We’ve put together this helpful article that outlines some of the best ways to improve writing skills.
Writing is one of the most recession-proof jobs around. No matter what the economy is doing, businesses and individuals always need writers.
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom who wants to start a freelance writing business or a virtual assistant looking to switch careers, improving your writing is essential.
Follow our tips, and you’ll be able to write high-quality pieces that are both well-written and engaging. You’ll also be able to meet deadlines without feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
Table of Contents
- 1 Quick Picks
- 2 How To Improve Writing Skills
- 2.1 1. Take A Writing Course
- 2.2 2. Know The Basics
- 2.3 3. Learning About Writing Style
- 2.4 4. Learn About Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- 2.5 5. Create Outlines & Define Content Goals
- 2.6 6. Schedule Writing Time
- 2.7 7. Don’t Drag On
- 2.8 8. Be Descriptive- Use A Thesaurus
- 2.9 9. Use Active Voice, Not Passive Voice
- 2.10 10. Answer The Reader’s Questions/Concerns
- 2.11 11. Be Conversational, But Informative
- 2.12 12. Proofread Your Work
- 2.13 13. Get Help From An AI Program
- 3 What Careers/Side Hustles Need Good Writing Skills?
- 4 Key Takeaways
Here are a few quick picks to learn how to improve your writing skills, plus find freelance opportunities that pay well:
How To Improve Writing Skills
Improving your writing can help take your career to the next level, and it’s not as difficult as you might think.
With a bit of practice and these helpful tips, you’ll be on your way to your best-paying side hustle or a new career as a better writer.
Let’s look at a few things you can do to improve your writing:
1. Take A Writing Course
There’s no better way to improve your writing skills than by taking a writing course.
Writing courses can help you learn about the different aspects of writing, from grammar and punctuation to style and tone. They can also help you develop your own writing style.
One of our favorite courses is Earn More Writing, which covers everything from how to find high-paying writing gigs to writing persuasive proposals and landing clients.
They even offer a FREE workshop to show you how to start a profitable freelance writing business!
2. Know The Basics
One of the best ways to become a better writer is to become familiar with the basics of writing.
The basics include understanding grammar rules, using punctuation correctly, learning proper sentence structure, and how to use prepositional phrases.
Once you have a basic understanding of these concepts, you can begin applying them to your writing style and start applying for jobs that are a good fit for your writing style and pay a higher amount per hour.
3. Learning About Writing Style
The voice and tone in which a writer conveys a story or idea are known as writing style. Everyone has a different writing style based on their words, whether their work is formal or informal, and how long the sentences they write are.
A good writer has different writing styles depending on the purpose of what they are writing.
Different writing styles are essential because they help convey the writer’s message in the most effective way possible:
An academic writing style is usually used for essays, research papers, and other academic assignments. It is characterized by formal language and a third-person point of view.
A creative writing style is often used for fiction and poetry. It is characterized by the use of imagination and creative expression.
Business writing is often used for business documents, such as memos, reports, and proposals. Its professional and formal tone characterizes it.
4. Learn About Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the practice of optimizing content to rank higher on search engine results pages. Learning about SEO can help you improve your content and gear it for your target audience.
SEO can be a great way to improve writing style and help you boost your website’s traffic, but it can also be a high-income skill to add to your freelance business and freelance writing.
Stupid Simple SEO is a course that can help you learn SEO basics. The course is designed for beginners and covers all the essential concepts you need to know.
They offer a FREE masterclass to get you started and give you a sneak peek into what the full course entails before you sign up.
5. Create Outlines & Define Content Goals
Understanding why you’re writing and the goal of every piece is essential to writing a good article and any other content.
Outlining helps you organize your thoughts and develop a solid structure for your article or paper. It also makes it easier to determine the essential points that should be emphasized to meet your goals.
Write down a few words about the post or article you want to write. Once you have a general idea, start creating an outline by brainstorming the main points you want to make.
Using a tool like Surfer SEO can help you create an outline geared toward your content and optimized for SEO.
6. Schedule Writing Time
It’s essential to schedule a time to write. When you prioritize time, you’re more likely to find the time and make an effort to start writing.
You can set aside a specific day and time each week for writing or dedicate a certain amount of time each day.
Whatever works best for you, ensure you are consistent with it, and start practicing.
Don’t let something distract you during the time you have scheduled as well. Otherwise, you lose all that productivity.
Let others know that this is your time to write, and you shouldn’t be disturbed!
7. Don’t Drag On
People mistakenly believe that the more words they use, the better they are at writing, but that’s not always the case!
Too many unnecessary words can make your article seem choppy and difficult to read. We call some of the extra content “fluff”- where it’s either repetitive to what you already said or that it doesn’t add much value to readers.
We’ve also found that using too many prepositional phrases can make the article wordy without providing any benefits.
Focus on sentence length being shorter and keeping your paragraphs short as well. Bulky text is hard to read sometimes, so breaking things up will make your writing easier to follow.
One way to avoid longer sentences includes removing filler words, such as “um,” “like,” and “you know.” These filler words can be cut during the editing process, and Grammarly has a list of filler words to help you be more concise.
8. Be Descriptive- Use A Thesaurus
Learning to be descriptive is one of the best things you can do for your writing style. Use a wide variety of adjectives and verbs to bring your writing to life.
Not only will this make your work more interesting to read, but it will also help you to express your thoughts and ideas better.
A thesaurus is an excellent tool for finding synonyms for common words, giving your work a unique feel. Additionally, it can help you develop new ways to describe the same thing.
You also don’t need a legit book thesaurus- there are ones online, including this easy one we use for changing things up in our articles!
9. Use Active Voice, Not Passive Voice
When you use an active voice, your writing sounds more forceful and engaging. In a passive voice, the subject of the sentence is acted upon by the verb, which makes it sound weaker.
Try to use an active voice whenever possible to make your writing more powerful and engaging for your readers.
Here are some tips on how to use an active voice:
Start your sentences with the subject of the sentence to clarify who is doing the action or what’s going on.
Use strong verbs to convey the action- they’re more exciting and engaging than weak ones.
Avoid using the phrase “going to be, ” as it’s passive voice- try to be definitive on what will happen or what readers get from the content.
10. Answer The Reader’s Questions/Concerns
Great writers know one of the most important things to remember is you need to connect with your online audience and have a clear message.
Plus, it’s always a good idea to answer the reader’s questions and concerns. That way, they know you’re listening and interested in engaging with them.
Answering questions directly shows that you’re paying attention to their concerns and invested in engaging with them.
Plus, it gives you authority and makes you believable. Someone may read more from you because of that.
For us, we write about finance and side hustles. We aim to put in our own experience and examples, which shows we’ve tried ways to save and make money effectively so that readers can take our advice and make the best decisions for themselves.
11. Be Conversational, But Informative
If your language is formal or stiff, odds are that people won’t want to read it. Formality doesn’t necessarily make readers connect with you; being conversational makes you more human and seem genuine in your content.
However, if you write in a friendly manner but don’t provide information on the topic at hand, people aren’t going to get answers to their questions and will opt out of reading your content.
You can use sources and links to provide more information to your readers- links to helpful sources, like we have, cuts down on writing everything a reader needs to know (less text!) and gives them a place to find out more.
Here are a few tips on conversational writing that we found easy and effective:
Contractions in your writing sound more natural and also helps to keep your readers engaged.
Use your own thoughts and experiences to enhance the information you provide- examples make the world go round!
12. Proofread Your Work
Proofreading your work is essential in your journey to becoming a better writer.
A proofreader’s job is to correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes in a written piece.
A good understanding of the basic principles of English grammar allows proofreaders to communicate effectively with writers and suggest improvements to fine-tune the article.
Reviewing your first draft allows you to catch mistakes and ensure your writing is grammatically correct.
Writers use several strategies to proofread work, including reading aloud and using a spellchecker to check the spelling and sentence structure.
You can hire a proofreader if you aren’t confident you’ll catch mistakes, or you can take a free workshop from Proofread Anywhere to start learning how to proofread work effectively!
13. Get Help From An AI Program
There’s nothing wrong with getting some help from an AI program to get your writing done quicker and easier than ever before.
Some programs focus on grammar and punctuation, while others help you to create better paragraphs and structure your writing more effectively.
Some programs even help with SEO so that you can focus more on research than optimizing for Google rankings!
We use Jasper to write some content for us, including outlines, YouTube scripts, and more. It helps organize our thoughts and key points, which makes content writing much faster!
See how helpful Jasper can be for your writing in our extensive Jasper Review.
We also wrote a guide on making money using Jasper, where we give tips and suggestions for writing careers, including the ones below.
What Careers/Side Hustles Need Good Writing Skills?
Now that we’ve gone over some essential tips to make your writing stronger and more effective, let’s talk about some writing jobs that rely on these skills:
You can make a great side hustle or full-time career out of freelance writing. You can do many different types of writing, including content writing, copywriting, SEO writing, and even grant writing.
Ghostwriting is challenging because you’ll need to capture the client’s voice while also writing in your own style, meaning your writing needs to be adaptable in many ways.
But with freelance writing, you can pick a niche to write in that you like or know well, work from home, and make over $20 per hour!
Copywriters are the lifeblood of any company. They are the people who write the advertisements and marketing materials that make customers want to buy a product.
Copywriters must correctly identify what their consumers want, promote it effectively, and ensure their content is placed in a spot where their consumers frequent.
It may seem like it’s geared more toward market research, but I promise that writers do well in this field if they can write content that evokes emotions or sticks in people’s minds.
As a blogger, you need to have a good writing process. You need to be able to produce content that is interesting, informative, and engaging.
When writing a blog post, a writer needs to be able to write clearly and concisely, use simple words, short sentences, and shorter paragraphs, and make sure everything written makes sense.
As we said before, some people use AI software to make writing more manageable, but blog writing mostly comes from the heart (and some research!).
Keeping your skills up to snuff and writing from your own POV will make you flourish as a blog writer!
If you are having trouble with a particular aspect of writing, we have plenty of resources to help. We offer a FREE Start Your Blog Bootcamp so you can set up your blog and get on the path to success right from the get-go!
We hope these writing tips will help you write better and positively impact your career- and your income!
Improving your skills as a writer will help you change your writing style to communicate more effectively, whether you specialize in business writing, academic writing, or technical writing.
You can start with the FREE Earn More Writing workshop and see where your new skills take you.
Writing is one of the most satisfying jobs, so don’t give up if it’s not easy at first. With a bit of practice, you’ll be pumping out great content in no time!