How to improve your English writing skills
I absolutely love blogging and writing. It is one of the main reasons I opted to become an online blogger. I have always written a variety of different things: poems, plays and training information for other people’s websites, so it has not been too difficult to put pen to paper for me (or fingers to keyboard as it nowadays is!) However, I also understand that there are many people out there who would love to write a blog but who feel that they are not a writer.
So for those of you starting out, or those who may be struggling with your writing skills, here are a few tips that may help.
1. Research some keywords on things you are interested in and you will find ideas to write about – there is little worse as a writer than staring at a blank computer screen or sheet of paper. So instead, ask yourself some questions that you would like to know the answers to and see what comes up. You can rest assured that if you are interested in a topic, then there will be others out there interested in that subject too.
2. Using a writing template such as SiteContent can help to sort out your thoughts. It can also help you set writing goals such as the number of words, paragraphs or headings you want to write in a day. I suggest that you start with some simple goals and once you get more into things, you can add more challenging goals at a later date.
3. Bitesize is best! Making good use of paragraph headings can help you to not only organise your thoughts but will enhance your reader’s experience by making your blog easier to read and scan for the main points. Start by writing a few sentences under each heading, knowing that you can always add more headings as you go along if you become inspired.
4. Make a friend of a thesaurus to help increase your vocabulary. This is one of the easiest ways to improve your writing. There are many thesaurus websites that are free online and easily available – try thesaurus.com for example. Don’t try to replace every word, but go work through your article and substitute a few words for ones that could create more interest for your reader.
5. Avoid long, over complicated sentences – your writing needs to flow easily and long sentences are not only difficult to digest, but they just turn people off.
6. Imagine you were talking to a friend – use a friendly tone with a natural rhythm – no one wants to read a blog that sounds as if it should be in an academic journal (unless of course, that is your intent, of course). It is much better to let your own personality shine through. After all, that is what makes you unique.
7. Use a grammar and spell checker – This is fundamental to bloggers and there are many out there to choose from. One newly available one is Grammarly and there is also one in SiteRubix platform under SiteContent which is excellent. You will still need to use your own common sense and judgement when it comes to editing their suggestions. You may actually need successive phrases to all start with the same word for example, in order to add meaning or emphasise your point.
8. Make use of the power of three – this is one of the most powerful, rhythmical and effective writing styles you can use. Many speechwriters use it to create a powerful message that comes across well to an audience. For example, give your reader three phrases. These will:
- improve the flow of your writing
- enhance the rhythm, and
- allow the reader to digest your main points more easily. You don’t have to actually use numbered points in a sentence but using the pattern of “1, 2 and 3” is definitely a powerful one.
9. Ask someone else to read over your work if you are worried. There will always be someone you could ask, be it a spouse, neighbour, friend or fellow blogger. Ask someone you trust to offer you some constructive and honest feedback – and then act on it.
10. Whatever you do, don’t worry! Becoming a good writer is like anything else in life; it takes practice. The main thing is to enjoy your writing. I believe that if you write from the heart then you can’t go wrong!
I hope you will find these few tips will improve your content writing skills and that you found them useful. I wish you all the best in your blogging.
For more tips on overcoming writer’s block, click here.
“Power to the pen!”