5 Quick and Ultra Practical Ways to Edit Your Content
In agency marketing, you are constantly creating content that represents the reputation of your clients. To clearly and properly communicate is imperative, and thus, editing is an essential skill.
Personally, I make quite a few mistakes, so I’ve written down some tips I’ve picked up from my experience and folks around the office to mitigate the risk of making errors and distributing content that fails to communicate a clear message.
Always, I repeat, always have someone else edit your work. However, the following steps will help you catch the most atrocious blunders on your own while avoiding more subtle mistakes that editors may miss as well.
1. Always look at the content in Word.
Whether an Instagram caption or a blog post, we always use Word for their spellcheck, grammar check, and other editing tools.
2. Look up these words to proof.
There’s nothing worse than misusing “your,” “you’re,” “there” “their,” “they’re,” “its,” or “it’s.” Check each one of these to ensure proper usage.
3. Let it sit.
Even when I write a short Facebook post, I stand up for a couple minutes to clear my head before the final revision. Writing first and editing later (rather than the edit-as-you-go approach) will result in your best and sincerest info with polished presentation. After time away, mistakes will become much more evident. Leave longer posts for a day, if you can afford the luxury, and come back wondering if you had an out-of-body experience as you edit all your errors.
4. Always outline.
When you drive to a new place, you type in your starting location and your final destination into the GPS to find the right route. In the same way, write where you want to “end up” with the piece and outline your points to ”map” where the words will take the reader.
5. Use a style guide.
Our Creative Director Dan Alton and Digital Marketing Director David Garner often disagree on style and usage. More times than not, they’re both right according to separate style guides. We use the AP Stylebook because we’re in the media business. Using a style guide will ensure consistency and bring these grammatical arguments to a close.
As I mentioned earlier, putting more eyes on your work is the first line of defense against error, but even your editors might pass over common discrepancies in word usage and grammar. Therefore, use this guide to fortify yourself against the little mistakes that make big impressions.