Hello Readers, I have a gist for you again. So, I watched a content creation video sometime last week, and I came across the module "How to Become a Better Writer." This sounds very normal, like every other "how to become a better writer," but it hit me more than the basics, so I decided to write about it. One could say this is an example of creating content, and I would disagree less. I will be sharing ten(10) tips, I'm sure the tips are not limited to 10, but I'll be narrowing it down to 10.
This article is going to be an interesting one. I want you to sit back with your glass of chilled juice or coffee and read while I walk you through the "Road to Becoming a Better Writer."
Note: In this article, I will be using Audience and Readers interchangeably.
Let's dive deep
What is Writing
Writing is simply a way of putting your thoughts and ideas into a readable form.
Wikipedia defines it as
A medium of human communication that involves representing a language through a system of physically inscribed, mechanically transferred, or digitally described symbols.
Who then is a Writer?
A writer is a person that writes, right? Right. So you can say a writer is a person who communicates ideas and thoughts through written words. For example, Blog posts, Articles, Books, Stories, etc.
Now let's dive into the tips of becoming a better writer.
Tip 1: Do Your Due Diligence
Doing your due diligence is like doting your' i's crossing your' t's. Make your research and analysis duly well before embarking on the writing. Check out what Wikipedia and other people have to say about the topic you are writing about. Get your facts down. Especially when you are creating technical content, please research the software or tool you want to write about, study, and understand it in your way.
Tip 2: Efficient Use of the Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
As a writer, part of the way to become a better writer is to know how to use SEO efficiently so you can use the right words your audience uses to describe their problem on Search Engines. You will help your audience better when you know how to use the comments.
To simply put, SEO means the process of improving your site to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business in Google and other search engines. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract a prospective and existing audience to your content.
Tip 3: Use Active Voice
In an English sentence with an action verb, the subject performs the action stated by the verb. It follows the precise structure of matter + verb + object. For example, "I will finish this article today" instead of "This article will be finished by me today."
The active voice when writing makes your meaning clear for readers and keeps the sentences from becoming too complicated or wordy.
Tip 4: Make Your Content Easy to Skim
I bet you probably skim through the introduction and the first three tips before you got here. Lol
As much as you'd love your readers to read your content word for word and engage with your content, there is every possibility that they will skim through it. According to Microsoft's Journal on Physiology Education
In the current climate of curriculum reform, the traditional lecture has come under fire for its perceived lack of effectiveness. Indeed, several institutions have reduced their studies to 15 min in length based upon the "common knowledge" and "consensus" that there is a decline in students' attention 10–15 min into lectures. The average human attention span is now 8 minutes.
This doesn't mean that your audience won't read your content. It only means they will find it easier to skim through your content because of the Human attention span.
Make your content skimmable. Your readers should be able to skim through and still get the message.
Tip 5: Address your Readers Directly
Make your content conversational. The same way I have been addressing you with 'you' is to manage your readers. It makes your audience feel like you are talking to them directly. Interacting with your readers makes them feel like part of the story. Match the tone and attitude of your readers.
Tip 6: Know What Works for You
When creating content, you go through different processes. From getting the right topic to drafting out your outline and all. For some people, you will need to put all your ideas down on paper before drafting on Google Docs or Hashnode, then send it out for proofreading or not before publishing. (Disclaimer: I'm part of 'people') Lol.
Know the channel that works better for you. It's essential to get your thought and ideas on paper to avoid writer's block, but again, if going straight to Google Docs or Hashnode draft and pouring all your pictures there works for you, then it's okay. Go ahead and do what works for you.
Tip 7: Be Conversational and Informative
There is nothing wrong with creating conversational content. Put your audience in the same room as you. Let your content feel like a 'virtual coffee meeting' You know what I'm saying? It always feels suitable for your audience when your content is conversational and informative. For instance, if you create technical content, you must have some
code snippet in your content
it helps your audience get a better and clearer picture of the message you're trying to pass across.
Tip 8: Be Human and Original
Always be original in your writing. Do you. The essence of being yourself is it helps you find your niche, and your audience will recognize you with it. You are not speaking to robots, so a little gif and meme won't be a bad idea.
Tip 9: Don't Forget to Edit.
Editing your work is as vital as writing it. Editing is a two-way thing. You can either edit yourself or give it out for others to proofread and edit for you, or you can do both.
Read and read again. Cut your content Mercilessly. When you finish writing your draft, go to the preview read what you've written. You will notice some sentences are not suitable for where they are, and you can restructure them. Some sentences might not be needed, you cut them off.
You know some folks who are like mentors to you or your colleagues. Send them your draft to proofread. They will tell you what to add or remove to make your content a beautiful one. Again you can do both. Especially if you want perfect or close to the ideal range, It's unnecessary, but it's important. They will see what you didn't see, and many people you share to proofread make your content better.
Disclaimer: You don't necessarily have to be looking for many people to give. Just look for people you know are good in this space and ask for their thought about your content.
Tip 10: Be Consistent
I can not overemphasize Consistency, intentionality, dedication, and discipline. They all have a part to play in your writing growth. If you want to be a better writer, you shouldn't stop writing, you keep writing, and you'll see how well you keep improving after each publication. Some content might not be so good or perfect but you keep writing.
Becoming better is not something you can't achieve. Just keep writing and do your best. Follow all these steps listed and always ask for feedback. Reflect on the feedback, both the good and bad feedback. You get to learn more from feedback.
You can always reach out to me on Twitter should there be any questions. As I said, These tips are not limited to ten. I'd love to hear about your secret Tips to Becoming a Better Writer too
I will be leaving you with this quote
A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit. ~ Richard Bach
- Images- Unsplash.