How To Edit Your Articles As You Write
Judy Cullins c. 2004
Increase your ezine subscribers by submitting articles once or
twice a week to the opt-in ezines. Read by thousands, even hundreds
of thousands, you get 10-25 new subscribers for each submission.
Your articles also bring people to your Web site to buy your products.
Use this checklist to edit your own work.
Knowing these benefits, you want to create and submit as many excellent
articles as you can. At times, you have the articles complete, but
don't have anyone handy to edit them. While it's best to get at
least two other edits from business associates, you can edit your
articles yourself with a little help.
Use this checklist to edit your own work:
1. Start your introduction with a question or startling fact. You
must hook your readers with something that reaches their emotions.
2. Make your introduction only a few sentences. Your readers want
to get to the heart of your article fast. They want easy-to- read
quick tips. Long stories can bring a yawn to your reader.
3. At the end of your introduction, include your article's thesis
to stay on track and make your article clear and compelling. For
instance, "use this checklist to edit your own work."
4. Make all of your sentences short. Since standard sentence length
is 15-17 words, make most of your sentences under that number. Complex
sentences and multiple phrases make the reading tougher. Make it
easy for your readers to find the subject and verb of each sentence,
so they get the point fast.
5. Avoid dull, slow sentences. To avoid passive construction, start
them with a subject, and then follow with a verb. For instance,
"The coach marketed her business and books through submitting
articles online" is an active sentence. "The coach's books
were marketed online through submitting articles." is passive.
Drop linking verbs such as "is," "was," "seemed,"
or "had." Replace them with power, active verbs. Instead
of "She is beautiful," you could say, "Her beauty
compels you to stare at her."
6. Aim for compelling, clear copy. Write for the 8-10th grade reader.
Don't try to impress with pompous words such as "utilize."
Always think "What's in it for them?"
7. Use specific nouns and names. General references don't engage
your readers' emotions. Let them see the size, color, and shape.
Rather than say, "Write your book fast to make lifelong income,"
say "Write and finish your book fast so you can take that long
vacation to a Caribbean island." Money alone doesn't motivate,
but what we can do with it does.
8. Let go of certain adverbs. Words like very, suddenly, and sparingly,
tell instead of show. Use adverbs as often as you celebrate your
birthday. Did I show, rather than tell? Your readers are hungry
to experience feelings as well as picture themselves in your examples.
9. Let go of adjectives. Instead of saying, She is a super-intelligent
person," you could say, "She's a genius."
10. Appeal to the senses of sight, sound, and emotions. Telling
is not effective. Instead of "Buy this book today because it
is so useful," say, "Would you like to double, even quadruple
your Online income in three months?"
11. Cut redundancies. Too much repetition in your articles speaks
boring or "talking down" to your readers. Be willing to
part with some of your "precious" words. Your first edit
should reduce your words at least by one-fourth.
12. Don't use pompous words to try to impress your reader.
Use the shortest, simplest, most well-know word. Check your word's
number of syllables. The more syllables, the more difficult.
13. Keep the subject and verb as close together as possible. Don't
make your reader work to get the meaning.
14. Use the present or past tense of the verb rather than the "-ing
form of the verb. Instead of "she is singing," say, "she
sings or she sang.
15. Put your point at the end of a sentence, a paragraph, or chapter
for emphasis. This position hooks the reader to pause and notice
or hooks him to keep reading.
16. Cut clichés. Once, original metaphors, clichés
age and become trite. Instead of "Birds of a Feather Flock
Together," you could say, "Birds of a Feather Need to
Make your articles sculptured and painted like a fine work of art.
Your word choices do make a difference--both in commercial acceptance
as well as audience understanding.
Self-editing will help.
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Book and Internet Marketing Coach, Judy Cullins, can help you build credibility and clients, sell a lot of books, and make maximum profits. Author of 11 books including Write your eBook or Other Short Book Fast and The Fast and Cheap Way to Explode Targeted Web Traffic" Get her free eBook"20 High Octane Book Writing and Marketing Tips" and two free monthly ezines at http://www.bookcoaching.com