Our in-house Content Team has been through a lot of writing hurdles and we’re here to make your life easier. We came together to share some writing tips and tricks for effective content that makes people happy and wanting more.
Instead of those top ten lists of how to improve your writing, we’re here to share what we’ve learned from our own experience and the writing mistakes we’ve made in the past.
Headlines Are Like Murder
Unless you have a deep love of crafting the perfect headline, you probably save them and subheadings for last. That’s why we started using the free Headline Analyzer from CoSchedule. Add your draft headline and click “Analyze Now” and it’ll give you instant feedback with a grade and recommendations.
Don’t Fall for Spellcheck
You’ve been there. There have been instances where you wrote something, clicked “spellcheck,” and submitted it. You had your excuses. You were tired, there were deadlines, etc. It’s not the excuses that matter – it’s the errors you missed. Whether or not you have a professional editor review your writing, there are plenty of tools you can use to edit your work like Grammarly, Language Tool Style and Grammar Check, or ProWritingAid.
The Magic of ProWritingAid
Can’t stress this enough – ProWritingAid is the best free writing tool out there. These are some of their splendid features like their style check, grammar check, overused words, readability, pacing, echoes, thesaurus, consistency, and more. It’s especially helpful when writing SEO content.
Short & Sweet Always Win
In school, teachers want unproportionally large sentences similar to Charles Dickens’ style. In writing, it’s more about simplicity. Keep sentences short and paragraphs between two to five sentences. Don’t digress and avoid flowery, complex language. An article from Contently recently outlined this as a factor attributed to good writers.
Don’t Be Lazy With Language
Whenever you repeat a word, especially within the same sentence, you sound less professional. Consider using a thesaurus or the Writeful extension. Don’t waste your creativity with lazy writing techniques.
Organization Is Key
Whether you’re a lone freelancer or working with a 100+ person team, keep track of content using an editorial calendar and a project management system like Asana, Basecamp, Smartsheet, Trello, or Wrike. Plus, it’s easier to track who is writing what. If you don’t know where to get started with content templates or calendars, there are plenty of free templates out there just waiting to be downloaded.
Consistency In Style
In TV and movies, when there’s an inconsistency in the plot or how a character behaves, people get beyond aggravated. How could the writers of said show do that? Well, the same feeling happens to readers, especially if they’re fellow writers. Stick to one style guide or a modification of it and make sure everyone on your team adheres to it. You should understand the brand tone before you start writing. Don’t have one? Download a sample creative brief.
Write With Intent
If you have no desire to write about said topic, everyone can tell. Stay focused by using this throwback you learned in elementary school – create a thesis statement. It’ll help keep your content focused. As each word forms on the paper or screen, your point will be obvious.
Taking Breaks Is Healthy
Writing isn’t like other activities where if you step away, that means you’re giving up. Your brain isn’t a machine. Step away and revisit your writing at a later time. Your future self will thank you later when you’re not fried after a long week. If you need a way to stick to a break schedule, try the extension Marinara: Pomodoro Technique. Lifehacker has a great article about this technique here.
And that concludes our top tips. Have any of your own? Share them in the comments below!
Disclaimer: We don’t get any money for mentioning any of the websites in this post.
Contributers: Timothy Haberin, Content Writer and Patricia Wilcox, Assistant Content Writer.