If writing seems hard, it’s because it is hard. It’s one of the hardest things people do.William Zinsser
It can be hard creative writing for a business. So these writing tips should help you be more focused and productive!
There is no right or wrong way to write. Every writer takes a different approach. Which is why we thought we would put together some of our top writing tips that we not only follow ourselves but recommend to our clients as well.
The Typeface Group top 10 writing tips:
1. Carve out time to dedicate to writing
Even full-time writers won’t write all day. There are other aspects of the business/life that you sometimes need to spend time on. When you get the chance to write or have the urge to write, grasp it. You might not get the same opportunity or time to do so tomorrow. Make the most of it right now. Sit down, focus and write. After you finish reading the rest of the writing tips of course!
2. Writer’s block and its cure, you are what you read
Everyone struggles with writer’s block from time to time. It’s not so much an issue when you’re writing for business, as most of the time you will know the topic you’re writing about by researching the industry and its trends. Saying that, if you do hit a brick wall ultimately, you need inspiration, and that you can solve with reading.
Whether it be reading influencers blogs, doing a keyword analysis, related books, magazines, or even books that are way off topic will help come up with an idea. Essentially, the answer is simple: if you don’t read, you will struggle to write content.
3. Research before writing
When writing for both business and personal, unless we are full of amazing ideas all the time, the best place to start is to carry out some research first. Reading other people’s posts, getting some attention grabbing statistics and generally seeing what is topical can help you get a better understanding of what angle you want to take and how to present your blog post.
Don’t forget to take into consideration any national days coming up or what’s currently going on in the industry if we’re stuck for ideas. Readers want relevant, recent content!
4. Accept criticism and learn from it
Unless you want to turn off half of your audience, stay away from emotive and sensitive subjects such as politics or religion. In some industries, you may get questions or people that do not agree with your view point. However, that is a part of putting your business and its expertise out there in the open. Just make sure your response is not emotive and clear to why your view is what your view is, and don’t completely dismiss the opposing opinion, after all, it is engagement!
5. Rely on humans. Eyes and ears.
While spell-checking, programs such as Grammarly [use affiliate link] are great, but they should not be relied upon to detect all mistakes such as sentences that do not make sense. Regardless of the length of the article, always read and review what you have written and get a colleague to check after. After editing on screen, we recommend printing and reading the text aloud. Confusing sentences and mistakes can be found clearly when reading out loud.
6. Seeking synonyms
Distance yourself from re-using the same bland words. If you find yourself repeating, right click on a word to use the thesaurus and find another synonym. Then do it again with the new word and make the best use of your vocabulary. Use this tactic to broaden your horizons: Find a new word, use it in your writing until it becomes a part of your daily vocabulary. Widening your knowledge on words is what writing is all about. But be aware, sometimes synonyms can throw up some interesting results. So go back to the previous step, read aloud before publishing!
7. Simple, clear sentences everyone can enjoy
Try to write in a simple way. Express your views with most appropriate words, as using big fancy words doesn’t make you a great writer, in fact, it can make you come across as arrogant. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs. Readers are impatient and may even give up reading your piece before you’ve even made your point. Every extra unnecessary word makes readers restless.
8. Getting past passive voice
It may be the way your English teacher taught you but forget it. In fact, forget everything your English teacher taught you. Your teacher may have trained you to write this way, but the passive voice is better ignored. Passive voice sentences conceal who is acting and can create uneasiness with your reader. Passive voice can seem like you are insecure about what you’re saying, and are hiding behind it. Remain in the active voice at all costs; your readers will appreciate it without even knowing so.
If you want to write an article which is nice and easy to read, you should try to avoid passive voice. To find out more about why passive voice is really important to take a look at our ‘6 SEO Points to Consider Before Creating Content‘.
9. Visit and re-discover your past to understand and refine your present
It’s great to revisit and edit your older articles and pieces from time to time. You will notice that you’ll read it back and think it’s complete rubbish, and it will allow you to refine your style now and avoid mistakes that you used to make. Your writing skill will never stop growing, and you’ll find yourself always refining your skill to keep up with trends. Take a look at our previous blog on why it’s important to review old content.
10. Most Importantly… Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously. – Lev Grossman
Primarily, as a content writer, blogger or aspiring copywriter, you will know what to do to make it work for you. Writing is a creative skill that comes more naturally to some than others. These writing tips can help both a beginner and the more established writer through the more challenging pieces, getting past passive voice and fighting the blank page blues.
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