These basic writing tips help you become a better writer. People are writing more now than ever before. Whether it’s writing emails, stories, books or blog posts, you must know the basics of writing. Don’t show your writing inexperience by making rookie mistakes.
Writing Tips: Words to Use and Avoid
Unless you’re writing something very specific that needs to be told with pronouns such as ‘I’ or ‘we’, use the third person approach.
Words such as ‘quality’ and ‘solutions’ are often overused in copywriting. State what makes you stand out – or unequivocally state the solutions you offer to the client.
‘Might’ and ‘maybe’ are two words you use carefully use in copy, especially in headlines or chapters. A statement such as, “If you want writing tips that will grow your business, maybe you should download my Expert Edu app,” isn’t as strong as, “Polish your writing skills with the Expert Edu app.”
And yes, this is my app. Download it here by scanning the QR code with your smart phone’s camera or by going to this link.
Get rid of unnecessary words that appear in your copy such as ‘that’, ‘of’, and ‘they’. When you can be grammatically correct and get the point across, edit the unnecessary words out of your copy and leave the meat.
Writing Tips: Grammar and Punctuation
Writing content for online or publication is different than writing for a magazine or getting a good grade in your college English class. If you’re going to be an effective writer, know the difference.
Writing online content means that you write from the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) point of view. That means take into consideration keywords and backlinks. Don’t include too many or too few to drive traffic to the site you’re writing for.
Too many punctuation marks in your content won’t do a thing for your SEO, and they make content difficult to read.
Basic Rules of Punctuation for Writing Content
Place the punctuation for the entire sentence on the outside of the parentheses.
Exclamation Marks (!)
It’s best not to use exclamation marks in copywriting. If you decide there’s no other way but to use one, limit them to ONE.
Quotation Marks (“_”)
Punctuation marks are placed inside the quotation marks – no exceptions.
Keep the commas consistent throughout your content. For example, if you follow the Oxford style for commas, make sure you use the commas in that style from beginning to end. For instance, “infants, children and adults” rather than “infants, children, and adults.” And read the story at this link to understand the consequences of skipping a single comma.
The rule of thumb here is to not capitalize words such as ‘the’, ‘and’, ‘if’ and ‘of’ in headlines or titles unless they’re the first word. Don’t capitalize when it is not needed.
It varies from phrase to phrase and word to word style. If you’re unsure, Google it to find the right way.
The rule is to write out the numbers ten and above. Make exceptions in headlines.
There are certain, “unbreakable” rules for punctuation, but some rules are meant to be broken. If there’s an instance in your writing where something looks better if you bend the rules a bit, then try it. But don’t make a practice of using improper punctuation in your writing. It will only make you look as if you don’t know any better.
Pat Iyer shares a lot more writing tips in her book, 52 Writing Tips: Fast and Easy Ways to Polish Your Writing. Order your copy here.