Content marketing—blogging, newsletter, website content and social media posts—It’s great if you’re a writer. If not, you need to become a better writer. How to do that? Here are 12 tips for becoming a better writer. Of course it doesn’t happen overnight, but you can start the process of improving. Becoming a good writer is a skill that will continue to serve you well.
- Before you even sit down to write, think about the story you want to tell–the beginning and how you want it to end. You can flesh out the details as you’re writing, but it helps to have an overview in your mind.
- Have trouble coming up with blog topics? Don’t overprocess this. You’re not solving the Middle East crisis. Tell a story. Showcase a client, a product, an employee or colleague. Tell how you helped a client solve a problem—love this one. Something funny that happened at work. It’s endless. Be thinking of topics while you’re exercising, stuck in traffic, during commercials.
- If you’re writing a blog, this is an informal forum. Talk to your audience in the same way you’d be talking to one of your pals over a glass of wine.
- Don’t use a big word if a little one will work just as well. Remember that this is about communication, not obfuscation.
- You should be creating and targeting a niche—which means you’ll be excluding some, and this is okay.
- There will be those who hate your writing. This is a good thing—make it a goal. Not having opinions is boring.
- Believe it or not, there are rules for grammar. Learn them. There are still people out there who do know the rules and they’ll think you’re an idiot if you use bad punctuation.
- Word choice confusion. The use of it’s vs its. Affect vs effect. Over vs. more than. These are not interchangeable and using these words correctly sets good writers apart.
- Single space at the end of sentences. This really separates the pros from the amateurs. Forget your high-school typing teacher a gazillion years ago. All of publishing uses one single space after a sentence, not two.
- Use subheads—they break up the page, invite the eye to scan and make your blog infinitely more accessible and easier to read.
- Time is your friend. In this case it’s true. When you write something, give it time to percolate. Come back a few—preferably 24 hours later—and you will be amazed at how much you can streamline and improve your writing. The objectivity of time allows you to eliminate awkward phrases and write more efficiently. Delete that which is not essential.
- Be economical. It should always be your goal to make your point in as few words as possible.
Having trouble writing for your business? Talk to us at Top of Mind Marketing. We’re writers and digital media experts.