Writing is an essential business skill. Writing skill is a fundamental part of any business role.
Businesses thrive on quality write ups. You may have better service than others or an amazing product. You will still need a business copy to sell that product or service to customers.
Excellent writing skill is necessary to pursue your customers. Before buying your product, customers come into contact with your website, brochure and business copy. They learn about your product and service from your writing.
But how can you persuade your customers to buy even if you are not a pro writer? Writing is not hard if you follow a specific process and routine. In this blog, let’s find out the holy grail of writing techniques followed by bestsellers authors and copywriters.
How to Write Like A Pro
Good writing is all about the process and the practice you put in. Writing better content starts from establishing the right writing environment, doing research work, and crafting a good draft. You should also know how to use practical navigation tools like headers to help guide your readers through your writing.
Writing an impactful introduction and conclusion is also important. It helps you draw readers in and make them think.
There are 3 steps in the writing process-
Pre-writing: In the prewriting stage, you collect ideas, research your topics, create the outline and refine ideas for your next writings. Pre-writing is the foundation of great writing.
Writing: In this stage, you start writing your first draft. Writing your first draft is painful. But when it is finished, it will be the skeleton of your future main version. After completing your first draft, the next steps are easy to follow.
Editing: You’ve written your first draft; now it is time to polish it to the final version. Editing is a tedious process. You have to go through the sections, remove unnecessary parts, and rewrite sections if needed.
If you need to go back and research again, the editing stage is the perfect time to do that. Throw away parts you believe are not fulfilling your content’s purpose. Do not hesitate to edit word by word, from start to last.
Here are 13 tips for writing like a pro:
1. Collect & develop great ideas
Excellent writing comes from finding and developing great ideas. They don’t just come to you. You have to put in the hard work.
Good writing comes from collecting great ideas. You need to collect every idea you come into contact with. Get curious, read more. When you read more, ideas come to you naturally.
Here is how to cultivate ideas:
- Collect all types of ideas. Save them in places like Evernote, notion, Google Keep and Google docs. Keep physical notes to write immediate thoughts.
- Revisit your thoughts and ideas from time to time. Pinpoint your best ideas. Reorganize them in new files or notes for future work.
- Test ideas that stand out at times. Find evergreen ideas and learn more about them.
- Treat your ideas like dating. Will you go on a date with your ideas? Is your idea a deal-maker? Think like this- will you spend days or weeks writing a book from this idea? If not, then this is not a great idea!
- Validate ideas by running them by your family, friends or colleagues. Watch how they react while listening to your ideas. Follow their body language. If they feel excited, it will show in their expressions. They will share their views, thoughts and opinions naturally. Great ideas make people interested.
2. Research like a pro
Well researched content with high-quality sources stands out from competitors. And search engines love that content. People trust content backed by facts too.
But how can you research like a pro?
- Research before you ready your outline. Research will help you validate your ideas and test their reliability.
- Research will help you figure out your content outline. You can do your primary outline and research more to back each outline.
- Do not hesitate to contact people who are experts on the topic. Most times, they are happy to help you. Because not many people contact researchers to fact check other than by citing their research papers, use their quotes to back up your writing.
- Keep your message brief while contacting others. Identify yourself and what you are trying to learn. Always ask direct questions. Do not waste their time.
Fact-backed writings are an easy way to pursue others. Always fact-check your writings before publishing.
3. Make a proper outline
Create a proper outline while researching. You can check if your outline is solid in your research stage.
- Your outlines are like your content map. Without a map, you can not find your directions. Your outline makes it easy to write and finish.
- You must categorize your main points, and an outline will come handy. You can organize your sections in order and make sure everything is ready.
- Outlines prevent you from getting stuck. You can quickly identify the gaps in your research by reorganizing your outlines.
Outlines help you do more research if needed. You can add more sections while writing if you find anything missing.
4. Find the right environment
Your writing environment influences your writing. There is no one fixed environment for writing. It varies from individual to individual.
Find out what environment is right for you. Some people prefer a noisy place like a coffee bar to write better, whereas some can only write in a quiet place.
New York Times bestseller author Daniel Pink likes to write in his garage office. He can separate himself from the outside world and fully concentrate on his writing.
Find out what environment is best for your writing. I find calm music in my headphones playing on a loop best for my writing environment. I can then write from anywhere!
5. Find your writing process
Now you have found your writing environment; find your process. How do you write best?
Sadly, there is no proper process out there. It solely depends on you. The best thing is to write every day. Writing a few words every day will help you find your process.
Give yourself a number. Word count limit you should write every day. Commit to it. No matter what happens, write and finish the word count. It will help you build your writing habit.
Treat your word count as wall bricks. You put a brick every day; there’s a finished wall at the end of the week. It’s hard to be consistent, but it is essential to build a writing habit.
6. Write the first draft
Write your first draft in as much detail as possible. Your goal should be to put something on paper or in your google doc.
Do not try to fix your mistakes while writing your draft. There is plenty of time to edit later. Make a note for edit and move on with writing.
Getting your first draft done is the hardest part of the writing process. You will feel like it’s never-ending work. But getting the first draft out is the beginning of fun writing.
7. Write an impactful introduction & conclusion
Your content’s introduction and conclusion are the two crucial parts to focus on first. Every content has three main sections- Introduction, Body, & Conclusion.
Start your introduction in a way that makes your readers curious. Use interesting facts, statistics, or questions to make them curious. Use introductions to hook your readers in.
Introduce the problem you will solve and tell them how it affects your readers. Check this post’s introduction, for example. We showed why writing is essential and now we are showing how anyone can be a better writer.
Make the most of the article’s body. Use paragraphs, bullet lists and numbers (like this post). Make it easy to consume for your readers.
Writing your conclusion is a way to make your readers stop and think. Summarize the whole article in a few words and keep your readers engaged with you even after the end.
8. Use navigation tools
Use proper navigation in your articles. You can use the header and subheader to identify the main points in your articles.
Header (H1) and subheader (H2) is also vital if you publish your articles online. Search engines use these to rank and show content in search.
However it can also help your readers to go through your content fast and learn about the main points quickly.
9. Practice a lot
Write, write, and write more!
It is the only way to make your writing better. Practice every day. Write something every day. It can be an Instagram post, a tweet, or a LinkedIn post. Or write a short medium blog every day on your favorite topic.
Read a lot. That’s how you can collect ideas to write every day. Go through your collections of notes (see point 1 again), take inspiration and write something.
Do not insist on making your write ups perfect. There is no perfection in writing. Your goal should be to write every day and publish something with the world.
10. Edit meticulously
The secret of good writing is great editing. Don’t hold yourself back from editing meticulously. No matter how talented you are, your first draft will be average. All you can do is edit it and make it better.
Here are a few things you should check first:
- Grammar and spelling mistakes
- Repeated words & Missing words
- Article flow and continuity
- Half sentence
- Passive voice
- Long sentence
Ask yourself these questions while editing:
Is it too boring?
Is it too thin?
Is it repetitive?
Is it fulfilling the reader’s need?
Remove words and edit sentences if they are not moving your article forward. Read out your writing aloud. See how it sounds, then edit the awkward parts or rewrite it.
Always take a break after writing your first draft and start editing. Give yourself some time to get focused. Keep your formatting the same throughout the article.
11. Ask for feedback
Show your work to your friends and family. Try to gain the perspective of someone who could be your reader.
Become confident about being criticized. Learn from it and use it to make your writing better. Ask your friends:
How would they summarize it?
What part seems unnecessary and should be removed?
Which part could be improved better?
12. Choose the right title
Your title is the first thing readers notice. Try to choose the right title to excite your readers. Make sure your title is accurate and conveys the message of your content.
Do not rush to choose titles. It is important to get feedback from others about your title. Make some alternatives to your choosing and share them with others. Collect their feedback and rank them. Choose the most favorable one.
Your title can influence the readers’ decision to click, read, and buy. You can write great content, but others will overlook your content if your title is not enticing.
Pro Tip: Choose a title within 70 characters if you plan to post online. So it will not cut off in search results.
13. Measure your writings
Measure your writings by going through others’ feedback, analytics, and page views. Measuring your writings can help you understand what works, what the audience wants, and make your content better.
If you post your writing online, it is easy to measure your writing. Use these metrics:
- Email subscriber
- Product sales
- Client booked
Use these hard metrics as per your need for immediate analysis. You can also use soft metrics to measure deeply, like ‘how many people email you after reading your content?’.
Track your growth weekly and monthly to measure your content. You will see how your writing is getting better day by day.
The best way to become a better writer is to practice every day. Make it a habit to write in a daily routine, and follow these tips we talk about in this post. Find out your right environment and suitable process to accelerate your writing power.
No matter what you do in your business, writing skills can dramatically improve your sales and customer retention. Your writing can be a powerful tool to stand out from the competition. Regardless of what you want, investing time in better writing can help you communicate and share your ideas more clearly.