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20 Tips to Improve Your Content Writing Skills

Want to be a professional content writer? Not all people are born with a talent for writing. But practically anyone can develop habits to improve the quality and understanding of their writing. As an entrepreneur, a good strategy to become an authority in your industry and to promote yourself (you and your business) is to write posts for your blog or for another medium in which you participate as a guest blogger. So here are some simple tips to help your content writing skills.

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Improve Your Content Writing Skills

1. Think about what you will write before writing

Failure to do so is a mistake that many make. Before sitting down to write make sure you have something to say and clearly define how you want to express it. Do not focus your writing on the words, but on the ideas, you want to convey. Think: What is the goal of this post? From there he begins to build it.

2. Points, points, points

It was the first piece of advice that my journalism teacher gave me. To provide fluent writing, you must use punctuation marks correctly. Avoid everlasting single-sentence paragraphs. And whenever you are tempted to write a comma, think about whether it can be replaced by a period.

3. Say goodbye to adjectives and adverbs

Descriptions are important for a good narrative, but many people abuse adjectives and adverbs. Go through your text and see all the words you can remove (for example: very, really, maybe, amazing, amazing, truly, fair). As the short story writer, Horacio Quiroga put it, “Useless will be how many colored tails you adhere to a weak noun.”

4. Do not repeat words

The breadth of vocabulary, as well as the cultural level of a person, are evident in the excessive use of words. Look for synonyms or concepts that could replace what you wrote. The first thing you should do is find your fillers (the words that you repeat constantly), search for them in your text with the Ctrl + B functionality in Word, and change them for others. The Spanish language is extremely broad; seize it.

5. Use subtitles or middle heads

When you write a text, especially if it is long, think about dividing it into subtopics and use middle heads. This helps rest your eyes and make reading more fluid.

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6. Do not abuse punctuation or boldface

Most of the time you can omit punctuation marks such as parentheses and hyphens by adding semicolons or commas. This way the writing looks cleaner. Also, avoid the excess of bold and italic letters; Analyze well what you need to highlight and do it only when it deserves.

7. Use spell checkers It

Might sound obvious but not everyone does. Although the Word tool is quite functional, keep in mind that it does not fix all errors, especially diacritical accents. If you don’t know how to use a word, just don’t use it. The same is true when it comes to grammar.

8. Be authentic

To get your posts to gain traction it is essential that you define what your voice, tone, and writing style will be. Don’t try to sound too different from how you speak, as the reader will notice, and don’t try to imitate someone else’s style or ideas either. Be careful: never write about a topic you don’t know about.

9. Establish a structure

In Journalism, there are several ways to structure a text. The simplest (and that can help you when writing your posts) is the inverted pyramid, which consists of going from the most to the least important. It is also recommended that in the first paragraph you answer the main five questions: what? Who? When? How? and where?

10. Have a strong beginning and ending

As in a good play or movie, the beginning is essential to captivate the audience; while the outcome is what the viewer will remember the most in the long run. Try to start and finish your texts with force. A good idea is to start with a question and end with the answer.

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11. Read a lot

To be a good writer you need to be a good reader. Books, articles, magazines, and posts can give you many ideas on how to tell a story, as well as spelling and vocabulary clues. Read about different topics and authors; you can also use them as references in your texts.

12. Know your audience

Before writing, think about who your message is directed to. Imagine what your reader is like, what are their interests? What kind of language do you use? Where would i read your text? Keeping this in mind will help you choose your tone and your themes.

13. Write daily

Make writing a habit. You do not need to write 10 pages, but have a journal or notebook where you write down some ideas or thoughts every day. Likewise, define and meet delivery or publication dates for your tickets. I hope, daily content writing will be helpful for your content writing skills.

14. Read it aloud

This exercise will help you to notice if the fluency and your pauses are correct. If you’re out of breath while reading a sentence, it’s time to add a point. If you notice that your words produce cacophony (repetition of sounds) replace them with others.

15. Ask someone else to read it

Before publishing a text, ask someone you trust -but who is not a scholar of the subject- to give you their feedback and become your ‘editor’ if you do not have one properly. This way you will know at what point to delve, what to cut, and if there are any confusing phrases.

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16. Eliminate the chaff

As in everything, more is not better. Get rid of those repetitive phrases that add nothing. Good text is not measured by its length.

17. Take nothing for granted.

What is completely understandable to us may not be so to the reader. Do not skimp on the definition of concepts or think that they are obvious to “everyone.” When you talk about a character add a description; do the same with institutions and companies.

18. Use numbers or bullets

This is another strategy to make a text easier and more understandable. When possible, feel free to list your points or to hyphenate certain reflections or conclusions.

19. Do not get distracted

As in many other activities in your business (such as budgeting) writing also requires focus and concentration. So before writing, make sure you find yourself in a relaxing environment that invites inspiration. If possible, turn off your cell phone, Skype alerts, and any other element that could distract you.

20. Review two or more times

Most errors can be avoided, or at least minimized, with a review. Read your text carefully, check your spelling and the words you used. On the other hand, do not fall into perfectionism: you will always feel that your text can improve, so you must know when to let it go or else you will never publish it. Review is the best technique to improve your content writing skills.

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