Wondering which writing tips will actually boost your productivity and success? Whether you write for a living or maintain a blog on the side, it can sometimes be difficult to stand out in an ocean of writers and content. Fortunately, there are ways to make your writing more engaging while streamlining your writing process. Following is a list of effective writing tips that can help you create standout content more efficiently.
1. Plan Your Content
If you really want to make an impact, spend some time brainstorming before you begin writing. This tops the list of writing tips for a reason. Think about your intro and points you would like to include, and sort them out into a rough draft or outline.
Planning your content, both in advance via an editorial calendar and in the minutes before you start writing, also serves to help you stay focused and avoid a writer’s worst enemy— procrastination. Unbounce does a great job of explaining how to set up a successful editorial calendar.
2. Use Shorter Sentences
Long sentences do not make great content. In fact, you can also ditch those big, fancy words. Since most internet users scan articles rather than actually reading them, long sentences full of big words can hurt your article’s popularity.
Naturally, if you are writing an in-depth technical article, your readers will have a different set of expectations. In general, though, writers will benefit by using short sentences and simple wording. Honestly, this is one of the best writing tips around.
When in doubt, check your article’s readability on Readability-Score.com and try to keep it close to an 8th grade reading level.
3. Use Headings and Subheadings
You can make it a lot easier for readers to scan your content if you break it down into headings and subheadings. While you’re at it, make sure your headings are clear and catchy, which will help grab your readers' attention as they scroll through your pow5. CoSchedule elaborates on how to make your content more readable.
4. Write About What You Know
Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking. “But a good writer should be able to write about a variety of topics!” Exactly. Do you know how they are able to do that? By constantly learning through reading and research. The trick to writing efficiently is to write what you know, and the secret to writing what you know is to learn as much as possible.
I'm going to give you one of the most general yet effective writing tips I know: The best writers are avid readers, and they tend to take in information from many sources throughout their everyday lives. By doing so, they increase the number of topics they can write about knowledgeably. Ingest as much information as you can on a daily basis and you’ll see it reflected in the quality and efficiency of your writing.
5. Limit Distractions
Any modern list of writing tips would be incomplete if it didn’t tell you to steer clear of the rabbit hole which is the internet. It’s already challenging enough to get inspired or brainstorm when you are sitting in front of a computer. Why make it worse by letting yourself get distracted every few minutes by email and social media? Don’t do it. Spend plenty of time working offline and you’ll find your productivity skyrocketing.
6. Take a Break
Even when you’re writing about something that excites you, writing can be draining. Taking breaks helps refresh you both physically and mentally, making it a lot easier for you to focus when you sit back down. Try breaking for 10 minutes every hour, but don’t spend that time on your computer! Get up and stretch. Walk around. Maybe make a cup of tea and watch the birds fight over the sunflower seeds. Do anything, just get away from your computer.
7. Write in the Second Person
Writing in the second person not only helps engage your readers by addressing them directly, it also helps your writing flow more naturally because it closely mimics an actual conversation. This is my personal favorite of the writing tips I've mentioned. Just like writing a letter or email to a specific person, writing directly to your audience opens up a discussion on both sides. Check out this ProBlogger guide to conversational writing.
Speaking of opening up a discussion, are there any tried and true writing tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!