Article Writing Tips

Received this article writing tips from the SitePoint newsletter. And yes,
all of us has that blank feeling when sitting in front of the PC trying to
cobble up a piece for our website or blog. Sometimes we wait for some kind
of inspiration to get going or procrastinate by doing other things. The
article writing tips below still does not address the writer's block issue
but it helps you to improve on your writing. I hope I will be able to make
use of the writing tips below and get going to add more articles in my
website that is compelling and good to read.

Cheers!


Writing is a Challenge, not a Chore
-----------------------------------

Ever noticed that some blogs or articles read so much better than others?
Some are a chore to read, while others are a pleasure. The same applies to
emails and letters. So what's the secret to writing with impact? Well, I like to credit my writing in the Tribune to the fantastic editors
that work tirelessly behind the scenes to make my stream of words sensible;
however, there are a multitude of ways to improve your writing. Here are
eight of them. I challenge you to go through your website and look at your content in light
of these rules. Fixing any issues may just make a big difference to your
conversion rate.

[] Write When the Urge Hits If you speak to professional writers, they'll tell you that they sit down
for a full day every day and write those articles. The rest of us aren't
that lucky. I find that I can only really write well when I'm in the mood.
Sure, I can write even when I'd rather not be; however, I'm sure it shows
when it's forced. Know when you're in the zone to write and when you're not. Choosing to write
when you're up to it will improve most people's writing considerably. [] Simplicity is Key Just like a new designer who uses ten typefaces on a simple graphic, many
new writers believe they need to use complex words to look smart. All that does is make your writing hard to read. It's okay to use a
thesaurus to vary your word usage, but don't forsake a good, descriptive
word for a more difficult one. [] Avoid Verbosity If you can take a word out without changing the meaning of the sentence, do
it. Take this sentence, for example: what unnecessary words could you
possibly remove? Let's try that again now. Take this sentence, for example:
what words could you remove? Notice the difference? Brevity, especially in business communications, is
like a breath of fresh air. Readers will appreciate you for it. [] Write Concise Sentences Once you've written your piece, read it aloud. You should be able to read a
sentence without gasping for breath. In business writing, people prefer
shorter sentences. So as well as removing unnecessary words, aim for concise
writing. [] Keep Paragraphs Compact People tend to scan websites, rather than read from top to bottom like they
do with a newspaper. If you're writing for the Web, limit the length of your
paragraphs, and your readers will keep coming back for more. [] Use an Active Voice This is not about exercising your vocal cords. Active sentence construction
uses more direct language than its passive cousin, with stronger verbs that
inject energy into the action. Compare the following: . The website was built by me. . I built the website. In the first sentence, the subject is the website, which is being acted
upon; it's in the passive voice. In the second sentence, I'm the subject
that performs the action. Sometimes it's a case of what needs to be
emphasized, but more often the directness of active construction is
preferable for clear English. Not only is the sentence now shorter, it's
punchier and reads better. [] Spell-check, Spell-check, and then Spell-check There is nothing worse than seeing spelling errors in business
communications. I've lost count of the number of times I've watched a
presentation with errors in the slides, or lost confidence in a business
because their website is littered with misspellings. Sure, use your spell-check software, but beware of homophones, when a
correctly spelled word is placed in the wrong spot; for example, two, too,
and to. Read it again slowly, and even ask a colleague to read it, if that
helps. [] Keep on Writing The more you write, the more you'll improve. I find that regular writing
does more for me than reading books on editing and the like. Warm up by
writing a short piece, and then tackle the bigger jobs. Before you know it,
you'll find yourself writing better without the agony. Best of luck adopting these rules, and embracing writing as a challenge not
a chore. With a little preparation and forethought, you'll be crafting
better content and correspondence in no time at all! -- Sitepoint newsletter

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