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9 Must-Do Editing Tips That Will Improve Your Article Writing
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You many not consider yourself to be a "writer", but the truth is if you are using article marketing as one of your marketing and link building strategies you will have to figure out a way to produce quality articles on a consistent basis.

Not only does the article need to be well-written and free of grammatical errors, but there are word count limitations, as most quality publishers don't like extremely short or extremely long articles.

Keeping this in mind, at SubmitYOURArticle.com we have word count boundaries of 400-1500 words. 

I myself am naturally prone to write the epic 1500 word articles :-) , but I have learned to edit my articles so that they stay between 700-800 words, which is the sweet spot with article marketing.

Well-written articles that are 700-800 words not only have a better chance of getting picked up for publication by online publishers, but they are also ideally suited to being published by ezine editors.  Now, that's a plus!

Okay, you've written your first draft, now what?

Dustin Wax at Lifehack.org has a great list of editing tips that a writer of any skill level can do. Here they are (these are Dustin's tips with my commentary):

  1. Read out loud. This is one of my favorite ways to start the editing process. Reading your article out loud helps you pick up on awkward phrasing that might otherwise look alright on the written page.
  2. Read in reverse. Whah? Yeah, I know it sounds weird, but hear me out on this :-) . How many times have you written an article and then got so used to the words on the page that you overlooked some crucial grammar or spelling mistake, only to notice it a week later after you'd already submitted your article and had it distributed to tons of publishers? Ouch! This has happened to me before! Reading your article sentence by sentence, or paragraph by paragraph backwards helps keep your brain on its toes. Try it–I promise it works!
  3. Sleep on it. We always recommend putting your article away for a few days and then looking at it with "fresh eyes" before you submit it. You will be shocked at the things you notice about your article after being away from it for a few days. Spelling and grammar errors dance off the page, and it becomes more obvious to you which sentences should be switched around or removed entirely.
  4. Cut, don't add. This is the hardest part for me and for most other writers! I am always tempted to make my article into a 'War & Peace' length feature. We must resist! Cut out any words or sentences that don't absolutely need to be in the article. Believe me, a concise, streamlined article is much easier to read than one that goes on and on and on! So, cut–don't add.
  5. Justify yourself. This is one of the things that my English teachers pounded into my brain in high school and college. Each sentence, each paragraph, and each word has to earn its right to be in your article. If there are any words, sentences or paragraphs that the article could survive without, they need to get the ax.
  6. Establish cognizance of pretentious language usages and eliminate such material. Haha–I would just say write on a 2nd grade level, and I know that sounds awful, but it's not. Did you know that most newspapers are written on a 2nd grade level (on purpose)? Cut out all fancy words or complicated phrasing. No one should need a dictionary to read your article.
  7. Throw out and get rid of unnecessary redundancies you don’t need. As you look over your article, you may be amazed at the number of "unnecessary redundancies" ;-) that occur in your article. There is no need to state and re-state your points–say it clearly once and then move on.
  8. Kill unsightly adverbs. Dustin uses the example of "he ran quickly", where 'quickly' is the unnecessary adverb. Why is it unnecessary? Because when we hear "he ran" we assume that he was moving quickly (quickness is in the nature of running).
  9. Passive sentences are to be avoided. Why is that sentence passive? When the action (the verb) is being done to the subject of the sentence, it is a passive sentence. When the subject is doing the action, then it is an active sentence. Active sentences are stronger than passive ones. So, in order to turn this passive sentence into an active one, we could say "Writers should avoid crafting passive sentences." 

Good editing skills are a life saver when it comes to writing your articles, keeping the reigns on your word count and improving your writing quality. To tell you the truth, no matter what the length of your article, you still need to do editing!

Do any of you have any other editing techniques that you use? Please share!


NOTE: Please be aware this content may now be outdated. For the latest quality content on how to build massive publicity for your website, please go to The vWriter Blog - Helping Businesses Grow Traffic, Build Engagement, and "Be Everywhere"


19 Responses to “9 Must-Do Editing Tips That Will Improve Your Article Writing”

  1. David says:

    Great Article Marketing advice thanks. I like to keep my article word count from no less than 500 words to 700 max.

  2. When I am writing an article, I like to imagine that I am explaining things to my 11 year old neighbor. Since my primary expertise is herbalism, sometimes I feel the need to use “big” words to describe the nature of the herb I am discussing, especially if I am referring to some research that has been done. But I always try to explain that term so that my neighbor would be able to understand it.
    I find it also helps to have someone who is not as knowledgeable about herbs (or whatever subject) read the article, and see if they find it understandable, or confusing.

  3. Lee says:

    This article is worth putting on the wall next to our computer screen as a handy reference for writing.

  4. Nick Makaryk says:

    Very good article and excellent advice that really makes things easy.

    Thanks so much,
    Nick Makaryk

  5. In item #7 you mention “unnecessary redundancies.”
    This is a case of do as I say and not do as I do.
    If it is redundant then it is unnecessary. Can you have a necessary redundancy?

  6. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Stan,

    “Unnecessary redundancies” was a joke! That’s why it was put in quotes and had a winking smiley face after it–doh!

    But you didn’t notice “Throw out and get rid of”—another redundancy!

    At least you noticed one of them ;-)

  7. Climinax says:

    Thanks for the tip. It sure will help.

  8. Elda Titus says:

    Interesting article… I usually have difficulty coming up with over 500 words! I also read out loud..and you are right.. one catches the areas that do not flow. I have a couple co-workers review my article prior to publishing, a fresh set of eyes finds errors that I didn’t see. Thanks for the information.

  9. A.Afolabi says:

    Great article, especially as I have just committed the cardinal sin of publishing and distributing a website building article with a glaring error in the first sentence!. I especially find useful the ideas of reading articles aloud and reading them backwards sentence by sentence.

  10. Rus Morgan says:

    I am a newbie to the idea of articles driving traffic to the website…but not to world of word merchants. (six novels, ten short stories and many investigative articles over the last fifty years).
    Here are some thoughts to keep your article cogent:
    Write to the average age of eleven years old.
    Brief is better.
    Prune mercilessly. If you compose a great piece of immortal Lit and it is a round peg in a square hole in this article, save it for later. If it is that good you can use it another time where it may become your definitive thought.
    Finish your piece. Spell check. Check individual words with ‘Wordweb’ and let the article simmer (minimum overnight). Prune again. If you have a program like ‘Stylewriter’ use it. Good writing like championship dancing has style and timing…and it flows. Root out and rewrite ‘smoky verbiage’.
    If you aren’t working against a deadline put your article on the shelf and let it simmer some more.
    Read out loud and listen to your own composition. If you can run it past someone else…good. When you have run it through all these wringers, submit it and get onto the next great piece. Good luck.

  11. [...] 5) Edit each article carefully, avoiding typos and spelling mistakes like the plague. [...]

  12. I have learnt a lot from this. All
    I have to is thanks.

  13. Treay says:

    Good tips. I use the reading backwards technique, it works well. I chuckled at your deliberate typo (reigns). Love your sense of humour!

  14. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Treay,

    Thank you for your input–I’m glad you enjoyed this :-)

  15. Hey Steve … more excellent tips for writing better quality articles for the web and practice-building for professionals.

    Before writing, putting myself into the ‘mind’ or ‘seat’ of the reader helps think and feel like them. Dan Kennedy recommends thinking about the reader’s thoughts, questions and problems before getting started. Makes ‘talking’ to their burning issues much easier!

    Keep up the outstanding work. Your efforts are appreciated! Alexis

  16. Mica says:

    My bad habit is writing passive sentences! Yikes! Again, great tips for me to follow! Thanks.

  17. bet says:

    Thanks for these tips. No matter how many times I hear them, they are invaluable.

  18. Usha says:

    Much pleased to get your tips to write articles.very much useful to improve article writing.
    Thanks a lot.

  19. Such artiles are much helpful for newbie and experienced article writer. I have saved it on my hard disc for reading everytime I will write an article. Thanks for such good supportive advice.
    Regards,

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