If you write articles, blog contents, recipes or really anything that is intended to be read by a human (and you want to be successful), it’s extremely important that your able to write properly to get your point across.
Here we outline 15 ways that your able to improve your writing ability.
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1. Write often and regularly
This simply means to keep practicing – Rome wasn’t built in a day and if you want to improve your writing ability, you’ve got to write often. To help you get started consider keeping a log to track of when you write, the type of article you write and how many words you have written. This will help you stay focused and motivated.
Additionally, you could keep a journal to write something about each day, or alternatively, consider getting help from a blog writing logbook, which provides exercises to help you practise your writing.
2. Read newspapers
Newspapers are a perfect reading source as they are usually delivered free to your house, and they are packed with content in many forms. You can find long and short form articles, advertisements, reviews, and many other styles.
Newspapers also go through multiple screenings to eliminate as many typos and grammar issues as possible. Reading newspapers more can help you to increase your way of writing to be more professional.
3. Study magazines
Similarly to newspapers, you could also read and study magazines. When you study magazines, don’t just read the content – observe how the information is laid out. If you subscribe to a particular magazine and you like the way it’s presented, learn how they format the magazine to effectively display their ads, their content, their words, etc.
You’ll learn how you can entertain and inform your readers at the same time with the study of magazines.
4. Watch the news
People learn not just by reading – people also learn through watching and listening. When you watch the news, pay attention to the way the presenter talks about the stories. They are trained to present you without a lot of facial emotion – the emotion is felt through the use of the words.
When you write your articles, people can’t “hear” what you are trying to say but you can use your words to portray an emotion. But be wary, what sounds good to you may not be the best way to express the information across to the reader.
5. Listen to the radio
Like watching the news, the radio is another great way to improve your writing fluency. If you are writing for a niche that’s music related, you’ll want to listen to the station that offers the kind of music you are interested in writing about.
Not only that, radio DJs know how to keep the listener tuned in. They’ll talk about a certain story with the juiciest parts – and then they say something like, “more on that, after this song”. Learn to use the suspense skill in your writing to keep your readers riveted.
6. Strive to improve
There are 2 types of geniuses in this world – the natural one and the developed one. In writing, everybody starts from the beginning. So no one is a natural genius. Anyone can catch up and anyone can make a mark for him/herself by writing.
If you like a certain writer’s style of writing, study and model after that writer. Use the kind of words or phrases they use and improve through modelling.
7. Pay attention to successful salespeople
Often, the best article writers could very well be salespeople. They’re just not successful article writers because they haven’t learnt the language of article writing yet (the spoken and written word can be significantly different to achieve different effects).
When successful salespeople talk and what they say makes sense, that’s because they have crafted their speech to get their point across to people clearly and with impact. Learn that.
8. The written dispute
A good way to improve your writing ability is to state your case against something. If you come across a point of view or a sort of generalization comment, you can write something to bring your point across.
The key, however, is to not let your emotions be in the written word but rather, state your case with facts and use of powerful emotion-pulling words. For example, if you disagree with how a certain celebrity is dealing with an issue, stating “OHH MY GAAAWWDDD!?! I cannot BELIEVE SHE did that? What is WRONG with her?!?!?”
That’s not going to help you improve your writing at all.
9. Learn how to write for effect
Writing effectively is not the same as writing for effect. When you write for effect, you are attempting to stir up certain actions, thoughts, imaginations in the reader. Writing effectively can be about format, use of words, spelling, etc.
Writing effectively, for example, is like “He was ecstatic about the letter he received.” Writing for effect is like “He was as ecstatic as a 13 year old reading a nude magazine when he received his letter”.
10. Open up more possibilities
Improve your writing ability by paying attention to what’s going on around you. If you overhear somebody making a very intelligent remark, try and write down what they said. You could use that later in your own writing.
Paying attention and learning how advertisements capture your attention can also open up more possibilities for you.
11. Visit the library
The library is a great resource to get more information about how to improve your writing ability. You can ask the librarian to guide you to some article writing or business writing material. Some great books to start learning include:
- On Writing Well (William Zinsser): A perfect all rounder for anyone who wants to learn how to write
- The Elements of Style (Strunk and White): A great small pocket guide for writing and forming sentences.
12. Win the small battles
Don’t attempt to write a 1,500 word article when you haven’t conquered learning how to write effectively in a 400 word article. Just remember, writing it takes time.
If your 400 word articles aren’t bringing in the readers then keep working on it. Go back to working on ways to improve your writing, to improve the way you express your thoughts.
If you are interested in becoming a successful blogger, then before you perfect your 400 word article, you will need to establish an eye-catching headline (that’s the first battle). If people don’t click on the article, then they wont read the rest of the work!
13. Write on paper
People don’t start with writing on computers (at least not yet). You don’t see children learning how to type when they are only a few years old. They start with paper, pencil, crayons, drawing on the beach, etc.
And it’s likely that you are more comfortable writing on paper (I know of many article writers who still prefer paper than computer). If that applies to you, write on paper and then transfer it into the computer later so you can write in the way you are most comfortable with.
14. Don’t use spell check YET
A common hindrance to many people is perfectionism. They want their articles and content to be written perfectly, so once they have a spelling mistake, they head back, edit it and then carry on. While spellcheckers can help you with your writing, it can sometimes break the train of thought.
Having to go back and edit your words can seriously slow you down (if you have a tendency to spell wrong or typo-happy). Turn off the spell check or use Notepad (which doesn’t spell check) to write your article. Once it’s done, run it through the spell check.
15. Review your work
This is probably a step which many article writers don’t do (I’m guilty of this too, sometimes).
After finishing the article, does your article answer the headline or is it addressing a particular issue?
Or does the article answer nothing at all and is merely just another “rant” or “this is what I think” article?
Remember that articles are meant to provide some value to the reader so you’ll want to review your work to see if it’s something that can truly benefit the reader.
Now that you have a direction, there should be no stopping you and your writing ability. To take it a step further, you could consider becoming a transcriptionist, that allows you to get paid for your writing!
This was just one of many other ideas about starting a side hustle, and or making money online without experience. If you want to discover more opportunities, check out our list of additional ways to earn money.