Let’s Improve Your Writing Skills
As many of you all know, owning a business involves wearing a lot of different hats — taking on a lot of different roles with one goal in mind: getting customers, or rather, making money! You want customers to find your company, feel confident about choosing you instead of your competition, and eventually become a paying customer. That’s the plan, right? But have you put any thought into how important grammar and trying to improve your writing skills are when it comes to digital marketing, content creation, social media, and everything else a customer may see?
Spoiler Alert: It’s pretty important. Poor grammar can negatively affect how customers see your company/brand.
In this article I will discuss 5 tools you can start using today to improve your writing skills.
1. Hemingway App
Hemingway App is a powerful editing tool with a paid desktop app (although you can use their free website at HemingwayApp.com). Upload your written content, hit the Edit button, and you’ll receive your score.
Just like Hemingway avoided adverbs and loved simple language, the app grades your work on readability, number of hard and very hard sentences and use of passive voice and adverbs. The simpler your work is to read, the better your score. This particular article scored a readability level for grade seven, used nine adverbs, three instances of passive voice, 13 hard sentences and five very hard sentences. It has since been edited.
Expresso is a souped-up version of the Hemingway App, and will expose your weak verbs, filler words, clustered nouns, entity substitutions (“we,” “they”) and even adjectives and adverbs.
It might not be a good tool if you’re just starting to improve your written communication skills, because it shows so many different areas to focus on. You’ll get bogged down with all the changes it wants you to make. If that’s the case, stick with the Hemingway App for now. But if you’ve been working on your writing for a while, use Expresso to step up your game.
If you’ve noticed that you overuse commas in your writing, putting them in where they don’t need to be. You can easily catch those mistakes thanks to the Grammarly plugin for Google Chrome.
Grammarly is a grammar and punctuation checker that scans your writing on the fly and flags any misspellings, punctuation problems and general issues. The thing I like about it is that it’s always working while I’m using my browser. It finds errors in my email, on Twitter, Facebook and any other site where I need to enter text. It’s saved me from a few minor-but-embarrassing errors.
Pro tip: You can also get Grammarly for Firefox and Safari.
4. Write by Hand
No, it’s not an app, it’s that thing at the end of your arm. Put a pen in it, grab a notebook, and write a blog article by hand.
When I started writing this article, I wrote the intro four different times because I was in a rush. I didn’t think, I didn’t slow down and consider what I wanted to say. I just started writing and I wasn’t happy with what I came up with. As a result, I had three completely different intros before I finally landed on the one you just read.
I also like to use a Moleskine notebook for the same reason — I want to be deliberate and thoughtful, and turn writing into a tactile experience. I’ve been using Moleskines for years, and have a tall stack filled with blog articles, first drafts of columns, story ideas and meeting notes. They’re great for writing down basic ideas when I don’t have my laptop handy and don’t want to use my phone.
5. Listen to Writing Podcasts
Ok, this suggestion isn’t for everyone. Writing podcasts are pretty boring, and they’re sometimes like being back in school; however, they help. Sometimes we all need a little refresher course and that’s exactly what these can be like.
- A Way With Words, public radio’s radio show on language
- Two Writers Slinging Yang, where Jeff Pearlman interviews top writers
- Park Howell’s Business of Story podcast, where he interviews professional marketing storytellers every week (I’ve appeared on Park’s podcast twice, too)
Once you start to listen to a podcast, be sure to take notes. Then practice what you learned once you finish the podcast.
Those five tips should help you master your written communication skills. Having great writing skills help when creating page content, emails, newsletters, and more. These skills easily carry over into public speaking and verbal communication as well.
Get more tips like these on the Pixelized Designs Blog: https://pixelized.co/blog
Learn how to give an impactful 60 sec: https://www.totalnetworkingteam.com/university/