In marketing, there are few pursuits as creative as writing. OK, it isn’t the fevered realisation of a dream littered with dystopian futures, dragons and book signings. Writing marketing resources might not be world building, but it still an exercise in engaging an audience. So to keep engaging the audience, as a content writer you must always attempt to improve your writing.
The thing is, someone reading a blog is looking for information. Most of the time, the theme you are dealing with will have been written about already. The information you give will have, in one form or another, already been written. So how are you going to stand out from the next marketing writer.
Here are some key resources that will help you stand out against the competition.
In the twenty-first century world, you might not expect Microsoft’s flagship word processor to be on top of the list of resources. However, over the years Microsoft has had the time to perfect their software. Rather than typing blogs directly into the blogging platform, Word is the best place to draft your work.
With word you can pretty much do everything that most other resources will only do a part of. As well as spell-check, grammar and thesaurus capabilities, using Word allows you to format the article exactly how you want it.
Word makes the editing and redrafting stages easier to polish the article and to improve your writing.
All you then must do is copy and paste.
If, rather than drafting on a word processor, you are writing directly into a CMS or blogging platform, you might need a helping hand with grammar and spelling. Grammarly might just be the best tool for making sure your work is readable.
It has long since moved on from being a simple spell checker. Whilst you are writing online, it can point out problems with grammar, sentence structure, and even offer better word choices for clarity. If you are writing online, no matter how good you are, Grammarly will pick up on those mistakes you will inevitably make before you publish.
You can improve your writing with this resource without having to interrupt the flow of writing.
Let’s be honest with ourselves as writers. What we desire to create is a memorable work. Personally, a successful blog would be one that is read, then re-read, then shared so other people can enjoy it. In reality, this might not be as important as making sure that your blog article ranks on Google.
Can you write an article that is both rankable and readable?
Yes. And Yoast is the perfect tool to help you with this.
Yoast analyses your work. As well as giving pointers on sentence structure, Yoast also analyses your work for all the things that are important to search engines. Everything from your keywords to your image SEO are important to Yoast. It is an intelligent resource that certainly helps you improve your writing online.
Again, it might seem strange to many, that in a twenty-first century blog about writing we would begin a discussion on a book that’s over a century old.
But here we are.
Despite being originally written in 1918, Strunk’s resource teaches you how to improve your writing by teaching you the mechanics of language. Furthermore, Strunk makes sure to point out common misuse of words and spellings.
It is written accessibly and is an easy and memorable read. And, even though it’s 101 years old, it is still respected by some companies. In fact, even recently, job descriptions have alluded to this text directly whilst looking for content writers.
This, despite its age, remains a key resource to improve your writing.
Another point of reference, and one that is a little more up to date is Grammar Girl.
Mignon Fogarty, the founder of Grammar Girl, masterfully simplifies the complexity of the English Language. Anything from understanding ciphers to the correct use of an apostrophe is covered by Fogarty’s intelligent blog.
Considering how difficult the English language is, she manages to reduce complicated punctuation and syntactical issues into edible chunks. Grammar Girl is good writing put into action. Therefore it is a key resource for any attempting to improve their writing skills.
Let’s say you are writing a 1000-word blog article. About six of those words will need the most attention. Your headline is the wriggling bait that hooks your readers. If your headline isn’t right, then your blog will go unread.
To help you with, Co-Schedule have created a free online app to help you craft a tempting headline. By looking at your headline for emotional and powerful words, as well as common or uncommon language Co-Schedule marks your headline’s score out of 100.
This key resource will save you valuable time and help you create that killer headline.
Wrap up and improve your writing
Writing is an evolving art. No talented writer ever peaked at their first article. The more you understand writing, the better your writing will be. But rare is the writer that perfects their craft with paper and pen alone.
It isn’t a cheat, nor is it shameful to make use of external resources. In fact, most writers, if they are being honest, will tell you it is better to make use of such key resources.
However, how about some grandma-sucking-eggs wisdom?
If you want to improve your writing skills, then read. Read everything. Blogs, books, newspapers and cereal boxes. By reading you will pick up other skills, new-phrasings or techniques that you emulate and use in your own writing.
As always, we appreciate anyone who has feedback or advice for our readers, so please comment below. What tools do you use to improve your writing?