If you want to get better at writing your own content, how do you do it better?
I can tell you, in just one sentence: a good writer, writes.
So if you want to get better at writing content that engages with people and converts them into subscribers, followers and paying customers- you need to write often. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re writing crap- because like most things, practise makes perfect. (But then again, I’m yet to meet anybody who thinks their writing is perfect!)
So how do you constantly improve your writing skills? Try these out:
I’ve been keeping a journal for 7 years now. Seriously, I was leafing through a mates’ copy of ‘The Heroin Diaries‘ by Nicky Sixx and thought to myself “You know what- I should start keeping a record of what goes on in my daily life- the good, the bad and the ugly”. So I bought a black hardcover diary from the newsagent, and the first couple of hours into the New Year, having come back from a party, I began jotting down my thoughts and my feelings about stuff. I soon realised the space limitations of paper, so the following year I upgraded to an electronic journal, via Microsoft Word- and here I am to this day.
I don’t write every day, I’ll admit. Sometimes I’ll go more than a week without updating it with a new entry. But the words, pages and months ad up. By the end of the year, I’ll have 30,000+ words that provide an ongoing commentary of what’s been happening in life. Obviously this is handy to go back and read years later- stuff crops up that you’d forgotten, or you had memories you couldn’t quite place and then you go “Ah- so THAT’S when that happened”. But on top of that, what I’ve noticed is that over time, my ability to accurately express how I feel and why that is- it’s improved notably. This translates into my writing as well. The simple act of writing, even those entries that are fairly mundane or lacking in clarity- they’ve all helped over the years to get me to where I am now.
So start keeping a journal, dare to be candid- and read some of your older entries back. See where it takes you from there…
#2. Online Discussion Boards/ Forums
Be careful with this one- as it can become a time-suck! Online discussion boards and forums are like YouTube- if you don’t keep careful account of how much time you spend, you can get sucked down the rabbit hole and waste hours of your time on pointless arguments or going way too in-depth on stuff that doesn’t matter in the bigger scheme of things. But provided you regulate the amount of time you spend, this is an opportunity to get better at making arguments and explaining the why behind what you think. Look for discussion boards or forums that relate to particular hobbies or interests of yours- I almost guarantee there’s one out there that fits your interests. Be it sports, art, film, exercise, diet, politics etc- there’s a place for you. The better you get at explaining why you hold a particular view, the better you get at selling your argument while writing engaging copy. As a result, it translates in your ability to write great content that sells your ideas to readers- and sells to customers as well!
Just like this, in fact. If you’re not already keeping a regular blog, you need to start doing it (as I’ve outlined here: Some Real Numbers To Make You Re-Think Blogging). Again, the more articles you write, the better you become at writing engaging copy and selling people on your way of thinking and getting your point across. The great thing about blogging is that, like keeping a journal, it gets you into the habit of writing regularly. Yet also (like posting on databases or forum threads) it makes you consider your audience more- what needs to be explained clearly, what’s relevant, what can you leave out- and you become a better writer as a result.
Conclusion: A good writer, writes
So if you’re keen on writing more compelling copy and becoming an expert at writing words that sell, then venture into the outlets listed above. This is how you sharpen your writing ability. Don’t be afraid to write dud entries along the way, because you’ll see results in terms of the feedback you get to your writing ability as time goes on.