Six Basic Editing Goofs To Avoid

Six Basic Editing Goofs To Avoid

April 16, 2020 Uncategorized 0

Of 50 websites analyzed for my 8th annual B2B e-news study, many allow common goofs to get through. None of the sites I reviewed attained the target score of 80 (out of 100). And only five managed to surpass a score of 60. The performance of these sites could have been much improved by avoiding the following six basic editorial goofs:

  1. Forgetting about readability. Of the 500 articles, 192 burdened readers with long, wordy sentences. A refresher course in Fog Index principles would help.
  2. Using labels for captions. In captioning head shots, many editors simply use identification labels rather than using the opportunity for story telling. Instead of settling for someone’s name as a caption, provide instructive detail about the person pictured.
  3. Relying on the same pool of sources for all your stories. Overloaded with story assignments, besieged editors often resort to “old friends” for comments. As a result, all articles posted share many of the same overused sources.
  4. Omitting the news angle in personnel announcements. Most stories about new hires, promotions, and the like should be rewritten to reflect less personal background and more newsworthy value.
  5. Simply rewriting press releases. In many cases, extra digging can unearth superior information unavailable elsewhere.
  6. Writing the same stories as everyone else. Instead, aim for at least some stories based on your own original reporting. Of the sites I reviewed, only four reflected evidence of exceptional Enterprise Reporting Prominence (ERP).

As my e-news study shows, the huge majority of sites fall prey to these editorial shortcomings. That’s probably true for your e-news as well. If so, here’s the upside: by putting in a little extra effort to avoid these goofs, you can gain a substantial edge over your competition.

For more information about the results of the 8th Annual E-News Study, contact me at

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