Not everyone is a natural writer. I’m mildly dyslexic and have struggled my entire life with writing. Yet, I’ve developed my writing skills by continually writing and using Grammarly. If you wonder how to become a better content writer, I have some great tips.
I still have a hard time writing notes on paper with a pen. But I’m proficient at typing on a pc. So you’ll probably never see me with a pen and paper taking notes.
Luckily, I’ve developed a few tips and tricks that have helped me become a better writer.
If you want to become an expert writer, you need a desire to improve, the will to write often, and the confidence to ask for feedback from others.
Here are several ways how to become a better content writer.
You probably have loads of friends who claim they will write a novel someday. Most won’t, sadly. They’ll fail to write often enough to find their voice and cobble together a half-decent first draft.
If only they committed to writing a page a day. Before long, they’d actually be halfway to a first draft with a compelling and unique voice.
As a writer or someone trying to improve their writing, practice is progress. And progress eventually leads to perfection. It’s a skill, you can develop and refine.
As someone who is mild dyslexic, I find the more I write, the easier it becomes. Sure, I still miss words out when writing, my spelling is appalling, and I still struggle with punctuation. Yet I’ve developed tricks and strategies that help me, such as using Grammarly.
Be encouraged to write daily, and you’ll quickly notice that you’ve massively improved.
Develop your voice
Developing your own voice is a scary prospect for many. It usually boils down to the fear of rejection or ridicule. Both are understandable. However, it’s easy to create your own safe space to write and develop your voice.
Some days will be easier to write how you wish to project your ideas. Other days, it’ll be harder. However, the more you write, refine, and get feedback, the better you’ll become.
As you find confidence in your writing style, you can experiment with different viewpoints and explore how you think others might speak. It can be liberating and is one way that will help you learn how to become a better content writer!
Read as much as you can
While this sounds like obvious advice you’d receive from your mother, in our ever-increasingly digital world, we’re actually reading less. And often, what we read is short, poorly written prose. So if you want to become a better content writer, you need to read daily.
I recommend reading the classics, in particular F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, and Margaret Mitchell. I’d also suggest Jane Austen, but then again, I live in Bath, the city where she spent many of her formative years.
Many magazines have invested in long-form, essay-style content, including Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, and Wired, which act as the benchmark for excellence. You may not agree with their viewpoints, but these stories are well reasoned and fascinating to read.
So, read daily, and read widely. You’ll notice a vast improvement in both your writing and vocabulary.
Join a local creative writing group
I know that learning how to become a better content writer might not excite an interest in creative writing, but finding local people who also enjoy writing will encourage you beyond what you can imagine.
Most local libraries hold monthly creative writing groups, so it’s worth asking there first. If not, they might have a few suggestions. By surrounding yourself with inspirational people, you’ll see your results improve; and your ideas will improve.
Find peers to ask for feedback
One great feature of creative writing groups is that you take turns reading your work and receive feedback from others. Not convinced you should join a local writing group? Fine. But, be willing to network with other content writers and ask for feedback.
One of the quickest ways to grow is to get feedback from your peers. Yes, it’ll be uncomfortable, maybe even slightly embarrassing, but any feedback is worth it. So, find a few like-minded people you trust and share your work with them.
Understand SEO basic
SEO isn’t hard or fast-moving (Google algo updates are mainly to solve shady tactics), but you have to know and apply the basics. The SEO basics that were relevant 20 years ago are still applicable today.
As a content writer, you should also understand how to build a content calendar and create a strong editorial process to ensure consistency.
Hire a proofreader
I’ve already talked about why you should hire an editor for your business’s blog, and you should! If you’re not quite at that level just yet, hire a proofreader who can check every word before publishing them on your website.
As with an editor, you need to find a proofreader who is well-read, willing to give both good and bad feedback, and understands who you’re targetting. They won’t write your article but will ensure it’s as good as it can be. It’s money well spent!
Start using article outlines
It’s unlikely in your quest to learn how to become a better content writer that you’ll write a literary masterpiece with sales figures to match. Sorry. With that being the case, you can speed up your process by using blog post outlines and templates.
By systemizing your content creation efforts, you ensure consistency, speed, and make it easy to eventually outsource it to a freelancer, allowing you to become the editor. Consider how you can use templates and outlines to help make writing articles easier.
Write as you speak
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when writing blog posts or for the web is they automatically switch to a dry and formal academic writing style. They churn out dull, boring, and difficultly read prose that helps no one.
Instead, when you write, imagine you’re grabbing coffee with a friend. Write exactly as you’d talk to them. Of course, keep it clean!
You’ll notice your long formal sentences that go nowhere become ones that are interesting to read and conversational. If you truly want to engage with another human, write like your speak and forget trying to impress them.
Taking this a step further, if you want to have customers begging to work with you, write exactly as they speak. The closer you mimic them, the more likely they’ll trust and buy from you.
Write short sentences and paragraphs
This ties into the last point. No one wants to read long, dense prose, especially when a few words will suffice. So work on keeping your sentence short and focus on simple language that engage, not impress.
By keeping sentences, paragraphs, and sections short, you encourage the reader to reach the end as your article or product page is easy to read.
Don’t bore your reader with a long, dense screen of words, when you could have broken it up into a few sections and paragraphs that are easy to scan and read.
I recommend reading the classics as they broaden your literary intake and explore writers and ideas you might not otherwise.
Albert Einstein said “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
It’s worth staying curious and continually developing your skills. If you don’t, you’ll become stale and boring. And no one wants to read a boring writer! So, stay hungry.
Invest in yourself
You could allow yourself a monthly book budget to encourage you to keep reading. Another option is to look for courses or seminars to take each year that’ll help you become a better content writer and build your network. Investing in yourself doesn’t have to be fancy.
That’s how to become a better content writer
Learning how to become a better content writer is all about developing your skills. You already have all the skills you need. But, now you need to sharpen them by writing and reading daily; and studying SEO basics.
The best way to upskill is to surround yourself with inspirational people who are further on than you. They can help mentor you to become an even better writer. So, invest in yourself and watch your result improve!
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