How to improve your English writing skills

Last Update: January 19, 2018

I love writing. It's one of the reasons I'm so excited at the prospect of being able to make a living as an online blogger. I've been writing different articles, plays, poems and training content for a few years now, so I rarely find it difficult to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard as it is now!). However, in reading around the many profiles and questions in the WA community, I realise that many people who want to succeed in online blogging actually have a fear of writing, which can hold them back.

So here are a few tips for those of your out there who may be struggling with your writing and feel that it's been a long time ago since you last enhanced your English writing skills. Here's to better blogging!

  1. Do some keyword research on things you are interested in to help give you ideas on what to write about - nothing worse than staring at a blank sheet of paper or computer screen. Ask some questions that you want to know the answers to and see what comes up. You can be sure that if you are interested, then someone else will want to read about that too.

  2. Use a writing template such as SiteContent to help order your thoughts and give you goals to aim for - this could be in the number or words, paragraphs or headings for example. Start with simple goals and work your way up. Rome was not built in a day after all.

  3. Break down your writing into bitesize pieces, using paragraph headings to help you and write a few sentences under each heading. You can always add more headings as you go along if you get on a roll.

  4. Use a thesaurus to help improve your vocabulary - there are many easily available online for free, such as thesaurus.com. You don't have to replace every word, but go through your article and see if there are words you could substitute to create more interest for the reader.

  5. Think about the flow of your writing and avoid long, over-complicated sentences - they are difficult to digest and people just switch off.

  6. Write as if you were speaking to a friend using a friendly tone and a natural rhythm - you do not want your blog to come across like a piece of academic research (unless that is your niche, of course). Let your personality shine through - it's what makes you who you are.

  7. Use a spell and grammar checker - the one in SiteContent is excellent, however you can still use your own judgement when it comes to some suggestions. For example, you may actually want successive phrases to all start with the same word in order to add emphasis or meaning.

  8. Write in threes - this is a powerful, rhythmical writing style that many speechwriters use. Offer your reader 3 phrases, for example. It will, 1) improve the flow, 2) improve the rhythm, and 3) allow the reader digest the material more easily. (See what I did there?) You don't have to actually use numbered points in a sentence like that but the pattern of the "1, 2 and 3" approach is a powerful one.

  9. Have someone read over your work if you are worried - this could be a spouse, WA friend or neighbour; or anyone whom you trust to give you some honest and constructive feedback.

  10. Don't be worried! Good writing, like anything else, takes practice. So enjoy your writing, write from the heart and all will be well.

I hope you find these few tips useful and wish you all the best in your blogging.

"Power to the pen!"

Gail


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emmaking Premium
Great piece, Gail.
I'm a freelance writer and I find one of the best ways to improve your writing is to read and write extensively, every day. It's all about the habit. And once it's locked in, writing becomes second nature.
I agree with you, good writing takes practice.
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GailLowe Premium Plus
Thanks for reading and leaving a comment too. Glad you make a living doing what you love. Have fun today.
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DShensky Premium
great suggestions
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GailLowe Premium Plus
Thank you for taking the time to read it. Have a wonderful day.
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omakendo Premium
This is my very fear as English is not
my first language. Thank you for the tips
In writing.WA is is a good learning environment for
me.
Gail, thank you so much.I will continue to
learn as much from you.

Doris
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GailLowe Premium Plus
You're very welcome Doris. Hope it all goes well her for you.
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Marketeer1 Premium
Hi Gail, some great tips..some of which I had not ever thought about before. One of my favourite authors Cheryl Strayed once said that words are power...they invoke emotion and can shape our very destinies. Thanks for a great post.
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GailLowe Premium Plus
Thank you. I think words definitely are power. :)
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mikewood1975 Premium
Thank you for sharing this
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