those to use sparingly.

Words to avoid in your web copy:

  • Was
  • Is
  • Are
  • Am
  • Went
  • Got
  • Stuff
  • Things

Words to use sparingly in web copy:

  • Used to
  • All
  • Very
  • Every
  • Important
  • Feel
  • Think
  • Never
  • Seem
  • Almost
  • Big
  • Small
  • Just
  • Have got

If you’ve used a lot of weak words, it is a fantastic idea to study up on “power words,” and make them a predominant part of your vocabulary.

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Conclusion

Some of the best web copywriters hire an editor to transform their writing. If you want, you can do it yourself. Make sure your tense is consistent throughout a page (or at least makes sense for what you’re trying to say). Weed out wordy statements. Use a comma before the conjunction in list statements. Put power words in place of weak words in your writing.

Use this guide to make changes to a page on your website today, then monitor the conversion rate to see what a difference they make.

 

** About the Author: Janice Kersh is a freelance writer and content marketer in love with words. In her spare time, she loves excessive reading, eating sweets, and traveling. Janice’s recently started a blog of her own.