In my most recent post, we spoke about how to improve your writing. That went pretty in-depth on the marketing side of content writing, but what about the actual writing? While you probably learned about grammar in school, most of us forgot. Writing is something that is vital to the quality of your blogpost. Pictures are an important aspect of blogging, but if someone does not like what you have written, that can cause an issue. We are going back the basics today! Let’s improve our writing skills even further. Are you ready?
Edit your writing!
If you have ever written anything, then you know how rough your first draft WILL be. Editing is a vital part of anything you do. Blogging, photography, cooking, you name it! You need to edit so that you can make your content easier for your reader.
When we edit, we are cutting unnecessary information. Like I mentioned in our content marketing post, everything should relate back to what you are writing about. If something that you have written does not support the idea of your heading, it needs to go! In addition to cutting information, you can also use editing to refine your language. You can make sure that our tone and attitude make sense with who our audience is, as well as your brand vibe.
Editing shows that you care about the reader’s experience. Without readers, your content is not going to be read, and that is what you don’t want! In school, you learned that editing is great for eliminating errors, and that is a huge part of improving the quality of your blogpost. If you are having a difficult time editing, try and take a break. If you are lucky to have someone who knows a thing or two about writing, then have them go over your content as well! A fresh set of eyes never hurts!
Common mistakes you make when writing…
We all make mistakes, it is part of life. When you are writing content for your audience, you want to make it a conversational as possible. Personally, I don’t use many contractions. I blame my mother for this, but in writing, you may want to. Contractions can make your writing seem stiff, and can add extra words to content where they may not belong. Using “you” or “your” can also add to the conversational feeling of your content. I try and speak to you as though you are my best friend.
The average person reads over 50k words per day, so words are important! If someone is choosing to read the words that you create, you want them to have the best experience possible. You also want them to actually understand the content you are writing. Using academically inclined words can cause your audience to find you less credible, and less confident. If you know about a subject, you can write about it easily. Keep those big words for scrabble!
On the subject of using simple words, remember who your audience is. If you are talking about marketing, try and keep your term simple. If there is a vital phrase that fits into your content, then try and explain what they word means if you fear the audience may not know. Using examples and analogies is a great way of doing this without your content turning into a dictionary!
You need to think about your audience
Remember how I mentioned that editing allows your reader to know that you care? So does the actual content you write about. You need to make sure your content is clear. Getting straight to the point is always a great way to be! In life, in blogging, in anything you do. When you are editing, you need to eliminate any information that is irrelevant, or something that may be obvious to your audience. You don’t need to undermine your audience, they are smarter than you know!
I mentioned going more in-depth about your content previously. Enriching the context of your writing can help your audience trust you. Finding a unique spin on your topic will help you become a resource. Even if you are an expert on the topic, you never want to come off snarky. Being snarky can make you seem like a Negative Nancy, and no one likes that. Although you want your content to be full, informative, and enriching, you do not want it to be bloated. Bloated content is full of fluff, or useless information. Using too many adjectives can count as fluff also.
Your writing needs to physically look nice!
When it comes to photography, we know that you need negative space to balance a photo. Same goes for blogging! Adding white space between paragraphs makes your content easier for your reader. Think about back in college. The key to studying was to study, then take breaks, then study again. When we are reading, our eyes love a break! You can use that small break between paragraphs to make sure your audience is really soaking in the information.
We all hated writing in a certain style in school. It can be AP, Chicago, or just one that works for you. I personally do not follow a writing style for this blog, but I have had to them on past writing projects. Finding your writing style is great! It helps you understand how to handle grammar, punctuation, and the tone of your writing! I am talking about improving our quality after all! If you are writing for a specific topic, make sure to use keywords from the industry you are working in. This will also help SEO, which is always a plus.
Styles can help us to avoid the common mistakes that we mentioned earlier. Not only will this save us time in the editing process, it means we have learned something too! Some brands feature a specific style, and that helps to ensure their guidelines are met. You can find the mission, values, ideas, and various other characteristics. Even though you will sometimes work with specific guidelines, remember to make it conversational!
What are your writing tips? Have you found any difficulties when writing on various topics?