In the past few weeks, we’ve come to only one logical and sensible conclusion: your corporate blog needs a great editor. As I wrote a few weeks ago: “You were given this great responsibility without being mentored on how to become a corporate blog editor. Most likely, senior management within the company doesn’t even know that editing a blog is usually a full-time job that requires an extremely dedicated person.” In light of this conclusion, we’ve put together a list of tips for editing blog posts.
Your corporate blog editor does not only need to be a dedicated one, but also someone who knows what it means to edit material for final publication. A corporate blog shouldn’t be just a series of occasional random posts. A blog editor doesn’t mean someone who gets a post, checks spelling, and posts it online as it was received. That’s not called editing.
I.E. an effective corporate blog, like any other content marketing tool, consists of well-planned and thoroughly edited posts that build a brand community in the long run.
Last week I discussed what a great blog editor needs to consider when working on a corporate blog. This post is about what a great corporate blog editor must consider after he gets a post under consideration for publication.
A few tips for editing blog posts…
First raw review
Let’s assume that you’ve already considered everything on this list. You have an editorial plan, you know who’s writing what post, and you’ve already discussed it with the author(s). Today is the day he/she sends you the first draft. If it’s not an author you know that you’re going to get a great final version from, then your deadline for post submission should be ahead enough so there’s enough time to do revisions.
When you get a post, no matter what the format (text, video, audio, pics, or a mix of two or all), you check if it’s submitted according to your blog guidelines. If not, ask the author to make necessary corrections.
It’s very useful to write a detailed, albeit not too restrictive set of guidelines. They are the foundation for building your corporate blog as a recognizable brand channel, rather than being a mess that has hardly anything to do with your brand. Check out magazines, newspapers, even broadcasting news; think about the elements that help you identify them immediately and how easy it is for you to follow them.
In addition, the blog guidelines help you, the editor; they make your life so much easier. Right?
Does it make sense?
If the post is in accordance with the guidelines, check whether it’s logical. Does it make sense? Is it constructed logically? Is there a readable flow of thoughts? Or does it (or parts of it) confuse you?
If there’s anything that confuses you or you don’t understand, or if you think there are parts that need extra clarification, ask the author to make necessary changes. Be clear with your comments.
Is it relevant?
Is the post relevant to your target audience? Does it address any of your readers’ pain points? Does it suggest a solution(s) to the problem?
Basically, you must assess whether your readers can learn something substantial and apply that to their lives by reading the post. How does it make their lives better/easier? How does it make them “smarter”?
Is the intro attractive enough?
Is the intro flashy enough? Does it grab attention of (potential) readers?
A good intro is short enough, it addresses the target audience and their pain points directly. If possible, it should contain a piece of information that they may find surprising/shocking. A great intro lets the readers know what follows and why they should keep reading.
Is the headline worthy of retweet?
The same applies to the heading. According to Bostjan, you should ask yourself whether the headline “tells the story of the post, is attractive enough, is relevant to your target audience”.
Does it have a call for action?
In the end, is the post interactive? Does it challenge the readers enough so they’d respond with a comment? Does it ask them to leave a comment, to continue the conversation?
Are you a corporate blog editor? What other advice would you add? What challenges do you face as editor?