‘Try It from a Different Angle’ and 2 Other Game-Changing Editing Lessons from a Shoddy Vacuum

What are you refraining from doing that could dramatically change your content?

For your online business to produce your desired results, you may need rethink your strategy to provide the best experience for your target audience.

If you think a task is too difficult, this might be the time to try it anyway.

In this 8-minute episode, I discuss:

  • Why I own a terrible vacuum
  • Why the first idea you have for creating digital media is likely not the idea that will lead to real breakthroughs
  • How to evaluate and edit your digital media choices
  • What I’m going to do about my vacuum
  • A proofreading tip that will reveal errors you’ve overlooked multiple times

The Show Notes

’Try It from a Different Angle’ and 2 Other Game-Changing Editing Lessons from a Shoddy Vacuum

Voiceover: This is Rainmaker.FM, a digital marketing podcast network. It’s built on the Rainmaker Platform, which empowers you to build your own digital marketing and sales platform. Start your free 14-day trial at RainmakerPlatform.com.

Stefanie Flaxman:

Hello there, Editor-in-Chiefs. I’m Stefanie Flaxman and you are listening to Editor-in-Chief, the weekly audio broadcast that delivers the art of writing, updated for the digital age, to help you become a stronger media producer.

Why I Own a Terrible Vacuum

So for someone who likes living in a clean environment, you would think I would have invested in a strong vacuum. A tool that really gets the job done well.

But I have a terrible vacuum. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on it, and every time I use it I think it’s probably going to be the last time.

I only have a small area in my apartment that is carpeted — the floor is mostly wood or tile — so I’ve never been too concerned about getting the best vacuum, but I’m always a bit frustrated that the task of vacuuming becomes a lively event because I really need to put a fair amount of elbow grease into the vacuuming process in order for the vacuum to work.

Last weekend, mid-vacuuming, I encountered the type of piece of lint I just don’t want to deal with. I knew my wimpy but egotistical vacuum was going to look up at me with a cocky attitude and say, “You want me to pick up that. Yeah, right?”

But I wasn’t going to give up yet. Although I was having no luck with the direction I was vacuuming, I decided to change course, and a few movements of the vacuum in the opposite direction over the piece of lint picked it up.

Why the First Idea You Have for Creating Digital Media is Likely Not the Idea That Will Lead to Real Breakthroughs

Now this may sound like Vacuuming 101 for household cleaning pros out there, but there’s a solid editing lesson for content creators within this concept of trying your task from a different angle until you start seeing the results you want to see.

It goes back to staying flexible and aware as you create digital media and develop your online business. The first idea you have for creating digital media is likely not the idea that will lead to real breakthroughs. That doesn’t make you a bad online entrepreneur.

My first blog after I started my online copy editing business, Revision Fairy, was about finding typos and grammar errors — on storefront signs, on takeout menus, or in newspapers. I’d take a photo of the error and then write little blurbs about how to correct them. I think it was called Fairy Sightings. Don’t look it up. Actually, if you do look it up and you can find it, I deserve to be embarrassed.

That blog didn’t do much for me. It helped keep get me in a routine of consistently producing content, but it wasn’t a breakthrough-maker.

And I have a print book called I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar by Sharon Eliza Nichols that is just like my old blog.

This book was her thing. She had what it takes to develop a wide audience of grammar and punctuation snobs and be featured in the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and get a book deal. Which is fantastic for her.

But for me, I needed to stay flexible and find something else that was going to be my thing, my breakthrough-maker.

How to Evaluate and Edit Your Digital Media Choices

For you, you may need to change the topic you’re writing about or make it more specific, or find a new angle to approach it from that makes you stand out from other people who write about the topic.

You could be heading in the right direction, but to maintain your course in the right direction, you may need to evaluate your digital media creation choices.

What are you refraining from doing that could dramatically change your content? If you think a task is too difficult, this might be the time to try it anyway.

Or … and here’s lesson number two … sometimes you may not be heading in the right direction at all. You’re just not. And it’s time to invest in new tools and resources.

What I’m Going to Do About My Vacuum

I’m not going to be playing Russian Roulette with my vacuum anymore. It’s worked fine up until now, but I’m ready to get a new one.

For your online business to work, you may need to learn more. You may need to research your topic more or change it completely to provide the best experience for your target audience.

You may need to change your writing environment or your writing habits. Or switch up the time of day when you create.

You may need a new WordPress theme to make your website look beautiful. Or, you may need a whole new experience when it comes to how you manage your website.

Editor-in-Chief is brought to you by the Rainmaker Platform. If you’re looking to easily build a powerful sales and marketing website that drives your online business, head over to rainmaker.fm/platform.

You can sign up for a free 14-day trial to see if it might be a fit for you. Rainmaker handles all the technical elements of good online business practices for you — design, content, traffic, and conversion.

It may be your version of a new vacuum. So make sure to check out rainmaker.fm/platform

A Proofreading Tip that Will Reveal Errors You’ve Overlooked Multiple Times

Our third lesson is one you can use after you’ve created a draft of your writing. It’s derived from the “try your digital media creation from a different angle” idea.

Use this tip once you think you have a complete draft. It’s not rough anymore, but it’s not quite finalized.

Go to the end of your text and read it backwards — in whichever way works for you. You can review each word from the end of the document until you reach the beginning. You can read each sentence in its entirety from the end of the document until the beginning or each paragraph. Or you can change it up depending on each section.

But through this process, typos and word choice errors will pop out at you more easily. It helps you not take any of the text for granted because the words or sentences or paragraphs are in an order you aren’t familiar with.

Another benefit of this exercise is that it might be easier to spot repetitive sections that you can delete or confusing phrases that need to be clarified.

You might even have an easier time noticing sections of your document that need to be rearranged so that the reader has a smoother journey through your content.

And if you like this last tip, on next week’s episode I’m going to walk through the exact process of how to proofread even when you don’t have time.

I hope you’ll join me then. And in the meantime, if you have a few minutes, I’d love to hear from you on iTunes through a rating or review.

I’m Stefanie Flaxman. Thank you for listening to Editor-in-Chief. Now, go become one.