Because companies often call on different people from within their businesses to create their marketing or sales documents, the content very often ends up with an inconsistent style or tone and plenty of errors.
An editor will fix this for you. They’ll read through draft content very carefully to check that it flows and that it speaks with the same voice throughout; they’ll find mistakes such as typos and grammatical errors; they’ll look out for sentences or paragraphs that don’t make sense because they’ve got extra or missing words or are incomplete; they’ll delete words to make the content sharper; and they’ll add words to make the content clearer. They may even restructure the content by shifting paragraphs around.
But what if you’re not a copy editor?
If you’re not an experienced editor, never fear. Here are five simple tips to help you:
1. Move the last sentence in a paragraph up to become the first one in that paragraph.
It might sound odd, but the flow of the content will almost certainly improve and the copy will be much tighter.
2. Read the content aloud. This is an excellent way to pick up content that’s clumsy. Bumpy content can then be quickly changed.
3. Try to reduce the word count by up to 25%. This will ensure that your content is lean and precise.
To reduce the word count, cut out unnecessary words. You’ll be surprised at how many there are. Typically, words such as ‘will’, ‘be’, ‘are’ and ‘that’ can be deleted with no change to the meaning.
4. Break long paragraphs into shorter paragraphs. Use paragraph breaks or bullet points.