Improving Writing: 6 Simple Steps
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Were you one of those kids that hated those homework assignments where you had to write about what you did over summer vacation? Did you sit in the back of your Literature and English classes? Well, if you’re going to be a successful blogger you’re either going to have to know how to write or you’re going to have to pay someone else to do it for you. Here are six simple ways to improve your writing almost immediately.
Stop Trying To Sound Like Shakespeare
The average online reader reads at an eighth-grade level so if you’re trying to write like you’re a college professor you can stop now. Of course, you’ll want to use any niche-specific jargon, but don’t try to impress your readers with those fourteen syllable words, you’ll just sound pretentious. Worse, if you use them the wrong way, you’ll just sound ridiculous.
Pretend You’re Talking To A Friend
Some bloggers spend too much time trying to come up with just the right flowery prose and it shows in their writing. I like to just pretend I’m talking to a friend.
Imagine yourself sitting across the table from your best friend and you’re explaining to him whatever it is you’re trying to explain to your readers. Run through the conversation in your head before you even start writing. What questions would he ask? How would you answer them? More important, what words would you use? Write like you’re having an ordinary conversation.
Read A Lot
I read a lot – books of all genres, magazines, blogs, and newspapers. As a result, I have a well-rounded vocabulary that helps me when I’m writing. If you’re really having trouble, visit your favorite bloggers or read a couple of your favorite books and look for the words and phrases that attract you to that author.
When you read a lot you’ll also get a feel for those difficult words like affect vs effect, and your vs. you’re. Even if you’re still not sure when to use them you’ll at least know when to consult a dictionary.
Find Your Time And Place
I’m not a morning person. If I don’t set an alarm I’m never up before noon. I know I do my best work late at night and I know I’m more productive when I sit at my desk instead of writing at the kitchen table or lounging with a lap desk on the couch. Find the time and place where you’re most productive and stick to it.
Start With An Outline
I like to start with an outline of all the key points I want to cover. For example, for this particular article you’re reading right now, I listed the six different tips first, before I wrote anything else. Then it’s simply a matter of filling in the details and writing an opening paragraph.
Know Your Niche
Your writing will always be better quality if you’re truly an expert in your niche. Yes, there will be times when you need to do some research so you can cite actual facts. But if all you’re doing is rewording someone else’s blog post then your content is going to sound dull and boring. There’s no passion to it because you really don’t know what you’re writing about, and your readers can sense this. So one of the best ways to improve your writing is to become a true expert in your niche.