Writing is a handy skills for all business owners to have.
Good writing will engage your audience, build your brand and convert more customers.
But writing can feel intimidating if you aren’t confident in your ability.
So today, I’m going to give you actionable tips to help you become a better writer.
1. Understand Your Strengths
It’s important to understand your strengths so you can use them to your advantage as a writer.
Are you good at sales? Awesome. Business writing is often about selling an idea (or product). If you are good at sales, use that to your advantage by pretending to speak with a potential customer. What types of things would you say to them? How would you say those things? Put those into words to help you form your copy.
Can you break down complex topics? Writing (usually) doesn’t need to be complex. I like to write with an “ELi5 (explain it like I’m 5)” approach. Being able to take something complex and explain it to your audience is a wonderful skill to have.
Do you tell great stories? Good copy will help the reader envision whatever it is you are describing. Stories are excellent for engaging with your audience.
The above examples are just a start, but try to first find what you are good at and relate it back to writing.
2. Start by Telling a Story
Story telling, like we talked about briefly above, is a powerful way to connect with your audience.
I posted the above quote on my Instagram. Neil Gaiman explains that while someone will always be better at writing than you, your stories are unique to you, and nobody else can tell those stories.
Work stories into your copy for a truly unique perspective.
3. Speak it Out
Many people who come to me and say, “I’m just not good at writing“, are fantastic conversationalists.
Sometimes, when I’m experiencing writer’s block, I’ll pretend to be in a conversation with someone where I need to explain the topic at hand.
I’ll begin speaking out loud, and when I find a sentence I like, I write it down.
You may also want to use a “speech-to-text” program to help put your words to paper.
Reading is a crucial activity for writers.
Reading will allow you to experience different voices, increase your vocabulary and expand your knowledge — all helpful skills for a writer.
5. Read Your Writing Out Loud
…or have a text-to-speech software read it for you. Personally, I prefer to have text-to-speech because I’m prone to missing subtle errors when I read out loud.
Hearing your writing being read back to you will allow you to view it from a critical perspective, making editing a cinch.
6. Remove Filler Words
Filler words weaken your copy. Your goal is to write with clarity and brevity.
Let’s take the two sentences above and add some filler words in so we can see how they differ:
Filler words will weaken your copy. You should make it your goal to write with clarity and brevity.
Both sentences have the same meaning, but the first is snappier, stronger and more concise!
The below infographic has some more helpful examples:
7. Keep a Journal
To improve your writing you must actually write at some point.
Your journal, however, can be used for anything. I like to jot down certain phrases I come across that pack a punch or record ideas that pop into my mind.
Other times, I’ll go online and find writing prompts to help me come up with creative writing ideas.
When it comes to journaling, don’t be overly critical of yourself. Just write.
Set a timer for 10 minutes, put your pen to paper and write whatever comes to mind.
No judgment. Your journal is not for anyone to read but yourself, so it doesn’t need to be perfect (in fact, it doesn’t even need to be grammatically correct)!
If you need some writing prompts to help get you started, feel free to pick from any of the below prompts:
8. Use Tools
You can find tons of helpful (and free) tools online to improve your writing.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- Grammarly: Grammarly is a text editor that looks for critical grammar and spelling checks and conciseness (within the free plan). The premium plan has more bells and whistles, but the free plan is sufficient for those just starting out!
- Capitalize My Title: If you struggle with title case or sentence case, you can use this tool to automatically correct your titles with the right format.
- CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer: Part of writing great copy is getting people to read it, which is why having a compelling title (or email subject line) is so important. CoScheduler’s Headline Analyzer is one of my favorite tools for whipping up snappy headlines.
- Thesaurus: Any thesaurus will do. I personally like heading to a thesaurus when I begin to use the same adjective multiple times. relatedwords.org is a good online thesaurus to help you out.
9. Use “You” More Than “I”
From your reader’s perspective, using the word “you” will help them envision themselves within your writing.
This strategy is particularly useful for sales copy as the word “I” is often self-serving. Using “I” is perfectly acceptable at times, however, as telling a story from your perspective can be highly beneficial, however, you should try to use “you” more than “I” within your sales copy.
We Can All Write
Writing doesn’t need to be a scary item on your to-do list. It’s something we are all capable of being good at!
With the above tips and tools, you’ll be able to improve your writing with just a little extra practice throughout the day!
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