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I’ve been writing since at least the first grade. It started with poetry. At that time I never dreamt I’d become a professional writer. Now, I’ve been just that since January of 2000 and have been doing freelance writing as my full-time career since 2010. I’ve also been a published author since 2008. I’ve learned a lot about writing and I am continually learning. That’s why I want to share some of the things I’ve learned with you.
One of the most important things about writing better, especially in these days of internet articles and blogs, is to make what you write interesting. There are millions of options when it comes to articles online, so you want yours to stand out.
Speak to people.
Write like you’re actually having a conversation with someone. Nothing is staler than trying to read a college paper or a scientific paper when you don’t have to for school or work. People want to feel like you are talking to them. There is always a time and a place for third-person informal writing, but when it comes to articles and blog posts first-person works wonders.
I find my reviews with a personal edge get more attention than those written in third-person. It shows people how YOU feel about what you are writing about, how/why you are an expert they should listen to, and it makes them feel like you actually care about them and are speaking directly to them as if you were face-to-face or on the phone.
Explain why they should listen to you.
Start your article with a little bit of information on who you are and why you know what you’re talking about. People are more likely to read an article about yoga from a yoga instructor than they are one from someone that has never even done yoga. When you write what you know you’ll find that the words flow easier and that more people respond to your posts and articles.
Add a little humor.
It never hurts to add a little humor to your writing. No need to go full-blown comedian, but you can win people over with a funny statement or two. If you’re good at puns throw one or two into your work. Find things to write that will at least make people smile.
Satire is a whole other way of writing, and it can be fun or funny too, just make sure you use it in the right place. Your blog about wellness may not be the ideal place for a satirical post on a local restaurant using strange meat, but it could be a fun post for a satire-specific site.
Keep it classy.
I know that swearing is the cool thing to do these days. Books are using swear words in the titles and motivational quotes come with them too. I think you don’t need them to get your point across, and skipping those words will make your writing friendlier to more people. You’re going to alienate more people using swear words than you will by not using them. Keep things classy, feel free to get a little sassy, but leave out the nasty!
Give them what they want to read.
Knowing your readers is half the battle. Pay attention to the comments they leave. Watch the analytics on your posts so you know which ones are being read more than others. These steps will help you figure out what your readers want to read.
You can also use social media to reach out to followers and find out what articles and ideas they’d like you to dive into. Don’t be afraid to ask.