It's helpful to create an editing checklist to use with your Writing Style Guide to review content after finishing your first draft.
When editing, ask yourself:
- What content is unnecessary?
- Is anything repetitive?
- Can a simpler word be used here?
- Is this sentence necessary?
- Is every word in this necessary?
- What is my visitor searching for?
- Does this content have enough context around it to be understandable?
Rewriting old content
Avoid copying and pasting old content over to a new website. If you have two computer monitors, keep the old page on one monitor while writing the new page from the beginning on your main monitor. This will help you see the old content to help you get started while avoid cutting and pasting into the new page.
To do this in hard copy instead:
- Print out the old page
- Redline and remove unnecessary or duplicate content
- Highlight need-to-know and important information
As you rewrite the new page, you'll find new information that was missing that you should add in and content that might be repetitive or found on other pages of the website.
The goal is to have as few pages and paragraphs of content as possible while still getting all the necessary information to your users in an engaging, simple and easy-to-understand writing style.