Writing is easy, but quality writing isn’t. If you want to transform your hobby into a full-time earning opportunity, you need to perform some groundwork. Excellent writing doesn’t happen overnight. You need to practice the art, to achieve perfection.
Every word you write, matters; and the style (how you write) matters even more. A quality write-up is a visual treat for the readers. But, only a handful of writers are capable of compelling the readers to turn a page.
In most of the cases, this happens due to the lack of authenticity and originality. Before you start writing, ask yourself; Are you telling your story from your unique perspective, with a style that is your original voice and tone?
If your answer, to the above question, is yes, and yet you are struggling hard to drive traffic to your website or blog, it is probably because you are committing some fundamental errors, which is affecting the quality of your write-ups.
Based on my personal writing and editing experience of 13+ years, here I have summed up some of the basic editorial guidelines, in no particular order:
- Avoid clichés.
- Don’t rely on auto spell-check or grammar softwares. Revise your stories multiple times for typos, etc.
- Don’t use fragmented sentences, even if you are writing in an informal tone or conversational tone. Write complete sentences.
- Avoid using complex sentences. Use simple or compound sentences. Avoid using lengthy sentences, which might confuse your readers.
- Avoid starting a sentence or paragraph with “And,” “But,” “So,” or “Because.”
- Avoid jargons and fluff in the story. Stick to facts, figures, and statistics.
- Never copy-paste paragraphs from your previous blogs, even if you wrote them. You must rework on the language to avoid internal copy-pasting.
- Don’t use indefinite pronouns.
- Don’t repeat information. Try to follow the inverted pyramid structure. Once you have stated a fact, you can refer back to it, but you don’t need to repeat it again and again. Make sure every sentence and paragraph has something new to say.
- Avoid vague terms like “a lot.”
- Avoid beginning a sentence with words like “there is,” “In order to (‘to’ is sufficient)” etc.
- Avoid writing in casual tones like “taxes and things like that,” “it has been reported,” “it is long heard,” “some say,” etc. which might sound vague.
- Learn to write crisper sentences.
- Avoid rhetorical questions unless you are writing an opinionated article e.g., “Isn’t it cool?”
- Avoid ellipses.
- Avoid using past tense in the story title e.g., “Apple Revealed Brand New iPhone” is incorrect. “Apple Reveals Brand New iPhone” is correct.
- Don’t use overly dramatic terms like “big bad Cupertino giant” etc. or slang like “damn,” “hell-bent,” etc. Don’t use colloquial words if you want to improve your ranking.
- Beware of dangling modifiers/participles.
- Avoid acronyms. E.g., TB, ASAP. Write out the words.
- Avoid clipped versions of words (e.g., tech = technology, adverts = advertisements).
However, there are no hard and fast rules for writing. If you have the skills, you can master the craft anytime with some extra efforts. So, keep writing and practicing!