Looking to Improve Your Business Writing?
Learning a variety of writing skills isn’t nearly as hard as you feel it may be. Truthfully, I think all aspiring (and professional) writers — and designers, LOL — out there will agree with me when I say that “we are never truly and fully satisfied with our work. We always feel that we can do better, go bigger and that our best work has yet to be written.” So, if you’re already writing … whether for business, a blog or even possibly for a client, and you’re looking to improve your skills to give your wording more structure and make your copy crisp and readable, then this blog post is just what you’ve been waiting for.
With that being said, let’s just dive right in!
Learning to write is like learning to cook. You want to improve your skills by mastering multiple mini-skills first. You will want to learn how to write really good sentences, be more conversational, actively study how to choose more “flavoured” words and learn to compose smooth transitions so your readers just glide across the page.
By practicing some of those skills, not only will your readers swoon over what you’re writing about but writing for you will become more joyous. Your content will become more nourishing, like a Schmoo torte (back to my chef reference, LOL).
To nourish, delight and inspire your readers you want to also actively practice empathy.
Now, you may think that’s a strange way of thinking when it comes to writing but it means knowing the difference between effectively communicating connecting with your readers instead of leading them into a void. You want to understand your readers … their thoughts, their feelings so that you forge that special connection with them. Empathy truly is the key to gaining a following in every style of writing (re: blog, social media, marketing, etc.).
But remember, there is a huge difference between empathy and sympathy. Sometimes people confuse the two.
To write with empathy you want to ask yourself …
- Who will be reading this?
- What types of questions do they have?
- Why do those questions matter?
You don’t start our writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence. ~ Octavia Butler, Sci-fi Author
So, to sum things up, here are 10 straightforward tips to keep in mind as you write:
- Always start off your main message with a bang! Short yet powerful.
- Put statements in the affirmative (e.g. use “remember” as opposed to “do not”).
- Use more power words to blow people’s minds. Keep them intrigued,
- Replace the verb “to be” with active verbs.
- Limit exclamation marks – use them sparingly.
- Don’t overuse the word “that”. 90% of the time is can be removed from your sentences.
- Favour an active voice in your writing style.
- Keep things simple and avoid redundancies.
- Create more white space (re: shorter paragraphs).
- Craft up some shocking titles and lead lines.
Writing is often the primary way you interact with people in business. So, the clearer and stronger your writing is, the more likely the reader will decode the message, then take the desired action (if any).
“The first draft is just telling yourself the story.” ~ Terry Pratchett, Fantasy Author
Lastly, let me leave you with this amazing TedX video that offers some insight to secrets to catching creative ideas …
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