If you want to be a blogger and an author, you need one thing more than any other: writing skills. But not every blogger or author starts out with superb writing ability. Sometimes, they learn and improve that skill over time. That’s why in this post freelance writer Beth Bauer (@JourneyofBethB) offers seven ways you can improve your writing skills.
When I first started blogging, I had no idea what I was doing. I honestly didn’t know what I didn’t know. Over the years, I’ve become much more aware of what I don’t know and where I need improvement.
Recently I went back to re-read some of the first posts I published on my blog. Sweat began to accumulate on my forehead as I read my earlier work. I was shocked and embarrassed by my writing and quickly got to work editing my original content.
Obviously, through the years, my writing skills have improved. Just like any career, the longer you’re at it, the more you learn, and the better you become as a blogger.
As a blogger and aspiring or published author, you might find the following suggestions helpful in your efforts to improve your writing skills.
1. Attend Workshops
One of my favorite ways to improve my writing skills is to attend live workshops. Live workshops are fun because you can ask questions during class and get instant feedback. You also get the benefit of listening to questions from other students and hearing about their experiences. It’s a beautiful way to learn, network, and make new friends that share your interests.
2. Take Online Classes
If you can’t find any suitable local workshops to help you improve your writing skills, you can always take online classes. Today’s digital world makes continual learning an easy option. Anytime day or night, you can choose an online course to enhance your skills. The topics are numerous, and many classes are free! Just enter a key phrase and check out all of your workshop options.
3. Go to Conferences
Writing conferences are much fun and a fantastic way to sharpen your skills. Aside from keynote speeches, there are usually expert panels, workshops, brainstorming sessions, break-out sessions, social or networking events, and vendors that offer all kinds of deals on helpful products and services. You can also get critiques on your work and meet with experts in the industry.
4. Watch Videos
YouTube videos are available on any conceivable topic, and writing is no exception. Just enter a keyword into Google, and see what results your search receives. Do you want to tell a better story, improve your vocabulary, or improve your prose? Do you need to learn more about your niche? There’s a YouTube video for that!
5. Read Articles or Books
One way to become a better writer is to become a more avid reader. The more you read, the more you’ll take notice of techniques you like or dislike. You’ll get ideas and learn things, whether it be consciously or subconsciously. You also can find books or articles on any specific writing subject you find challenging. Try to read (and write) something new every day, and watch how quickly your writing skills improve.
6. Get a Mentor
Every successful business person needs a mentor, especially writers! You’ve probably realized by now that blogging is a competitive field. If you want to succeed, you have to work at it. A mentor will provide essential support and encouragement. He or she will also give you invaluable advice and new ideas. If you don’t currently have a writing mentor, set a goal to find one. Conferences and other industry events are a super place to meet a potential mentor. Don’t be shy, reach out, and create relationships with other writers, especially more experienced ones.
7. Use an Editor
One of the many reasons I’m embarrassed by my early blog posts is that I didn’t use grammar software back then, and I didn’t have an editor either. Preferably, you should have both. I use Grammarly and Hemingway with my initial drafts, and then I send them off to an editor for review. An editor will not only look at spelling, punctuation, and grammar but also can make useful suggestions about how to better engage your audience and improve your style.
Your success as a writer and blogger depends on continually improving your writing skills. If you’re stagnating, your audience might become bored, or you might become uninterested in your own work. Continual learning makes everything more fun. Plus, it’s good for your brain! Flex those brain muscles just as you stretch your other muscles, and watch your skills expand and your success as a writer escalate. Soon, other writers might even approach you and ask you to mentor them.
What methods have you used to help you improve your blog writing skills? Tell me in a comment below.
About the Author
Beth Bauer is a freelance writer, travel blogger, yoga instructor, and entrepreneur currently working on her third novel. She has traveled to over 20 countries in just the last two years and enjoys life as a digital nomad. She is originally from the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.A., and when she’s home lives on the Long Beach Peninsula with her dog, Ozzie.