Developing a new skill is tough, and one of the most difficult among them is one that we use everyday.
Writing – the expression of ideas and language through symbols, is what placed humanity at the apex of evolutionary development. Given the myriad of benefits that learning to write would provide, it’s surprising that many feel as if it’s a skill that they either can’t do, or can’t learn to do well.
In today’s globalized society, proper communication is perhaps more important than ever. From communicating business plans to increasing market sales, to personal growth and success, writing is essential in our daily lives — but how and where do you even begin to improve?
As Hemingway once said:
“It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way”
We’ve compiled a list of 10 easy ways to learn to write better not just for business, but for personal development as well. Read on as we dive into what writing well looks like and why its a skill that will continuously pay dividends!
Here’s what we’ll cover:
How Learning to Write Better Helps You Achieve Success
5 reasons to write better
- Marketing Success
- Improved Structured Thinking
- Personal Development
- Therapeutic Benefits
- Fun and Entertainment
Making an effort to learn writing is an endeavor worth undertaking.
Not only is it great for improving your content writing and marketing success, it’s also an effective avenue for personal growth and development.
Here are our top 5 reasons on why you should learn how to write and how it effectuates growth:
1. Marketing success
With the plurality of blogs, content and e-books that exist today, how can you ever hope to distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack?
With great writing.
Nobody wants to waste their time deciphering a long, poorly written piece of content with a litany of spelling and grammar mistakes. Poor and low-quality writing comes off as unprofessional and can only serve to alienate your readership.
Content written in a succinct and impactful way is content that’s worth reading. Being able to write with respect to your brand’s tone, voice and target audience is essential for digital marketing success.
2. Improved structured thinking
Writing encompasses more than worrying about dangling participles and run-on sentences. It’s about conveying and structuring your thoughts cohesively and coherently — an invaluable skill that will carry over into every facet of your life.
Mastery over the english lexicon will help you select words that more closely align with your ideas and thought process. Knowledge of narrative structure will not only make your arguments more compelling and impactful, but also your content.
3. Personal development
In addition to elevating your thinking and improving your marketing success, writing also plays a large role in personal development.
Many of us will have had prior experience with penning our goals down onto paper, be it during school or in the workplace. However, most don’t know that doing so can actually directly affect how likely you are to achieve them.
Studies have shown that writing down your goals makes you 42% more likely to achieve them. Another study – conducted with Harvard MBA students in 1979 – has shown that those who wrote their goals down were earning up to 10 times as much as the students who didn’t.
Find out more below:
4. Therapeutic effects
Although you might not believe it now, writing has enormous positive mental health implications and can be an immensely therapeutic experience. Research has shown that writing about trauma or stress improves health and reduces anxiety.
It’s known as “journal therapy” and it’s inexpensive, easily accessible and anyone can do it. Just like how writing down your goals can help you achieve them, writing down your fears, anxieties and fears can aid in conquering them.
Instead of bottling them up, put some ink onto your journal instead. You might find that you’d be better off as a result.
A low cost and readily available activity, writing makes for a great hobby. Ever read a great novel only for it to conclude in a less than savoury way? Why not try rewriting it to better suit your internal narrative?
Have a great memory that you want to revisit often? Try capturing the essence of the moment in words to savour it again and again.
Once you get started you might find it difficult to put the pen down!
Learn to Write Better in 10 Ways
Now that we’ve tackled the “what” and “why,” let’s get into the “how.” Here’s our list of 10 tips to improve your writing.
10 tips for writing better
- Use humour
- Use the rule of three
- Use persuasive words
- Prepare and use automation
- Read, read and read
- Use analogy, metaphor and similes correctly
- Use best practices of a story
- Don’t misuse words
- Keep it simple
- Don’t quit
1. Use humour
Proper application of humour in your content can make the difference between an
entertaining piece and an easily forgotten one.
Thanks to what’s known as the humour effect, funny content is content that is
memorable and impactful. Through entertainment, the humour effect distracts us from
negative emotions like anger and anxiety, giving funny content preferential treatment
when we store it in our memory.
However, achieving this effect isn’t as easy as simply peppering your content with
punchlines and jokes. The wrong application of humour can completely alienate your
readership from both your brand.
Find out more below:
2. Use the rule of three
A rhetorical technique as well as a cognitive principle, the rule of three states that
things that come in groups of three are more impactful and easily retained.
Far from being exclusive to the literary realm, the rule of three has been commonplace
since Aristotle’s time. Being incorporated into myths, web design and even culture, it’s both ubiquitous and pervasive.
In your writing, utilize the rule of three to structure your thoughts and content into distinct
and memorable segments. A common narrative structure is a beginning, middle and
The complete rundown with more techniques can be found below:
3. Use persuasive words
If you’re working on improving your writing, then improving your vocabulary comes along with it.
To write well, knowing when to use a certain word over another is just as
important as possessing a large vocabulary.
If you’re a news editor or produce content for marketing purposes, then you’re going to want to make sure your word choice is as compelling and impactful as they can possible be.
But which words are the most persuasive within the copywriting and marketing genres? What about the best techniques for converting leads into customers?
Fortunately, we did the work so you don’t have to. Stay tuned for practical persuasion tips.
4. Utilize automation and preparation
If you’re feeling like you’re stuck — don’t worry. Writer’s block is a common condition and it happens to the best of creatives. Fortunately, there are a multitude of helpful tips, tricks and tools to mitigate that creative slowdown.
Whenever possible, utilize templates or mimic the structure of previously written
pieces to allow yourself to focus only on your ideas.
When writing, it can sometimes be more difficult keeping that electric “spark” of creativity than obtaining it. Editing while you work through your ideas is a surefire
way to halt your literary flow. Automated writing tools like Grammarly can help cut down on your distractions and aid in you finishing your piece.
For a complete list of our favorite automated writing assist tools, check out:
5. Read, read and read
You can only write as well as you read. Every writer writes for readers. Without being one yourself, it’ll be impossible to understand your audience.
Reading not only improves your vocabulary, but your cognitive skills as well. A wide breadth of reading will also expose you to a broader knowledge base, making your writing more interesting and compelling.
Being cognizant of proper grammar, syntax and having access to a broad vocabulary is a great stepping off point, but nothing will improve your writing as much as reading.
Here’s of our favourite creative writing and marketing blogs to broaden your writing skills.
6. Use analogy, metaphor and similes effectively
As rhetorical techniques, analogies, similes and metaphors are crucial components of any copywriter’s toolkit. The use of figurative language imbues your content with a vividness and richness that would otherwise be not present.
In addition to making your writing more impactful, the use of figurative language is also great for writing persuasively, whether it’s copywriting or not. In fact, studies have shown that figurative language such as metaphors engage the right hemisphere of your brain, the side responsible for mediating emotion.
By appealing to your reader’s emotions, you’re able to more easily persuade them or sell an idea. This rhetorical technique, known as pathos is widely used in literature, film and speech writing. However, figurative language is only as effective as its quality. Using them correctly is key to effective persuasion.
We wrote a guide to figurative language guidelines to help you understand the nuances below:
7. Use best practices of a story
Telling a compelling story starts with the basics, and nothing is more fundamental than the hero’s journey.
Originating at the foundation of Western literary canon, “The Odyssey” dictates the trials and tribulations of Odysseus’s attempt to return home to his family after Illium’s fall. This classic story arc has been retrofitted with modern narratives such as movies, television and even within Apple’s advertisements.
Using the hero’s journey to tell your brand story allows you to personify it — identifying its struggles, increasing its relatability, and making it feel authentic. For the “full story”, read our below guide:
8. Don’t misuse words
Today, English is the lingua franca of business — and as such, mastery over the language is essential for success both domestic and abroad. Rhetorical techniques and creative use of vocabulary can elevate your content, but only if done correctly.
With so many linguistic contradictions, rules and exceptions present in English, using the correct word can be difficult. A classic adage on the difficulty of mastering English is that “English is hard, but can be understood through tough thorough thought.”
If you don’t have the time for that, you can check out our list of commonly misused words below:
9. Keep it simple
We reviewed an abundance of rhetorical and literary techniques and have
stressed the importance of broadening vocabulary, but all that is for naught if you sacrifice clarity.
Inundating your reader with excessive adjectives, flowery prose or complicated rhetoric will make your content difficult to understand and won’t entice your audience to read it.
Developed by the U.S Navy in the 1960s, the KISS (keep it short and simple) principle dictates that most things in life are best kept simple. Knowing when to use a word or more words is just as important as knowing them.
10. Don’t quit
Our last tip is perhaps our most important: don’t quit.
Learning how to write, like learning any other skill, takes time and dedication. Don’t be discouraged if your labors don’t immediately bear fruit. Whether or not you think your writing is good, you’re a writer just by merit of learning and practicing.
Learn to Write Well Key Takeaways
Whether you’re a burgeoning novice or a seasoned veteran, we hope our list of reasons on why you should learn to write better is what fuels your literary development.
To recap, here are our top 5 key takeaways:
- Use rhetorical language, figurative language and vocabulary properly: Figurative language, like stories, target our emotions and are effective in persuading or selling an idea. Rhetorical language takes it further by making your content more palatable
- Use humour: The “humour effect” dictates that through distracting us from negative emotions, funny things become more memorable and impactful. Using humour requires tact and knowledge of cultural relativity. Endeavor to make jokes that everyone can enjoy while making sure your punchlines are succinct and appropriate!
- Utilize automation: Spend less time staring at an empty screen by using templates of content that were well received, which allows you to focus only on expressing your ideas without worrying about structure. Additionally, avoid fixing mistakes and editing as you go along as the editing can distract you from your creative process. Hemingway App and Grammarly are also great tools to streamline the editing process.
- Keep growing: Changing your writing changes the way you think and how you organize your
thoughts. Improved structured thinking will not only make your content more compelling, but your arguments as well–it’s a change that carries over seamlessly into improving your day to day life.
- Keep it simple: Don’t over complicate your content with humour, rhetorical techniques or figurative language if it compromises on clarity and impact. You’re writing persuasive and marketing content, not a novella.
With that said, thanks for reading and stay tuned to the Advesa blog for more ways of how you can create better content!
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