Content creation rarely happens quickly. Even experienced writers rarely produce their best work on the first draft. They revise their work several times before getting their articles out the door.
In fact, the best articles you read in prestigious magazines always get some help. Just like a diva looking ravishing on the red carpet after fashion stylists, make-up artists, and hair and nail experts have done their best to prep her, so does an excellent piece of writing benefit from different inputs before being published.
The truth is that many famous bloggers and authors research and then write their drafts, but a skilled editor and proofreader always comes behind to wrap up their work and finish the process.
Unfortunately, up to recently, most freelance writers couldn’t afford this luxury, and editing gets often overlooked. Hello, AI Writers.
AI Writers To The Rescue
Today there are AI writers and editing tools to assist you. However, consider how you want to use them to enhance your work. For example, ChatGPT can be used to brainstorm ideas for blog posts, videos, and other content.
You can also use ChatGPT to assist with optimizing your content for search engines. A job once done by SEO experts is now available via AI writers.
Primarily, you can conduct your topic research via AI writers and identify trends worth writing about and sources you can use to verify your findings.
AI writers are not the be-all and end-all so ,you willmustrn how to edit.
4 Editing Tips You Should Use
Here are four editing tips that every freelance content writer should know and use.
1. Avoid Empty Filler Words
One of the biggest mistakes content writers make is that they pack a lot of information and ideas into one sentence. They use many empty filler words that add no real value to their content.
Let’s look at a few sentences to exemplify this problem:
- “There are many people who misunderstand the words” AS OPPOSED TO “Many people misunderstand the words.”
- “It takes patience to build trust,” AS OPPOSED TO “Trust takes patience.”
The words “it” and “there” followed by a form of the verb “to be” are called grammar expletives and they dilute the writing directedness. A good editor cuts the superfluous use of expletives and emphasizes the proper drivers in the sentence.
2. Avoid Weak Verbs
Choosing the proper verbs can make your writing clearer, stronger, and more persuasive. A strong verb can paint a vivid picture in your readers’ minds.
Consider the following sentence: “She was a fast runner.” That is a good sentence that can project a concrete image in your mind. Now, consider the more descriptive option “She flew like the wind as she speeded down the track.” You can easily imagine her racing, right?
Content writers often use the verb “to be” in the first draft. The problem with “to be” verbs is that they can weaken the words that follow.
The solution is to replace them with more powerful alternatives. For example, instead of “The weather was beautiful.” use “The sun shone brightly that day.”
3. Avoid Weak Adjectives
Similar to verbs, adjectives can drain out the energy from your text. Savvy editors and content creators avoid using words like “very” and “really” before common adjectives.
Some examples are:
- “Really bad” instead of “Excruciating.”
- “Really good” instead of “Excellent.”
- “Very common” instead of “Ordinary.”
Taking “very” and “really” out of the equation is certainly a “great” thing, as is the use of strong alternatives. For example:
- Use “Thrilled” instead of “Happy.”
- Use “Filthy” instead of “Dirty.”
- Use “Delicious” instead of “Tasty.”
You should use the most descriptive language to trigger the reader’s senses and help them imagine how things smell, sound, taste, and feel.
4. Know Your Punctuation
You can be the best storyteller in the world. If you lack grammar skills, your mistakes will turn readers off.
While an auto-correct program can quickly detect typos, more subtle errors can sneak into your text. The sparingly use of the comma is one of the most common punctuation mistakes most freelance content writers make.
Here’s an example:
“You can neglect editing, and the audience reading your text may not notice, but your ideas will be lost.”
In case you didn’t notice, the missing comma between “editing” and “” suggest “means you can neglect the audience reading your text,” which is precisely the opposite of what you should do or intend, for that matter. Of course, if you read it again, you will realize the sentence’s meaning. But, if people need to go back to grasp what you’re saying, your ideas AND your audience will likely be lost.
Small changes in your writing can fuel enthusiasm and make people devour your post. It’s just a matter of finding the most potent and specific words. If however, this really is too hard for you, there is always the content writer’s little helpers – AI writers!