How many times have you finished reading some blog post and you sit back and wonder, “What was that guy thinking?!” The article started out talking about how to use Pinterest and by the time you got to the end it was talking about Twitter. And somewhere in the middle he mentioned Facebook. If that sounds like your writing, here’s the answer: Write like there’s no tomorrow… then edit.
Trust me. I know it’s going to be difficult to follow this advice. We all hate seeing typos on a page, and we have seeing run on sentences and mile-long paragraphs. And if you’re like me you like to keep reading over and over again to make sure everything flows. Your first reaction is always to hit that backspace key and edit, but that’s how you end up with jumbled content that just rambles around the page.
Each time you stop to edit you’re breaking your concentration. A blog post should lead the reader from Point A to Point B with no distractions along the way. Here’s what happens though when you stop to edit:
- You skip steps in your How-To posts, steps your readers really need to know about. Without that step they can’t complete the process and you look like sloppy blogger.
- You get all the steps in there but they’re out of order. Again, your reader can’t follow your directions and you lose credibility.
- You get distracted and start rambling about whatever pops into your head. Your reader came to that blog post for an answer to one specific question. That’s all. If there’s too much other stuff on the page he goes away unsatisfied and you lose a reader.
- You forget what you’ve already said and you don’t get everything into the post that your reader needs to know. Now you just look like a lazy blogger.
Instead of stopping to edit, just start writing. Start at Point A and walk your reader all the way to Point B without taking any detours along the way.
Your content will be much more cohesive and easier for readers to follow because you didn’t take detours along the way. Now, when your visitors read your How-Tos they’ll actually be able to follow the directions. You’ll look like a star!
You’ll also find that your posts are actually shorter and that’s not a bad thing. Too many bloggers think their posts have to be 1,000 words or more but if it’s not relevant to the conversation, who needs it? Your readers certainly don’t and you’re just wasting your time. Get to the point and be done with it.
Once you’re done writing, then go back and fix typos, add in formatting and straighten up the paragraphs to make everything look nice and pretty. But get your words on the page first, without any distractions. If you’re not distracted your readers won’t be either and everyone will be happier all around.
Now how do you actually make this work? Just sit down and start writing and write like there’s no tomorrow. Don’t look up. Don’t touch that backspace key. And don’t worry about it. You’re not carving it in stone. You can edit when you’re done writing.