When anyone asks me how they can become a better writer, I offer three pieces of advice: Read, write, and share.
The first, reading, is crucial.
As a writer, you gain so much by reading.
You are exposed to new ideas, which can blend with your own experiences and worldview to create yet more new ideas… ideas that are unique to you, at least in their expression.
You are exposed to stories. Stories are like magic for the mind. Your brain is eager for stories. The same is true for your reader. Stories entertain. They teach. They build connection. And they stick in the memory.
You’re exposed to structure. The more you read, the more you will internalize different ways of organizing information. You’ll learn to build tension, construct a logical sequence, and to reveal details in a way that is satisfying and engaging for your reader.
You’re exposed to pacing and description. The more you read, the more you will understand how to craft pictures from words and to keep the flow of your writing going so you carry your reader along without effort.
But what should you read?
I recommend a mix of everything. Read blogs from writers and marketers you love. Read trade publications from your niche. Read the news — current events can provide all sorts of ideas for content marketing and sales pieces. Read biographies. Read poetry. Read fiction. Read nonfiction on topics you’re interested in that have nothing to do with your work.
Reading naturally increases your writing vocabulary. The more you do it, the better your writing will become both in the technical sense — the structure and the word choice — but also in the creative sense — the ideas, descriptions, and pacing.
Make a commitment to read at least a half an hour each day and see if your writing isn’t coming a little easier by the end of the month. I bet you’ll see a difference!
New on the Site
During an economic downturn, business owners — especially small business owners — are still fearful. They’re naturally in a belt-tightening mindset right now, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need your services! See how you can keep work coming your way even in a budget-conscious economy.
Do you know what a Content Delivery Network (CDN) is? Do you know if you have one enabled on your site? In our newest Tech Corner from Andrew Murray, he talks through what a CDN is, why it’s important, and how you can take advantage of it on your own business website.
Imagine being given a once in a lifetime chance to get your career-changing dream job with the most perfect company imaginable. The only catch? You’ve got only 20 seconds to impress the boss. Suzanna Fitzgerald walks you through putting together a memorable, effective elevator pitch in her latest Reality Blog.
Mark Your Calendar
February 4: Recently, you were invited to submit your LinkedIn Profile for the chance to have it reviewed in a live webinar event. Several of you jumped on the Challenge and this Thursday, I’ll be going through selected submissions to explore what’s working and what could be stronger. This is a great event to attend if you are interested in using LinkedIn as part of your marketing strategy, about to post your own LinkedIn profile, or planning to update your LinkedIn profile soon. I hope you’ll join us!
February 12: Our next Monthly Member Update is coming up. During this event, I’ll talk about top content on Wealthy Web Writer. I’ll share some new things coming up soon. And I’ll answer your freelance and web-writing questions. Plus, I’ll also be exploring four things you can start doing immediately that will make your writing stronger and more effective. I hope to see you there!
Around the Web
Need to write some sales copy for you or a client? Here are nine things to pay attention to…
Check out these examples of sales copy in action, with commentary on what’s working and why.
And here, you’ll find common sales copy rules explored at a deeper level.
Frankly, I love examples, so take everything you learned from those first three links and see if you can spot them at work in these 14 examples from HubSpot.
That’s all for now. Make it a great week!