3 Writing Tips You'd Be Foolish Not To Follow

Last Update: March 29, 2013
If you’re interested in writing as I am, you’ll always be on the lookout for any writing tips to help you improve your writing. A quick search on the internet and you’ll find hundreds of examples. Of course many of them are very similar, just written in different ways but I still find them fascinating and use them as a guide to the way I want to write.

The three examples below are from Jeff Goins, a writer and blogger . I chose them because it's been one of those weeks when I've seen some very poor examples of writing and I thought they were particularly relevant. I’ve added my own thoughts on them.

This is an obvious piece of advice, but sadly it’s one that not everyone follows. Don’t copy other people’s work. It’s dishonest, it’s a simple as that. You’re not being fair to the person you’re stealing from and you’re not being fair to the readers who are reading ‘your ‘content.

Of course you can quote from other writers but you need to attribute it.

It’s also unwise to try and ‘copy’ another writer’s exact writing style. It doesn’t work. Develop your own style of writing and let your personality shine through.

it’s not exactly a novel tip but that doesn’t make it any less important. We’ve all been disgusted by so called gurus in internet marketing making ridiculous promises but they are not the only ones using unethical tactics.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re creating training materials, writing articles, writing blogs, writing landing pages, newsletters, press releases, adverts... you shouldn’t
  • Promote products you don’t believe in .
  • Try and up sell your products and imply that people are stupid if they don’t sign up.
  • Use inaccurate data in your writing
  • Make completely unsubstantiated claims
  • Write headlines making wild and inaccurate promises
  • Write headlines that don’t match the content
  • Create bogus records showing financial success
  • Claim you have experience when you haven’t
  • Claim other writer’s work as your own.

This tip made me laugh. I’ve never seen it written like this before but it’s a great piece of advice. How often have you read something and struggled to either understand what they’re talking about because they either use words or jargon that you understand?

Remember not to...
  • Use too many adverbs
  • Use two words when one will do
  • Use too many long words
  • Use too many long sentences
  • Use jargon without explanation
  • Go off topic
  • Write articles with multiple topics
  • Write content that offers nothing to the reader
  • Write to show off how clever you are.
  • Pad your writing with extra words or sentences just to add quantity rather than quality
‘Word vomit’ your audience and they won’t listen to you.

As I said at the beginning there are many writing tips out there, but I believe that these three are ones you’d be foolish not to follow.
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Always a good reminder. Thank you for sharing Beverley! A Hannah hello to Linus.
BIS Premium
Thanks Meredith. Linus sends his love!
kipper30 Premium
Thanks Beverley. Good blog and advice, as always. I might also add that, although it would seem obvious, to proofread what you've written. How many times have we all read interesting material that ends up leaving us with a negative impression because the author apparently didn't bother to check for spelling and other errors.
BIS Premium
I agree with you. Was that a hint? You're absolutely right, but I know from experience that you can read several time and the brain is wired to ignore it. I think readers will forgive the odd mistake - but not a lot. As you say it's not good for people to be left with a negative impression.
kipper30 Premium
Absolutely NOT a hint! :)
Kathy1952 Premium
Hi Beverley! This is awesome material. I love to write and try to make it unique because it's fun to do it that way. I take your advice seriously. Thanks!
BIS Premium
Thanks for taking the time to comment Kathy. Glad you enjoyed it.
golf1800s Premium
Thanks Beverley - Great tips for writing-foundations! I especially like the second one - readers are not stupid and one little fib in the first article read will set a sour disposition for any author. [ 'Word-vomit on your audience' - yes that made me laugh too!! It makes one want to stop reading, literally, and get a shower! ]
BIS Premium
Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it. It is foolish for people to fib but you see it all the time.
The word vomit quote is awful - but it's one that's going to stay in my mind for a very long time.
Hudson Premium
Great post Bev, we all need reminding of these especially the last point.
BIS Premium
Thanks Hudson. Glad you enjoyed it. I couldn't help laughing at the last point. I certainly hadn't heard it describe in that way before and it certainly caught my attention.