Content marketing is fast becoming one of the most important skills that employers are looking for. Therefore, whatever sector you work in, boosting your writing skills, particularly in digital publishing, can only be a good thing.
Amongst other things, editor training is a great way to build on your writing skills. If you’re someone whose not picked up a pen or sat at a laptop with the sole purpose of producing a solid, well-structured, punctuated, and grammatically correct piece of writing since college education, you’re not alone.
Writing can be intimidating, and aside from sending off a quick email, most of us simply don’t practice this skill.
The good news is that writing doesn’t have to be agonizing. It’s a skill that pretty much everyone can improve on by following some standardized rules and having the willingness to learn. Read on to discover how you can start improving your writing skills right now
How to Improve Your Writing Skills With Editor Training
Like all skills, writing is something that improves with time and practice. Here are some strategies that you can implement now to start developing written communication skills.
Define Your Writing Style
This describes the voice and tone that you choose to write in, and different tones have different purposes and audiences. It includes things like the use of words, how formal your writing is, and the way you structure your sentences.
Typically articles found on a blog have a much more casual tone than what you would find in a scientific report or a business document.
Writing is categorized into four main styles;
- Expository writing delivers facts and information, such as news articles
- Descriptive writing uses more sensory details that paint a picture in a reader’s mind
- Narrative writing tells a plot and is often used in storytelling
- Persuasive writing is aimed at influencing the reader with a point of view
Grasp Grammar and Spelling Basics
Good spelling and proper use of grammar are the foundations of good writing. This help to communicate ideas clearly as well as communicates professionalism and attention to detail.
Poor grammar can make your writing difficult to understand, as in the example below.
- Slow children crossing would imply that the children are slow
- Slow, children crossing the addition of the comma refers to extra information
Other common spelling mistakes in the English language are where the same sound is given to different words. Its surprising how common it is to see the wrong spelling used.
- To, two, too
- There, their and they’re
- Flower and flour
Read What You Want to Write
Reading text written in the style you want to emulate can help to guide how you write your work.
Analyze and mentally take note of what makes them good and what you want to emulate in that piece. This isn’t as simple as just copying, as plagiarizing is a big no-no.
If you’ve got little interest or are not in the habit of reading books, newspapers, or magazines, then find a topic online that you’re interested in and start from there.
Don’t underestimate the importance of proofreading. This will iron out any mistakes or things that don’t flow well.
Step away from your work for a day. It’s easier to see mistakes when it’s viewed with fresh eyes. Better still, get someone else to read through it for you.
Start with the easy fixes first; this should include things like spelling and punctuation errors. Then move on to improve the structure and flow.
Read your work out loud. This way, you will find natural pauses that you may have forgotten to punctuate. Reading aloud also helps with improving the flow of your work.
Structure Your Writing
Before you even begin to write, think of the structure. This will allow you to get your ideas across to your reader in a logical way.
Make an outline of your piece. This can be in the form of headings and subheadings. Each section should flow onto the next in a natural way. It also helps you to refine what you’re writing instead of going off on a tangent. It will also highlight where you may need to do additional research for a section.
The structure depends on what you’re physically writing. For example, a letter probably won’t have subheadings, but there each paragraph or section flows naturally to the next.
Whereas an essay or report will typically have an introduction, a body of short paragraphs, each with its own heading and possibly broken into sub-headings, and then a conclusion.
Make Your Writing Readable
Short sentences are not only easier to read, but they are more powerful than long sentences. This is because they are easier to comprehend.
Keep paragraphs short and manageable. All the sentences in the paragraph should link to the same idea before moving on to the next. Informal writing will naturally have fewer sentences per paragraph than formal writing. Visually, blank space is more appealing to a reader.
If your paragraphs are long, can you break them down into bullet points, add subheadings, and convey ideas in a graphic way with diagrams and charts?
Make Use of Editing Software
Not only will editing software correct typos and basic punctuation, but you can also use it to train yourself to write better. Editing software can help highlight the common mistake you make as well as offer suggestions for an alternative way of phrasing something.
Tools like MagLoft work through the use of AI and offer ways to improve your written work. It’s like having another set of eyes read your writing and offer helpful and practical advice.
Need Help Getting Your Writing Skills up to Scratch?
If you’re not sure where to start with boosting your writing skills, then consider using an all-in-one digital publishing platform. MagLoft works by converting your PDFs into grammatically correct, well-structured, and engaging content that works on all devices.
You can start your editor training journey today by registering for a free trial of the Universal App account to find out how it works and why it can help you improve your writing ability. Try for free today or speak to one of our dedicated digital publishing experts.