3 Editing and Proofreading Lessons to Help You Elevate the Quality of Your Content

Copyblogger Collection - build authority with careful quality control

Let’s compare bland content to plain bread.

Plain content bread isn’t going to build an authority sandwich for your business; it’s fairly easy to produce and many other places offer it.

Editing and proofreading are the peppercorn-crusted turkey and applewood-smoked bacon you need to layer on top of your plain content bread.

With peppercorn-crusted turkey and applewood-smoked bacon (and maybe even some Dijon mustard or horseradish mayonnaise), you’re able to craft an engaging experience for readers — something savory, a little spicy, and more robust than all the other plain content bread out there.

Building an audience is hard work because you have to offer people an experience they don’t get anywhere else. The winning details that make your content a go-to resource can emerge during the time you take to edit and proofread.

This week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that will show you:

  • How to objectively review your own writing
  • How to transform your content into persuasive and shareable works of art
  • How to catch more writing mistakes with an underutilized proofreading trick

As you work your way through the material below, think of the following lessons as a mini editing and proofreading course.

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The Perfect Anatomy of a Modern Web Writer [Infographic]

The Perfect Anatomy of a Modern-Day Web Writer (Infographic)

High school was an era of my life I never really want to repeat. Not because it was a nightmare. Yes, there was a little turbulence, but mostly bewilderment and embarrassment.

  • Why do I have to read The Old Man and the Sea while my gym teacher sleeps behind a newspaper?
  • Why do I have to stand in the cold with other lackluster teenagers waiting for a bell to ring?
  • And why am I wearing a white leather jacket with padded shoulders?

To this day, I have no clue why they gave me a diploma:

Me: Did I do something to earn this?

High School: No. Just leave, please.

Hey, not a problem. Happy to oblige. Yet, there was at least one high point during my dim career in secondary school.

Biology class. Specifically, the anatomy portion of biology class.

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How to Use the ‘Rule of Three’ to Create Engaging Content

structure your ideas with the rule of three

What’s so magical about the number three?

It’s no accident that the number three is pervasive throughout some of our greatest stories, fairy tales, and myths.

It’s also no coincidence that some of the most famous quotes from throughout history are structured in three parts, nor is it surprising that the Rule of Three also works wonders in the world of comedy.

It all comes down to the way we humans process information. We have become proficient at pattern recognition by necessity, and three is the smallest number of elements required to create a pattern.

This combination of pattern and brevity results in memorable content, and that’s why the Rule of Three will make you a more engaging writer.

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How to Create a Valuable Lesson Plan that Sells Your Online Course and Motivates Your Students

develop an online course that has immense value for you and your students

The demand for online education is exploding.

The global market for online courses is expected to reach $107 billion in 2015. A mind-boggling figure, right?

Imagine stuffing one-dollar bills into a 53-foot truck. Depending on how crumpled your bills are, you’d need around 1,000 trucks stuffed up to the roof to transport those 107-billion dollar bills.

Would you like one of those trucks to deliver a heap of money to you?

Then you must create a lesson plan so valuable that students get excited about buying your online course.

A valuable lesson plan motivates people to both study and implement your advice. It makes students so happy about their newly-acquired skills that they tell all of their friends about your course. That’s how your course starts selling like hot cakes.

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6 Easy Ways to Adapt Your Writing Style to the New World of Content Consumption

it's a brave new fast-paced content world

You ease yourself into the coziest chair you own, a warm beverage by your side, a blanket over your legs, and the glow of a reading lamp over your shoulder.

It’s time to sink into a nice, long session of reading.

You pull apart the pages of the nonfiction book you’re working your way through, and you begin a new chapter.

It starts with an inspiring quote. Then the author tells a story.

Eventually, she comes around to the topic at hand. Now that you’re warmed up, she’s going to share some information with you.

What’s the online version of this scene?

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Catch More Writing Mistakes with This Underutilized Proofreading Trick

chess pieces - pay attention to every little detail

Proofreading is simple.

That may seem like a sacrilegious statement coming from someone who spent years justifying that proofreading is a specialized skill to condescending critics.

But I want to show you a simple proofreading trick, so you are able to review your writing like a professional proofreader — even if you only have time to proofread your writing once.

This underutilized technique will help you spot and correct errors in your digital content that you’ve previously glossed over.

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