Dear WordCount is a weekly advice column answering your questions about writing, blogging and running a freelance business. What do you want to know? Ask me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I find it really hard to write 300 to 500-word blog posts on a regular basis because I edit obsessively. I had a conversation about this with a friend who said he assumed people who blogged a lot just tossed them off. I maintain that there is no such thing as tossing off any readable writing. How much do you edit your posts? I’m guessing a lot more than any of your readers imagine. — KL
I always edit blog posts, some a little, some a lot. Sometimes I see or read something that inspires me and I write a post or the beginning of a post in a white heat. I save it in Draft mode, using the WordPress editorial calendar plug in and schedule it for the date and time I want it to run. Then when I have time allotted to working on the blog, I go in and rework it into a final draft, add an image, category, tags and other essentials, and either publish or put it in the queue.
Other times I start and finish a post in one sitting. When I do this, I edit as I go, checking a paragraph or two as I finish them to see how they read.
Either way, I always use WordPress’ Preview mode to see what a finished post will look like published. I check spelling, grammar, and sentences that run on too long — I usually write too much, so I’m constantly whittling down the word count. I usually look at a post at least twice in Preview mode — and sometime a lot more — before hitting “Publish.”
I also edit guest posts that run on my blog — I’m very upfront about this, and mention it in the guidelines I share with people who inquire about guest posting. I prefer to edit posts in Word using Track Changes; I send edited copy back to the writer/blogger and they can tell me if it’s OK or suggest additional revisions. Once it’s ready I drop it in WordPress and preview once or twice before publishing.
Can you tell I work as an editor as well as a writer?
More on editing blog posts: I wasn’t the only person KL asked about this. Read what else she found out: Revising Blog Posts.
How much do you edit posts before publishing them?