3 Effective content writing practices; what are they?
Content writing is an skill, but superb writing is an art. More often than not, people that you meet on a daily basis throw around the term “Practice makes perfect” but don’t actually specify how! Make no mistake, this is an annoyance, plain and simple. When someone tells you to keep practicing in order to get good at something; but don’t tell you the “How”, how would you know where to begin?! This has always been a pet peeve of mine, individuals just using the phrase because it makes them sound learned and not actually knowing how to help.
I guarantee you that you’ve heard this phrase at least once before, so you would know how frustrating it is. Telling me that I need to practice isn’t only redundant because I likely already know that; but also adds the question of “How do I practice?”. Leaving more questions to be answered rather than providing answers to questions.
Which is why today, we’ll be discussing 3 simple but ridiculously effective content writing practices to visibly help you improve.
1. NEVER, EVER practice alone.
One of my favourite quotes to explain this is “Practicing alone only reinforces your errors.” When you think about it, it really starts to make a lot of sense.
For one, when you practice writing content alone, without getting another person to vet or even review your work; you’ll only end up getting recognising some of your mistakes rather than all of them. This has to do with a difference in perspective when another person views your work, which would allow them to find errors that seemingly appear out of thin air.
Another reason why you may want to get some of your friends to read through and critique your work is simply because they all have different ways of interpreting content. Which also happens to be how an effective sales copywriter is differentiated from an amateur one. Get a standard group of friends to review your work time and time again, until you are able to write content that appeals to most if not all of them. This way you’ll be able to learn how to write in different styles to better appeal to your audience.
Get some like-minded friends together and start writing whenever you get the chance; I’m certain that you’ll see improvement within the month. (Provided you keep at this practice religiously, of course)
2. Go to forums and post your work there.
I understand, this takes more time and effort to find, apply and finally join groups of writers on social media or professional sites like linkdein. You may feel a tad bit embarassed or shy sharing your work online with strangers that may question every error you make relentlessly. Even if these people do critique your work mercilessly, they usually just want to make it flow more smoothly in their points of view. Do bear in mind that these people that are reviewing your work are professionals in the art of writing, so logically it would do you good to take everyone’s input and work to improve.
However, do also note that every different person’s input may have varying mileages. Remember that at the end of the day, all the people reviewing your work are still just people; and they interpret information differently. Therefore it is also extremely important to think through what people say about your work and conclude for yourself whether or not it can help you.
3. Do NOT listen to music while you practice
“What?How in the world does this help me?” I hear you asking. Allow me to explain. A study done in 2010 by Psychologist Nick Perham states that any kind of music; both liked and disliked by test subjects “….impaired performance on serial-recall tasks”. This means that listening to music while doing any non-mundane task is a hindrance as your brain’s processes are at less than optimal levels. Immediately you can see how this can be a problem, a huge problem when you’re trying to become proficient at writing. If you’re not even at your peak performance while you practice, how are you going to improve from that point.
I know that this is very contrary to popular belief, but let me paint you a picture. Have you ever done some simple work that required only minimal thinking and rationalisation, but the whole process was made bearable through music? What about working on a complicated mathematical equation or a complex expository while listening to music and not being able to understand it at all? But still miraculously end up getting it when your teacher re-elaborates it in the quiet classroom or lecture hall?
See what I’m getting at? Listening to music only seems like it helps you study because most what you’re doing is simple! While it makes dissecting a difficult question much, much, much harder. If you still don’t believe me, try it for yourself and feel the difference. Trust me, you’ll know when you see it.
Now there you have it, 3 simple yet effective tips to help you get better at your writing game. Liked the piece? Hated it? Want to voice your concerns? Contact me personally through that handy little button on the menu OR just drop a comment. I review comments every 3-4 hours so you’ll be sure that I will get back to you quickly.