Tag Archives: writing tips

How to write like the best writers in your field?

How to be the best writer in your field

How to be the best writer in your field

Writing these days is all pervasive. You are writing blog posts. You are writing social media updates. You are writing text messages and emails. You are writing proposals if you do business.

There are many people who cock a snook at the concept of writing well, writing well still matters. It can tarnish your reputation if there are too many typos, spelling mistakes and grammar mistakes in your writing. But, when we talk of writing like the best writers in your field, I assume you already write without typos, spelling mistakes, and grammar mistakes.

What do writers due to be the best in their field?

There is one common trait that I have found in the writers who are the best in their field: they are consistent. They are constantly writing and publishing.

“Show up every time and don’t wait for your muse to show up,” advise many established writers.

They always have great ideas to write about. Other than this, here are some traits that you can develop to become the best writer in your field.

Have a unique style

Among us there is always this tendency to write like our favorite authors. I used to write like Charles Dickens, and then Salman Rushdie. Even when I wrote content, I emulated my favorite authors. This drew applause from some clients, but most were disenchanted and wanted me to write something simpler for the audience.

Gradually I discarded the styles of other writers and started writing in my own style. I can’t claim to have a style that makes people recognize my writing without reading my name, but at least I write the way I want to write rather than following someone else’s style.

Understand your audience

You become the best in your field when you gain recognition, and you gain recognition only when you deliver what people want.

Before writing a blog post or web page carefully consider what your audience wants.

For example, my content writing and copywriting blog attracts two types of audience: people who want to improve their writing and potential clients who want to feel reassured that I know my stuff. Therefore, I’m constantly writing for these two categories.

Use simple language when writing

Simple writing doesn’t mean you write unimaginatively. Juggle with words. Get creative with sentences. But not at the cost of making it difficult for your readers to follow you.

The best writers write smaller sentences. Write smaller paragraphs. They don’t use very big words.

Somewhere I read a very nice writing advice, “If it sounds like writing, rewrite it.” What it means is, you should write in a manner as if you are talking to people. Be a conversationalist. Write as if you are sitting and talking to someone.

Use active voice as much as possible. “This is done” instead of “This has been done”.

Read and learn constantly

Writing is a skill that you need to hone continuously. Your writing muscles get atrophied if you don’t stretch them regularly. Read other authors but don’t let them rub onto you. Learn how they express themselves.

If possible, read books on writing. There are many blogs dedicated to the art of writing.

Not just writing, also become a thought leader in your field. Go deeper into your topic.

As a professional content writer, I’m constantly learning about how to write effectively. I’m regularly learning what to do and what not to do when writing. Similarly, if you are an architect, then then read on architecture. Expand your knowledge. Then share your knowledge with your readers.

5 Strategies That Anyone Can Use to Improve Their Writing Skills

5 strategies to improve your writing skills

5 strategies to improve your writing skills.

It’s often assumed that only certain people are able to have quality writing skills; this assumption is far from the truth. We all can progress overtime by working on our weaknesses. There are plenty of useful strategies that can be used to improve your writing skills. By using these 5 strategies, you will start to progress as a writer.

1. Reading

Dedicating time to read each day is a great first step. Even taking just five to ten minutes to read daily can be highly beneficial.

Those who regularly read tend to have stronger writing skills.

This is because they are interacting with new vocabulary, writing styles, and content.

Before trying to make reading a part of your routine, choose a book, magazine, or another piece of writing that interests you.

A main reason why many people don’t enjoy reading is because they haven’t found a genre of writing they love.

If you are interested in becoming a regular reader, go on a trip to your local bookstore/library and take your time to explore the options.

2. Practice

It may be obvious, but to improve your writing skills, you have to practice.

Writing practice doesn’t have to be specific. All you need to do is write as much as possible.

You’ll be able to improve at a quick pace as a writer if you practice frequently.

One day you may just want to journal, and on other days you may want to try out worksheets with instructions on what to write.

Setting aside time each day to write is a useful habit to build.

3. Editing

Perfecting and fixing errors in pieces of writing is what is known as editing.

Many individuals make the mistake of not taking editing seriously.

Editing is one of the best strategies you can implement in order to improve your writing skills.

Sometimes editing takes hours depending on the writing length.

Think of all the time that goes into editing as an investment. Becoming acquainted with editing strengthens one’s writing skills. This is because editing includes close analysis and dissection of your individual writing style/skills.

While we edit our writing pieces, we can discover what errors we repeatedly make.

Those who neglect thorough editing will struggle to catch their writing flaws.

Once you know what mistakes you make while writing, you can work on fixing and understanding those errors.

4. Inspiration

It’s likely that most people have experienced a lack of inspiration when it comes to writing.

Individuals who write for a living usually encounter the phenomenon “writer’s block” at some point in their career.

Casual writers also can face writer’s block; the chance of this issue occurring increases when people are just getting into writing.

If you are struggling to have a writing inspiration, there are sources you can access to help you overcome writer’s block.

Reflect on what inspires you in other aspects of your life. What music do you listen to? Do you have strong opinions on certain topics?

Accessing emotions and thoughts on passions, hobbies or interests is a great way to seek inspiration.

If this strategy doesn’t work for you, it’s time to find authors you like. Authors have inspired and helped new writers for centuries. When you find a book or series you love, take some inspiration from that author.

Don’t copy their work of course, but use their content to push you to create your own.

For example, maybe you like an author’s use of dark settings. You can try to incorporate darker settings into your writing as well.

Remember, inspiration shouldn’t be forced, but these two strategies can help you overcome creation struggles.

5. Learn From Others

Each day all of us learn something new.

Learning helps people grow and develop during all life stages.

If you want to become a better writer, don’t be afraid to ask others for help.

Taking writing classes and workshops are two ways you can learn from others.

If you decide to select one of these options, engage as much as possible with your teachers to optimize your learning.

If writing classes don’t appeal to you, try learning from the strong writers that you already know personally.

If you have a friend, relative, or partner who is a skilled writer, ask them if they can give you advice.

By showing interest in learning from others, you do yourself a huge favor.

Testing Out These Strategies

These strategies are great for beginner writers, and the individuals who want to sharpen their skills. Some of these strategies may work for some and fail to help the others. The best thing to do is to try one strategy you believe will best benefit you in your journey to improve your writing skills.

Know the why of your writing

Simon Sinek wrote a complete book  exhorting businesses to find the “why” of their existence. The same holds true for individuals. Why do you do what you do? Why do you work as an engineer? Why do you work as a graphic designer? Why are you in politics?

And the same holds true when you are writing. Know the why of your writing. I’m not talking about the larger picture, I’m talking about a particular blog post or a particular article or even a particular social media update that you’re going to write: why are you writing it?

We all have a general answer. You want to improve your search engine rankings. You want to “engage” your customers or clients. You want to publish fresh content on your website. You want to maintain visibility on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. You want to regularly reach the inbox of your email subscribers.

These are larger whys. Important, but vague, and cannot be achieved unless you know why you are writing this particular blog post or social media update.

So, the next time you sit down to write something or you take out your mobile phone to write a quick update, think of the why.

What impact do you want to make? What is new you’re going to add? How is it going to help your readers or your followers? How do you want to portray yourself through this piece of writing or this update?

Write as many whys  as possible. The more whys  you can figure out, the more impactful will be your writing.

6 Writing Tips for a Successful Email Marketing Campaign

6 writing tips for email marketing

6 writing tips for email marketing.

Email marketing is a powerful and effective marketing tool that has been used by marketers all over the globe for years. It’s one of the oldest yet most significant marketing tools out there. Marketers and business owners use it regardless of their niche or industry. And, in order to have a strong email presence, you need to know how to write a great email copy.

Focus of this blog post

  1. 6 writing tips
  2. Successful email marketing

Writing an email copy is challenging and demanding, but once you understand the essential steps, you’ll have nothing to worry about. That’s why we’ve put together this guide with 6 writing tips you need to know about.

Let’s take a closer look at each step.

1. A Single Goal

Before you start writing your email copy, you have to think about the specific goal you want it to reach. There are dozens of goals you could set for an email copy.

It could be:

  • offering a discount
  • announcing a new product launch
  • celebrating a year with a customer
  • inviting them to your website
  • inviting them to a webinar

Whatever the goal of your email copy is, make sure that you choose one and stick to it.

If you decide to say too many things, the recipient might get confused, overwhelmed, and eventually give up on reading it.

2. A Simple Structure

Here’s the thing – people aren’t in love with the idea of receiving emails they didn’t ask for. But, if the content of the email might be interesting to them, they’ll embrace it.

This is why you need to use a simple email structure. It will allow your recipients to:

  • scan the email
  • understand what’s it about within seconds
  • decide whether they want to read the whole thing

To achieve this effect, follow these simple rules:

  • use subheadings
  • write short paragraphs
  • use bullet points and lists

Give the readers a chance to decide whether this email deserves their attention or not. If you send a bunch of text divided into huge paragraphs, they’ll give up on reading it before they even start.

3. A Clear CTA

A CTA (call-to-action) is a very important piece of this puzzle. It’s the final touch to your email copy and a clear invitation for your readers.

If you want them to perform the desired action, you have to tell them exactly what to do.

Include a CTA that is:

  • dominating the email by design
  • short and clear
  • urging and actionable

Also, it would be a great idea to make a CTA button, and turn it into a clickable link that will allow the readers to perform the action in just one click.

So, if your CTA is “Hurry up to check out our final sale!” the link should take them directly to your e-commerce website.

4. Add Visuals

Nothing grabs the attention of a person reading an email like a powerful visual that supports the content. Visuals are great for breaking up the monotony of the email.

Still, you have to be careful with how you choose and add visuals:

  • optimize images to speed up the email loading time
  • don’t add too many
  • make sure the image responds to the content of the email

Visuals should bring the content of the email closer to the recipient and explain what the email is about.  It will make them more interested in the content.

5. Test Different Versions

When you’re writing an email copy, you should always aim for one goal and a specific target audience. Still, no matter how well you think you know your target audience, you can’t know what they like for sure until you test it.

This is why you should test different versions of an email copy and measure which one converts better.

So, here’s how you’re going to do it:

  • choose your goal and your target audience
  • divide your target audience into two or more groups
  • for each group, create a unique email copy
  • change the visuals, the subtitles, design, CTAs, or anything you want

Then, measure the results of each email copy and see which one got more conversions. Then, use that email copy as a model for your future copies and add those features that made it the most effective one.

A/B testing of different email copies for the same target audience can deliver golden data that you’ll use to further improve your email marketing strategy.

6. Polish to Perfection

Your email copy says a lot about you as a professional. This is why you have to polish it to perfection. But what does that mean?

As a professional, you can’t let any mistake find its way to your final email copy. Instead, you have to:

  • edit several times
  • proofread every word
  • remove all grammar and spelling mistakes

If you feel like you need help with this step, check out these websites ratings. Checking accuracy is a step you mustn’t skip.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, writing a great email copy for a successful and strong email marketing campaign can be quite a task. Still, with the right instructions and strong dedication, you can achieve all the goals you’ve set.

Use the tips listed above and start working on improving your email marketing strategy. Create email copies that are powerful, engaging, and memorable.

15 ultimate content writing hacks for successful email marketing

Email marketing writing hacks

15 Email marketing writing hacks

What is email marketing?

Does it mean constantly nagging your subscribers and recipients (or leads) to buy from you?

Or does it mean becoming a useful part of their lives so that they begin to appreciate your presence and then, begin to trust you enough to do business with you?

This may not be true in your case, but most of the individuals wanting to use email marketing to promote themselves, assume that just because they have got someone’s email ID, it is fine to send out promotional emails.

Does someone care what a great product or service you have got?

Not really.

People want to hear from you only when you have got something useful to offer. Even when you are offering your product or service, there must be something special (a great discount or an offer or an insider information) that can bring your recipients a massive benefit.

Otherwise, your email message is going to be ignored.

Are people still using email marketing?

Yes they are. There is a reason for that.

3.8 billion people actively use email daily. Compared to this, Facebook has 1.5 million daily users. Everyone from the age of 15 to 64 uses email daily. 73% of millennials prefer email communication from businesses.

The best part is, 99% consumers check their emails every day. People are twice as likely to sign up for your email newsletter as liking your Facebook page.

Hence, you may feel that most of the people are moving towards social media and instant messaging, but when it comes to doing some serious work or getting business offers, email still rules the roost.

How you write content for your email marketing campaigns has a big impact on your success rate. You may have come across the content writing hacks for successful email marketing at many places, already, but just in case you haven’t, you can considerably improve the success rate of your email marketing by implementing at least a few of these content writing hacks.

1. Have a convincing subject line

Writer a convincing subject line

Writer a convincing subject line

The importance of the subject line can never be stressed enough. It is your subject line that prompts people to open your email.

What subject line should you have? It depends on people’s familiarity level with you. They are not familiar with you, or if they don’t come across your name in their inbox quite often, the subject line needs to be very specific.

Anyway, whether people are familiar with you or not, keep in mind the following:

  • Keep the character count around 50 because there isn’t enough space for very long subject lines.
  • Keep your subject line simple and straightforward. No ambiguity.
  • Don’t make false promises. People these days can make out false promises easily.
  • Be experimental. No harm in using humor as long as it doesn’t confuse or mislead.
  • Shock and awe. Again, the purpose of your subject line is to make people open your message, but at the same time, never mislead them into opening something that doesn’t deliver on the promise made in the subject line.
  • Subject lines with a sense of urgency, curiosity, timely relevance and recognition are more prone to be opened.
  • Personalize. Although personalization is more effective if people are familiar with you or your brand, given a choice between being personal and not being personal, always be personal. By the way, don’t take “being personal” in the wrong way.

Remember that the biggest challenge that your email message faces is people not opening it. Half the battle is won if your subject line manages to make people open your email.

2. Just focus on one, single person

Focus on a single person when writing content for your email marketing campaign

Focus on a single person when writing content for your email marketing campaign

Frankly, I apply this advice even when I’m writing webpages and blog posts. Don’t write as if you are writing to a big group of people. Write to a single individual.

For example, if you think your email is going to a person named Frank, then address the problems that Frank faces. Talk to him. He must feel that you are just writing to him and no one else.

As a writer, I know that when you write thinking that you are writing to a single person, the person reading the email can actually feel it.

3. Always provide something useful

Provide something useful in your email marketing campaign

Provide something useful in your email marketing campaign

Remember that the person opening your email message is using his or her precious time in doing so. Don’t waste his or her time. Always send an email marketing campaign when you have something useful to offer.

What can that offered be? Depends on your business. If you sell something, you can offer a discount. If you are introducing a new feature, you can send it as an update so that people who can really benefit from the feature can upgrade.

If the person has already bought from you, you can offer him or her a discount as a privileged segment of your customer base.

In the times of Covid-19, you can send tips to your customers about how they can do business with you without exposing themselves to the virus.

4. Talk about their interest

Talk about what interests them when you are writing

Talk about what interests them when you are writing

Nobody is bothered about growing your business just for the heck of it. Even people running charity organizations won’t pay attention to your email marketing campaigns unless you talk about their interest.

Always write your email messages from their point of view. Convey to them that you empathize with the problems and troubles you are having. Be their advocate through your writing.

5. Use powerful words

Use powerful words when writing

Use powerful words when writing

What are powerful words? First of all, they shouldn’t be deceptive. They should invoke a strong emotion. Some of the powerful words that you can use are

  • Free
  • Urgent
  • Limited
  • Breaking News
  • Dazzling
  • Stunning
  • Guaranteed
  • Powerful
  • Amazing
  • Easy
  • Strong
  • Exclusive
  • Lifetime
  • Unlimited
  • Affordable
  • Valuable
  • Discounted
  • New

Frankly, the list can go on and on. What sort of powerful words you use depends on the context and what sort of emotion you’re trying to convey. Again, just make sure that you really mean those words.

For example, if you are offering something stunning, then you should actually believe that you are offering something stunning. If you believe that something is easy to use, then it must be easy to use. If something is affordable, make sure that it is affordable to your target audience. If you are offering a discount, make sure that there isn’t a catch.

6. Use the “preview text” optimally

Writing email preview text

Writing email preview text.

In the above graphic, the text that is not hidden is email preview.

These days most of the email clients display you the preview text. If you have maximized your browser window, provided that you have used a small subject line, the remaining row is filled with the preview text. It gives your recipient a preview of your message. If you use the preview text convincingly, it can increase the chances of your recipients opening your message.

7. Write for the audience who reads on the mobile phone

Write for audience who reads on mobile.

Write for audience who reads on mobile.

I keep this in mind even when I’m writing blog posts. There is a great chance that the person on the other side is reading your content on a mobile device. The same is going to be the case with your email marketing messages.

How do you write for mobile readers?

Write shorter sentences. Don’t use big paragraphs. Use bullet points to organize different ideas. Use headlines and subheadings judiciously. Stay to the point. Make sure that you don’t use extra sentences because anything can distract them. Keep them as much focused as possible.

Although, personalization can make your email messages effective, make sure that you don’t get too conversational. This can also distract people.

8. Use segmentation features of your email marketing service

Email segmentation when writing content

Email segmentation when writing content.

MailChimp has it. Others must also have this feature. Segmentation allows you to customize your messages and this in turn improves your conversion rate.

What does segmentation mean?

Suppose you have 5000 subscribers in your mailing list. The first message that you send out goes to all these 5000 subscribers (if you are not using A/B testing for the time being).

Then, for the next email marketing campaign, create different segments such as

  • Those who didn’t open your message.
  • Those who opened your message.
  • Those who opened and clicked your link.
  • Those who bought from you.

… And so on.

This way you will be targeting people according to the way they have reacted to your previous campaign.

Why send the same message to all when you can increase your conversion rate by writing content based on how they react to your previous message?

9. Ask them to act when writing content

Tell them what you want them to do in the email

Tell them what you want them to do in the email.

This actually works. If you ask people to do something, many do it. For example, if you want people to buy something from you, ask them to buy it from you. This is hard to believe, but it really works.

It’s called call-to-action, CTA. Every email message must have a call-to-action.

Sometimes, you want to inform people of the good offer that you have but you don’t tell them to buy. You either tell them to get in touch with you or you ask them to click a link for more information. This is often not very convincing.

When you ask people to buy this renders a sense of authority and confidence. You have provided the information, and now you’re asking people to buy your product or service.

10. Use a convincing headline

Use a convincing headline

Use a convincing headline.

After your subject line, the most important component of your email message is your headline: the first highlighted line of text that appears in your email message.

The sole purpose of your headline is to make people read your email message.

Write it very strategically. Again, don’t mislead people. Don’t promise something you cannot deliver. You can be creative. You can be humorous. You can even be cynical.

Just make sure that your headline makes people read your remaining message. Your headline is so powerful that sometimes people immediately leave your message, without reading it, simply because they are put off by your headline.

11. Maintain a consistent flow in the body text

Maintain a consistent flow in the body text of your email

Maintain a consistent flow in the body text of your email

The crux of your entire email campaign rests in the body text.

As mentioned above, keep your sentences short and to the point. Write as if you’re talking to a single person. Show concerns for his or her requirements and worries. Offer solutions succinctly. Since most of the people will be accessing your message from their mobile phones, keep it short and simple.

Should you use HTML messages or text messages? Depends on your audience. Here we are simply talking about content writing for your email marketing campaigns. Be personal without being creepy.

Follow the simple copywriting rule: the purpose of your current sentence is to make the reader read the next sentence, and so is the purpose of the next sentence.

12. Have a singular goal when writing content for your email marketing campaign

Focus on a single goal when writing copy for your email campaign

Focus on a single goal when writing copy for your email campaign.

This is something I have observed with many clients. They want to pack multiple business offers in a single email message. They want to save money. Separate messages mean they will have to pay for them separately.

Just like your landing page, your email message too must be focused. You can offer multiple products if they fall under the same category (accessories, for example, or earplugs). But too many products or too many offers will end up confusing people and even if initially they wanted to buy something, they will end up buying nothing.

13. Avoid industry jargon if possible

Avoid using industry jargon when writing emails

Avoid using industry jargon when writing emails.

I’m not particularly against using jargon. Every industry has its own set of words and people like to use them, sometimes even without understanding them.

Use jargon when it solves purpose. I have seen many people using terms like “leveraging, metrics, synergy, cutting-edge, derivatives, acquisition” and so on. Being someone who constantly uses words, I’m not put off by these words, but many people are.

Personally, I follow this rule of thumb: use jargon if you really feel that you should be using it. If you are using it just to sound smart and intimidate the reader, don’t use it – it is counter-productive.

14. More of “you” and less of “we” and “I”

Focus more on the recipients and less on yourself

Focus more on the recipients and less on yourself.

This is such an important point that despite having discussed it above, I’m discussing it in another manner. Use lots of “you” in your writing.

Use expressions like “you are going to gain this”, “you are never going to regret buying this” or “this is something you have been looking for, for quite some time”.

A person opens your email message because he or she is expecting to receive something.

This expectation can be some sort of gratification, an emotion (something funny or mysterious), some great offer in the form of a discount, or the latest news that is very important to him or her.

The complete purpose of your message must be representing the interest of the recipient.

15. Condense everything in the conclusion

Sum up everything in the conclusion

Sum up everything in the conclusion.

The concluding part of your email message is as important as the beginning, if not more. In fact, after reading the conclusion, the person must be left with a strong desire to click your link and buy from you.

In the concluding part, you can sum up everything. You can invoke a sense of urgency. You can get creative and paint a gloomy picture if a person fails to carry out the call-to-action. Short of misleading someone, you can use all your persuasive power in the concluding part.

Conclusion

In the end, it is all about trial and error. Even seasoned content writers and copywriters perform A/B testing. For example, no matter how great a subject line is, it may not work with certain audience. No matter how awesome the headline is, it may fail to inspire certain readers.

No matter how big or small your mailing list is, you can perform A/B testing. Even if you have got 50 subscribers, you can send one message to 25 subscribers and an alternative to the other 25 subscribers. Then you observe the response and make tweaks in your writing accordingly.