Writing well is investing in yourself and therefore becoming a better man. You thought becoming a better man was just about learning how to become better with women, dressing well, getting into (better) shape, overcoming a fear, and so on, didn’t you?
While it is all those things, becoming a better man demands you’re continuously developing/building on your existing communication skills as well, both in writing and verbally.
In this post you’ll find three ways to fine tune your writing skills.
1.How To Write Sexy
“I’m bringing sexy back…” Justin Timberlake.
I’m not a fan of J.T. But I like his message in this song: Success comes from being sexy, confident and persuasive. Today we’re going to learn how to write ‘sexy.’
Short, confident, and persuasive sentences are hot and sexy and a great way to keep your reader’s interest. Let’s have a look at some sexy techniques you can use to spice up your syntax. God, that’s a sexy word.
Add an infinitive phrase:
Instead of writing: ‘One great way to improve the number of visits to your site is to comment on as many blogs you can.’ Write: ‘To improve the number of visits to your site you should comment frequently.’
Use a subordinating conjunction to combine sentences:
Instead of writing: ‘I thought I had written an average post. The feedback was better than I thought it would be.’ Write: ‘I thought my guest post was average until I read the awesome feedback.’
Change a statement to a question in quotes:
Instead of writing: My friend and I thought about starting a niche website but couldn’t commit to it in the end. Write: I turned to John and asked, “The niche website isn’t going to work, is it?”
Join two sentences with a comma and a coordinating conjunction: and, but, for, nor, yet, so and create a compound sentence.
Instead of writing: ‘I know I can win the guest post competition. I just have to write better than John.’ Write: ‘I know I can win the guest post competition, but I will have to write better than John.’
Avoid starting sentences that end in ‘ly’:
Instead of writing: Sadly, I didn’t win the guest post competition.’ Write: ‘I didn’t win the guest post competition.’
Avoid starting sentences with there is or there are:
Instead of writing: ‘There are many good books about blogging available.’ Write: ‘Many good books about blogging are available.’
Instead of writing: ‘There is an awesome new blog about Yeti’s coming out next month.’ Write: ‘An awesome new blog about Yeti’s is coming out next month.’
And always add your personality to every post. It’s engaging, honest and very ‘sexy.’
2. 7 Ways To Become An (Even) Better Writer
Writing amazing content is an important ingredient in having a well-read blog. But if your sentences are too long, you’re using passive instead of active voice, or using pompous words, your reader’s attention will dwindle…and then they will exit.
While embracing your voice and developing your own writing style is important and encouraged, engaging your reader, making sense and being understood is critical – your success depends on it.
Below are 7 ways to become an (even) better writer.
- Be Concise: Each word you use has to earn its place in your post.
Being concise means using as few words as possible to say what you mean and turning wordy sentences into short ones without losing information.
Use car instead of motor vehicle, house instead of dwelling, hurry instead of expedite.
The same applies to phrases:
as a consequence becomes because
at the present time becomes now
with the exception of becomes except
- Avoid Pompous Words Sometimes writers/bloggers add fancy words or phrases to try to impress their readers or to sound more scholarly or important. In my experience new or nervous writers use these fancy words or phrases as a shield.
I came across this phrase the other day from a beginner writer: “We must action a needs assessment of the downturn in entrance applications for the course.”
What they were trying to say was: “We need to understand why no one is applying for the course.”
- Prune Empty WordsThis is where you can unleash all your anger and frustration. This is where you can ruthlessly take revenge on all those unnecessary words that gate crashed your eloquent prose! The best way to do this is practice, practice, practice.
Which words are unnecessary in the following sentences?
“Our new fitness program includes the added feature of water aerobics.”
“The knitting was of an inferior quality.”
“The police relied on the element of surprise to capture the thief.”
4. Choose Strong Nouns and Verbs: Instead of “the girl finished the exam in no time,” try “the girl breezed through the exam.” I am sure you agree this sentence is lively and tells us more in fewer words.
5. Use Active Voice: “The bike was stolen by him” is passive voice; the subject of the sentence is being acted on rather than acting. Passive voice is wordy, weak and dull. In active voice sentences, the subject is the ‘doer’ of an action.
Active voice is concise and strong and delivers the information immediately: “He stole the bike.”
6. Use Parallel Patterns: In the excellent and highly recommended book Write to Publish, Vin Maskell and Gina Perry point out how “using parallel patterns makes your writing flow smoothly and helps the reader make connections between elements of the piece”
The following examples illustrate this point:
Version 1 “Activities included in the package are blogging lessons and how to monetize your blog, and blogging case studies are also available”
Version 2 “Activities included in the package are blogging lessons, how to monetize your blog and blogging case studies”
The final phrase of version 1 has a jarring effect – your reader is ‘pulled up’ abruptly and thinking “what exactly do they mean by that?” Not a good thing.
Version 2 flows and the meaning is clear.
List posts are great ways to attract readers and comments on your blog – readers love them! Sometimes, though, a list post lacks impact because it has no rhythm or parallel construction:
5 ways to reduce stress
- Take deep breaths
- Good friends can help if you talk about your stress
- If you make a list of what needs to be done, you’ll feel more in control
- Soaking in a hot tub relaxes muscles
- Play your favourite music
5 ways to reduce stress
- Practice deep breathing
- Talk to a good friend about what’s worrying you
- Make a list of all things that you have to do
- Soak in a hot tub
- Play your favourite music
In version 2 each point begins with a verb. Having a pattern like this helps your reader anticipate what will follow. It is easier to read, and easier to understand.
- Keep Your Writing Lively: Avoid over used words and over the top phrases. Most importantly don’t use tired and worn out words on fresh and interesting ideas. Examples of stale expressions include: ‘leave no stone unturned,’ ‘white as a ghost,’ ‘by the same token.’
Answers to section 3 Prune Empty Words:
‘the added feature.’ Thus: “Our new fitness program includes water aerobics.”
‘of an…quality.’ Thus: “The Knitting was inferior.”
‘relied on the element of…to capture the…” Thus: “The police surprised the thief.”
3. How Improving Your Writing Can 10x Your Credibility
Let’s now look at how improving your writing can 10 x your credibility.
It’s hard to ignore a well written blog with correct spelling, grammar and punctuation that connects with people on a personal level.
We can take that one step further and highlight how well-tuned writing skills can turn your readers into buyers.
By buyers I mean both buyers who buy your products and buyers who buy you. Converting readers into buyers is key to your long-term success online. If you’re new to blogging or competing in a saturated niche market the following will help you forge ahead and dominate.
Being a story-teller and sharing your experiences – in your own voice – about the facts you are posting about is a great way to make an impact and stand out in a crowded market place. Even better is being honest and vulnerable, and sharing your ‘failures’ or setbacks. You know how powerful this is already, but if you’re like me, you need reminding from time to time. This is why I have created these free writing workshops, so we can come back and use these as a reference guide.
‘Influential bloggers’ will eventually notice your well written and unique way of ‘wrapping facts around a story’ and start selling your blog on your behalf – they will promote and recommend it to their network and followers and before you know it your blog is crashing from all the visits your getting…even it doesn’t, you are a reliable and credible source and ‘the community’ sees you that way as well. You will rank highly on Google and other Search Engines, too.
Talking of community, make sure you take the time to acknowledge and respond to the comments your readers leave. Again, you already know this, but it’s worth repeating.
Your sharpened writing skills will come in handy when submitting guest posts/queries – your chances of getting published increase ten-fold.
But it doesn’t end there. Your savvy writing skills continue long after your guest post has been published. When you reply to your readers comments it is critical you do so with the same force and tact as your guest post itself. Doing this shows the reader that you are consistent and professional and you are reinforcing your credibility.
We all know the importance of following up with a thank you note. You should get to know the blog owner who published your post on a personal level. Send them a message and ask them how they’re doing or mention you downloaded their e-book and learned how to improve your way of thinking or how to overcome a fear, etc.
Become known as the person who will go out of their way to keep your customer happy… become memorable.
In the words of sales guru Jeffrey Gitomer, “people don’t like to be sold to, but they love to buy.” Simply put – people buy off people they like. People prefer to do business with friends.
People prefer to buy off people who give value and expect nothing in return. It’s easier to sell your blog, e-book, course or product to people you have established strong bonds with and who respect you then trying to sell it to people who don’t.
Communicating succinctly, clearly and effectively through the written word is a very powerful way to do this.
Cari saluti Melbourne! And as always, thanks for reading.