Article writing skills are especially important for people who may work from home, whether as a full-time job or to supplement their income. They may work for a writing service or work as a freelancer, offering their services in a wide range of niches. Before you can convince someone to turn over the future of an academic grade or the quality of content published on their website, however, you need to have skills that help you stand out from other writers. Keep reading to find out how you can boost these skills and emerge as a leader in your craft.
#1: Start a Blog
One of the most useful tools that a writer has at their disposal is a blog. Even if you do not pay for a domain name or web hosting, there are free sites where you can publish your content and get some writing practice. Creating a blog is an easy way to get started with writing samples and it can help you find the niche that you want to write in. By crafting content that interests you, you can use your blog writing skills to attract potential clients with work that you will actually enjoy doing.
#2: Find a Niche
One of the biggest mistakes that writers make when trying to make money from their writing is failing to choose a niche. Even though you may have a wide range of interests, not all of these will be interesting or pleasant to write about. Additionally, if you do not have a target niche, it can be hard to create samples for different writing jobs that you are applying to.
To choose a niche, think about what interests you most. Narrow it down to 2-3 topics that you are both interested in and knowledgeable about. Then, use these topics as the focus of blog articles and other content you write until you land your first writing gig.
#3: Kick Your Distractions
Have you ever sat down to write and been called away from your work by your spouse, roommates, or children? Or maybe you were going to scroll through your social media feed for ‘just ten minutes’ and then blew off the time you set aside for writing completely. Distractions are among the greatest enemy of a writer, especially when you don’t have a looming deadline over your head. Instead of letting distractions continue to boggle you, choose an area to write where you do not have your phone. Let your family and roommates though that you do not want to be disturbed in this space unless it is an emergency. Then, get to writing!
#4: Write Early in the Morning
According to many writers, writing early in the morning is the best way to guarantee you get your practice in for the day. Whether you are writing with a specific goal in mind or writing simply to practice, early-morning writing helps you guarantee you set aside that time. Science shows that right after waking up, your creativity waves are the highest. You are also in the best state of mind to be productive. Additionally, writing early in the morning stops you from putting it off from being tired at night, after all the chores and responsibilities of the day have been handled.
#5: Don’t Limit Yourself by Word Count
When you are trying to meet a specific word count, it is harder to let words flow naturally. Instead of creating your first draft with the word count in mind, get in the habit of writing whatever comes. Once you have gotten all of your ideas on paper, you can decide where to elaborate and where to cut content to come up with a better quality article.
#6: Create Your Draft in Stages
The best writers do not simply sit down and finish a draft. The writing process is called a process because it takes time. Instead of jumping right into your article or draft, editing it as you go along, take advantage of the individual steps. Start by jotting down your ideas and then craft your first draft. Once you have the words how you like them, consider the grammar and how the article sounds.
#7: Research First
Another common mistake made by writers is trying to write before they have all the information. You should always do your research first. This can stop you from having to go back and change things or eliminate irrelevant information later. If you are going to do research, you should also be sure you note your sources, so you can reference them or return to them later if you need to.
#8: Set Your Own Deadlines
One of the reasons that writers procrastinate is because they do not have specific deadlines. If you are a person who puts off your writing to the last minute, set your own deadlines. Once you have done your research and decided on your topic, decide how soon you want to have the first draft done and commit to it.
#9: Vary Your Sentence Length
By varying your sentence length, you give your writing a sense of flow. It keeps the writing from becoming monotonous and boring. Varied sentences also create personality in your writing. You can learn strategies for varying lengths of your sentences here.
#10: Be Aware of Your Audience
You would not use medical jargon if your target audience is worried parents who are trying to find out what is wrong with their child. Likewise, you would not write simply if you are creating business-to-business content for a medical site. The words that you use and the topics that you create content on depend heavily on your audience. Be aware of who you are writing for and the rest will fall into place.
#11: Create Useful Content
Nobody is going to read an article that is boring and irrelevant. By being aware of what your audience wants and needs, you become more aware of the topics that will interest them. If you are having trouble, take a moment to imagine you were one of your audience members. What questions do you want answers? What type of information would you read about your niche? By putting things into a question, you can help yourself develop a solid content plan for your article.
Before you find a website advertising for content writers needed, be sure that your article writing skills are up to skill. By effectively using the tips in this list, you will drastically improve your article writing skills. This will help you improve your writing skills and stand out in an ever-growing pool of candidates.