Develop Creative Writing Skills and Tips to Improve Them
The ability to write clearly and with confidence can be a powerful tool in the marketing field, and one that is actively sought by potential employers. Unfortunately, creating original pieces of content marketing is also one part of industry that many people seem to find very overwhelming – but content creation doesn’t have to be a chore. For anyone out there that has ever found themselves wondering “How can I improve my writing skills?”, here are a few hints that can help you bring your writing up to the next level.
Read Writing That Works
In this internet age, more people are writing on a global platform than ever before. It’s become commonplace for someone’s personal blog to reach more people than they ever expected, particularly if they have learned how to write in a way that appeals to their intended audience. Successful blogs can be an incredibly important (and free) learning resource for anyone looking to hone their content marketing creation abilities.
When someone is writing about a topic that is important to them personally, their interest often shines through. Honest enthusiasm in writing is usually recognizable when you read it, but learning to recreate that kind of writing can be difficult. Seek out popular blogs with some focus on your intended topic and you may be able to gain a whole new perspective on the best way to reach your own intended readers. This is definitely not meant to encourage you to copy someone else’s personal writing, which you should never do without their permission, but more about reading quality content to get a feel for the tone and flow of good writing.
Make Research Part of Your Routine
When the content you need to create has a factual element to it, you absolutely need to do your research. This is, or at least should be, an unavoidable part of the process, but it often seems to be approached like a chore. Break yourself out of this mindset!
Good research can lead to great writing and can be especially useful for creating content marketing work. When you have made the effort to learn the facts about your topic, you will find it much easier to convey your message. Your writing will become more confident and will also be more professional. Be sure to use reliable and up to date resources for any research you need to do, and always be careful to give proper credit to your sources when it is necessary.
Practice Every Day
If professional writing stresses you out, one of the best ways to improve is to get into the habit of writing a lot. A really easy way to do this is to start your own blog. Try writing about a few topics that you are passionate about – things that you like to write about, or by guest blogging for other writers with interests similar to yours. Creative writing is another excellent way to practice without the perceived pressure of writing for your job or with a strict deadline. You may even find that you enjoy the writing process more in general when you branch out from the kind of writing that may be expected of you.
You don’t need to be writing anything life-changing or put your practice projects up on a grand, public scale, but you do need to be making an effort to work on writing something every single day. The familiarity you gain with your craft will help you find your unique voice, which is what will help you stand out from other writers who may be technically proficient, but who might be lacking in writing pieces that can reach their target when writing for content marketing.
Dissect Writing That You Admire
Most people read the same blogs or sites on a regular basis because the material appeals to them, fewer people understand why their favorite blogs are so appealing.
Find a handful of recent blog posts you really like and print them out. Next, take a red pen and highlight things you liked: certain sentences, turns of phrase, even entire paragraphs. Examine why you like these elements, and see if there are any common threads in your favored reading materials. See how writers take one subject and transition into another and apply these techniques to your own work.
As an example, let’s take a look at a very powerful and memorable piece from Copyblogger that serves as a great example of this.
Mollie Politzer was 32 years old when she got sick.
She was in the hospital for months, and when her condition eventually worsened to the point of death, her rabbi was called in. The rabbi arrived and proceeded to change her name.
He did this to fool the Angel of Death — so that when the Angel of Death came, he wouldn’t know who she was.
It worked …
Mollie Politzer survived. She changed her name back. She lived to be 87.
Ira Glass tells this story to open the March 7, 1997 episode of This American Life, called “Name Change.” Mollie Politzer was his grandmother. Changing her name had saved her from death.
Immediately, you’re hooked by Morris’ opening. You can’t not read to see what happens next. The pacing is great, it grabs your attention, and best of all, it keeps you reading on. Read the full post here, and see how Morris masterfully tells the story of a band named Death and how this relates to writing content.
Find Reliable Feedback
Last, but certainly not least, good readers can be an invaluable resource for aspiring writers.
Good proofreaders are great, but also ask willing friends or colleagues who are aware of type of writing that you are intending to produce. You may be pleasantly surprised at the useful advice and constructive criticism you receive.
These tips are all things that you can put into daily practice today, and which can make a huge difference in the quality of your writing work. Hopefully you’ve found something here that will inspire you to pursue the next level of your own ability.