The ability to write good content is one of the most important skills to have on your resume. Getting a good hold on your writing can be very beneficial not only for your personal development but also for increasing traffic to the company’s site.
Writing is not that easy as we all think it may be. It is a very perilous task and there is no shortcut to becoming a good writer. The one and only secret to improve yourself as a writer is through “practice”. Before discussing the tips on how to become a better writer it is good to know to whom we call a good writer.
Who is a Good Writer?
Understands Audience Needs
First thing first, a good writer is someone who understands the needs of his target audience. He writes in such a way that can be understood by all type of people and also helps him to grab the audience attention, yet the prose is smooth and certainly fun to read too.
Explores his/her Writing Style
A good writer always writes in his own style, so the first thing you need to do is recognize your writing style. Identify whether it’s sharp, short, or lengthy, whether it includes or avoids small talk that clouds understanding or not.
Well Aware of his/her Capabilities
The major difference between a good and an average one is not just talent, but rather an understanding of what he is capable of and what are his shortcomings. If you think you are not good at using big words just turn it down. If you have a limited vocabulary, who cares? Just write what you know and that would be enough.
Good wordsmiths stay focused on the main problems and don’t jump from one topic to another until they have made their point clear. It is very easy to spot an amateur writer through its script; you will find a lot of scattered information but a good one never does that.
Full of Imagination
Nobody wants to read something boring, right? Memorable writers have the ability to create an imaginative landscape that readers want to know and will portray such characters that their readers will want to spend time with. Also, remember that the good writers use language in an imaginative way so that readers can find unexpected pleasures in words.
Connects to the Readers
Remember that the reader decides how good your writing is. If your writing can reach out to readers, connects with their imagination, and make them feel that they are emotionally attached to the story you are telling. And that they want to know what happens next, you have achieved the storyteller’s ultimate ambition that is “to write something that becomes a part of the readers’ lives”. They could have been watching movies, or spending time with their families, or cooking, or socializing, or playing games, or sleeping. But instead, they chose to spend that time in a world you have created, with this hope that your words will take them out of their monotonous everyday lives.
The Ability to Design Good Beginnings, Endings, and the Middles
Eloquent writers pay attention to every aspect of their manuscript automatically. Of course, they need to write a good opening, in order to intrigue their reader. The middle needs to be satisfying as it is the most important part and most of the writer fails to engage their reader through the center of their writing. The key is, don’t let your reader lose interest. The ending needs to be an effective resolution and must be relevant so the reader feels their reading time has paid off. Basically, a good writer takes care of everything.
Tips to Become a Better Writer
These tips will guide everyone who wants to improve themselves as a writer. It will help you during your journey from an average writer to a memorable one.
Write and Read as if it is your Job
If you want to know how to become a better writer, you have to practice with no exception!
Unfortunately, there are few ways that can transform you into a better writer overnight, and even the most talented writers had to learn their craft over a period of many years. It’s definitely even harder to write. If you want to improve your content writing skills, writing on a regular basis will not only make you less fearful but it will also help you develop a unique writing style. Even if you have got nobody to read it, still keep writing. Because practice makes a man perfect.
The best writers are also eager to read, and reading on a regular basis is an easy way to start enhancing your writing skills. It does not merely mean to read blogs; it means to diversify your reading material as much as you can. Try to expand your horizons to more challenging material than you typically read. Focus on the sentence structure, word choice, and how the material flows.
Don’t be Shy to Say what is in Your Mind
Most content on the web is bland and dreadfully boring. This is because far too many bloggers focus on repeating the same news as everybody else without bothering to add their own opinions. Obviously you don’t want to fall afoul of smear laws, but that doesn’t mean you can’t (or shouldn’t) say what you think. Once you’ve started to discover your own “voice,” don’t be shy about sharing your opinions. This makes more interesting reading.
Write down Ideas all the Time
Keep a handy notebook with you and write down ideas from stories, articles, novels, or characters. Write down bits and pieces of conversation that you hear. Write down plot twists and visual details and phrases of song lyrics or poems that heard or read. Having written ideas beforehand can help you because they can inspire you or actually give your writing a direction. Try to keep a list of post ideas, and continually add to it.
Eloquent writers train themselves to step outside of their own minds and look at their work critically. They also know that they should not let their pride get in the way of their goals. In the same way, if you want to get better at writing you must know that if a piece is bad it either needs to be improved or trashed.
Join a Writers’ Club
Most people get scared at the idea of standing in front of a room full of strangers and pouring their hearts out to the world. But joining a writing workshop can be enormously helpful. It can also be a source of fun if you could find a good one. In this way, you don’t need to have an unfinished novel getting dust in your desk drawer to join a workshop. Nowadays, content marketing meet-ups and professional development groups are becoming highly popular. Join one of the many groups on LinkedIn to meet like-minded writers, or search for writing workshops near you. Then pick a topic, write down something, listen to the feedback of the group, and then revise it.
Try to Eliminate Distractions
Writing does not turn out to be good if you are multi-tasking or have background noises. It’s best to do it in quiet, or with some mellow music playing. Turn off all types of notifications, turn off the phone and your cell phone, switch off the TV, and clear off your desk. You can stuff everything in a drawer for now until you have time to sort everything out later. But don’t get into sorting them now, because it’s writing time! Eliminate all types of distractions so you can work without interruption.
Choose a Writing Style that You Admire
Most people read the same blogs or sites on a regular basis because they find their content appealing. But only a few people understand why their favorite content is so appealing.
Find a bunch of recent blog posts you really like. Then just like your school English teacher used to do, take a red pen and highlight things you liked the most. It can be certain sentences, phrases, or entire paragraphs. Identify why you like these things, and see if there are any common threads in your reading material. Also, take notes about how writers take one subject and then switch to another. Try to apply these techniques to your own work.
Imitate the Writers that you Admire
Just as you probably have a list of blogs you read often, you will likely also read the same writers on a regular basis. Identify what it is you enjoy about their work, and see if you can use it to improve your writing skills. Does a writer you like use humor to spice up dry topics? Try it. Do they use any cultural references to make their work entertaining and useful? Try that, too.
Write after Proper Planning
It may sound conflicting to the “just write” tip, but it’s not. Experts find it useful to do planning or pre-writing thinking before they sit down to write. They suggest to think about it during the daily run or walk around for a bit to brainstorm. Then write things down and make an outline if necessary. Then, when you are ready, now you can sit down and just crank out the text. The thinking’s already been done.
Try to be Conversational
There are many people who write too rigidly. But experts say that it’s so much better to write as you talk so that people could relate to it better. It is not always an easy task at first, but it’s something you should struggle for. It brings out another point that it’s better to break the rules of grammar in order to give a conversational expression. But don’t break the rules of grammar without a strong reason. Know that you are doing it and for what purpose. You can also try these hacks in your writing:
- Try to use contractions
- You can ignore the grammatical rules if you are not writing something formal
- Try to keep the conversation simple
- Avoid using very rich vocabulary in this way you can keep your writing simple and direct
Do your Research Work beforehand
Aside from plagiarizing someone else’s work, nothing will undermine your credibility faster than failing to do your homework. In their eagerness to be done with a blog post (or even major newspaper article), many writers try to take shortcuts with the facts. This can range from accidentally fudging a statistic out of haste to being lazy when it comes to sourcing or attribution. Not only can this land you in big trouble with your editor/content marketing manager/other boss-type people, but it also makes you look like an amateur.
Revise your Content
If you really brainstorm your ideas, and experiment, and let things flow, you will definitely need to go back over it. Many writers hate revising because it looks so monotonous when they have already done the writing. But if someone wants to be a better writer, you need to revise everytime you write something. Because where there is revision, there is good writing too. It separates an average writer from the greatest ones. Go back to everything, and look not only for grammatical or spelling mistakes but for unnecessary, inappropriate words and structures and confusing sentences. Your writing aim should be
Ask People for the feedback
You would not improve in a vacuum. So, you need to get someone to read your pieces of writing. It is more preferable if you seek help from a good writer or an editor. Or from someone who reads a lot, and can give you honest feedback. Then listen to them. Try to understand the criticism in a constructive way and accept it to use it for improvement. It’s not the time to get hurt, be thankful to your editor for helping you.
Summary: How to become a better writer
- Write and read on regular basis without any exception
- Every time you get an idea write it down so that you can work on it later
- Join the writers’ club to meet like-minded people so that you can polish your writing skills
- When you are trying to write avoid all types of distraction
- Follow the writing style that you admire the most and especially which you think can best express your thoughts
- Imitate your favorite writer to whom you admire and through its help identify your own style
- Write after proper planning your content to get the best results in the end
- Try to write in a conversational way so that you can engage more people in it
- Don’t just write down your ideas. Do your research work and try to make your content fully backed by the findings of that research
- Revise your content in order to see how much reality you can give to your ideas
- Ask people to read your pieces of writing and look for the genuine feedback