Content marketing is one of the most important skills that a freelance writer can have earned on their resume, with the results of that work being equally beneficial to the clients that seek increased traffic to their company’s website.
The fear of making grammatical mistakes can be particularly intimidating to writers that are just getting started.
But just like any other acquired talent, writing is a skill set that can be vastly improved with daily discipline and the desire to get better.
In order to help you on your way to transforming your current writing abilities into a finely tuned craft, here are several actionable steps that you can take right away to get over the grammar hump.
Find a Writing Partner
With the help of social media and a good online search engine hunt, you should be able to find people looking for writing partners or writer’s groups that you can join to tighten up your work.
If there is anything that a regular writer knows, it is how much of a solitary activity that writing can be.
It is hard to give yourself honest feedback when your eyeballs have been perusing the same sentences over and over again.
Outside feedback on your work can help you spot mistakes that you overlooked and provides you with an accountability partner to stay on task and have someone else that is aware of the goals that you are setting for yourself.
Brush Up on the Basics
In order to deliver dynamic writing with remarkable content, build up to at least an intermediate if not advanced understanding of basic writing principles.
Don’t worry; we won’t recommend that you invest in a Master’s degree in Literature or a creative writing program taught by a world-renown writer (unless you can afford to).
But be sure to have the basics of grammar and spelling down solidly.
To be prepared for battle with grammar as a writer, make sure you also have a copy of the Merriam-Webster dictionary and “The Elements of Style” by Strunk and White, which is a comprehensive book that instructs you on the correct use of grammar.
Read Like It’s Your Job
If you aren’t much of a reader, it will be difficult to become much of a writer.
Read blog posts on subjects that tickle your fancy, but also be sure to challenge yourself with other forms of complex reading in book form to keep an eye out for sentence structure, word choice, and the flow of the material.
Remember, the more reading that you are doing, the more likely you will be to find mistakes and raise the level of your talent.
Accept That First Drafts Aren’t Great
Great writing feels effortless, but that doesn’t mean it arrives to readers that way, fully formed after one brief sitting.
First drafts are just that, the first attempt at nailing your article, essay, or story.
Get your ideas down first, then revamp, rework, and rewrite your piece to pull it all together.
Masterpieces take time, and yours is no different. Give yourself permission to make a mess on the page that you will clean up later.
Get a Good Editor
Whether you are executing content strategy with guest blogging or you are writing the next best-selling novel, working with a good editor is key to improving your writing skills.
You can see a favorable editor in action when they are able to inform you as to why something isn’t working instead of merely saying that it doesn’t work.
You will need to have thick skin and not be overly sensitive about your work, especially if the editor that is taking time out of their day to edit your work happens to be brutally honest.
Learn to accept constructive criticism from the outset and remember that this process is all for the greater good of polishing your work and getting it in the greatest condition that it can be.
Edit Your Own Work Ruthlessly
To rise as a fantastic writer takes more than committing to putting words on a page on a daily basis. You must be honest with your work by being your own harshest critic.
Sure, writers have other people edit their work; but not before the process of self-editing has taken place.
If you are a beginner writer, consider the editing phase as your period of rewriting.
You must have the discipline it takes to eliminate extraneous words and resist the impulse to drag your ideas into long-winded areas of artistic fancy.
When you are tough enough on your work to read through it and squeeze out everything that is unnecessary, you are creating a more concise and enjoyable experience for your reader.
Make sure that you use Word Counter to correct grammatical mistakes and spelling, along with being able to count pages, paragraphs, sentences, characters, and words in real-time.