Need for effective writing strategies
Almost any writer starts their writing journey with a question i.e, “Why do you want to write?”. The likelihood of being a successful writer increases with how well one answers this question for oneself. We are going to discuss 10 effective writing strategies, prominent writers followed to become what they are today.
Also, check out Henry Harvin’s content writing courses if you want to master the nuances of writing.
The Internet is flooded with thousands of blogs every day. If you aim to stand out in the crowd, you need strong content, and it’s not as easy as it sounds. You should figure out the motto behind your interest in writing. Only then would you be able to develop your craft.
Prominent writers know this trick very well. They polish their craft through continuous upskilling and practice with undivided attention. They formulate, practice, and follow strategies to become stronger, more influential, and irreplaceable writers in their niches.
Let’s look at 10 effective writing strategies to become better at your craft.
1. Structure Your Writing
First on the list of effective writing strategies include structuring your writing. Writing is not just about getting sentences or grammar right. It’s about sharing your knowledge, beliefs, thoughts, and emotions. They should be conveyed in a way understandable and appealing to your target audience. You must plan to create a cohesive flow of thoughts in your writing.
This acts as a skeleton to your writing and helps you organize your thoughts, fill in the spaces, and eliminate confusion to your audience. One of the most effective writing strategies to structure thoughts in your writing is through “Mind Mapping”.
Mind-mapping Strategy –
In the mind mapping strategy, you start with a central idea on a piece of paper. You need to think of supporting details or thoughts and try to connect them with the central idea. Continue the process until you are left with no more ideas.
The result of this strategy is nothing but a web of thoughts on a piece of paper. You need to observe the cluster of thoughts that interest you the most. You can then start drafting your write-up around the identified cluster of thoughts.
2. Discover Your Audiences’ Needs
Second, on the list of effective writing strategies is to discover your target audience. If you truly want to stand out in the crowd, do what your competitors don’t. Spend some time understanding your target audience’s aspirations, frustrations, dreams, and fears. Analyze what they aim to achieve or understand and make your notes
Then, go ahead and start writing according to your notes. This way you will be able to write content that your audience like reading. Knowing the audience helps writers figure out the content flow and can take decisions regarding what should go into the content. This includes critical information, supporting details, etc.
You may need to tweak your writing sometimes and make it more appealing to your target audience. By analyzing your target audience, you can identify the tones and structures that are needed to be incorporated into your writing. Writers need to maintain a list of elements on the following:
- What your audience already know
- What are they aiming to know
- How are they aiming to know
- How you can help them know
These pointers work as guiding principles to produce content that your target audience feel is worth reading.
3. Start with a Strong Opening
The third on the list of effective writing strategies is to start with a strong opening. The opening sentence should grab the user’s attention instantaneously. You only got one sentence to hook your audience. So you can’t take chances. Make sure to start with strong opening sentences.
Opening sentences play an important role in engaging and influencing your audience to read your content. Make sure you keep your audience’s likes, dislikes, aims, and aspirations in mind before you pen down your first sentence.
You can write these sentences by using any of the effective writing strategies given below:
- One way is to start the opening sentences with a surprising fact
- You can try and establish a personal connection with your audience
- You can even start with a quick personal anecdote
- You can try and create a sense of need or urgency in the readers
- Try to make your first sentence, intriguing and punchy.
- It can also be a claim or question that can instantly stir the reader’s emotions.
- You can elicit readers’ interest by stating the benefits they get by reading your content.
4. Master Precision
Fourth on the list of effective writing strategies is to maintain and master precision in your writing. Precision makes your content clear and crisp. This also eliminates vagueness from your content thereby conveying information with no fuzziness.
Another best way to maintain precision is to minimize redundancy which is using excessive information. To do this we may need to use terminology that can replace longer sentences.
Precision also aids to write persuasive content. Try to avoid unnecessary details that kill the reader’s interest. If your content includes data, try to use numbers that display your knowledge and credibility as a writer.
The best way to maintain precision in your writing is to reduce the usage of passive voice. Simultaneously, concentrate on writing in an active voice. You can also implement:
- Minimizing redundant pairs such as each and every, first and foremost, etc.
- Eliminating unwanted qualifiers such as basically, definitely, really, etc.
- Try to shorten the sentences with little or no propositional phrases.
- Master the art of altering phrases with words
- Aim to use affirmatives instead of negative forms.
- Try to put your point in not more than ten words.
5. Eliminate Common Grammatical Mistakes
Fifth on the list of effective writing strategies is to eliminate grammatical errors. Grammar makes or breaks your writing. Readers can judge your knowledge and skills if your content is not grammatically healthy. So, understand the gaps in your writing and focus on improving them.
Let’s look at some common grammatical errors and learn to eliminate them :
- Make sure that the sentences have a subject and a predicate and convey a clear thought.
- Using commas when not necessary may ruin your craft. Prominent writers know how, when, and where to use commas.
- Try to maintain subject-verb agreement in your writing.
- Similarly, It is important to maintain the noun-pronoun agreement.
- Improper use of modifiers has the potential to hurt the clarity of your write-up.
- Another important and most common grammatical error is tenses. Make sure that the tense should be consistent throughout your writing.
6. Using Powerful Verbs
Sixth on the list of effective writing strategies is the usage of powerful verbs. Effective writing demands strong verbs. Powerful verbs enhance readers’ experience. It makes simple sentences create an interesting image in the eyes of your readers. Powerful verbs stir your reader’s emotions.
They leave writers with no choice but to read your content. Always try to replace a weak adverb with a strong verb. Try to include expressive verbs for actions
7. Habituate Sparing use of Adjectives and Adverbs
The seventh on the list of effective writing strategies is minimizing the use of adjectives and adverbs in your content. Adjectives describe nouns. It talks about how many, which, and what kind aspects of nouns. Likewise, adverbs describe verbs. It talks about the when, how, and where aspects of verbs.
Most writers believe that adding adjectives or adverbs adds weight to the content. In reality, strong content is more precise. There are ample adverb-verb combinations that can be replaced by a single verb.
For instance, “driving fast” can be replaced by speeding, etc. Most adverbs that end with “ly” simply “tell” the situation instead of describing or showing the elements of situations. This could be one of the major reasons why adverbs weaken your writing. Try to replace flat and boring adjectives or adverbs with interesting and strong nouns or verbs.
8. Readout Loud
Eight on the list of effective writing strategies is reading out loud. The main step to making your content stronger begins after writing your draft. You need to read your draft out loud to trace any errors such as wordiness, extensive use of modifiers, etc.
Reading out loud helps you:
- Catch unclear and wordy sentences.
- Capture irregular sentence construction
- Phrases that can be replaced with simple verbs
Also, you can record, while you read out loud. Listen to your recording multiple times to understand and revamp your draft and make it stronger.
9. Understand and Use Writing Tools
Ninth on the list of effective writing strategies is the use of writing tools. Thanks to technological advancements, numerous writing tools are now ready to minimize your burden. They can help you in making your content better and stronger.
Hemingway App –
You can think of using the Hemingway app. This app traces readability issues, wordy sentences, and passive voice errors. Target a specific reading level and write to make your points clear.
Another interesting and widely used tool is “Grammarly”. It’s available as an extension or you can use it directly through the browser. It points out spelling and grammar errors. It protects your writing from striking grammar errors.
WebFX Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test Tool –
Readability is a key factor that should never be overlooked while writing content. Poor readability can cost you hundreds and thousands of valuable audiences who don’t pay attention just because they can’t read it. WebFX Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test Tool helps you test the readability of your content either by URL or by direct input.
You can optimize your content and make it SEO-friendly by using Yoast. It helps you with recommendations that better optimize your content. Make sure your writing is firmly focused on the central theme of your content in case you find it difficult implementing yoast recommendation.
10. Verify, Edit, Proofread, Repeat
Finally, last on the list of effective writing strategies is verifying, editing, and proofreading. It is always recommended to proofread your article after writing and editing. Proofreading helps you to identify errors you might have missed while editing.
After writing, you need to verify that the flow of thoughts and the central theme are intact and precise. The next step is to edit your piece.
Editing improves readability and the overall quality of your content. Editing eliminates sentence fragments, run-outs, spelling mistakes, etc. Keep in mind not to edit immediately after writing your content.
Editing Tips –
Give it some time, take a walk, or go out with friends. Come back and then edit your content with a fresh perspective. Firstly, You need to look for capital letters in the middle of sentences. Then look out for spelling mistakes, punctuation, etc. Make sure that the sentence structure is not-confusing and is simple.
Proofreading Tips –
Finally, you need to proofread to trace out potential grammar and style errors that you might have missed while editing. While proofreading check for homonyms. Punctuations like apostrophes, commas, etc, are often overlooked in the editing phase of your writing.
Make sure you check the misplaced or misused punctuation and clear them from your write-up. Try to take a printout and proofread the hard copy. In this way, you can identify errors easily with little to no stress.
You may need to repeat the same process as and when you write. One of the critical effective writing strategies is taking time to write. You need the time and effort to master the craft of writing. Make it a practice of writing something every day. Try to work on these effective writing strategies one at a time. This helps you learn, write, and become an effective writer.
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Additional Effective Writing Strategies
- Correct spelling is one of the best methods to demonstrate your writing knowledge. Even if there are many spell and grammar checkers available to writers nowadays, there will still be instances when you have to write without them.
- Fixing a sentence to reflect the right perspective is a simple and swift victory. The audience you’re writing for and the publication’s style manual will determine the appropriate point of view.
- In general, switching points of view inside a single work is a bad idea. Of course, if you’re creating anything more imaginative, like literary fiction or a short story, you can defy that guideline.
- Setting a maximum word count for your writing is one of the best exercises you can do to get better at it. Reduce that word count when rewriting, after that. Cut any unnecessary adjectives and adverbs from that sentence and reduce them. You’ll be forced to write in basic phrases and exercise restraint in your word choice if you use this strategy.
- A sentence fragment does not create a complete notion or doesn’t have a dependent clause. It frequently appears in social media messages and texts. On social media or in a casual context, that might be acceptable. However, academic writing, business writing, and other forms of journalism discourage the use of sentence fragments. If you are doubtful use full sentences. These are some additional effective writing strategies to fuel your writing.
Ans. Writing techniques are nothing but styles, authors use to convey their messages. These styles help writers write content that makes sense to their target audience. It’s difficult to say that a single style can please everyone. So, knowledge of different writing styles helps writers reach a wider audience. It also helps writers write effective and meaningful content.
Ans. Effective writing demands coherence, correctness, focus, unity, and development. These qualities are very much vital, especially in expository and academic writing.
Ans. There are three important criteria one needs to use while setting goals to be an effective writer. The plans you set should be meaningful, attainable, and measurable. This can help you transition from a good writer to a better writer to a successful writer and finally an effective writer that produces valuable content.
Ans. There are three important purposes to writing. They are “write to inform”, “write to entertain”. and “write to persuade”. Authors begin writing with a fixed purpose in mind. So it would be a great start for beginners to study purposes of writing to start with.