Stages of Content Editing

In the last blog we had detailed discussion over the importance of content editing and its types. So this time around we will dwell on the stages that go into content editing. Many people feel a mere read through a write up and making some simple changes is all editors do. This is not a reality when you are working in a professional environment. Editing requires not one but three readings. These three stages are very important to make sure that the content is 100% error free. As a preparation to editing any content the editors should have a detailed look at the content details information provided by the client. This will give them an idea of what the client really wants from your write ups. It is very important for the editors to learn about the preferences of the client. The writer may in his/her hurry miss out on the preferences but it is the responsibility to edit the copies keeping in mind what exactly the client wants. Now let us get straight to the stages of content editing:

Content Editing requires looking into details that may have escaped others attention

Stage-I: Proofreading

This is how a Proofread copy would look like

In this stage the content editor goes through the article. A detailed read will expose the editor to several areas which require changes. Simply mark those areas with a different background colour, so that you are able to make quick changes. You may alter some of the typo errors or other silly mistakes within this stage. But let the rest be taken care of in the next stage.

Stage-II: Thorough Editing

One recently edited copy

This is the most important step for the content editors. Give a second read to the write up. Now make the changes to any text, phrases or sentences that you feel require changes. While bringing the changes make sure you have kept the client’s mentioned details and the writing style of the author intact. Introduction and Conclusion are the two most important parts of an online content and special emphasis should be put on these. Make these areas interesting and eye grabbing. Many writers have a habit of writing big sentences that may span upto three lines. Think for yourself, when you are reading an article about a subject you do not have much knowledge about and you confront a line of similar stature. I can bet you would not be able to relate the whole sentence unless you give three or four readings. So you will have to break the long sentences. The sentences should be no longer than 2 lines. Make all the changes possible in this stage.

Stage-III: Final Checking

Read through the content carefully after Editing

This is more of a precautionary reading. Give an attentive read through the write up. All the changes should have already been made. So just make sure while changing the words or sentences whether you yourself have made any mistakes or not. Whether those changes are making the write up look more professional or not. Making changes just for the sake of it is not called for. Also make sure whether the keywords have been used in the right density, the language is proper (UK or US English) and some other basic checks.

Now the write up is ready to be sent to the client and he/she will only appreciate it. As it is said that the work of an editor is to make the Ordinary look Good, Good look Great and the Great look Excellent!

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