The pursuit of perfect writing is ongoing for even the most seasoned of wordsmiths. If you find yourself striving for even greater mastery of content writing, you’re not alone. Here are 10 easy yet impactful fixes you can start making to elevate your writing to the next level.
1. Mix up short and long sentences
Varying the length of your sentences adds depth and rhythm to your writing. Where short sentences provide readers with impactful clarity, longer sentences allow for the exploration of more intricate ideas and help the content to flow. A balanced mix prevents monotony and helps readers become more engaged. Like this paragraph, try to switch between short and long sentences that are designed to craft dynamic narratives and deliver your intended message with precision and impact.
2. Avoid being too verbose
Verbosity can quickly become a detriment to your writing, diluting the impact of your message and causing readers to become confused and lose interest. Be judicious with your language and make sure each word you use conveys something valuable to your audience.
3. Cut out colloquialisms and corny phrases
Colloquial expressions can make content feel more conversational, but there are better ways to go about it. When you use phrases that are specific to the culture you’re in, you’ll inadvertently make your content inaccessible to anyone outside of it. Use standard wording and universally understood language so your writing can be enjoyed by a wider range of readers no matter their background.
4. Be incredibly clear in your headings
Your headings and subheadings act as signposts that guide readers through the ideas you’re presenting to them, helping to make your writing more digestible and engaging. A good heading serves as a preview of the content beneath, allowing readers to quickly assess the relevance of different sections to their needs.
5. Read your text aloud to someone else
Reading your work aloud to someone else is an effective way to highlight awkward phrasing, punctuation and spelling errors, and clunky sentences that need to be reworked. Even if they offer no feedback, the act of putting a voice to your work ensures that when the reader consumes your content in their voice, your message is clearly conveyed.
6. Write with a thesaurus
It may sound cliche, but a thesaurus is truly a writer’s best friend. Writing with a thesaurus on hand can help you swap out overused words with new ones or find better descriptors for plain, uninteresting language. It offers writers the opportunity to explore different ways of articulating their ideas while adding depth and finesse for readers. Be careful not to overuse complex words and make sure that the ones you do choose fit the context you’re putting them into.
7. Don’t use parentheses
Parentheses can sometimes be a useful tool for clarifying an idea or adding information but they can also disrupt the flow and readability of a piece of text. Readers may find the content in the parentheses distracting and have difficulty staying focused on the topic. Instead, try to incorporate important information seamlessly into the narrative so your audience can follow along.
8. Ditch passive voice
Passive voice convolutes a text passage, making it harder to tell who is doing what. Readers may not comprehend the idea you’re presenting when you’re using passive voice and can struggle to engage with the content on a larger scale. Aim to use active voice, which clearly defines the subject of an action and what action they’re performing. This allows you to better capture the attention of your target audience and provide a smooth, engaging reading experience.
9. Use transitional phrases between ideas
Transitional phrases help guide readers seamlessly from one idea to the next, serving as a “linguistic bridge” of sorts. It can signal a shift in topic or introduce a contrasting viewpoint, which helps make a narrative easier for readers to follow and keeps them connected to the overarching message in your content. When used strategically, transitional phrasing will help your text flow logically and coherently to enrich the reading experience.
10. Finish things the next day
Avoid the temptation to finish a piece of text all in one go. Stepping away from your content for a little while helps your mind process and reflect on what you just wrote, helping you to gain insights and ideas for improvement that you previously missed. You’ll also catch more errors and find clearer ways to word things so you can polish your piece to a perfected shine.
Get more writing tips and content marketing advice from McDougall Interactive by contacting us at 877-623-4291. We’d love to hear from you!