You Can Improve Your Writing
Every writer faces the same problem at some point in their career. They have what they believe to be brilliant content, and they get it down on paper (or in most cases the screen). They read through it, they publish it, and they sit back waiting for likes, comments, and shares that never appear. Ignoring the fact that there was no SEO or promotion involved, a big reason that people don’t like, comment, and share, is because you need to improve your writing.
Here are 5 ways that you can start writing better content today.
Write for Your Audience
You could go out and take a poll to determine what people want to read. It would be time consuming and costly, but the scientific value (as well as all of the original data included) would provide the foundation for a fantastic article (as long as it was well written). Most people don’t have the time, or the desire, to do this.
Instead, you must start off by captivating your audience, and write to answer their need. For instance, I started this post talking about a problem that you might have: you want to learn to write better content. I then go on to show you how you can write better content.
Great content draws the audience in, and then gives them something of value.
This may seem counter intuitive. Why would you write faster if you want to write better?
Your brain composes content far faster than your fingers can type it out. In fact, your brain composes it far faster than any computer could process it. Even your brain can’t process the information fast enough to put it into a cohesive structure. When you sit down to write, you have the entire thing devised in your head; the struggle is to put it into words.
The faster you write, the faster you get the ideas out of your head before they are lost. Don’t worry about structure, grammar, and sentence flow just yet. Editing, proofing, and revisions take care of that. For now, what you want to do is get the concepts out of your head.
Use More Sources
Unless you are doing creative writing, you must prove (at least to yourself) that you’re not just making this stuff up. Whether you want to cite your sources or not is up to you (often I gather concepts from a wide variety of different sources, and then put them together in a simplified way). But you need to find those sources, and learn from them.
As a writer, you must be an avid reader as well. This means poring over articles, reading fiction and non-fiction alike, paying attention to writing styles, and seeing the nuances between a good writer and a poor one.
Read a dozen articles on the topic before you write your own.
Write a Lot
Would you be a star basketball athlete if you only played for an hour on Saturday nights? What if the only time you ever dribbled or took a couple shots was during an informal game? You wouldn’t make many baskets, you would be slow, and your teammates wouldn’t want you around.
Would you be a great writer if you only pound out the occasional blog post? In order to write better content, you need to write a lot. Now this is easier when it’s your job (I tend to write upwards of 3,000 words per day), but it’s not an excuse avoid writing every single day.
Whether or not anyone will read it; you still must write it, edit it, proof read it, and then delete it if that’s your prerogative.
Remove the Fluff
Readers are there for one thing: to gain value from your post. When you have a lot of fluff, then you tend to lose them. Your writing becomes sloppy, and people don’t want to stick around to finish reading, much less share it with others. Get rid of the fluff.
That doesn’t just go for extra words and sentences; it goes for weak verbs and uninspiring prose. When researching this post, I stumbled across this article on editing your work to make it more powerful. Read it and use the tips they give!
You need to write bold material in order to improve your writing. Bold material is not necessarily edgy, risqué, or controversial; bold material makes the reader feel like they read something awesome.
Incorporate all of these tips, and your writing will be better. If nothing else, read that article I linked to in the fluff section and see how powerful your writing can be if you take out the meandering words that get the reader nowhere.