Even for professional writers, writing is hard – yuck! It can be tough sometimes.
When you start writing, writing the first piece may be easy, but you may not know what information to include.
You worry about things like, what style, voice and outline to use to make your writing a success. Questions like “is this piece good enough?” “Will people love it?”
To make your writing more effective, here are 10 tips to make your writing more effective before hitting the publish button:
- Write with simple language
When writing, you want to make sure that your audience understands what you’re saying in your piece isn’t it?
Your writing shouldn’t be an avenue to showcase your grammatical prowess. In fact, using “big words” actually makes you appear less credible and confident; making your writing easily processed and understandable makes you seem more intelligent and capable.
- Use the active voice
When you use active verbs, the subject of that sentence is performing that action.
Take for example “the ball was kicked by Bruce”. In active voice, it would be ” Bruce kicked the ball”
What this is saying in essence is that you make writing sound like it’s happening now and not in some passive manner. Passive voice is when something known or unknown performs the action in a sentence. This can make your writing seem boring!
- Use contractions
It’s a must that you sound conversational in your writing –yes! Then you must use contractions.
Contractions help you sound more human in your writing and makes your reader feel like they’re having a real conversation with you.
So be sure to change your “do not” to “don’t” and your “would nots” to “wouldn’t”.
- Use short sentences and paragraphs
To make your writing easier to read and comprehend, break up long, dense sentences and paragraphs.
These breaks create whitespace around your writing and they give your readers eyes a rest. They also create rhythm making your writing more pleasing to read.
- Be clear and concise
This is the ultimate goal of your writing. You have to refine the words until each section, each paragraph, and each sentence is focused and clear.
You should use words that are well known to your reader. If the need arises that you use ” less well-known” words, ensure you provide definitions for them. Don’t sound vague in your writing. Try to make it brief and straightforward. You could achieve this by removing extra words, irrelevant ideas and rants.
You’ve only got one chance to impress your reader, so make sure you create little chance for misinterpretation or confusion – let your reader understand you!
- Cut-off fluffy words as much as you can
Yes, you want to ensure your readers understand you clearly, but that doesn’t mean you should be too descriptive!
Words such as “actually”, ” very” “really”, ” incredibly” , “in order to” and so on don’t add anything to your sentence but exaggeration! You should be careful of including too many adjectives and adverbs in your writing.
- Use “you” and “your”
Wait…hold-on!, did you notice that 90% of this article has been centred around you?
Whatever writing it is, “you” and “your” are very important! This helps you sound more conversational like you’ve written the content specifically for the reader. It shows that you have empathy for the reader and you want to bring them into the discussion.
You should write like your reader is sitting on a chair right next to you and reading your information or imagine that you’re writing a letter to a friend.
- Stick to a style guide
Whatever style of text you choose to work with, ensure that you don’t depart from it. Whether it’s the AP style or the Chicago manual of style, stick to it throughout.
This helps you to create consistency throughout your writing and your readers would identify your piece anywhere.
- Avoid using acronyms often!
Not everyone knows what CMS stands for…you’re wondering what I mean right?
Well, what I’m saying in essence is that not everyone can decode the meaning behind the acronyms you use. So you should always spell them out at least once and try to avoid filling your writing with them.
- Carry out a spell check
It’s always a good idea to double-check your writing for spelling mistakes – never be lazy to do that. Even small errors can have a negative impression on your reader’s perception of your writing.
So remember to cross your “T’s and dot your “I’s. This shows your audience that you care about their reading experience and as such, you establish your credibility.
And there you go! 10 tips to make your writing more effective. You could have a question or two? Let us know in the comment section below.