How to Improve Article Writing Skills
Many people underestimate the importance of having excellent article writing skills. Believe it or not, writing, apart from the spoken word, is one of the world’s oldest forms of communication that still exists today. While we may no longer invest time in sending letters to one another, our daily communication is always accompanied by writing, be it in text messages, daily emails, or posts you make on your social media accounts.
Writing remains crucial in this digital age of consuming everything in clips, images, and captions. And quality writing isn’t as easy to come by. Being an excellent writer in English sets you apart from the crowd and can turn you from a source to a reliable source.
Whether you’re writing a news article, contributing to a blog, or honing your English writing skills, there are many tips that you should remember when writing. If you stick to this guide, you’ll have more eyeballs on your pages in no time. So then, How do you improve your Article Writing Skills?
7 Ways to Improve Your Article Writing Skills
- Create An Outline
Creating an outline is helpful for all writers and is an excellent tip for English writing in general. Whether you’re just learning how to write well or fine-tuning your skills, outlining your writing is the best way to create a framework of all the ideas you have for writing about your topic.
Several outline types exist depending on what kind of writing you’re doing. Here is the most basic outline:
1. Hook & intro
If you keep to this basic outline for all of your English writing, you’ll push out quality post after quality post.
Hook & intro is the most crucial part of writing a good article. It doesn’t matter if your story is incredible if no one ever gets to read it. It takes just a few words and even fewer seconds for a reader to either keep scrolling or turn away.
The best way to write a hook is to think about what would get you hooked into reading something?
- Start with a compelling, relevant quote.
- Invite the reader to imagine something with you.
Bringing them into the story is a great way to hook them instantly.
- Share a shocking fact or study result.
- Start with a question to which the answer is not apparent. If you’re writing an article about child safety, you will not start it as,
“You love your child, right?”
The answer is, obviously, “yes.” Try something like this instead:
“Did you know that ___ children are harmed by ___ per year?”
In the intro, you’ll want to give as many details as possible and explain them later. It would be best to tell the reader why they should care about what they’re reading. Answer the questions, who, what, when, where, and why?
Writing the body should flow from there. You’ve told the reader all the pertinent information. Now expand on who, what, when, where, and why?
You’ve got your work cut out if you’re writing a listicle.
1. Decide how many items you’re going to write about based on word count
2. List each item
3. Describe each list item in detail
A reasonable conclusion is a call to action. Tell the reader what you want them to do with the information they’ve just received. It can be as simple as a follow or share or as big as what they can do to help a cause.
- Write Everyday
Practice does make perfect! If you compare writing to a skill like cooking or even playing a sport, you cannot expect to improve if you don’t practice – it’s like expecting to become a pro football player after one practice with your team.
It would help if you practiced writing to become a better writer. Can you write about anything? From parenting tips to pregnancy tips to freelancing tips to budgeting tips, you can. This helps you maintain your writing skill and enables you to gain more experience writing for an online audience.
Another way to incorporate writing every day is to write social media posts. If you have a Twitter profile or a Facebook profile, start creating a post a day and write two or three sentences on what you’re promoting or doing.
The best writers are also keen readers. Reading regularly is an easy way to start developing your writing skills. This is the same for freelance writers. If you read what you want to write about, you’ll effectively become a better writer. Why? Well, you’ll understand your niche better. You’ll also read from other bloggers, writers, and marketers their take on your writing niche.
We learn best by example, and gaining article writing skills is no exception to this rule. When we read, we know how other people write to convey their messages in the best way possible, and we start to adapt our writing styles to those that we resonate most with.
Incorporate daily reading into your writing exercises; maybe make your practice paragraph a review or summary of what you read that day, taking different elements of the author’s writing style to develop your voice.
- Keep It Simple And Clear
There is nothing more frustrating than a piece of writing that doesn’t get straight to the point. Think about what you want to say, what message you want your reader to take away with them, and make sure that you make this message clear from the very beginning. A reader’s attention span is generally short, so one of the best things you can do as a writer is to keep your article direct and concise. Having a maximum word count goal will help you not only help you complete your write-ups faster but will also result in a streamlined report that focuses on significant points while eliminating fluff.
Aside from plagiarizing someone else’s work, nothing will undermine your credibility faster than failing to do your homework.
Many writers try to take shortcuts with the facts in their eagerness to be done with a blog post (or even a major newspaper article). This can range from accidentally fudging a statistic out of haste to being lazy regarding sourcing or attribution. This can land you in big trouble with your editor/content marketing manager/other boss-type people, making you look like an amateur.
Research is vital for any piece of writing, but it’s also easy to fall into the trap of spending too much time researching and not enough time writing your first draft. If you’re looking for facts or statistics to support your argument, try to be as specific as possible in your search terms. If you aren’t finding the support you’re looking for; the takeaway may be that you need to adjust your thesis or subject matter.
- Edit After Writing
Never underestimate the importance of a particular editing session. Editing is a part of the writing process that is entirely underrated and frequently overlooked. Errors in your writing are likely to take attention away from the message you are trying to convey and decrease your reader’s trust in your viability as a writer.
One of the most common mistakes that writers make is trying to edit while they write. Resist this urge. Trying to edit while writing can slow you down, increasing the likelihood that you won’t make it past the intro. Good writers know that writing and editing are two distinct and separate processes. Once you’ve gotten to the end, you can focus on writing the perfect first line, sharpening your first paragraph, or tying things together with a clever kicker.
- Read How You Want to Write
If there is a particular writing style that you like, read, read, read, everything in that style. Digesting the material similar to how you want to write is the best way to improve your English writing aside from PRACTICE!
Some say it takes 10,000 hours to master anything. Read and write as much English material as you can from various English authors. You’ll find your style along the way.
Copy the writing you read word for word to get used to the grammar, sentence structure, and spelling used in the English language. It’s a tricky language to learn how to speak and even tougher to write it well.
As a writer, if you adopt this writing process, it will help you become a better writer. Create an outline, make writing a daily exercise, read more, develop a clear message, keep it simple, do your research efficiently, never underestimate the importance of a thorough editing session, and focus on your preferred writing style. Remember, you want your writing to reflect the effort you put into it so that people read more and want you to write more.