Start writing no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet gets turned on.– Louis L’ Amour.
Writing has been my passion since I learnt how to read and write, I believe almost every one of us has tried writing in a diary, an exercise book, a journal or a notebook those days about what happened to us (our feelings either pain, heartbreaks or happiness)
It was a source of liberation because I used to write about anything and everything. Mostly about what happened at school, in the home, with friends and whenever I got scolded by my parent. Lol! I know what you might think, but writing helped me to channel my feelings (anger) till this day is the best escape avenue for me to release the tension of anger and all my frustration and hurt.
Enough about me, let us focus on the top ten (10) writing tips you need as a beginner or professional writer. These writing tips will help you develop excellent outlines and unique writing styles when writing your email, presentation, curriculum vitae, marketing content, communication content, cover letters, business plans/proposals, social media content, copywriting, etc. Hence I recommend this article to every one of us…
1# Learn The Basics From Different Sources
First, you need to have an excellent understanding of all the basic principles of writing if you honestly want to become an incredible content writer.
It doesn’t mean you need to enrol in a prestigious creative writing program at an Ivy League university, but you will need to know the basics of grammar and spelling. Every content writer needs to have a copy of “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk Jr. This book is one of the most comprehensive resources on the correct use of grammar and other helpful topics.
Do you know any other books/ online resources needed for effecting writing? Kindly list them in the comment section, thank you.
2# Let Writing Become Your Job/Passion
Becoming the very best at something demands continuous practice and writing is no exception!
Unfortunately, few shortcuts can transform you into an amazing writer overnight, and even the most talented writers have had to learn their craft over many years. It’s actually even harder to write while considering SEO and how to drive traffic to your post.
If you want to improve your writing skills, writing regularly will not only diminish your fear of the blank page (or blinking cursor), it will also help you develop a unique style. So, even if nobody reads it, keep writing. Practice makes perfect.
3# Read, Read And Read
The best writers are also keen readers, and reading regularly is an easy way to develop your writing skills. I don’t just mean blog posts, either – diversify your reading material. Expand your horizons to more challenging material than you typically read, and pay attention to sentence structure, word choice, and how the material flows.
The more you read, the more likely you are to develop an eye for what makes content so effective, and which mistakes to avoid.
4# Get A Partner (Writer)
If you work at a reasonably sized company, the chances are pretty good that there is at least one other person who is also wondering how to become a better writer. Although writing gets considered a solitary activity, the best writers know when it’s time to get much-needed feedback on their work.
Talk to your coworkers (or friends) and ask someone if they’d be willing to cast an eye over your work. They may spot mistakes you overlooked.
Finding a writing partner is also a great way to hold yourself accountable and keep going.
5# Imitation Of Writers You Admire
Wait a minute, imitation is not the same as plagiarism. Don’t rip off anyone’s work. Ever.
Just as you probably have a list of blogs you read often, you’ll likely also read the same writers regularly. Identify what it is you enjoy about their work, and see if you can use it to improve your writing skills. Does a writer you like use humour to spice up dry topics? Try it. Do they use pop culture references to make their work entertaining and useful? Try that, too.
Over time, you will eventually develop your own style, but reading the works of other writers and seeing how they construct their essays and books will immensely help you as a writer.
6# Take-Up Short Courses Or Attend Workshops
I know it’s difficult for most of us to conceive the idea of standing in front of a room full of strangers and bare our soul to the world, but joining a writing workshop can get immensely beneficial and a lot of fun (if you find a good one).
These days, content marketing meet-ups and professional development groups are becoming popular. Join one of the many content marketing groups on LinkedIn to meet like-minded writers, or search for writing workshops near you on sites like Meetup. Pick a topic, write something, listen to the feedback, and then revise it. Rinse, repeat.
7# Always Remember That Outlines Are Essential
Staring at a blank page writing, nothing is a significant adversary, even for the most experienced writers. Before putting pen to proverbial paper, sketch out an outline of what you plan to write. This will be your battle plan, and it will help you win the war. Very few, and I mean very few, writers sit down to write anything without a solid plan in mind.
An outline doesn’t have to get complex. A simple framework of which sections should appear in a particular order, along with a few sentences about what each section contains, may be enough. If the topic you’re tackling is a little more complex, your outline might have to be, too, but having an outline before you write is like having a roadmap in the glove box of your car before a road trip. If you felt lost, refer to your outline and get back to kicking ass and taking names.
8# Editing/Proofreading Very Vital
So, you’re writing every day (or regularly, at least), and you’re feeling more confident about your work. Outstanding! now you’re going to become your own harshest critic.
Editing/Proofreading is a tough skill to learn for beginners and some professional writers because they place an immense value on the time and effort they put into writing. However, a lot of writing is actually rewriting, and this is where the cold, hard eye of an editor will serve you well.
Develop the discipline it takes to eliminate extraneous words (more on this shortly). Resist the temptation to beat around the bush and get to the point. You are not sure if the paragraph works? It probably isn’t. Be tough on yourself, and know when to delete or rework something. Your work will be much unique and excellent.
9# Find A Professional Editor
Whether you’re trying to make the case for a content strategy to your manager or want to start guest blogging on your favourite sites, finding and working with a professional editor is one of the best things you can do to improve your writing skills.
Allowing someone else to read your work can get uneasy for some writers, especially when you’re just starting out, but it’s crucial that you develop good habits from the outset and learn to accept constructive criticism about your work. Remember, as writers, we desperately need constant assurance that we’re the creative geniuses we believe ourselves to be, but you’ll need to develop a thick skin if you’re serious about your work, and an excellent editor is invaluable for toughening up.
10# Do Lots Of Research
Aside from plagiarizing someone else’s work, nothing will undermine your credibility faster than failing to do your homework.
In your keenness to get done with a blog post (or even a major news article), you might try to take shortcuts with the facts. This can range from accidentally exaggerating a statistic out of haste to being lazy for sourcing or attribution. Not only can this land you in big trouble with your editor/content marketing manager/other boss-type people, but it also makes you look like an amateur.
Everybody makes mistakes, and you don’t need to spend weeks cross-referencing every statistic, but common sense should prevail here don’t rely only on sites like Wikipedia, and use current, primary sources.
The top ten (10) writing tips you need in 2022 are …
- Learn the basics from different sources.
- Let writing become your job or passion.
- Read, Read and Read.
- Get a partner (writer).
- Imitation of writers you admire.
- Take-Up short courses or attend workshops.
- Always remember that outlines are essential.
- Editing/Proofreading is very vital.
- Find a professional editor.
- Do lots of research.
It’s sometimes difficult to sit down and write, but let’s encourage ourselves by being optimistic about our craft as writers. What I always say is write whatever comes to your mind, even if you cannot make a head or tail of it at that moment. Just write it down, make sense of it, later on, you will get surprised.