As a freelance writer, I’ve talked with a lot of business owners and professionals who have shared that writing isn’t among their core competencies. But communicating effectively via email, blogs, and social media channels requires a degree of writing aptitude.
Writing well in business will help you:
- Express your ideas more clearly.
- Define your expectations.
- Gain approval and acceptance.
- Project your intentions.
- Move prospects, clients, colleagues, employees, and vendors to action.
While bringing in the help of a professional writer/editor can can benefit you immensely if writing isn’t among your entrepreneurial strong points, there are a few things you can do on your own to improve your writing immediately.
Quick Writing Fixes to Make You a Better Communicator
- Get to the point.
Don’t overcomplicate your message by going off on tangents or trying to cram too many main points into a single communication. Avoid confusion by making your focus clear to your readers. You’ll find them more likely to stay tuned in if they know what to expect.
- Use bullet points.
When you’ve got several key points to address, separate and emphasize them by putting them in a bulleted list. It will help keep your writing more organized, and readers will find it easier to digest that information.
- Give it some space.
Large chunks of text are a turn off to readers. Infuse your writing with “eye rests” (a.k.a. paragraph breaks and white space between them) so your audience can consume your content without feeling overwhelmed by the weight of too much text in a tight space.
- Spell check – and then double check.
I know. Spell Check has its flaws, but it does pick up on blatant fat-finger errors. Always, always, always run Spell Check on your writing. And when you’re finished, look it over again yourself (or better yet, ask someone else to proofread it) to pick up on any sneaky oopses that might have slipped by. Even though most readers are tolerant of a small mistake (We’re all human after all.), it looks unprofessional and sloppy if you’ve got multiple errors in a single piece of writing.
- Read it aloud.
I think this is the very best way to ensure you’re on target with your writing. Whenever you write, whatever you write, read it out loud before sharing it with anyone else. Not only will you find this effective for catching mistakes, you’ll also be able to assess the appropriateness of your tone. Does it sound like you? Is it implying sarcasm you hadn’t intended? Does it seem too long?
Incorporating the above won’t turn you into a stellar writer overnight, but it will improve your readers’ experience immediately. And it will make them more likely to tune in rather than tune out.
By Dawn Mentzer
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