I’m not going to lie and tell you that everyone can be a great writer. Writing is just like anything else—some people are great it at, others suck, and everyone else is just average. The good news is that writing is a skill that can be developed. There are certain things you can do to become a better writer. Here are 5 of them.
- Know the goal of the content—Before you start to write anything, figure out what the purpose of the content is. For example, if you’re writing a landing page, the purpose is probably to sell something. The purpose of this blog post is to instruct you on how to become a better writer. By knowing what you want to accomplish with the piece, you’ll have a clear direction for your words.
- Don’t overstate the obvious—Don’t tell your readers something they already know. I didn’t start this post by talking about how important it is to be a good writer. You already know that. Skip the obvious crap, and get to the meat and potatoes of the content.
- Cut the fluff—Every writer struggles with trimming the fluff from his or her work. Many experienced writers will tell you to print out your first draft, take a red pen through half of it, and then cut that in half again to get your final draft. Force yourself to find things you can cut from your content to help you create a tighter, more to the point draft.
- Don’t try to write like someone else—Too often, writers try to imitate the style of other writers they look up to, and they often do so poorly. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be an avid reader and study the craft of writing from others, but I’m saying that you do need to be yourself. There’s no one else quite like you, and if you try to be someone else, your true voice won’t shine through.
- Let your writing breathe before you finalize it—Everything that I write sits on the shelf for a day before I go back and edit it. You have to take a step back from your writing, let it breathe, and come back to it later with a fresh set of eyes. You’ll always find something that can be improved.
What’s your single best tip for aspiring writers? Share it with us by leaving a comment below.