When writing for your blog or website, it’s important that your writing skills are up to par.
Even if you write beautifully, there are a few basic methods that can help you to write more effective content for your readers.
Most of these methods are relatively simple, and they will become a habit once you get the hang of them.
1. Dumb it down
One of the best methods for improving your writing is to dumb it down.
Although your beautiful prose, complex sentences and impressive vocabulary words might be written wonderfully, most readers prefer something that is a bit more simple.
The issue isn’t whether or not your readers are smart enough to understand your content, it is whether your readers feel like putting the effort into reading your complicated wording.
Although some situations require that you use complex explanations or big words in order to get your point across, you should keep it simple when you can.
2. Read it out loud
A talented editor once gave me some really great advice that has helped me to improve my writing skills dramatically.
While reviewing a batch of articles that I had written, she pointed out a particular sentence to me.
This sentence was grammatically correct and looked alright at first glance, but she suggested that I read it out loud.
When I did, I realized that the sentence was incredibly awkward.
Although you might feel a bit silly reading out loud to yourself, you will find that the structure of your sentences and your overall writing style will improve if you do.
This will also help you to catch mistakes that you might not notice during regular proofreading.
3. Mix it up
If you start your sentences with the same words over and over again, your writing will look incredibly repetitive, and your readers will start to get bored.
Try to start your sentences off with different words to make your writing more pleasant to read, and reword your sentences if you have to.
It is also important to mix up the length of your sentences.
If each of your sentences are about the same length, your article or blog post will read awkwardly and will appear to be choppy.
Instead, mix in a few short sentences with a few longer ones to make your article flow nicely.
4. When in doubt, cut it short
Many people feel that their blog posts or articles have to be long in order to sufficiently cover the material at hand, but this is not always the case.
Readers often get overwhelmed by long, rambling posts, and you are much more likely to repeat yourself if your article is too long.
When you feel like you have answered the question or explained the topic that you set out to do, go ahead and cut it short — your readers will appreciate it.
The same rule applies to long paragraphs.
People are natural-born skimmers, especially when it comes to reading online content. Your real meaning might get lost in the middle of an extra long paragraph, so consider using shorter paragraphs instead.
5. Never rely on your software for proofreading
Relying on software to check for spelling and grammar errors in your writing is not a good idea.
Although it’s always a good idea to use a spellchecker to help you to catch typos and misspellings, you cannot rely on this technology alone.
Your spellchecker will not catch your mistake if you accidentally type the wrong word, and it also will not notice if you used the word “their” instead of “there” or “your” instead of “you’re.”
Grammar checkers also have their problems. It’s acceptable to use them, but don’t count on them to catch every little mistake.
Instead, carefully proofread your work yourself.
Online dictionaries make it easy to look up words that you are unsure about, and there are plenty of online resources that explain common grammar mistakes that you may be making.
None of us can ever be perfect writers, and no one expects us to be.
However, we can all improve our style and sound smarter by following these 5 tips.