We’ve all been there: reading copy you’ve just written and wishing it could be better. Over-analyzing every word in the hopes that you’ll find what’s missing. Reading it over and over until you get tired. Like any other workplace skill, writing takes a lot of practice before you get the hang of it, and change won’t happen overnight. As a digital marketing specialist, I write content daily, whether it’s a social media advertisement or website copy, and I know how difficult writing can be sometimes. Here are some of my best tips to help you improve your writing skills:
It might seem obvious, but reading frequently will definitely help you sharpen your skills. The more you read, the more you’ll pick up on spelling, grammar, and writing styles. If you write for a specific niche (ex. a marketing blog), read as much as you can from your competitors to get a sense of how they approach their writing. What is their style like? How does their writing flow? This will also help you understand your niche more, which will make drafting your next blog post a lot easier!
Have someone review your writing
We’re not all perfect. Sometimes we make typos without noticing, or throw in extra words that are redundant. That’s why getting a second set of eyes to review your writing is important, since someone else might catch an error that you didn’t! If your reviewer is an experienced writer, they can help you identify areas that need improvement, whether that be sentence structure or grammar.
When I was in college, my professors would deduct 5% off assignments for each unique spelling or grammar error, which really pushed the importance of proof-reading onto me and helped me take my writing more seriously. I carried this critical habit with me into the workplace, since I know how important good spelling and grammar are for credibility and professionalism!
Another tip for catching errors: read out loud!
Practice, practice, practice
You’ve all heard the saying, “Practice makes perfect.” And it’s true! The more you write, the better you’ll get at it. Try to make writing a priority every day, even if it’s just a few sentences. I’d recommend journaling to get in the habit of writing daily. Explore as many different topics as you can to expand your creativity; this will help you learn how to write for different audiences, which is so important in the marketing world!
Drop the jargon and big words
The average Canadian reads at level 3 literacy, which means they’re capable of working in a complex society and completing high school. Keep in mind, however, that not everyone is able to understand massive, complex words or understand the jargon of your field.
The reality is that the simpler your writing is, the better. You might think that using big words will make you sound smarter, but that’s not the case. You want to make sure that your audience understands your message clearly, and by using simple language, you’re more likely to keep them interested and wanting to read more. Don’t lose readers because of your word choices!
Less is more
Most people, especially in the online world, don’t have time to read a 10,000-word blog post, even if it’s on a topic they’re interested in. Instead, they tend to skim through text in search of the most important information. Keeping your text short and concise allows for easier readability and helps your readers find what they’re looking for. Make sure to include keywords!
Giant chunks of paragraphs are off-putting. They’re difficult to follow, and many people won’t bother to read them. If all the information within the paragraphs is important, separate them into several smaller paragraphs for a cleaner look!
I hope these tips help you as you embark on your next writing journey. Happy writing!