Editor’s note: This post was written by Kelly Smith, who works at CourseFinder, an Australian online education resource. She also provides career advice for students and job seekers and is passionate about the Australian startup scene.
Many bloggers find writing intimidating. Even if their idea for a post is great, its execution might not always be easy. The good news is writing skills can be perfected. It takes lots of motivation, discipline and a willingness to learn, but the results can substantially improve your style and help you create more engaging posts. Here are 6 simple steps to set you on the right track to help you improve your writing skills.
- Get your essentials
This is the first step every writer should take to improve their skills. If you want to excel at writing, you’ll need to have a firm grasp on grammar, spelling and syntax. Always write with your spell-check on to avoid typos and don’t hesitate to use a thesaurus tool for enriching your wording.
Always proofread your post before publishing it. Only then will you be able to spot grammar mistakes like mixed tenses. Using present and past or future tense in one paragraph might seem like a good idea, but readers might find it confusing.
- Read and analyze
Practice makes perfect, but in order to gain an insight into what good writing is supposed to look like, make sure to follow blogs that offer top-notch content. Reading on a regular basis is the first step to developing writing skills. Don’t be afraid to imitate those who you consider masters of the craft.
If you’d like to develop a unique voice as a blogger, try to diversify your reading material. Have a look at websites specializing in an area you find challenging, such as economics or law. Read and analyze the sentence structure, grammar and word choice. This will give you an insight into how editors of this text made it engaging to the audience.
- Join a workshop or writing group
This is probably the best idea for writers who want to polish their skills. If you think a writing workshop is like therapy, where people read excerpts of their journals and basically bare their souls to the world, you’re simply wrong.
Writing workshops can be a lot of fun, not to mention the dose of constructive criticism and the general response you’ll get in terms of your writing skills. Bloggers will find great opportunities during content marketing events or professional development groups – just have a look at LinkedIn or Meetup.
- Find a writing partner
Having your post proofread by another person is really important. The perspective of a writing partner is crucial to make your post work for larger audiences. If your post is too difficult to understand or its structure is unclear, your writing buddy will let you know.
- Keep it simple
Use simple language to clearly communicate your idea. You’re writing for the web, so avoid unnecessary embellishments. Instead, be illustrative and write to the point. When choosing your wording, don’t go for advanced or archaic terms nobody understands – you won’t inspire anyone to keep reading if they need a dictionary handy.
- Review your own writing
Sometimes it’s a good idea to take a trip down the memory lane and review your past writing. Seeing the way in which you structured your first post will help you to realize how you’ve progressed and developed your skills. Don’t shy away from admitting your development. Acknowledge your achievement and congratulate yourself on all the hard work done to get where you are right now as a writer.
Writing for the web is not like writing a novel or essay. As a blogger, it’s your job to pay close attention to the writing trends and develop your own skills to provide the best content possible.