Content Writing and Editing Basics

Great content marketing requires great writing and editing skills. However, not all small business owners have a strong background in proper English. Fortunately, we’ve listed several simple ways that you can become a better writer and editor.

Avoid awkward pacing and steer clear of spelling, grammatical, or punctuation errors through these very basic tricks:

1.) Read The Material Out Loud

You don’t have to be a grammarian or a literary critic to be a good writer or editor. In fact, writing in a way that is accessible to a mainstream audience is preferable to sounding like you just got your PhD in Elizabethan poetry. The voice that people hear in their heads as they’re reading should sound authentic.

While you’re writing or editing, read the material out loud to see if sounds like the voice you want to use. Is it conversational? Does it sound like the voice of authority? Is it friendly? Is it serious?

Many non-writers also don’t realize how awkward or forced their writing sounds, because they don’t try this very simple trick. When reading out loud, ask yourself the following questions:

* Is there a rhythm to my words?

* If someone were to come up to me and repeat everything I’ve written, would they sound intelligent? Would they sound like someone I can trust?

2.) Use Your Editing Tools

Make life easy on yourself by using your word processor’s editing tools. Microsoft Word and Apple Pages have excellent grammar and spell checks that will do all the work for you. While punctuation, spelling and grammar aren’t everything, using these tools to comb through your writing will make you a better writer and editor. Over time, you’ll start to memorize the basic rules of proper English, including which words are correct (ex: “affect” v. “effect”), which tense to use (ex: “was” v. “were”) and how to properly punctuate.

3.) Subscribe To Grammar Websites

The Internet is full of fun resources for people who want to improve their grammar. Some of these websites offer infographics, daily quiz questions, and a sense of humor to keep you interested! Here are some of our favorites:

Grammar Girl

Daily Writing Tips

Grammar Bytes

Grammarly Blog

4.) Read

One of the most important ways you can become a better writer and editor is by reading. Subscribe to newspapers, or read magazines that are related to your industry. Pay close attention to how journalists and professional advertisers and marketers write.

Also make it a point to read your favorite types of books. How doesn’t want an excuse to sit back and relax with a good story? Even if you don’t think you’re a fan of fiction, try to explore different genres like mysteries, thrillers, or humor writing. By reading regularly, the flow and rhythm of words (not to mention proper grammar rules) will start to become second nature.

Are you still not feeling confident about content writing? At DCA Virtual Business Supportwe help small businesses create meaningful content to draw in new clients and customers. If you’re interested in some of our services, reach out to us today!

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