Looking for Input for a New IMPACT + Lesson on Editing and Proofing Content
I'm working on a new lesson for IMPACT + and I would love some input from you all.
The lesson will be about how to proofread and edit blog content before publishing.
I want to hear some of your tips and suggestions for a smooth process that helps your content go from the messy first draft to the polished, educational gem that wows your audience.
Here are a few questions I have:
- What does your process look like between your first and final draft?
- How many sets of eyes typically review your content before it’s finalized?
- What is your biggest challenge in the editing and proofreading stage?
- What is one hack you can share that will make others’ lives easier when it comes to editing and proofreading?
- What are your favorite tools for editing and proofreading?
- What are the top things you look for when proofreading content?
If you're the first to answer one of the above, please start a thread with that question as I'd love your input as well as anyone else who wants to chime in on that question.
If someone has already started a thread for that question, instead of starting a new one, jump into the existing thread with your two cents (let's get some conversations going!).
I'd love to be able to feature some of your answers in the course and give you a shoutout for your help.I can't wait to learn about your processes and tips.
Typically only mine.
I have two follow up questions for you:
1) Would you find value in having at least one more set of eyes on your content before publishing? Why or why not?
2) What is your typical process between finishing your first draft and hitting that publish button?
Most of the time I get about 200 - 300 words from our owner/subject manner expert that were thrown on the page in a moment of inspiration. I then take that & rework it / add on to it to make it more of a story. Then I'll throw that in hemingwayapp.com & take a look at its suggestions & make more edits. Then after I think I've got it I'll start a new blog post & give everything one more once over.
Print it out. Don't just proof and edit on the computer screen. You're going to see things in print that you won't see on the screen.
- What does your process look like between your first and final draft?
First draft is the "writer hat" and you just go with the flow. Try to get all your thoughts down. Do not edit or censor yourself here. If you can't think of a word or phrase, just leave a line or space (Liz trick).
Time. Let it alone for a wee bit. If you can't, at least print it out cleanly and then put on your "editor hat." This person cannot respect the writer. You must be brutal. You must have total focus and concentration. Anything that does not move the article forward MUST go. Even your favorite little phrase.
In the last couple years, I've developed a way to better edit on the page. I save the draft, rename it SECOND draft and then give it a get-go. Then I save that draft, rename it THIRD draft, and go at it again. Yes, this does conflict with my "print it out" stage, but I'm still going to do that when I reach a viable draft. I've found this saves a lot of time. PLUS, if you decide later you liked it better the first way you said it--you still have those old drafts.
When I think it's all done. I print it out and go over it VERY carefully. Then I ask someone else to read it. And when I publish it, I read it again--on the screen. Amazingly, you will sometimes find something there you never saw before... the different formatting via publishing allows your eyes/mind to catch it. I've had articles read by four subject matter experts and an expert reader and THEN found a mistake (that I had also missed before) at this last stage.
Video for you, Tina 😊Resources Mentioned (Written Content): Blog About Tool IM+ Course: Blog Optimization for SEO Resources Mentioned (Video Content): IM+ Course: The Selling 7 Film School for Marketers > The Video 6 IM+ Course: Vidyard 101 IM+ Course: How to Set Up & Optimize Your YouTube Channel
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I have tried to implement them as I understood them. I have attached a link to the revised version. Any additional feedback or critiques would be greatly appreciated. What is my Interest Rate.edited.docx
That is so amazing! Let us know how it goes. Looking forward to hear about it!!
Hey Evelyn Gascoyne! I will make some assumptions here - tell me if I'm off base with any of them. When you say content lead time, you're referring to how long it takes an article to be written (from ideation to hitting the publish button).2. When you say backlog, you're referring to a bank of publish-ready articles that are scheduled to be published in the future (from here on out I'll refer to this as a 'publishable article backlog')With those assumptions ^ in mind, here are some thoughts.First, make sure your article content calendar is planned out for at least 90 days in the future. That visibility into what you're working on is critical to building a backlog and helping you plan for articles. I'd recommend having a 2-3 week, or 6-9 articles, publishable article backlog. This shouldn't be viewed as a saving account to dip into when content gets low. Instead, follow the FIFO method so the first article to go into the backlog will get scheduled to be published first. As a second article goes into the backlog, it will have the place of the next scheduled article.Every week you should have time allocated to 3 tasks (for 3 articles). Follow the rule of 3-3-3 every week Publish 3 articles from the backlog Edit and finish 3 articles and add them to your backlog Start researching and drafting 3 new articles In general, you should follow this process to create an article. As a writer, you'll be playing an active role in the research and planning phase, the SME interview phase, the first draft phase, the revisions phase, and the publishing phase. Others in your organization will play an active role in the review and final approval stages. Following this process means it'll take around 8-10 business days to go from ideation to publishing an article. That doesn't mean it'll wholly consume 8 hours per day for 8-10 business days, but the big picture that's how many days you can expect the process to take. Below is an idea of how long each part of the content creation process should take by the number of hours. Researching & Planning - 2 hours SME Interviews - 2 hours Initial Draft - 2-4 hours Internal Review - 1 hour IMPACT Review (if working with IMPACT) - 1 hour Revisions - 1 hour Final Approval - 1 hour Publishing - 1 hour Now, if you're trying to implement this and you can't break through you have a couple of options to build a backlog.Pause for 2-3 weeks on publishing to build your backlog.2. Scale back on publishing. Take 1-2 (of your 3 published articles per week) to put in your backlog.3. Use others in your organization to write content while you're focused on 3 articles per week and use the surplus to build a backlog.
They do, thank you! The Berry Insurance site is also very helpful!
Sounds like a plan Dave Wieser ! Looking forward to hearing back :) Also, want to tag in Renee Hernandez who helped build some pretty awesome stuff with our quiz functionality in IMPACT+.
I have found https://hemingwayapp.com/ to be very helpful. It's great at showing me where I might want to rewrite a section.