Whether or not you need to land your dream job, rating a promotion, persuade a brand new consumer, or develop your weblog on Google or social media, writing is likely one of the strongest expertise you’ll be able to be taught.

I’ve personally written hundreds of articles through the years, protecting all the things from writing itself to digital advertising, journey, insurance coverage, and extra. My work has been featured on a few of the world’s prime advertising blogs, together with Shopify, Content material Advertising and marketing Institute, Social Media Examiner, and lots of others. I’ve constructed my whole profession on the written phrase.

I don’t say this to brag—simply to point out you that I do know what I’m speaking about in the case of writing. And I’m about to share what I know.

On this article, we’ll undergo 21 tricks to turn into a greater author. However first, let’s focus on what “good writing” actually is.

What makes good writing?

Writing is a component artwork, half science. There aren’t any excellent phrases or excellent sentences, however there’s a clear distinction between good writing and dangerous writing. 

Good non-fiction writing:

  • Is simple to grasp.
  • Is well-formatted.
  • Has correct grammar and spelling.
  • Will get to the level.
  • Holds your consideration.

Good writing actually comes from good enhancing. It’s uncommon {that a} first draft comes out polished and able to publish.

However nice writing has some further spice to it. It intrigues and motivates. It strikes the reader to need to do one thing. It will get you pondering.

Being author is straightforward. Being an excellent author takes time and dedication. Both manner, turning into a greater author begins by following some fundamental suggestions and working towards typically.

21 writing suggestions that will help you write higher, sooner

In my decade of writing professionally (and lots of extra years earlier than that writing for enjoyable), I’ve discovered quite a bit about the way to be a greater author. And I’ve boiled down my finest recommendation into the next 21 suggestions.

1. Begin together with your finish objective in thoughts

Earlier than you set pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), you need to all the time know what your objective is. 

Why are you writing this text/e mail/ebook? What would you like the reader to remove out of your writing?

For instance, my objective for this text is that will help you, the reader, turn into a greater author. That (hopefully) means you’ll observe a few of these suggestions and implement them the subsequent time you write.

2. Make an overview

After you have a tough concept of your objective, it’s time to arrange your ideas with an overview.

A content material define will assist you construction your writing logically and let it stream extra naturally. It’s additionally useful to get the majority of your analysis out of the way in which earlier than you begin writing. That is so that you don’t get distracted going forwards and backwards between writing and analysis.

Plus, for those who’re writing weblog content material, having an overview makes it simpler to optimize your content material for engines like google from the get-go quite than optimization being an afterthought. 

3. Focus, focus, focus

After you begin writing, it’s vital to offer it your full consideration. This may increasingly sound easy, however keep away from distractions like children operating round or checking your cellphone or e mail. 

I personally like to show my cellphone on “silent” and mute my notifications, placed on noise-canceling headphones, and hearken to instrumental Lo-fi music. You possibly can experiment to see in case your mind does higher with full silence or gentle instrumental music. Heck, generally I even write whereas listening to bass-heavy EDM. 

Regardless, restrict distractions as a lot as doable and permit your self to focus in your writing.

4. Ditch the flamboyant phrases

Effervescent writing with ornamental wording doesn’t serve to create an erudite dialogue however quite sounds bloviating and obfuscates the precise which means of your communication…

… or quite, fancy phrases solely confuse folks.

Whereas utilizing these phrases might make your writing look fascinating, it detracts from the objective of being clear and concise. It makes it tougher for the reader to grasp your message.

As a substitute, attempt to use the best and easiest-to-understand phrases you’ll be able to whereas nonetheless explaining what you’re attempting to say.

5. Use shorter sentences however range the lengths

Much like utilizing smaller phrases, you also needs to goal to shorten your sentences. 

Think about if I wrote one thing that your mind needed to proceed to learn, with a number of commas, a number of concepts, and ranging ideas, multi functional large run-on sentence, that simply didn’t appear to finish, regardless of how badly you needed it to, not supplying you with any time to take a breath or digest the concepts you’re studying, and it simply retains dragging on…

Makes issues onerous to observe, proper?

As a substitute, hold every sentence underneath 16–25 phrases except completely crucial, and solely share one or two concepts per sentence.

That stated, you shouldn’t simply use small sentences. If you happen to do, it will probably get boring. Comparable-sized sentences don’t entice. See what I’m doing right here? All these sentences are of near-similar lengths. 

Evaluate that to this paragraph, the place wording and size are different. Share one thing rapidly. Then reinforce it with an extended sentence that digs deeper, retaining the mind engaged. Possibly throw in a medium-length sentence as nicely.

Don’t stress an excessive amount of about sentence size, however hold it at the back of your thoughts. It helps to offer your writing some rhythm and make it sound extra fascinating.

6. Write in a conversational tone

Too typically I see new writers attempting to write down in a manner that sounds “skilled.” Relatively than writing of their pure voice and elegance, they attempt to sound too buttoned up.

This comes off as boring.

As a substitute, write like the way you discuss—inside motive, in fact. Don’t write a analysis paper like this. However for those who’re writing an informal e mail or weblog put up, your writing ought to sound pure and stream as for those who’re speaking on to the reader quite than giving a lecture to them.

7. Write each day

Bear in mind how I stated there’s a distinction between good writers and nice writers? Good writers be taught a number of suggestions and write occasionally. Nice writers put within the time to observe.

This doesn’t essentially imply writing an article day by day. All types of writing depend, whether or not that’s crafting an e mail, writing a weblog put up, or scribbling in a journal. Have enjoyable with it.

8. Grasp transitions

As any good copywriter will let you know, the aim of a paragraph isn’t to convey an concept or make a degree. Relatively, it’s to get somebody to learn the subsequent paragraph. 

Figuring out the way to transition from one concept or paragraph to the subsequent is likely one of the largest secrets and techniques to maintain readers glued to the web page. And that’s performed with transitions.

The easiest way to get good at transitions is by studying your work out loud to identify abrupt modifications or awkward spots, then enhancing to clean these spots out. I discuss extra about that within the subsequent tip.

9. Learn your writing out loud to edit it

Bear in mind: Good writing comes from good enhancing.

One of many largest enhancements I ever made to my writing got here from studying my writing out loud whereas enhancing. By studying out loud, it turns into manifestly apparent the place your writing sounds awkward, doesn’t transition nicely, or straight up doesn’t sound good.

If you happen to use solely a single tip from this text, use this one.

10. Begin a journal or diary

Bodily writing in a journal has been proven to have many well being advantages, akin to decreasing anxiousness and stress, serving to you set up your ideas, and even dealing with despair.

However it additionally makes you a greater author.

One thing about placing an precise pen to paper is magical. Doing this let me expertise my second-biggest writing enchancment (after the “studying work out loud” tip).

11. Use energetic voice

Your writing shall be made higher after studying this. You’ll write higher after studying this.

Which of these two sentences sounds higher? The latter is written in energetic voice, whereas the previous is written in passive voice.

Lively voice all the time packs extra of a punch in a smaller package deal. It’s extra fascinating to learn as a result of it talks a few current motion quite than some future chance.

Try Grammarly’s information to energetic vs. passive writing to be taught extra.

12. Make the most of first drafts

Good writing comes from good enhancing. You possibly can’t edit and not using a first draft.

Don’t count on to write down one thing up, by no means learn it over, and have it printed and sound superb. It simply doesn’t work like that 99% of the time.

As a substitute, write your ideas in a primary draft, then edit, edit, and edit some extra.

13. Ditch adverbs

Adverbs are nice while you actually want to emphasise a degree. See what I did there?

Utilizing too many adverbs too typically is simply not crucial and actually solely distracts from the very level you’re actually attempting to make. 

Or: Utilizing adverbs too typically just isn’t crucial and distracts from the purpose you’re attempting to make.

As a substitute of claiming “actually,” or “very,” or no matter different adverb, strive utilizing the phrase with out the adverb. Simply delete the adverb and browse the sentence out loud. And 9 instances out of 10, you’ll discover the adverb isn’t crucial and eradicating it makes your writing punchier.

14. Grasp punctuation

Commas, dashes, colons, and the like are all implausible instruments. However it’s worthwhile to know the way to use the instruments. In any other case, they detract from—quite than improve—your writing.

I typically see new writers over-using lengthy dashes and commas. You’d be stunned at how typically you’ll be able to simply delete commas and nonetheless be grammatically right.

Right here’s a useful information that will help you get higher with punctuation.

15. Ruthlessly minimize fluff

If eradicating a phrase from a sentence—or a sentence from a paragraph—doesn’t take away from the purpose you’re attempting to make, it’s in all probability fluff.

Too typically we throw further phrases or sentences into our writing to beef up the phrase depend or sound extra refined. Don’t do that.

For my part, nice non-fiction writing is about saying probably the most whereas utilizing the fewest phrases. Once more, it comes again to enhancing. Edit out the fluff like your life relies on it.

16. Have another person learn your draft

Having a recent set of eyes in your work might help provide you with a perspective you couldn’t get when your head was down. Even when it’s only a pal or colleague who isn’t an excellent author, have them learn it and provide you with suggestions.

You’ll both get a pleasant dopamine hit from the reward or some concepts on what sucks. Both manner, it’s a win-win. 

17. Know your viewers

Suggestions out of your friends is vital, however what actually issues is your ultimate viewers.

Not solely will this enhance your reader’s retention, however it should additionally assist your content material present up in Google search outcomes. Performing some fundamental analysis might help your content material align with search intent.

Search intent is the why behind the question. Why did they seek for that phrase? What are they precisely looking for?

Keyword research example in Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

You possibly can determine this out with some fundamental key phrase analysis. Comply with our information to be taught extra.

18. Develop your curiosity

What number of instances did it’s worthwhile to write a paper at school or one thing for work that you simply simply couldn’t care much less about? How nicely did the paper come out?

Likelihood is, it may have been higher. Nice writers are genuinely curious in regards to the factor they’re writing about, and that curiosity propels them to seek out the appropriate phrases and sound extra fascinating.

So for those who’re struggling to write down about no matter it’s worthwhile to write about, discover a strategy to get interested in it. Watch some fascinating movies on YouTube or learn fascinating information tales on it. Do no matter it’s worthwhile to get curious.

19. Learn nice writers

If you wish to be an excellent author, you need to learn different nice writers’ work. Discover the very best writers within the discipline you need to write about and begin studying.

Google is your pal right here.

20. Write someplace new

My third-biggest writing enchancment occurred after I began writing at espresso outlets, eating places, cool accommodations, and even out in nature.

There’s one thing about getting right into a recent atmosphere that shakes your mind up and helps you discover higher phrases. Subsequent time you’re struggling to write down, exit and write someplace new.

21. Sleep on it

Lastly, for those who’ve adopted all the following tips and nonetheless can’t appear to seek out the appropriate phrases, simply step away for some time. A very good night time’s relaxation can do wonders.

It’s humorous what number of instances I felt like I used to be bashing my head off a brick wall attempting to write down one thing. However then simply placing it down for tomorrow utterly turned it round for me.

Typically, it’s finest to place the pen down for a bit.

Closing ideas

One of the best writers make writing a every day observe and aren’t afraid to ruthlessly edit their work.

My three largest suggestions out of the 21 are to learn your writing out loud, hold a journal, and check out writing in new locations. Hopefully, these three easy issues will assist you turn into a greater author.

Prepared for extra? Listed here are a number of different nice articles:

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