Are you a blogger, student or professional looking for some quick tips on how to improve your writing skills?
If yes, you’re in luck, because I have put together a list of 25 simple tips that will help you become a better and more effective writer.
- Become a prolific reader. Read as much as you can, as the more you read, the better your writing will become.
- Know your audience. Take some time to find out who your ideal reader is, and then write for them.
- Focus on topics that interest you. By choosing topics that you’re passionate about, you’ll be able to write quicker and more authentically.
- Believe in your writing. Lots of weak writers have little faith in their writing. Don’t be like them. Instead, be bold and confident with your words and ideas.
- Start with an outline. I never attempt to write a blog or article without first having a headline and outline. With these in place, it becomes super easy to fill in the gaps!
- Tell a story. Everyone loves a story. So if you’re able to express an idea in story form, then definitely do so.
- Write often. The more you write, the easier you’ll find it to express your thoughts on paper or screen.
- Aim to be original when writing. Countless new content is written and published every year. If you want to stand out from the pack, then make sure your content is original and different from the rest.
- Choose simple words. While long words may sound clever and intellectual, they’re a turn off for most readers. Instead, pick clear and concise words that don’t require a doctorate to be understood!
- Use proper grammar and punctuation. If you don’t do this, you will quickly lose readers. If you need help, seek out a teacher or grab yourself a book or course on this important subject.
- Vary your sentence length. If you’ve ever found yourself losing interest when reading a piece of content, it’s likely due to the writer’s inability to make the content captivating by varying the sentence lengths. It’s super easy to do. And will keep your readers hooked.
- Use active voice. Where possible, choose to write in active voice. This is a short and direct way of writing that will help you express your thoughts in a professional and concise way. An example of active voice is: The writer entertained the reader.
- Write in a conversational style. Unless you’re writing an academic thesis or a company report, you should choose to write in a conversational style. Readers enjoy this style of writing and will also easily engage with your ideas and concepts.
- Let your words flow. As you may know, as well as being a professional writer, I’m also an accomplished guitarist. Being a musician has taught me the importance of rhythm and flow – both for musical notes, words, sentences and paragraphs.
- Organise your content. Too many pieces of content are let down by lack of structure. Stick to the basics: introduce your topic, write about it, conclude with a summary and a call to action.
- Use the power of formatting. Nobody likes to read massive chunks of bland paragraphs on a screen. Instead use subheadings, bullet points, images and hyperlinks to bring your writing to life.
- Read aloud your writing. This tip is something I learned when writing breaking news alerts for Inside.com. We were writing so fast that it was easy to make stupid mistakes. To avoid this, our editor asked us to always read our work aloud before publishing. This really worked. Try it and see for yourself.
- Edit your work to be punchy. Don’t be afraid to go back and make changes to your writing. In most cases, this will involve cutting out unneeded words and sentences.
- Use a proofreading tool. Digital proofreading tools such as Grammarly and WhiteSmoke can save your bacon. These smart tools can quickly spot typos and basic errors that could undermine your writing and ruin your message.
- Take a writing workshop or join a group. Taking a writing course can give you tons of ideas and inspiration. And if you like meeting new people at the same time, then joining a local writing group could be perfect for you.
- Get feedback from others. Ask someone else to read your work and give you their honest opinion. It’s often amazing what an outside perspective can offer.
- Take regular breaks. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to write too many words in one go. It’s much better (and healthier) to take regular breaks. This will give you a chance to rest your eyes, brain and fingers!
- Proofread on a different day. If you have the option to come back to your content on a different day to when you wrote it, then definitely do so. This will enable you to check and revise your work from a fresh perspective.
- Write when you have the energy. I hardly ever hear this mentioned, but trying to write when you’re tired is like trying to heat your home with candles… it’s inefficient and not worth bothering with! Personally, I like to write when I’m feeling buzzy and energetic. That’s when my best ideas come through and I can produce the most content.
- Defeat procrastination. Use my 5-step formula: plan, write, edit, publish repeat!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my 25 tips on how to improve your writing skills. By following these tips, you’ll be sure to make your writing more efficient and effective.