5 Tips to Make You a Better Writer

How to become a better writer I write a lot. For work, this blog, and my two start-ups. Plus, a couple of books that you are likely never to see.

Many times, it's over 2,000 words a day. But, it's the only way to get good at it - practice.

Today, I wanted to share with you the tips I used to become a better writer. They're simple in practice, but make a difference. Many of my tips come from this copywriting book.

I read it at my last employer and it forever changed my writing. I highly recommend it if you're looking to step up your writing game.

Let's get to the tips:

1. Use outlines

When I was in high school, I never used outlines. Ever. I thought they were a waste of time. They didn't organize my thoughts. Fast forward to today, and everything gets an outline. It saves me time. It organizes my thoughts and allows me to arrange my points in logical order. You should try it sometime.

2. Write without editing

Writing everything you're thinking about a topic down is smart. Because writing isn't the hard part - it's the editing. I often write everything down and take several weeks to edit the post. But, at least the writing is out of the way.

3. Focus on your reader

Many writers focus on themselves. But, they aren't the reader! Use 'you' instead of 'I'. This transforms your writing. (See how much better that was? I could have written "this has transformed my writing', but you don't care about me. You care about how this article affects your life). In your writing + editing process, focus on your reader.

Clearly, I'm guilty of breaking this tip in past articles. But, some of my writing has been self-reflective - more for me than you - and I'm ok with breaking the rule. If you're writing sales copy, use 'you' and start raking in the money.

4. Sleep on it

This improves my writing dramatically. I catch spelling errors, broken logic, and sometimes I delete the entire post. I used to write and publish on the same day, but hours later I'd get emails about misspelled words and grammatical screw-ups. Now I write one day and publish on another.

5.  Eliminate unnecessary words

I get a strange high from editing my own work. When I delete a word to make the sentence stronger, it's like eating a bite of chocolate cake. (Ok, maybe not). Editing makes or breaks a copywriter. They know how to do it well. I've taken 1,000+ word articles and whittled them down to just over 600 words. That's a lot of unnecessary words! What's the trick?

If you can say in 10 words, say it in 10 words. Don't make the sentence longer than it should be. Eliminate everything before the word 'that' because, for the most part, it's useless. Taking out 'will' and 'can' is another tip. It's amazing how much stronger your writing becomes when you follow these simple editing tips.

Bonus tip: Write more often

I know - it's obvious. But the more you write, the better you become. Take Nathan Barry's challenge to write 1,000 words a day. With all the writing I do, I certainly hit 1,000 words, but it's not on the same thing. If you want to write an e-book, write 1,000 words/day and use these tips to propel your writing to the next level.

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