Top Tips for editorial writing

Top Tips For Editorial Writing

Some people write because they love it. Others write because they have to.

Either way it goes, in a world that is so saturated with articles and editorials, if you’re writing them, you want to make sure that your editorials stand out amongst the others.

Whether you’re an up-and-coming new writer or you’re the owner of a business that has to write content for its campaigns and various pieces of content, you’ve got to know how to write compelling copy that keeps your readers engaged and coming back for more.

You’re in the right place if you want to learn how to do just that. 

I’m Jojo! One of the Copywriters here at Automation Ninjas, so I spend a fair amount of my time writing different forms of content. Which means I look like this for the majority of my days.

When you write that much, you learn what sticks and what should be left behind. With that in mind, join me as I give you my top tips for writing editorials that get you results.

8 Ninja Top Tips For Editorial Writing

Choose a compelling topic

This may seem obvious, but the easiest way to draw readership to your articles or editorials is to pick a compelling topic. The internet is littered with blogs that no one really cares about.

Dive into the interests of your audience. What are their likes and dislikes? What kind of things would interest them outside of the things you directly promote yourself?

If it helps you to build a persona of the person that you're writing for in your mind, do that!

And if the worst comes to the worst and you can't choose a compelling topic, find a compelling way to write about something that might be a little boring.

Top Tips For Editorial Writing

Creative titles

How you word your titles can be the difference between someone clicking on your editorial or just scrolling past and clicking another written by somebody else. 

Your work has to grab your audience’s attention from the moment they encounter it. If you’re trying to garner the attention of an online audience, the statistics are stacked against you - with the average user only reading about 28% of the words on a page. This shows you that you really have to do all that you can to grab the attention of your audience from the get-go.

Take this as an example: If you wanted to write an article about the power of content in marketing, you could title your article ‘The Power Of Using Content In Your Marketing.’ It’s a bit drab, a little boring but it does the job. 

If you took more time to think about that blog title, you could develop something more creative. The first blog title could be transformed into ‘Why Content Is King Of The Marketing Realm.’

 (If you want to know why content is king of the marketing realm, we have that blog here!)

Because the title has been changed, the blog seems instantly more exciting and is more likely to grab the interest of your target audience while the contents of the blog remain the same.

Clarity is key!

Before you begin writing, make sure you’re crystal clear on what you want to say. 

If the piece you’re writing is about how we should all reduce our carbon footprint, make sure there isn’t anything in there that could negate the initial point you’re trying to make. Whatever stance you want to make, clearly articulate your point and stick to it!

Editorials are meant to express opinions. So, be bold, brave and stick to your guns!

While we’re on the subject of clarity, when you’re the author of an article, you might think that your points are exceptionally clear. You wrote it after all. So, you should know. Right?

Unfortunately, sometimes that isn’t the case. When you’ve done your final checks, before you post it for the rest of the world to see, run it by someone you trust to give it a read first. They might pick up on something that you’ve missed or they might be able to tell you how you could better bolster your writing for clearer understanding.

Back yourself up

It’s not uncommon to come across information that is a little misleading or has some data that has been skewed to meet the perspective of the writer.

While it may work for them in that instance to use evidence that supports what they’re trying to say, it doesn’t work for the long haul.

Part of being a great editorial writer is building trust between yourself and your readers. If you can write in an exciting way that they know they can trust, they have no option but to come back for more.

So, ensure that you have correct evidence or data within your work that supports the point you are trying to make. It’s always a good idea to cite your sources or link where you found the information so that your readers can check for themselves if they would like to. 

Not only does this instil your audience with the level of trust you are looking for, it also shows you to be a great editorial writer that your audience can trust.

Two birds, one stone!

The Gift Of The Gab

You need to decide what kind of tone you want to use when you write. Of course, you can always pivot and deviate slightly but consistency is key. 

If someone reads one of your pieces that is educational while being a little tongue and cheek (very similar to the way that we write content over here at the Automation Ninjas) they might be excited to read more of your work because that kind of tone speaks to them.

If they go to look for more of your work and find that each blog is completely different, it could turn them away from reading more  altogether.

So, the choice is yours. How do you want to come across to your audience when they read your work?

Do you want it to feel like they’re taking a peek into your personal diary? Do you want to write in a way that lends itself more to the tone of essayists? Or, do you want to meet somewhere in the middle?

Pick a lane and stick to it!

Top Tips For Editorial Writing

Building blocks 

Just like building a house, if you don’t plan for the structure beforehand, the likelihood that it won’t turn out as you imagined in your mind’s eye is high. 

Planning the structure of any writing you do before you begin is essential. There are a few reasons for this.

  • It allows you to make sure that you cover everything within the article that you would like to
  • It means that you will write in a structured way that is clear for the reader to understand
  • It saves you time 


It’s really simple to create a structure for your writing and it takes no time at all. Before I have even begun writing the introduction to an editorial, I will first outline the blog’s structure at the top of the page so that I can come back to it whenever I need to.

The way that I plan out my structure looks like this, but you can do anything that works for you as long as it helps you to keep your work structured:

Title: Top Tips For Writing Editorials

Introduction

Choose a compelling topic

Creative Titles

Clarity is key!

Back yourself up

The Gift Of The Gab

Edit, edit and then edit again

Engage with your readers

Conclusion

Alongside each point, I will write notes about what will be included in that part so I won’t forget.

Structuring your pieces before beginning the writing process is also helpful when you need to build on your previous points to reach the desired conclusion. Nothing is worse than writing a whole editorial only to realise that the first part should have come last and the last part first. 

Save yourself the annoyance and write that structure down on paper before doing anything else!

Edit, edit and then edit again

Many people seem to think that if you’re a good writer, you can write a masterpiece the first time, every time. That simply is just not true.

Yes, some people have a natural way with words and an inclination towards writing. But much of the magic happens within the editing process. You have to be as good at editing as you do writing.

Nothing is worse than publishing a piece of work only to return a short time later and cringe, knowing that you could have done better.

Save yourself from that fate by editing and editing well!

The process of editing that I go through is as follows:

1. The sh*tty first draft - This is when you’ve completed the article or editorial for the first time. There will be spelling and grammar mistakes, words in the wrong place, and sentences that could do with a bit of tidying. It’s nothing to worry about. What matters most is that you’ve got your ideas onto the page.

2. The big edit - When I get to this stage, I try to imagine that it’s not my work and that I am reading it for the first time on someone else’s page. I’ll remove sentences I don’t think are necessary, find synonyms for words I have overused, and add anything I think needs to be a full-bodied piece of work.

3.  Grammar and punctuation - You’ll be able to notice the significant errors in grammar and punctuation; if you can’t, your computer will do it for you! I like to check twice, just to make sure. After I have run an internal spell and grammar check, I will export it to an external system (like Grammarly) for one last check.

4. The final read - After you have done all of these steps, take a step away from your work for a little while and return to it with a fresh pair of eyes. You’ll notice anything that sticks out a little easier. Clean up the final bits and you’re ready to publish!

Engage with your readers

In the kind of digital landscape we find ourselves, audiences respond better when you actively engage with them. 80% of customers expect companies to interact with them, which means you’re only pleasing a measly 20% if you don’t.

While it may seem harder to do when writing an article, be sure to ask them questions at some point in your editorial and ensure they have a place to respond.

An example of this for this blog post could look like me asking you to share your favourite tips for writing editorials with me. Or, asking you to let me know what kind of topics you would like to see from me next.

Your audience wants to feel like they’re part of a community. Allow them to be!

Ready to write some editorials?

Writing isn’t easy. That’s the bottom line. But, with these eight tips, it should be easier for you than ever.

Bookmark, screenshot or save this blog in any way you can to refer to it before you begin and after you have finished any editorial or article writing. Think of it like a little writing checklist!

If you’re looking for more information about content writing, we have a whole hoard of blogs waiting for you to take them in. Click here to be taken to our blog homepage.

And, if you could do with a little more help than the blogs can provide, you have two options!

You can book a call with a Ninja to see how we can help you. Or, take a little look at our Marketing Automation Academy. 

We talk about all things marketing there but you’ll definitely be able to find something that tickles your writer’s fancy. You’ll find information, lessons, templates and weekly Zoom calls to help you hit your editorial writing goals.

Anyway, that’s enough from me. 

Go forth and smash some editorial writing!

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