Writing is great. I’ve been doing it professionally for almost a decade and I’m still in love with the whole process. But there’s one thing – no matter how long you’ve been doing something, you can always do it better. You can always improve.
Since 2009, I’ve written about 12K articles, news, reviews, interviews, guides, SEO posts, et cetera. The most important thing I learned while creating “for the Web” is this: you have to know your audience and provide value. It has to be a beautiful mix of form and function. Even if you do publish an amazingly informative piece, make sure to write in a simple and easily digestible way.
But what does it mean, exactly? Let’s see:
- don’t scare your readers with lots of text served at once;
- don’t push people away using complicated words (unless it’s necessary);
- use lists;
- and other text breakers;
- remember to change the rhythm from time to time.
Also, realize that visual content grabs attention a lot more effectively – but you may still need an old-fashioned article to dig deeper into a problem. And in order to write better, you have to write more. Write till your fingers hurt. Oh, and keep a clean desk while you’re doing it:
And then, edit, restructure, cut. Make it shorter. Make it clean. Below you’ll find some tools to help you do that.
Grammarly lets you avoid popular mistakes
It will come as useful for you, both in the free and premium version. It’s an online grammar, spelling and structure checker. It may not be perfect when it comes to reading the context of a sentence, but Grammarly truly rules when it comes to popular spelling mistakes. It really saved me from publishing something that shouldn’t have been published in its original from form. It corrects your writing in real-time (also for free with a Chrome add-on). As a non-native English writer, I’m surprisingly content with how well does the job.
Hemingway helps with readability
That’s a writer’s assistant. It’s like your friend to whom you give your piece and ask: “Is there something that you don’t understand?“. Most of the time, this “friend” of yours will find a couple sentences that you can make shorter. It will teach you that the fewer adverbs, the better; unless they’re essential. The same thing is with the use of an active instead of a passive voice. In a way, Hemingway is similar to the Fleisch reading ease test.
An old and dusty Thesaurus or an online version of it
Sometimes the most simple solution is the best one. Did you know that smart has 67 synonyms? Agile, astute, brainy, bright, brilliant, crafty, sharp, slick… It’s all about the context and not repeating the same words over and over again. Thesaurus is one of the most effective tools for making any article more readable.
These three tools may be considered a writer’s starter pack. While they require your second-guessing, some of the suggestions really do speed up the process of getting the text ready for publishing. Go and try them out, so whenever you monitor and listen for your company mentions online, you get grammatically correct results.