Some Tips to Becoming a Better Writer

Here are some hints to becoming a better writer. Many of these will apply to you whether writing is your full time career or if you simply write original content for blogs. For the most part here I am addressing the Article Marketer.

Get a catchy headline to let the reader know what to expect. The best article in the world is wasted if no one is tempted to read it. Most of us will open a hand written envelope first, in anticipation of news from a friend or family, rather than that printed official-looking correspondence. Just that fact of being handwritten caught our attention and, more importantly, prompted us to take immediate action. So it is with your headline. If the headline catches your reader's attention he takes immediate action. He reads your article.

You need the reader to complete the article and they are more likely to do so if the title and the introduction provoke questions or promise solutions.

Do your research. See the information that is currently available, on line and elsewhere. Examine if the questions currently being asked are fully answered by the available information. If you do not feel able to endorse current opinions be bold enough to say so. Shaking popular beliefs can often be an express way to recognition. You are seeking to gain trust and credibility and these are not always gained by treading the same road as others. In seeking to answer your reader's questions you may present a new view. Even if your readers do not readily agree with your view, they may come to do so. Innovative thinking and originality are valued and can quickly bring you a loyal following.

Keep to the point. Whatever subject drew the reader to your article is the one with which you must hold their attention. This may be the niche in which the blog resides or in the title of your article. The reader is either seeking information or confirmation on a specific subject. The great raft of experience that you may have in other aspects of life are only important to you and not your audience. If you are particularly well versed on the subject beware of self-promotion. Do remember the old saying that self-praise is no recommendation.

Introducing some humour is often welcome providing that it is relevant to the topic or product. You can sometimes introduce a story or an anecdote to emphasise a point. When I was a young salesman, many years ago, I was criticised by my manager for telling too many stories in sales meetings.

The manager was overruled by his director. The director said " Don't stop telling stories. The greatest salesman the world has ever known told thirteen stories. We call them parables. That was two thousand years ago and people are still buying that stuff today". Not politically correct perhaps but valuable all the same.

Consider the number of words. You may decide to be short and snappy. Perfectly OK in many instances but unless your information is up to date and relevant the reader is unlikely to hold you in any esteem. The reader came to you, in many instances, to solve their problems. An incomplete answer is of little or no value to him. Any one that has tried to assemble flat-packed furniture is a testament to the results of insufficient information.

The article must still be long enough to address the reader's concerns. Whilst is must be of sufficient interest to hold their attention to the end of the piece it must still deliver most of the information that is being sought. Once you have endeavoured to provide a full explanation it is perfectly normal, in fact it is advisable, to recommend other sources where the reader may obtain further information. A simple link to one of your websites or the offer of a PDF leading to a membership site that you own will suffice.

The better your article the more readers will be guided to your sites. The greater the number of followers and the longer your client list will become.

Good spelling and grammar. Nothing is as irritating as coming across an article on a subject in which you are interested only to find it mis-spelled or grammatically incorrect. There are rules and like most rules they exist for a purpose.

If you are writing in a non-phonetic language like English, then you will need to have an aid to spelling. Most spell checkers are adequate for the purpose, but like most tools they only work when you remember to use them. If good grammar is not your forte then stop trying to rewrite long sentences. Instead, use shorter sentences.

Try to break up over long paragraphs. If the paragraph has suddenly expanded to ten sentences, simply put in a break. It is not necessary to have a new topic every three to four sentences. A break sometimes helps to separate individual but complimentary points.

Keywords and SEO. Article Marketers hold different views on the value of Search Engine Optimisation. Some recent articles are so overstuffed with keywords as to make them almost unreadable. If by some unprecedented mischance the site carrying them got to the top of Google then the point of a search engine would be lost forever.

This is not to say that searching for keywords is irrelevant. The writer does need to know the topics for which readers are searching.

So if you are in favour of sprinkling your articles with keywords, do it sparingly and only ever in context. If you use something like Analytics to suggest the theme of your article then make sure that the results are relevant and recent.

The call to action. Always treat your readers with the utmost respect. Handled correctly they can become the source of your income for years to come.

However if you want them to take some action, whether it is clicking to a link, subscribing to your feed or signing up for a free e-book you are going to have to tell them to do it. Show them the benefits and they may well follow you forever.

For more tips on how to increase your writing potential and become an influential author, follow me here


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