There are practices and tactics you can apply in your daily routine to improve your writing skill, but nothing compares to having a good grasp of the language coupled with an excellent vocabulary and a strong grasp of your subject matter.
Skillful writing is not easy. Just like a culinary artist requires tons of practice before they can present a beautifully curated 13-course French gourmet meal for you, drafting a masterpiece in the written word is equally challenging.
Skillful writing is an art that requires a dedicated approach and being true to the craft. The more you practice, the better your chances of morphing into a writing wizard.
High-quality, skillfully written articles or blogs have been every marketer and blogger’s dream and nightmare – often at the same time. And for some pretty solid reasons. You want your website or blog to be a class apart with an impeccable writing style, engaging content, and something readable and engaging for your audience.
Even one poorly produced article or blog can destroy your site’s ranking. One piece of misinformation that leads your readers down the wrong path, or a slip of the tongue that offends your readers, can really crush your momentum. To help you avoid these things and ultimately rock your writing, we’ve put together 15 tips to help you improve your writing and be more successful as a writer.
Table of Contents
15 Ways to Improve Your Writing Style (that I personally use):
1. Read. Read everything that you can.
This tip is unarguably one of the best that I received when I started as an online writer and yearned to create a sustainable income by writing for websites and blogs.
It’s similar to teaching a toddler to speak. Beyond what we teach them, they are also listening to everything, soaking it all in, and then applying it to their own speaking. The same goes for writing. Read what others before you have written. Read works from a wide variety of writers to fine-tune your style and pick up all kinds of amazing elements you can apply to your own writing.
We have to read a lot of stuff and apply those findings to our own writing to make sure our writing stands out in the crowd. By reading, we improve sentence structure, improve grammar, grow our vocabulary, and learn how to put forward our complex thoughts easily and understandably.
Let’s say you need to write on solar energy or say you have to describe a house. How will you go about doing it?
One of the most effective ways to make it happen is to read relevant content from books, magazines, journals, brochures, the internet, or any other source to improve your writing skills. Once you’ve soaked up all the knowledge and writing notes you can, it becomes much easier to produce pieces that will take less effort and be more informative for the reader.
2. Keeping a dictionary nearby to improve your writing skills.
Keeping a dictionary nearby has more than one benefit for improving your writing skills. A dictionary is an amazing way to boost your vocabulary and test out how different words might fit into your work. You can search specific words and then find ways to paste together any combination of words most suitable in a given scenario. It also helps you find the best words when looking for antonyms or synonyms. By using synonyms, you stand a better chance not to repeat specific words while writing a book or blog.
3. Improve your grammar.
Writing, even in your native language, can be a beast. When we read, we unconsciously pay attention to grammar – the way it has been used in sentence formulation. That is not the case when we speak or listen. Writing is a more formal and structured approach that requires brushing up your grammar. Hence we recommend paying due attention to improving grammar to write worthy content. Fortunately, there’s a wonderful tool to help you get your grammar in line. Grammarly uses artificial intelligence to point out ways you can improve your writing and give your content a boost.
4. Pay attention to spelling.
How do you feel when you read something full of spelling mistakes? An article, or blog which is full of spelling mistakes, even if it is well-researched and informative to the core, feels like trash.
Bad spelling also establishes that you do not respect your profession as a writer (or your readers for that matter). As writers, we write for other people to read so we can help them solve problems, entertain them, and connect them with our brand. We should thrive in building our authority and creating a top voice in our domain. That’s one more reason to pay due attention to spelling while developing a content or blog piece.
5. Keep a diary to improve your writing skills.
I started practicing the one tip while graduating, and it has stayed with me even now. Keeping a diary has the power to improve your productivity as a writer. Diary writing is a pretty personal thing, and it gives you the freedom to express your thoughts in a language that is satisfying for you. It makes you feel more liberated as a writer. At the same time, it makes writing a routine activity for you.
6. A rough outline helps.
When we write on any new topic, our mind starts running with millions of ideas that we would like to put on paper. But once you get that one idea that really resonates with you, how do you go about getting started?
One of the best ways is to draft a rough outline for the content you need to develop.
Write all the points you would like to cover, put all your thoughts into a brief form on the paper and start developing the content. You will be fast, accurate, and find innovative ways to describe the topic, as the layout and flow will be determined for you. This gives you one less thing to worry about so you can focus on creating amazing content.
Suggested Reading: Using a Content Brief Template to Explode Your Content Marketing Strategy
7. Opt for simple words.
Aiming at becoming a wordsmith with your writing? One mistake many writers make along their journey is trying too hard to force unnecessarily complex words into their work. Keep it simple. No need to try to write like Shakespeare or attempt to sound like a scientist or professor. Leave that to the academics or the playwrights.
While writing or producing content, keep your words simple and relatable to the audience so you can interact with them. You never know who is reading your blog or article online. Writing like a 4th to 8th-grade reading level is something that most established people would advise you do. Stick with it. This ensures that everyone across the board can easily flow through your content and get it.
8. Learn to get across your message.
Learn to develop content in a way that gets your message across easily. The way your clients expect the message to be delivered. That’s the very thing that a client would expect from you. To have the skill-set and expertise to convey the underlying brand message in an easy-to-understand language to the reader. That’s what makes your writing wise and engaging – content that your client and readers are going to love.
For example, if you write an article about tips to stay productive while working remotely, use simple language that professionals and novice readers can understand.
Avoid writing lines like this:
“Technically speaking, it’s essential to have an optimized placement for your seating arrangement in order to multiply your productivity while working at home.”
Try writing something like this instead:
“Set up a desk with a comfortable office chair to allow you to focus and be more productive.”
See the difference? The first version takes a very roundabout way of telling the reader they need to get comfortable. The second version gets to the point and leads them quickly to the conclusion.
As a writer, I write the first draft and sleep over it. Let it sink in a bit and remove yourself from it so you can come back with fresh eyes. Take time to develop that first draft in a piece you would like to submit to the clients. Sometimes this may require working on a new draft or deleting an entire paragraph and working afresh.
In fact, Ryan Biddulph of Blogging From Paradise recommends writing up a piece of content and just deleting it. This helps you fine-tune your writing, and when you go back to draft up a piece of content that’s actually meant for publishing, the practice you get in will allow you to be much more concise and get to the point.
9. Say no to filler words.
Filler words are like: so, just, very, really, etc., fillers. Take care to eliminate these when you can. They’re unnecessary and tend to clutter up the content you create. Grammarly, as mentioned earlier, will catch these things and point them out to you so you can delete them.
A filler word in content can throw off a reader and hurt the post. You do not want people producing strange statistics regarding the number of “ums”, and “you know” that you have used in a single piece of writing.
10. Short sentences and paragraphs.
There’s a lot of conversation around shrinking attention spans lately. In fact, if you made it this far into the article, congratulations. You beat most people’s expectations for our ability to pay attention as human beings.
Within a span of five years, the average attention span of humans has decreased from 12 Seconds to 8 Seconds. Short sentences and paragraphs are accessible to the eye and play well with the readers.
Short paragraphs keep your readers flowing through the content and help guide them down the page. Long paragraphs can bog down your content and cause readers’ eyes to glaze over. And when that happens, they’ll seek their answers elsewhere, no matter how great your insights might be.
11. Invest in a sound editing tool.
There are many great editing tools available in the market which you can use to produce killer content with top-notch grammar and vocabulary. As we mentioned earlier, you can use Grammarly to make your content grammatically correct. For SEO-friendly content, use the Yoast plugin.
Also, you can use the free Hemingway Editor to improve the readability level of your content. There are so many wonderful tech options available to help you improve your content and make the editing process smoother.
12. Practice, practice, and more practice.
We all know how the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.”
The ultimate goal is to improve your writing skills. Practice writing daily on a variety of platforms. Write in Google or Word docs, draft up a piece of content on the backend of your WordPress site, or write some short-form content for social media.
This way, you have content in place that you can critique to uncover any issues and fix them in the future. Once you know the weak links surrounding your writing, work on them to improve and become a better writer. As you evolve in the process, you will feel that you are conquering your weakness and fears.
13 Use active voice.
Active voice helps to make your writing clean and easy to read. It shows confidence and self-purpose in your writing style. Also, passive sentences unnecessarily increase your sentence’s word count and make them difficult to read.
Passive: Mango is often loved by me.
Active: Mango is my favorite fruit.
Here check out some more passive vs. active sentences:
A simple, active voice can improve your writing style and remove redundant words from your sentences.
14. Write as you speak.
To establish a connection with your readers, you have to write as you would speak to them. You can better share your point and make readers take action with a conversational tone.
The basic conversational tone writing rules are:
- Use you, we, yours, and other similar words in your writing.
- Break grammar rules and start your sentences with words like and, because, etc.
- Ask your readers lots of questions.
- Keep your sentences short and crisp.
- Tell a story, not an essay.
15. Use lots of examples.
Sometimes you might waste 100 words explaining a point, whereas a one-line example would have been sufficient. Suppose you want to write to explain the concept of an e-learning platform. Instead of writing all technical jargon, you can say Udemy and Coursera are e-learning platforms. Once you publish the content, you can add an image to further explain the concept, or you can add a bullet list to enhance the copy and explain the content. This is much more effective than rambling on with technical jargon.
Using examples in your writing will help readers understand your point a lot more easily. Plus, examples help to validate your writing. So, add many self-explanatory examples to make your writing impactful and engaging. If you scroll back up through this article, you’ll find plenty of examples used to elaborate on the concepts I’ve written about.
After reading this article, you may still have some questions floating around in your head. So, to wrap things up, I’ve put together some answers to a few questions I get asked all the time. Hopefully, this helps!
1. What are the benefits of being a skillful writer?
With the 360-turn around of the internet landscape, quality writers are in high demand to write and produce engaging and articulately crafted content for online journals, blogs, articles, and websites.
You can monetize your skill as a writer on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com.
2. What online tools can I use to proofread while writing?
A few well-known tools are available to help you with your proofreading. Grammarly is one of the tools that can be pretty handy.
3. How can I market myself as a writer?
Well, I recommend spending quality hours on LinkedIn, building a profile, and connecting with the thought leaders in your industry. Twitter is another excellent channel to build your personal brand.
Build a brand for yourself as a writer, and soon you will be flooded with work.
4. I am planning to join a writer’s community. Will it help?
Of course, it does. It helps to put you in the zone as a writer, and you can always be sure to be full of innovative ideas and persuasive ways to improve your writing skills. You can gain inspiration from other writers in the community, and as you become successful, you can inspire others as well.
5. Where can I find an editor for my writing?
To keep it simple, you can initially ask your best friend or spouse to help you with editing to improve your writing skills. This way, they can point out any mistakes from a reader’s perspective and provide you with much-needed insights.
As a beginner in the writers’ world, you cannot improve your writing skill overnight. But trust me, gradual progress, and one step at a time, dedication, and a willingness to mold yourself into a better writer will take you places. Start with writing simple sentences and give yourself challenges in writing more complex and elaborate content as time progresses.
Keep Reading. Keep Practicing. Keep Evolving.
Which is your favorite when it comes to improving your writing skills? Leave us a comment.
- How to Improve Your Writing Skills: 15 Easy Solutions - February 24, 2022