New series continues! This part teaches you how to finish a text.
Last time we talked about how to start writing – which can be surprisingly difficult. How did those tips work for you? If they were as useful for you than they have been for me, you should have a text in front of you right now. And today, we will finish and publish it.
This finishing phase is called editing, and it’s important to understand that writing and editing are two separate things. They both have their own time and place. When you write, take time to research, draft your ideas, choose your point of view, cut stuff out, put it right back and shuffle pieces around.
And when you feel you’re more or less done, it’s time to edit. The idea is to take the pressure off when you’re supposed to be creating content, and finalise it later.
You can download my full editing checklist here for more tips, and here are some of my favourite techniques.
Read the text out loud. I mention this on my list, too, but this is so important that it deserves being repeated. While reading your own text may feel weird, it helps you spot out mistakes and typos, but it also reveals if the rhythm of the words work or if you are repeating things. Try this even once!
Check the first and last sentence of every paragraph. These two should be aligned so that the reader can follow your train of thought. The first sentence should summarise the most important info of the paragraph, and the last one should lead the reader fluently to your next thought.
Ask a friend or a proofreader go through the text once more. Having another set of eyes going through your text is valuable. It doesn’t have to be a professional editor or proofreader (though it is a good choice), but you can also ask a friend or even your spouse.
Finetune the subheadings. If you use subheadings, go through them one more time and make sure they include the most interesting pieces of information from that passage of text. When I write, I usually draft very dull subheadings (like “more info about editing), and then I go back at the end and make them more interesting (An irresistible trick to finetune your headings).
Work on the heading and excerpt. Go through the heading and the excerpt once more. Do they capture your reader’s attention right away?
Think visually. At this point, you should also have an idea of a visual to accompany your text.
Then what? It seems to me, you’re ready to hit publish! If you are still struggling, go through my complete editing checklist that helps you to take your text to the next level and finish it.
Next time, we’ll talk about consistency: Once you’ve started your content creation, you need to be consistent, show up regularly and talk about your core topics. How do you do that? I’ll share my top tricks and techniques with you.