Learning how to write an outline for a blog post. There’s one fundamental aspect to becoming a good writer – and that’s practice. It is safe to assume that you’re already practicing a lot. Seriously, we can’t survive without this skill to operate our daily tasks. Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, you put your thoughts into words more often than you think. For example, you compose emails, post content on social media, update your resume, and send messages to your friends. And if your job entails making presentations, writing blogs, or creating reports, newsletters, you do that too.
If you’re looking to improve your writing skills, here are 7 of the best tips and skills you should try:
Get in the Habit of Reading
There is no question good writers are also avid readers. Reading as frequently as possible is an effortless way of cultivating your writing skills. No, you don’t have just to read blogs and articles – you can try reading anything you like, fiction, non-fiction, magazines, etc. The point is to diversify what you read. And as you progress, deepen your horizons to tricky or challenging reading material. Moreover, suppose your job demands technical writing. In that case, you take help from various technical writing tools available online to improve your writing consistently.
Pay close attention to sentence structures in whatever you read. Look at the combination and choice of words used and how smoothly the material flows. Of course, the best part about reading isn’t just gaining more knowledge or information. Still, it is the fact that the more you read, the more you’ll be able to effectively develop a knack for what makes the material so good. Plus, you’ll also understand critical mistakes to avoid.
Make Your Introductions and Headlines Juicy and Appealing
One of the easiest yet most underestimated ways to develop excellent writing skills is to sit back and write a great introduction. What do the readers will see first when they click on your blog or article? The headlines, of course!
While you can certainly select from a comprehensive array of templates online, you have to remember to keep things simple and not overly fancy. For example, you can write juicy adjectives to describe your concepts, like quick, unique, simple, etc. Also, remember to identify why anyone would want to read your blog. Who is your target audience? These points will keep you focused while writing.
Try to Write Like Your Favourite Writers
It is more like imitating their style and use of sentence structures – bear in mind, this is not plagiarism. Never copy anybody’s material – that is a cardinal sin in writing. Just as you may have a long list of favorite topics to read, you may also have a list of writers whose blogs you regularly read.
Try to write down everything you enjoy about reading their material and see if you can implement those things in your writing. For example, do you like to be witty in your blogs? Go ahead. Do your favorite bloggers use different pop culture references to make their content more engaging? Try that as well.
Outlines Are Your Ally
Putting your thoughts into words is a mighty battle in itself. It is also true of experienced writers. The best way to beat that blinking cursor on the blank page is to draft an outline of what you are supposed to write. Then think of this as preparing for a battle; the better you’re ready, the more likely it becomes to win the war.
Moreover, an outline doesn’t have to be something overly ambitious or complex. Start by writing about your idea, make sections, and put them in the right order. Then, write a couple of sentences highlighting what those sections will be about. However, if you’re writing on a complex topic, you will have to create a detailed outline. Nonetheless, having an outline is like having a roadmap to your content.
Find a Patient and Helpful Editor
Whether you’re guest blogging on different sites or are trying to formulate a content strategy, there is nothing better than to have a keen and patient editor in your corner. Good editors don’t just critique your work; they try to explain why something isn’t working and how you can make it work. For some writers, having somebody else read what they’ve written is nerve-racking, especially if they’ve just begun to write. However, you must learn the ropes earlier on and build a healthy tolerance for constructive criticism.
Remember, writing demands consistent and growing creativity – and the last thing writers want is someone being overly harsh about their work. They need to be reassured every step of the way so that they avoid burnout. But if you’re looking to become a great blog writer, you’ll need a great editor to toughen you up.
Don’t Include Unnecessary or ‘Fluff’ Words and Sentences
Another mistake that beginners commonly make – and this also extends to experienced writers (who should know better) – is writing unnecessarily long sentences to explain or prove a point. You don’t have to write complex sentences to sound authoritative. There are plenty of instances where shorter sentences work superbly and create more impact.
For example, it is attributed to Ernest Hemmingway that he has written the world’s shortest story, “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” Now whether he wrote this story or not isn’t the point here. Just look at the power of these six words and understand how brevity can be an essential asset in your writing. You don’t have to write overwrought sentences.
Nothing is more important than keeping it short and sweet – you need to keep the target audience engaged and effortlessly convey your message. As a vital tip to improve your writing, you need to convey your client’s message in the most appropriate and meaningful way.
Mixing Adverbs with Weak Words is a Big No-No
Adverbs are words that modify verbs – and sometimes they are used to modify adjectives as well. Some examples of adverbs are diligently, badly, sadly, etc. Unquestionably, using adverbs sporadically throughout your writing is acceptable. But if you’re using them in every paragraph, it is safe to say that you’re forming weak, wordy sentences and phrases.
So, for instance, instead of writing the “dog ran fast,” you can replace the phrase with “the dog sprinted.” Did you find something “exceptionally funny”? Well, you can use the word “hilarious” to describe that event. Find clever adjectives to define your concepts, and your writing will shine in no time.
While to reiterate, writing doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or challenging. You can just as quickly learn to be a great blogger if you keep the tips mentioned earlier in mind. And remember, practice and consistency are everything here!