One of the best things any business owner can do is to improve their writing skills. It’s critical to the long-term success of their business, and here’s why:
Your customers need a reason to choose you.
In order for this to happen, you have to stand out in a crowded field. Communication is essential. Your message needs to be conveyed in a compelling way. This takes effort. Here are 5 simple ways to improve writing skills today. Next time you’re looking to brush up on your website content or write a compelling blog post meant to grab your readers’ attention, call on this list.
Improve Writing Skills with These 5 Essential Strategies
Always Be Reading – Constantly reading is one of the best ways to improve writing skills. I don’t mean just articles or blogs within your industry. Read everything you can get your hands on. Read about your passions. Read books that satiate your curiosity. Challenge yourself with more complex literature.
Study what you’re reading. Is the author using simple, quick language, or complex sentence structure? How easily is he or she communicating ideas?
When you are constantly reading you maintain a reservoir of ideas that you can plug into your work. You can make new connections to your industry that your competitors may not otherwise make.
Edit Ruthlessly (After You’re Done Writing) – If you fall in love with the first draft of your work, you’re probably not trying hard enough. That’s just the honest truth of it. When you’re done with that first pass through, read it with a scrutinizing eye. That’s your window to change what needs to be changed.
The trick is to wait until this point to be ruthless, and not as each sentence is being typed. Sometimes writers are tempted to edit as they write, which can be stifling to your ideas. The writing in the first draft may leave something to be desired, but the idea is out there. With each edit, you can improve upon the message.
Go Vivid – When you learn to write, there’s a popular phrase: “Show, don’t tell.” In other words, your writing should paint a vivid, descriptive picture. It should plant an emotional image in the readers’ heads.
Here’s what I mean. I could tell you that I’m writing this blog post on a Monday morning in my home office with my dog at my feet. But that doesn’t do much to conjure up the imagination. Let’s take another crack at it.
It’s Monday morning, and the rest of the world may feel the weight of the lingering weekend on their shoulders, but not me. The faint aroma of my morning coffee, the red office walls, and the sounds of U2 have me energized. My goofy German Shepherd-hound mix Captain just bounded into the room with a smile on his face, and remains nestled against my leg as I work. I am determined and focused as I write this blog post.
That gives the reader more of an idea on the setting and environment. It paints a complete picture for the context surrounding this post. Vivid, descriptive writing will do far more to capture your reader and distinguish your business, than stagnant sentences could ever do.
Say What’s on Your Mind – There are too many posts out there that simply recycle content. Someone writes on a given subject, and then three other bloggers recycle the bullet points without varying much up. Your blog is the perfect place to speak your mind. It’s your opportunity to get the word out about your industry.
- What do your customers need to know?
- What are the common questions you’re asked in person?
- Where do your viewpoints differ from conventional industry wisdom?
- Is the way that you’re writing the way that you would talk to a customer in person?
Think about these kinds of questions. If you’re writing articles that appear a little too stale or clinical, it’s time to reconsider what you’re doing. It’s ok to mention things that are a little bit personal. These things are often good icebreakers when you’re talking with a new customer or client. Being more open in your writing is a step toward developing your voice.
Write Like It’s Your Job – Here’s a dirty little secret for you. You may not always like to write, but the only way to improve at it, is to keep going. When you put it off for other tasks, it’s tough to improve writing skills. It’s one of those things you just have to keep practicing.
Writing may not be directly related to the core of your business, but it’s crucial. If you don’t have the time to keep at it, you can always hire a copywriter. But otherwise, it’s an important practice to commit to.
Your Writing Establishes Your Business Positioning
Once you’ve created quality website content, blogs, and other marketing materials, you’re on your way to establishing your company’s identity and positioning. Well-written sales letters, landing pages, emails, and other marketing materials can help your business differentiate itself, too. With these materials under your belt, you’re finding your voice, and where you belong within your industry These are all excellent things for a company to understand – but they take time to arrive at.
The act of writing takes work. But when you can master it, your business is far better off for the effort. These five strategies can help immensely as you work to improve writing skills. If you have any questions or would like to talk about a project, contact me today!