1. Split the editing process into phases to stay focused and apply consistent edits.
Phases should include: Tone Fact-checking Article flow Spelling and grammar Scannability
2. Check that the title, context, and principal theme of the content matches your content strategy and tone.
Restructure the piece if the writing does not align with the content strategy. Read through similar content on your website before rewriting to avoid content duplication and search engine penalization.
3. Highlight any facts or steps provided in the article and then check them for correctness.
You may need a subject-matter expert to complete this step if the information provided in the article is out of your realm of expertise.
4. List the main points made in the article and check that they flow well.
For example, if the article is a persuasive piece, assess its main points for logical consistency and progression from question to conclusion.
5. Read the content aloud to check for clunky sentence construction, repeated words, spelling errors, and poor syntax.
6. Use the Hemingway App or Grammarly to improve sentence construction, spelling, and grammar.
7. Preview the article in its end destination - as a page on your website - to check for legibility, navigational ease, and skim-friendliness.
You can make it easier to skim-read copy by: Using headings. Converting copy into bullet lists. Using bold or italic to highlight critical content. Only communicating a single idea to each paragraph. Keeping the reading level as low as possible (this can be checked in Grammarly or Hemingway). Using short sentences. Adding pullout quotes.
8. End your editing by going through a brief checklist of points that should have been covered.
Include questions like: Does the piece address the topic? Is the brand identity clear? Is the quality of this piece at par with all the previous content? Have other qualified professionals checked the content?
9. Provide feedback to the author - include positive and negative points that they're displaying in their writing.
Include general guidelines like: Inconsistencies in the format Wandering focus Need for additional data or figures Inadequacies in source-citing.