Reading Time: 3’57’’ 8 Ways I Am Improving My Content Writing Skills
The only writer to whom you should compare yourself is the writer you were yesterday.
Still sounds weird calling myself a content writer but oh well! All my life, I have been more on the science and construction end. From having technology, technical drawing, physics and geography as favourite subjects. And then moving on to studying Real estate management. Content writing and creation doesn’t seem like what I should end up doing.
My Internship at Anakle last year exposed me to the world of creating content and best believe, I’m never leaving. For the first time work made me genuinely happy. Waking up and preparing for work didn’t feel like a chore. Currently, I am serving in Abuja as a content writer and creator. Like I mentioned, it’s sort of a new field to me as It’s barely a year I began writing professionally. I’ve had to constantly improve my content writing skills and trust me it’s been an exciting journey.
So to the newbie or OG, here’s how I improved my content writing skills. Or should I say still improving my content writing skills?
I Forgot Everything I Knew.
The best way to learn is with an open and fresh mind. I chose to forget everything I thought I knew -it wasn’t much anyways- and opened the eyes of my mind to new things. I embraced new writing styles & techniques and approached writing with the mindset that I knew nothing. *insert a Jon Snow meme here LOL* This was helpful, it made me understand better as it took me back to the basics. I could be reading and notice how a punctuation was used. Of course, I know my punctuation marks, but I would find myself going back to read about it and trust me it was new knowledge. What I learned back in primary school has definitely evolved.
I tried to be original.
The best works I’ve written so far are the ones that came from within. Some were sponsored ads, copies, blog posts etc. One common factor they all had was the originality. I wrote them feeling as though I was talking to a friend and it just came naturally to me. When I write, I stay true to myself and never copy someone else. Funny thing is sometimes we don’t even know when we copy. Let me give you an instance – in the past, before I write I usually look up that topic online, read articles just to spark my creative juices. When I eventually wrote my own piece I noticed it sounded a lot like the things I had read. So I switched to putting my bare thoughts down first before looking at other stuff. This helped me maintain my original thought process as everything I saw was just an addition to my original write up.
Read over and over again.
I realized that every day I read something I wrote, I found ways to make it sound better. It seems as though with each passing day, I saw it with a new eye. When writing, don’t stress it in the first draft, keep writing even if it doesn’t make sense at that point. Come back to it later and start editing; read it again and you’ll see how it’ll look like a brand new write up. Reading over and over again helps you keep it simple. Most of my work is centered around writing for the online reader and keeping it simple is key.
Expanded my vocabulary.
You can only give what you have. Up until recently, the writing was just for fun and a form of self-expression. In high school, I was a science student so I didn’t even pay attention to grammar. So, to better my writing I’ve had to read books and learn new words.
Made new best friends; Grammarly and thesaurus
You can’t do this on your own, you need all the help you can get. I utilized online writing tools to help myself write better. Grammarly has come in really handy, helping correct my punctuations. I use the thesaurus to find meanings and synonyms of words. It’s amazing how one word can be said in a million ways.
I became an explorer
Everything that existed at creation is still here. They have changed form, but they are still here. This is just like our brains. It stores experiences, emotions, and feelings and expresses them in different forms. As a writer, your level of exposure translates into your writing. Now I explore more; food, culture, music, places, history and any other thing I find interesting. All these have given me new ideas and definitely improved my content writing skills. Leave your comfort zone and experience something new.
I documented everything
Whatever I feel, I write it down. Anything I discover, I write it down. Thoughts or ideas, I write them down. Even when I cannot write, I make videos or voice recordings. They usually don’t always make sense at first, but a second look at it with fresh eyes, I see gold.
I try to master writing styles one at a time.
Typical me wants to do everything at the same time, but I’ve learned that it’s easier to take things slow. Mastering writing styles one at a time makes you a total badass. You may be way better at this than I am, but if you’re like me that loves to take up everything and ends up completing nothing maybe you should take my advice.
Writing is beautiful and doesn’t have to be perfect. Never doubt yourself, let it come from your heart. I hope while reading this you learned a thing or two that will help your writing skills. I’m learning too so please share some tips that I didn’t include that may help.
*Disclaimer: The thoughts and tips contained in this post are entirely mine. It is not guaranteed that if the tips are followed your content writing skills would improve. They worked for me and may or may not work for you. My advice is that you try to use my tips with an open and willing mind. Content writing is fun and shouldn’t be forced. We can only strive to be better.
Ps. I wrote a post on fighting that overwhelming feeling we all face on Nkataa’s Blog. Please check it out.
PPs. Nkataa is an online food and grocery store in Abuja.
Check out the post here: Dear Nigerian, 5 ways to fight that overwhelming feeling.
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