As a developer, you may work on several writing projects: tutorials, blog articles, documentation, or important emails. It’s not enough to pound your ideas into your keyboard and then hit the publish button. Nor does it suffice to read your article one more time to fix mistakes that jump to your eye.
Instead, to get this first raw version of your writing into shape, you need to edit it to ensure you release high-quality content that is coherent and pleasant to read.
Let’s explore what editing is and why you should start editing as of today. At the end of the article, you can find my handy editing guide for developers as a free download.
I last updated this article on April 11, 2023.
What is editing?
Picture this: You’ve been sitting at your desk for two hours writing an article for your blog. Now you’re sitting in front of your draft – next, you must make it worth reading. To do this, you put your content into a logical structure, rewrite parts to make them clearer, and make all necessary adaptions to ensure your content reads smoothly.
Is editing and proofreading the same?
Not quite. Editing concentrates on the overall arrangement and look, coherence, logic, distinctness, and style, whereas proofreading eliminates your spelling and grammar mistakes and incorrect punctuation. For me, proofreading is part of editing.
Why should I edit?
Especially if you write content for potential clients, your writing needs to leave a professional impression. Whether you’re self-employed or working at a company doesn’t matter in this regard.
In the worst case, writing sloppily and making your piece a real effort to read can make readers lose confidence in you and your business. Instead, you want to portray yourself and your company as reliable experts, right?
Would you buy from someone who left you with more questions than you originally had? In most cases, probably not.
Would you become a loyal reader if the writer can’t convey a topic understandably? No. You would click away and go somewhere else.
Editing is a simple way to improve your content so that it helps you achieve your goals, whether you want to be seen as an expert or simply share your knowledge with others.
Moreover, editing helps you become a better writer. It allows you to reflect on your writing and recognize how to improve. As a result, you’ll get better at drafting and thus save time editing in the long run.
Finally, another significant side effect of editing is your newfound freedom while drafting. You no longer need to focus on grammar and style because you can fix everything later. Instead, you can focus on your content’s message and how best to convey it to your readers. Let your creativity run wild; you might develop unique ideas to make your writing more valuable and inspiring.
Similar read: Before you can edit, you need to write something – are you stuck? Read my 6 best tips on how to get your butt back on the writing track!
Can I edit my draft myself?
Of course, you can, and you should! Frequently you need to edit more than once – you may overlook things or can’t come up with a better way of communicating something more clearly at the moment.
Should I hire an editor?
Let’s say you are writing an e-book and want to make money with it: Edit your work and hire a professional editor and proofreader. You don’t want to charge money for a book with errors and inaccurate content.
Editing AI-generated content
If you use ChatGPT or other GPT-X-based systems to create content or parts of it, you might want to take editing even more seriously.
In fact, I would advise you to rewrite all generated text to avoid posting lower quality or content that doesn’t match your usual voice.
For me, editing ChatGPT’s writing involves more than editing my drafts – you’ll have to experiment with what works best for you. I’d generally advise using ChatGPT and co. as writing assistants rather than equal writers. I wrote a blog post about how I use ChatGPT to boost my content writing workflows if you’re curious to learn more.
How can I learn about editing?
Naturally, to make editing work for you, you need to know and learn how to do it. As always, Google is your friend! You can find lots of helpful resources about editing in different languages.
Yet, those articles are often too thorough for someone who’s not a language nerd. That’s why I’ve written a 10-page guide about editing for developers, including the most valuable and practical tips for editing your work.
My guide’s a few years old, so I decided to give it away for free. You don’t even have to provide your email address – simply click the “Download” button to save it to your hard drive.