Businesses and individuals from across the globe upload about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data in a single day. In the digital age, content is king, and websites with valuable content always have the upper hand.
Writing involves more than just churning out random words and hoping it makes sense. Good writing is well-structured, intentional, and intricate. If you’ve been struggling with your writing and want to know how to improve writing skills, you’re in the right place.
In today’s post, we’ll be highlighting some incredible tips on how to improve your writing skills. Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a better writer.
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1. Consistency Is Key
The best way to become a better writer is to practice your writing consistently. Write every day, and you’ll become a better writer in no time. It doesn’t matter how long your writing sessions are; what matters is that you’re writing regularly.
Start small with 500 words a day, and later bump up the word count to 1,000 or even 2,000. Learn from other blog posts and ask for feedback from your peers to gauge whether or not your writing is improving. Don’t be discouraged if they give you a low rating; it gets better with time.
2. Read Like Your Life Depends on It
Great writers are also avid readers. Reading every day will also go a long way towards improving your writing skills. It helps improve your grammar, syntax, and vocabulary.
Reading other people’s work exposes you to different writing styles and techniques. You can learn how to use metaphors, similes, and other literary devices by reading the works of great writers.
Don’t just read any book or blog post; pick well-written and engaging ones.
3. Have the Basic Down Pat
No matter how advanced your writing skills are, you can’t go far if you don’t have the basics down pat. This includes proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. You need to ensure your work is free of errors before hitting the publish button.
Also, brush up on the correct use of punctuation marks. This includes commas, semicolons, apostrophes, and quotation marks. Using these incorrectly can change the meaning of your sentences, so be careful.
4. Keep It Simple
Being a good writer doesn’t mean using big words to show how smart you are. Remember, writing is more about the reader than the writer. As such, be sure to use simple words that are easy to read and understand.
You can still sound smart without using big words. Using simple words makes you sound more confident and in control of what you’re saying. So, next time you sit down to write, keep it simple.
5. Keep It Short and Sweet
Keeping your sentences and paragraphs short makes it easier for readers to consume your work. Long sentences are hard to follow. Most readers don’t have large attention spans for long sentences and paragraphs.
The best way to keep your writing concise is by using an active voice. In the active voice, the subject of the sentence performs the action. For instance, “John wrote a novel” is in the active voice, while “A novel was written by John” is passive.
Use simple words, short sentences, and an active voice, and your writing will be more concise.
6. Create an Outline for Your Work
Creating an outline for your work makes it coherent and well-structured. Before getting down to business, create a clear outline for your work.
Suppose you’re writing a college essay. Try creating an outline with the introduction, points, and conclusion. Decide how many words you want each section to have, and you’ll be good to go.
7. Avoid Overexplaining Your Content
Of course, you want readers to understand your work, but don’t go overboard on the explanations. Remember, you’re not writing to third-graders. There’s no need to go into trivial details of whatever you’re working on.
Overexplaining will likely lead to long sentences and paragraphs. This means it does the opposite of what it’s supposed to do. It only makes your work hard to follow and understand.
8. Do Your Research
All forms of writing require extensive research to be good. Research is a must, regardless of whether you’re writing an article or a blog post.
Ensure you gather as much information as you can before you start writing. This will give your work more depth and make it more interesting to read. It’ll also help you avoid making mistakes.
9. Read Out Loud
Reading aloud helps ensure that your text sounds how you want it to. It also gives you a good idea of your work’s flow and also helps identify typos.
It will also help identify what areas of your work you need to improve.
10. Remove Filler Words and Phrases
Filler words and phrases are words and phrases that don’t add value to your content. They only take up unnecessary space and burden the reader. Ensure your work is free of filler words or phrases before submitting it.
So how can you tell whether you have filler words or phrases? Well, read your work sentence by sentence. After every sentence, ask yourself whether it adds value to the reader.
If it doesn’t, it’s a filler sentence. If it does, then let it be.
11. Join Forums and Writing Groups
Forums and writing groups are great ways to get feedback on your work and connect with other writers. Feedback will help you improve your writing skills by pointing out areas that need improvement.
It’s also a great way to learn from other writers and get different perspectives on how to approach writing. Visit some of the top writing websites and forums and sharpen your writing skills.
12. Use Contracted Word Forms
Using contracted forms like “can’t” instead of “cannot” and “won’t” instead of “will not” makes your writing sound sharp. Use contractions to make your work less stuffy and easier to read.
Unfortunately, it lowers the word count, but at least your writing sounds better. Use contractions appropriately and improve your writing immediately.
13. Sprinkle Some Personality Into It
Add a bit of personality to your writing to make it less drab and more exciting. Don’t be afraid to throw in a few funky phrases or even use a bit of slang. Of course, this only applies to informal writing.
Some good writers use anecdotes in their work to spice it up. This is a great way to show your personality and make your writing more fun.
14. Get an Editing Tool
Editing tools help you identify errors in your work to improve your writing. There are tons of editing tools available online, so find one that works for you and start using it.
Your writing will improve if you use an editing tool. Just make sure to choose a reputable one. Try Grammarly for starters, and explore other options as you grow your writing.
15. Don’t Overuse Adverbs
Adverbs are great for writing, but only if you use them appropriately. Writers have the habit of padding weak words with adverbs. In most cases, instead of adverbs, you can use words with the same meaning as your “adverbed” words.
For instance, you could use “hilarious” instead of “extremely funny.” You could also use “gorgeous” instead of “very beautiful.” The list is endless.
16. Look for a Writing Partner
A writing partner is someone with whom you can share your work and get feedback. They’ll help improve your writing skills by pointing out errors and suggesting improvements.
It’s also a great way to connect with other writers and learn from each other. If you don’t have a writing partner, look for one online or in forums and groups. You can read and rate each other’s works and motivate each other to become better writers.
17. Take a Writing Class
If you’re serious about improving your writing, you should consider taking a writing class.
A good writing class will help you understand the intricacies of writing and also give you valuable feedback. You can learn about the different writing styles and how to beat common writing challenges.
It’s a great way to improve your writing skills, so take a writing class if you have the opportunity. The best part is that taking the class doesn’t mean interfering with your daily activities. You can take night classes and spend the day at work or in school.
Apart from taking writing classes, you can also consider joining a writing program. This is a huge step in knowing how to become a better writer.
18. Avoid Excess Prepositional Phrases
Prepositional phrases are great for adding detail to your work, but using too many of them makes your writing sound choppy. If you can say the same thing without a prepositional phrase, do so. It’ll make your writing smoother and easier to read.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid prepositional phrases altogether. Just use them sparingly and only when they’re needed.
Final Words on Improving Skills in Writing
Now that you know how to improve writing skills, our work here is done. Knowing how to write better is improving a lifelong skill that’ll help you move mountains. Practice every day and become the pro writer you’ve always wanted to be.
A blog post showing you how to be a better writer is just the tip of the iceberg. Check out our blog’s self-improvement section and learn about how you can become a better version of yourself. Oh, and bonus tip for future bestselling writers: consider contributing to the Goodwall Blog to start getting your name out there!