4 Simple and Effective Techniques to Improve Your Writing Immediately

It’s a well-known fact that writing solid content can be a laborious task. However, there are several things you can do immediately to help you improve your writing. In this blog, we’ll cover four simple yet powerful techniques that will improve your freelance writing right away.

First Technique: The easiest way to win over your readers is by Provide Real-Life Examples

It’s not enough anymore just to expect that you can earn a reasonable living by writing generic content mill pieces; we must be aware that our words may end up in front of a real human being. For this reason, our writing must be specifically tailored to their needs as well.

People are drawn in by stories because they can relate to them much more easily than facts or figures that they do not understand. If you want good freelance writing jobs, you’ll need to provide content that will engage your audience—that means moving away from generic “writer-speak” and towards passages with a bit of individuality behind them. So keep track of all those great things you’ve experienced through freelance work! Did something interesting happen at a

Read more

Using Synonyms: Creating Literary Gems With Rich, Varied Word Usage

I have a confession to make: when writing any paper, I have a dedicated tab open on thesaurus.com to help me come up with ways that will help my ideas flow seamlessly together. Indeed, a good writer is supposed to come up with their own ways to creatively express themselves. However, I suffer from a common problem: word repetition.

Every author that has ever tried to string together a comprehensive text eventually runs into a problem; we sometimes tend to write in a way that more closely reflects how we speak, rather than in a way that creates an easily readable and enjoyable text. There’s an important difference to note here.

Whereas documents are (supposed to be) written in a style that entices the reader to keep going, spoken language is an entirely different beast. When speaking, it’s common to use certain phrases repetitively – in such situations, we have the advantage of inflection, body language, and facial expression to helps to emphasize our ideas more clearly.

Writing doesn’t have that advantage. The closest tools we have in English to an indication of sentiment are emojis and they are rarely appropriate in anything except the most informal settings.

To counterbalance this, a good writer tries to use varied words with more or less the same meaning in his or her texts. Searching for synonyms is important when writing anything. If you use too many of the same words or expressions, you can get into slight trouble.

Read more

How To Handle Criticism From A Client

Receiving negative feedback from a customer can be such a difficult aspect of freelance writing, it can make someone want to quit. I know because I’ve been there.

You finish a large assignment, thousands upon thousands of words, and you’re excited to pass your work off to your client and see what he or she thinks about it. You did your best and felt like you covered the full scope of what was required. You’re ready to take on more work and in the back of your mind, you may even be smugly impressed with your writing skills.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, you get a dreaded negative response to your article. I had just finished some work for a blog owner when I got this email from him (this happened just a couple of months ago):

I’m not very happy with your article, to be honest. This sounds childish. I don’t feel like you put any love into it. It needs a more personal touch and as well as a more professional tone overall.

I was livid. Didn’t put any love into it? WTF?!, I seethed to myself. I had just spent the better part of three days writing a pillar post for his blog, doing endless research about an obscure company almost nobody had ever heard about and had cross-referenced every single point I made.

Read more

Writing Gripping Introductions: How To Command Attention From The Very First Sentence

Have you ever wondered why some authors are able to capture their audience’s hearts seemingly instantly while others struggle to keep their readers’ eyes open page after page? The secret lies in the introduction; simultaneously the most and least interesting part of an article.

Unless you’re writing heavily technical work for scientific publication, EVERY writer needs to know how to write an introduction. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a copywriter, a book author, or a weekend freelance blogger, if you don’t know how to captivate your audience within a few sentences, you’re not just losing money – you’re losing the potential to connect with an otherwise interested party.

Writing an introduction isn’t easy. I know this because I stare at the dreaded white emptiness of a blank page almost every day. Fortunately, I’ve been able to perfect the art of “getting into it” and I rarely suffer from writer’s block (my personal weakness is always the conclusion). However, before I created a creative formula, I had moments where it would take me up to a week to conjure some arcane way to introduce an idea.

READING an introduction isn’t easy either! Just look at your own reading habits: do you ever relish the idea of reading an introduction over and over? Probably not. In fact, if it feels too dreary, I usually skip right past the intro and dive right into the first chapter. Sometimes I even speed read the first chapter – I want to get to the good part as fast as possible. It seems like after a lifetime of being inundated by tiresome intro after intro, most readers hate reading the very first portions of a literary work. There are some exceptions to this that I will go over to perfectly illustrate the value of a well-written beginning.

Become the exception to the rule. Learn how to write the introduction well; in fact, make it your strong point. When you entertain your readers, arouse their curiosity, and spark their imagination, you begin having a conversation with them that can open doors.

Read more

Common Novice Writer Mistake #1: Stop Repeating Yourself.

“Anta, you’re not writing affirmations. Stop repeating yourself.”

When my mentor and long time business partner told me this, I took it personally.

I’m not repeating myself. What the hell? I thought to myself.

It turns out that my habit of writing variations of the same text was so ingrained, I was at the point where I didn’t even recognize it. A sly grin creeped on my friend’s face, as if he sensed my consternation. He started reading the beginning of my paragraph:

As the massive ship glided into the port, it seemed to almost swallow a smaller motorboat that struggled to maintain its place in the docks. The USS Wisconsin was truly, impressively enormous in every sense of the words. It was hard for little Sammy to comprehend the sight of the entire ship all at once.

“My God, it’s almost like an entire city in itself.”

“Hear the echo?” my friend asked. He thought that I was repeating myself too much and he had a point. I was underestimating my readers’ comprehension. I had already written that the ship was massive, and repeating that it was incomprehensibly enormous for two more sentences was stretching a description to its limit. Readers should have already gotten the point by then, and if I needed to drive the point further, I would have other opportunities to do so.

Read more

Mind Hack: Using The Barnum–Forer Effect To Connect To Your Readers on a Fundamental Level

I recently came across a particularly interesting technique, which although can veer into the slightly unethical, clearly illustrates how a writer can use insights into human nature to improve their literature and connect with their audience.

Have you ever heard of the Barnum-Forer effect? Essentially, in the middle of the 20th century, several psychologists were trying to delve into the core characteristics individuals tended to attribute to themselves. They conducted a personality test where students were given a “personality test” and later were given the results of the test based on how they answered. There was a catch, though; everyone was given the exact same result.

Some of the students that participated in the study were so touched by the results, they were moved to tears!

Even more interesting was the fact that the personality traits they fabricated were based on horoscopes, graphology, and other controversial forms of parapsychology. Some of the common traits they included in their “results”, which we will be taking a deeper dive into were:

  1. You have a great need for other people to like and admire you.
  2. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage.
  3. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them.
  4. At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, reserved.
  5. Security is one of your major goals in life.

What exactly does that mean? Are human beings fundamentally the same? Do we all perceive a certain set of values and try to work towards them?

Read more

4 Killer Ways To Encourage Your Audience To Take Action: Exploring The Nudge

After working in copywriting and freelancing for many years, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. People in our industry tend to mystify the sales process. Sure, there are hundreds of little things you can do to improve the conversion rate of a certain piece of copy, but ultimately, only a few factors decide whether or not someone will buy your product. Most of it comes down to the subtle art of influencing people.

No, I’m not referring to some weird mind control trick where expert level hypnosis is used. Influencing people is quite easy, and this article will dive deep into one particular method that is widely referred to as the nudge.

As an example, I’m notoriously bad at replying to emails and other text messages. However, contrary to my terrible habit, I replied very quickly just the other day to a message from a friend of mine. He specifically wanted to organize an event for several people to attend and was wondering which day would be most convenient for me. So, about a week ago, he sent me the following message:

Hey Anta, can you tell me on which date you’re free to attend the event?

Several days passed and I still hadn’t replied. Like I said, I’m terrible, but not necessarily intentionally. I had already seen the message and I had thought that I could probably respond at a later time. Procrastination seems to run deep in my veins haha. In fact, I had already formulated a response. After some time, my friend tried a different approach:

Read more

The First Rule of Effective Writing: It’s Not About YOU

It seems a bit obvious to say, but in this digital age of instant consumption, readers are only becoming more impatient and quitting sooner than you might think. The average reader of this website stays for an average of 12 to 34 seconds before their attention span gets the better of them, and long before they can begin retaining any of the useful information I’ve jam-packed within. You have to take this information into account when writing for a client or even for your own projects.

Fortunately, it’s fairly simple, if not necessarily easy, to get into the head of the client and the reader. With a little bit of patience and practice, you can begin to reach the core of your audience and speak to them like a close friend.

Speak Plainly!

Clear communication with your customers ensures that they remain customers.

Let me say that another way for people that are slightly hard of hearing: simple, clear communication is what will put money in your pocket.

Read more

Persuasive Writing: 4 Copywriting Secrets That Will Help You Create a Rabid Customer Base

When I first started freelance writing, I devoured just about every blog, article and book I could find about copywriting. I wanted to know everything about the industry. How much could people make as independent writers? How could I personally improve my writing style? What were the secrets to building an audience that could hardly wait for my next piece to drop?

Among the many open doors and familiar stories, I found that almost everyone has their own unique way of doing things. People generally tend to find their rhythm when it comes to approaching the same task. I’ve probably discarded more advice and methods than I have kept over my life, and anyone with enough experience has almost certainly done the same. While the plethora of eye-opening tips and clarifications helped to take me to the next level of my craft, a few outstanding tips really gave me the boost I needed to make my career a full-time endeavor.

Even though I have found that the “best” writing tip differs from person to person and moment by moment, there are a few overall things writers need to apply in order to outshine their competitors. Particularly, I’ve found tips relating to writing convincingly to be the most useful for my day to day life.

Read more

The 15 Minute Exercise That Will Help You Overcome Procrastination and Writer’s Block

Let me know if this sounds familiar: you wake up bright and early in the morning, full of energy and ready to take on your day. You finish your morning routine and are ready to take on the world. You finally open up your word processor and….. suddenly your enthusiasm starts disappearing like snow in the sun.

What’s the problem?

As a writer, I know that there are few things scarier than a blank page in a new document. It’s can be a dauting task to figure out how to start. How should I start the article? What will really draw my readers in? I don’t know anything about this subject…where do I even begin?

Does your story always sound fun in your head before you start writing it down and read it back? I get it. I’ve been there. Relax and take a deep breath. There’s a little trick I use every morning to help fire up those content spewing neurons. I call it 15 Minutes To Ignition.

Read more