Write short sentences
I used to write really long sentences. My text was heavy and not pleasant to read. Some great writers master the art of long sentences. But to be great you need to start with good. Good and short sentences are easier to write than good long sentences, and they are also easier to read.
This goes with writing short sentences. When you realize that you have 3 commas or more in one sentence, try to see if you can split that sentence in 2.
Keep your paragraphs short
Look at the content you read online, especially on websites like Medium and Quora. The paragraphs are rarely over 10 lines long. It makes your text breathe more, and it will be more pleasant to read for your audience.
Don’t use complex words
People consume content fast, and (almost) nobody will take time to google a word they don’t understand. If you want to captivate your audience’s attention, keep your text at a relatively low reading level.
Use simple synonyms
There are tons of websites out there to find synonyms to a word. As a writer these will come in handy. Using simple synonyms prevents redundancies and the use of complex words.
Speak your mind
When I started writing I was “afraid” to speak my mind (or to write it for that matter). I didn’t want to sound the same as all the bloggers out there. Mostly, I didn’t want to sound like I was telling people how they should live their life. I only write advice, I don’t believe in teaching people how to live their life. You can give them tips and advice, but you shouldn’t force the decision on them and make them feel like their life is not good.
As a result, I would use a lot of terms like “my opinion is”, “I am not criticizing”, or even “I don’t mean to offend anybody”. I would essentially apologize for trying to speak my mind. It took me a while to realize that this was not the way to do it. There is a lot of nonsense online about how to generate content people will like and share, but honesty and authenticity do work. It’s true at least for now.
You can try making fake authentic content, but that’s a big waste of energy. It is a lot easier to go from good to great when you generate real opinionated content. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind.
Don’t try to sound smart
Stay simple. People will not relate to your content and like it if they can tell you try too hard to sound smarter than them.
Don’t write to write
Most articles that are below 500 words were clearly written for the sole purpose of posting something. People don’t know what to write about. They come up with a 350-word article, put a shocking title on top of it, and hit post.
This should be avoided. It’s completely normal to not come up with kick ass content everyday when you start off, and you would do yourself a big favor by accepting it. Sticking to your target of one article a day is great, but you don’t have to post everything you generate. Be honest to yourself. If you don’t like what you wrote, don’t post it. Consider it training, and only offer your audience the best you can deliver.
You should post content that carries a message. The purpose of sharing your ideas is to speak your mind and bring something valuable to the community.
Posting for the sole purpose of posting is like eating pasta everyday because you have to eat. It’s boring and tasteless.
Check your grammar
I use Hemingway editor. You don’t have to take into account all the modifications it suggests. Don’t sacrifice your writing style to proofreading. If you think you wrote the right thing, go with your guts. For that reason, I prefer Hemingway over Grammarly. Hemingway doesn’t suggest radical changes to your work. It simply helps you make it more readable using different indicators:
- Number of adverbs
- Use of passive voice
- Complex sentences (alternative suggestions)
- Hard to read sentences
- Very hard to read sentences
Lastly, reading what is already out there will help you get more inspired. You can try new writing styles, find new topics to write about, write about what you read… By paying attention to how the content you love is written, it will motivate and inspire you to write more and better.“Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing” — Salvador Dalí Click To Tweet