I don’t know about you, but some of the most obvious things are…well not so obvious. I was chatting with my mom the other day, telling her about some advice I recently gave my boyfriend about not selling himself short. It may not have been groundbreaking advice but it led to a very positive outcome. It was in that 3-minute story, I realized how much I knew about this topic. It was AH HA moment for me, I reached for my Notes app and jotted some ideas down. Boooom, my next blog topic was born [stay tuned]. It made me think about how much untapped info comes and goes throughout the day. Some, more ingenious than others, but all they need is a little sculpting and angling. I made a mental note of being more conscious of the smaller day to day details. Not only does this help me feed the content monster, but I can share my personal know-how, experience, and insights with you, my beloved readers.
On that note, if you’re here, it’s because you want to improve your writing skills. You might be an in-house content writer, freelancer or aspiring entrepreneur, AWESOME. Whichever boat you’re in, you know the importance of inbound marketing and you’re taking the necessary steps to dominate. SWEET, you’re in the right place! Whether you’re publishing articles for your company’s blog, drafting an email, or simply updating your Facebook status, YOU. ARE. WRITING! If you haven’t noticed, EVERYBODY writes, and in the world of online and email communication, writing powerful copy makes all the difference. So, without further adieu, here are my top 5 actionable ways to improve your content writing skills:
So, without further ad0, here are my top 5 actionable ways to improve your content writing skills:
1. Read more:
I know this may seem a bit obvious, but it’s VITAL. Read more novels or nonfiction book, pick your poison, but just read more. I highly recommend picking up a strong reading habit..like NOW. Not only will your vocabulary heighten but you’ll learn a ton of new things! Get your BF to in on the fun, join a Book club or just have some self-discipline and learn to love it. Once you do, I’m pretty sure you’ll be addicted. Find it difficult to start? Try reading just 10 pages a day, by the end of one month, you can finish a 300 pager!
2. Join a writing challenge:
I use to take a lot of pride in my writing abilities. As a Communication Studies major, I used to writing A LOT of papers. But somewhere in between graduation and adulting, my writing skills kind of fell off the face of the planet. So, how does one go about developing these amazing writing skills again? Duhhh, write more. I tinkered with the thought of joining a creative writing course at the local Community College, but was over that quickly. Then I came across some fun writing prompts to get my juices flowing. They were totally unrelated to anything I normally publish, which made it fun and encouraged my creativity capabilities. I highly recommend trying this, even if you’re only writing for 30 minutes.
3. Write your ideas down:
Keep a small notebook in your car, or reach for your Notes app on your smartphone to jot down your amazing ideas. Write down snippets of conversations, lyrics from an inspiring song, or visual details you notice around town. Our grand ideas often come at the most random times and can be quickly forgotten, don’t miss out on what can be your next viral article. Some of the most successful people keep note pads on their nightstands, in their car, or in their purse. Identify where you spend the most time or find the most inspiration, then leave a notepad there.
Tip: I like to save drafts in the backend of my “posts” section on my WordPress site. I’ll usually put my idea/topic in the title space and use the body for any notes or helpful articles I plan to link to later.
4. Time block:
Habitually schedule a block of time to write, every day or every week. Aim for an hour, but 30 minutes will do. Find a time with little interruption to get this done; you might consider showing up to work a bit earlier when no one is there, or you maybe you find midnight to be the most productive time for you. Whatever time works best for you-do it errrrday (or every week)!
5. Let it flow:
If you’re anything like me, you write a couple sentences, go back to fix any spelling errors, jump around to research then come back and revise. My advice is to let the words flow, keep writing and get your ideas out then go back and make it sounds amazing. Revision is where good writing happens, it’s what separates mediocracy with greatness. Going back and forth is a consuming process and can suck the creativity right out of you. You’re not going to write a masterpiece in one sitting. Regardless of your talent, everyone needs to go back and revise. Fight the feeling of perfection and simply let your words flow and fill up your page.
And there you have it. 5 ways to improve your writing skills; skills that can easily transfer into any industry or role. WHY? Because everybody writes! Undoubtedly, there are many other ways to practice becoming a better, well-rounded writer, but if I listed them all here you would be overwhelmed! These five might be too many to chip away at, as it is, but my advice would be to start with one and commit to a two week period. The idea here is to make small, concise goals that set you up for success. Becoming a better writer is a process, so be patient with yourself and think like a turtle, not a rabbit.