Writing skills for content writers
Writing content online is a demanding job which calls for writers to be multi skilled. Clear thought process, perfect presentation, factual and natural flow of information and most of all usefulness of the content to the reader are some of the points a writer needs to keep his/her focus on. This blog aims to presents ten simple yet effective tips to help you improve your writing skills.
We need to remember that online writing is very different from writing offline. There are millions of blog posts/articles published everyday, if you article has to catch the attention of your reader you have to work on improving your writing skills all the time to be at the top of your game.
Everyday habits to improve writing skills
1. Practice makes perfect, the more you write the better you become at writing. Write at least a few paragraphs everyday if you want to get better at writing.
2. Write fast. Be quick to note down the points or ideas as thoughts and inspiration flow, you can edit later. Editing your work as you write may cause you to lose your flow of thought. It is possible that you may even face the danger of missing out the important points that you would have wanted to present in your post.
Writing Skills for effectiveness
3. Keep it short and to the point. Writing great content is important but keep in mind the needs of your readers. We need to understand that the time for long wined writing is over. Millennial readers are looking for clean, crisp material that will give them all the information they need in a few seconds. Bullet points are short and SEO friendly.
A study done by Tony Haile of Time.com shows that an average reader on the web gives you 15 seconds before he/she decides whether to stay on and read or leave. He also states that an above average reader could give you another 15 seconds to let you impress him/her. Grab your readers’ attention in the first 15 seconds of your article or you are lost.
Language and writing style
4. Language. One commonly occurring problem is the use of tenses. Keep your writing tense uniform. In normal speech we tend to shift from one tense to another, this is not acceptable in written communication.
Repeated usage if the same words/phrases could lead to boredom, so work on improving your vocabulary and syntax everyday.
5. Choose the right writing style. Knowing your audience makes it easy for you to chose your writing style. If you are addressing scholarly readers you need to substantiate you statements with facts and figures. However if you are writing for the young adults its important to keep you writing style light and easy. The right lingo is also important.
6. Lists are popular because they easy to read and the reader gets what he/she wants at a glance. Make lists even more effective by putting them under different subheadings. It is a well known fact that lists are easy to promote on social media and that they get a larger readership.
7. Edit and edit again. The problem with being your own editor is that you could easily overlook your mistakes as you the speed of thought is faster than your speed of reading/typing.
You could take help from your friends but that would become too much of a burden on them if you are a prolific writer.
Another effective way to catch your mistakes efficiently is to read your content aloud, though his seems childish it is much more effective than reading silently.
8. Let your article stand for a while. In cooking/baking we let the dough stand for a while to rise, soften and acquire the required texture, we call it ‘proving time’. Proving time in editing helps you take your mind away from your work and helps refresh your mind. You are sure to view your content with more objectivity and clarity when you come back to read and edit it later.
You could also come up with fresh ideas which could help make your presented content effective.
Tools which helps improve writing skills
9. Take advantage of all the tools available online. Grammarly helps ensures that your grammar is right and your article is readable. Using Microsoft Word document for writing saves you the trouble of look up a thesaurus, it also provides basic editing help.
10. Format content in such a way that it enables easy and effective reading. Short sentences are more readable than long winded ones. Use bold, Italics and underline effectively.
Bold makes your content easy to scan, it highlights important words or keywords and phrases. It makes the text more readable. Be careful not to over emphasize or scream.
Italics are used to emphasize words, they make the content stand out without over emphasizing. Use Italics for quotes, names of articles, books, etc. They are also used for conversation or dialogues or even foreign words.
Underline is used sparingly in online content. They could be used for definitions. The problem with underlining is that they could be confused with links. Be judicious in your use of underlining. One important fact to keep in mind is that we though want the content to be emphasized we need to be careful about over emphasizing it. Over emphasized content is like screaming online, polite but audible speech is more emphatic than screaming.
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Writing great content that people are searching for is the best way to go. However, making your content even more reader friendly online is important. A precise, well emphasized, well formatted, well written content loaded with information definitely makes it more successful. While content is king, these tips given here help put the crown on your content give it more visibility, attractiveness and readability for your reader. I hope that these tips for improving your writing skills would help to you to write better online.
Thank You For Reading!
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