Being asked to write a blog post is one of the most frightening things a marketer can encounter. Why do certain marketers choose to wrestle for days on end rather than write a blog post?
With content marketing quickly becoming one of the most valuable marketing skills to have on your resume, improving your writing skills could help you advance in your career and increase traffic to your company’s website.
Many people are intimidated by writing, especially those who do not write for a living or regularly. The good news is that writing doesn’t have to be stressful, and almost everyone with a little patience and a desire to learn will develop their writing skills. Do you want to improve your writing skills? Here are 15 easy steps you can do right now to improve your writing skills.
Step 1: Review the Basics
You’ll need at least an intermediate understanding of the basic writing concepts before you can start creating amazing material.
This does not imply that you must participate in a prestigious creative writing program at an Ivy League university, but it does imply that you must be familiar with the fundamentals of grammar and spelling. Any writer should have a copy of Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style” on their bookshelf, as it is one of the most detailed guides on the proper use of grammar and other useful topics.
Step 2: Write as if it’s your job
You must practice if you want to improve at something, and writing is no exception! Sad to say, few shortcuts will instantly transform you into a fantastic writer overnight, and even the most gifted authors had to master their craft over several years. It’s admittedly more difficult to write when thinking about SEO and how to get people to read your content.
If you are interested in improving your writing skills, writing regularly will not only help you overcome your fear of the blank screen (or blinking cursor), but it will also assist you in developing your style. So, keep writing, even though no one reads it. It is said that practice makes a man perfect.
Step 3: Read with dedication
The best authors are indeed voracious readers, and reading daily is a simple way to begin honing your writing abilities. Diversify your reading content, and I don’t just mean blog posts. Expand your horizons by reading more difficult content, and pay attention to sentence structure, word usage, and the flow of the material.
The more you read, the more you’ll grow an eye for what makes a piece so effective, as well as which blunders to avoid.
Step 4: Find a good writing buddy
If you work in a moderately sized company, there’s a fair chance that at least one other person is also interested in improving their writing skills. Though writing is often thought of as a solitary pursuit, the best writers know when it is time to seek critical input on their work.
Talk to your colleagues (or friends) and see if they’d be willing to look at your work for you; they may catch errors you missed. Finding a writing partner is also a good way to keep yourself motivated and accountable.
Step 5: Dissect your favourite writings
Not in the literal sense. Dissect an article or a column written by a writer you respect. We suggest doing this job with a paper printout and a red pen, so you don’t forget anything. Being able to spot it in others will help you become a better writer.
Step 6: Learn from errors
Bad writing teaches you more than good writing. Mistakes in another person’s work stand out in a way that your own mistakes never do. This will give you clear guidelines for what to avoid and assist you in spotting certain problems in your own work.
Step 7: Learn how to organize the paragraphs
Starting your paragraphs with a subject sentence, i.e. a sentence that describes what you’re going to write about, is a good way to develop your grammar and English writing skills. Proceed with supporting sentences, the sentences that add to your understanding of the topic. Finish with a conclusion, which is usually a rundown of the paragraph’s body’s ideas. To build a fluent body of text, understand how to create transitions between paragraphs to demonstrate relationships between concepts.
Step 8: Edit Ruthlessly
So you’re writing every day (or at least regularly), and you’re getting better at it. That’s fantastic! You’re about to turn into your own stiffest critic. For new writers, editing is a difficult skill to master because they place such a high importance on the time and effort they put into writing skills in the first place. However, a lot of writing is, in fact, rewriting, and this is where an editor’s cold, hard eye can come in handy.
Develop the discipline required to remove unnecessary terms (more on this shortly). Avoid waxing lyrically; instead, get right to the point. Do you have any doubts on whether or not a paragraph would work? It most likely isn’t. Be hard on yourself and understand when something needs to be deleted or reworked. As a result, the job will be much better.
Step 9: Take help from outlines.
Except for the most seasoned writers, the blinking cursor of a blank page is a formidable adversary. Before you put pen to paper, make a rough outline of what you want to write. This will be your combat strategy, and it will aid in your victory. Just a small percentage of writers – and I mean a small percentage – sit down to write without a clear idea in mind.
The majority of writers stick to the tried-and-tested outline process, and for a good reason. An outline helps you start by laying out your work framework and then tweaking it as you go. This enhances pacing and lowers the amount of editing you do afterwards.
Step 10: Read it aloud
When it comes to flow, reading your work aloud will help you figure out whether it flows effectively. Add a few longer sentences to break up the slow, monotonous beat if it sounds choppy and trimmed. You’ve probably discovered an unnecessarily complicated sentence that needs to be rewritten if you find yourself stumbling over bits. It’s always a good idea to read your work aloud… because it works!
Step 11: Acknowledge the progress
This is more of a reminder for those authors who have been doing this for a while, and perhaps there isn’t any room for improvement left. Well, don’t believe you don’t have one. Take your first published work from your collection. We’ve all got one! Choose one from a few years ago and, finally, your most recently published item. Now go ahead and read them. Seeing your writing skills grow over time serves as a reminder that we all have a lot to learn. Our writing begins to stagnate the moment we forget this.
Step 12: Speak your mind
You should have a perspective if you’re writing about politics, technology, or a church fete. Being truthful will help you find your identity as a writer, allowing you to improve your writing skills with full enthusiasm.
Step 13: Scrutinize
We live in a world where there is a lot of fake news. It is your duty as a responsible writer to state the facts. Whatever you’re writing, do your homework thoroughly and use several sources. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to say something if the study tells a different story than you anticipated. All of this experience will lend weight and gravitas to your writing skills, gaining you a reputation as a reliable writer.
Step 14: Accept that first drafts tend to be a disaster
After reading a phenomenal article, It’s easy to imagine your favourite bloggers effortlessly producing amazing posts with minimal effort before spending the rest of their day reading obscure books in a quaint corner café somewhere. Take solace in the fact that this isn’t the way writing works.
Ernest Hemingway famously said that he would write while drunk and then edit while sober. Though we don’t recommend it, the first draft will always appear as if it was written after (or during) a two-day binge. What’s the good news? Nobody can really see it before you’ve transformed it into something extraordinary. It’s common for first drafts to be terrible, and that’s fine. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t succeed on the first try; chances are, you won’t, and that’s perfectly fine.
Step 15: Don’t run after perfection
Take the time to write as well as you can, proofread and edit your work thoroughly, and make sure your workflows smoothly from one stage to the next. This does not, however, imply that you should take weeks to write something. You must know when to let go of a piece of writing because it won’t ever be perfect.
It will never be perfect, no matter how good the final product is. There will be an overused expression, a misattribution, an errant comma, a misused homonym, or any one of a thousand tiny errors somewhere in your writing. The good news is that it makes no difference. The key is to consistently produce high-quality content. Don’t lower your expectations, but don’t fret about unattainable perfection either.
To sum it up, writing is an art and having a passion for it is surely going to drive you on the path of eagerness to learn and thirst to achieve those dream standards. Nevertheless, These 15 steps aren’t going to make you a perfect writer overnight. Don’t give up even though the process is long and messy. Become a lifelong learner by committing to putting words on paper every day.