If you are involved with online marketing, social media selling or content marketing you almost certainly spend a lot of time, energy and money into the creation of content and copy for your website. If you’re checking your metrics regularly hopefully all of your efforts are paying off. With just a few editing tricks it is possible to increase conversion rates and get a better response.
Write a First Draft
When you write your first draft you should just left it all out, so to speak as it’s important to get the words down on paper. You shouldn’t worry too much about how it reads or if it helps you achieve your ultimate goal for the content you are writing. No matter what you are writing give yourself permission to write a terrible first draft, by giving yourself this freedom you will find more often than not, that the end result is better. Writing also gets easier as this freedom allows the creative part of your brain the freedom to express itself without having to worry about editing, formatting and optimizing your first draft.
Pro Tip – Write freely towards your content goal and concentrate just on getting everything down on paper, nothing else matters.
Leave it Alone
Once you have finished your first draft, no matter what you think of it leave it alone and walk away. You need to give yourself the time and space to ruminate about what you have just written. This might take an hour or two or it might take a day or two, and if what you have written is important I always suggest leaving it for a night as your sub-conscious will continue to ponder it. During this time you will most likely completely rewrite the piece in your thoughts, you will think of things you want to add. You will have new ideas on how best to structure the piece, you might also want to delete some of your thoughts or ideas. It’s also possible that these things will come to you while you are performing some sort of mundane task, such as going for a walk (my personal favourite) or doing the dishes or washing the car.
Come Back and Start Your First Round of Editing
Once you have had some time to give the content some real thought and to let it percolate in your thoughts, return to it and begin the clean-up process. Begin formalizing the structure, delete the ideas you no longer want and flesh out your thoughts whilst making sure there aren’t any inconsistencies or questions left unanswered. Not forgetting to re-work the content for structure and clarify.
The Second and Third, Round of Editing
When you start the second round of editing you will start to look for mechanical repairs, you’ll locate and correct questionable grammar and spelling. You’ll remove fluff and shorten sentences to make them clearer. You will start to highlight the keywords and the underlining concepts and ideas. You are basically, beginning to assemble the final piece you’re going to publish.
The third and final round of editing simply involves you reading through your piece one more time. It’s often beneficial to read it aloud as this can help you catch errors and clarity issues. Then it’s time to hit that publish button and watch your content go live. By utilizing this simple process you will not only create more powerful, engaging content that has a higher conversion rate but it will also take less time to create.