I’ll admit, even as a freelance writer my writing isn’t great 100% of the time.
Between running a business, writing, and taking care of twins, I can’t spend a lot of time making sure my content is absolutely perfect.
But as a freelance writer, you don’t have to!
There’s a lot to be said about accepting good enough over perfection.
Seeking perfection only sets you up for failure and causes imposter syndrome as a writer.
As long as the information is good, easy to read, and free of errors, you are producing amazing content!
I’ve been professionally writing since 2014 and I know there’s always room for improvement with knowing more writing techniques.
So if you’re just starting as a freelance writer, don’t worry!
The most important thing to remember is this: even if your writing isn’t “great,” it can always be better.
This is why I want to share with you these easy writing techniques to help improve your writing.
Easy Writing Techniques to Be a Better Writer
1. Discover Your Writing Niche
Sometimes the hardest part of writing is not knowing what to write about!
A writing niche is a topic or subject that you are knowledgeable and passionate about.
For me, it’s freelance writing (obviously) and blogging for moms. These are topics that I can write easily about because I know a lot about them.
Examples of popular writing niches include parenting, education, and health and wellness – but there are so many more out there!
To find your niche, think about what you are passionate about but also consider what need you can fill to draw in an audience and what types of niches are profitable.
Grab my free Booming Niche guide to check out more profitable writing niches for you!
2. Start a Blog
One of the best ways to build your writing muscle is to start a blog. This gives you an opportunity to practice your writing.
You can start an author blog to highlight your freelance writing services or a blog that showcases your niche.
By having a blog, you will get a better feel of how to write content for the web such as format, research, etc. And it’s a great platform to advertise your services and your skills.
I know for me, writing a blog post helped me improve my online writing and helped me be a writer for sure!
3. Read What You Want to Write About
So, reading is not exactly a writing technique but it can help you improve your writing skills.
When you read what you want to write about, you’ll understand your niche better and learn how other writers write about the topic.
This is also a great way to see how other writers use their words and format their content for an online audience, such as how their sentences are structured, the type of language they use, etc.
You can then incorporate these styles into your own writing.
When I started my mom blog I started ready loads of other mom blogs and learning how they wrote – their writing tone – each post, what topics they wrote about and how they talked to their audience (i.e. as a teacher or girl friend).
Over time, this helped me form my own writing voice and how I could talk to my audience in an authentic way.
4. Write All the Time
Once you establish your writing niche and start a blog, you have the perfect opportunity to practice your writing every day!
As a beginner, it’s helpful to write every day about your niche. Once you gain some skills and confidence, you can expand your writing to different niches to help maintain those skills.
And writing every day in your niche will help you build your writer portfolio!
You can also practice your writing every day by writing social media posts on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Aim to create one post per day, writing 2-3 sentences about what you’re doing or promoting.
Finally, you can share your writing on Medium. Medium is a content platform just for writers and you can write anything you want, grow a readership and actually make some money too!
5. Take an Online Course
If you’re struggling to develop writing skills on your own, you can always take an online course. There are a ton of resources out there that can help you become a better writer.
My free mini-course Get Paid to Write, for example, walks you through the skills you need to become a successful freelance writer.
While lists like this one are great for giving you valuable tips and simple writing techniques, online courses tend to be more actionable in actually developing your skills.
6. Get Into the “Writing Zone”
When it’s time to sit down and practice writing skills, one thing I find that helps a lot is getting into the “writing zone.” This will help you focus and be more productive when it comes to writing.
In order to get into the zone, the first thing you need to do is eliminate distractions. Put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door, mute your phone, hide in a closet – whatever you need to do to avoid getting distracted and focus on your writing.
You can also increase your focus by listening to some awesome writing music. Music helps me focus when I can’t mute my husband and my kids.
I also make sure to have all my “things” near me like my water bottle, chapstick, my freelance writing planner and a hair tie!
7. Write Down Your Ideas
Most times you’re going to find yourself sitting down to write with no idea what to write even when you have established your niche.
Do you know what writers really love? Notebooks! You’ll be hard-pressed to find a writer that doesn’t own a dozen of them.
So when you have an idea for a post pop into your head, grab a spiral notebook, and jot it down.
Then, when it’s time to write, you’ll have a list of topics ready to be written.
8. Create Outlines
When you do have an idea for an article, it can sometimes be difficult to organize your thoughts. Good content is all about making information easy for readers to digest, which means having it organized in a clear and concise manner.
This is where outlines make the difference!
Take your article idea and break it down into headings. Then, when you write, you only have to fill in the sections.
Not only does this help you organize your content but it makes the process of writing an article quicker and more efficient.
9. Learn How to Research
Even though you are writing on topics that you know, it’s still important to know how to research to ensure your information is relevant and accurate.
Although you want to give your readers the answers they are looking for, you need to ensure you are giving them the right answers.
Start by Googling your topic and taking notes. It’s just like writing an essay in high school! You want to rewrite someone else’s ideas and information into your own words without completely copying and plagiarizing the content.
And, as you’re writing your article, make sure you are supporting your claims by citing stats and data from reputable sources as well as popular articles on the same topic.
10. Avoid “Big Word Energy”
When it comes to displaying your expertise in your niche, there’s a huge difference between being smart and sounding smart.
When you try too hard to sound smart by using big words, the reader becomes distracted and the value of your content is lost.
The key to good writing is being clear and concise so that the information you are sharing is easy for the reader to understand and digest. You want your words to resonate with the reader so that they walk away learning something.
You don’t need to impress your readers with big words to show them what you know. Your voice and the way you present the information will do all of this!
11. Stay Away from Filler Words
Because you want your content to be clear and concise, stay away from filler words such as that, very, just, really, etc.
Unless filler words are there for a reason, there’s no need to add them to your sentences.
While conversational writing does rely on filler words, when I wrote blog content I’m careful to edit my work and remove them before I hit publish.
Over time, you will find the balance of using enough words to convey your message.
12. Keep Your Sentences and Paragraphs Short
Take a moment to look at this blog post – you’ll notice that I’m using short sentences and paragraphs.
In fact, some of my paragraphs are only one sentence long!
Keeping your sentences and paragraphs short makes it easier for the reader to read your content.
Plus, online readers don’t tend to have a long attention span so the easier your content is to read, the more likely they will stick around and read it.
13. Keep the Message Clear
Now that you know to keep the floof (big words, filler words, long sentences, etc.) out of your writing, it’s important to make sure the message you are sending to your readers is loud and clear.
Start your article by getting straight to the point. A good introduction will do just that – introduce the topic you are writing about.
While I like to include a little bit of my personal experience in my introduction, I don’t let my stories take away from the point of the article. I use them to sort of highlight the relevance of the subject I’m going to be talking about and connect with my readers.
You also want to stay away from tangents and sidebars during the article as well. As I mentioned, online readers have a short attention span and will leave your site if they can’t get the information they are seeking in a timely fashion.
14. Write for the Readers
When you’re writing an article, it’s also important to think about your readers – what do they want to hear? How would they like the information to be conveyed?
Some audiences want a writing style that is more formal while others enjoy a more humorous tone.
To figure out who your audience is and what they would prefer, create a “reader avatar”. This is a sort of profile of your ideal reader that includes their age, gender, lifestyle, and other demographics.
15. Use Editing Tools
There’s nothing wrong with taking shortcuts when it comes to improving your writing skills!
I personally use Grammarly for online editing. Not only does it pick up on my spelling and grammar errors (which often result from typing too fast) but it also helps me fine-tune my writing by pointing out mistakes a consistently make.
Just don’t rely too heavily on them! Not only do you want to learn and grow as a writer but you want to make sure nothing was missed. I edit my writing through Grammarly and proofread it afterward.
My husband has the privilege of doing the final read-through!
16. Get Over Writer’s Block
Writer’s block is the worst! You’ve tried all of these easy writing techniques but when you sit down to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys), your brain comes up with absolutely nothing!
Thankfully, there are many ways you can avoid writer’s block such as:
- Taking a break
- Writing something else
- Listening to music
- Pacing yourself
- Reducing your stress
Sometimes getting rid of writer’s block is simply a matter of getting back into that “Writing Zone” I mentioned earlier!
17. Accept that the First Draft is Crap
The more time you spend trying to write something perfect (or even passable) the first time around, the more time you’re going to waste and the more frustrated you’re going to get.
There’s a famous phrase in the writing world that goes: “Write first, edit later.”
This is true in the freelancing writing world as well. Sometimes it’s more important to get your ideas out before making them sound good.
So when you’re writing, you need to accept that your first draft is going to be crap – and that’s okay! Because once you edit and proofread, the final draft is going to be amazing!
18. Let Your Writing Sit
There are times where you’re going to be partway through an article and either:
- Run out of ideas, or:
- Experience verbal diarrhea and write an article that is way too wordy.
Before you decide to trash your article, let it sit for a bit. Sometimes walking away from a piece you are working on will allow your brain to cool down so you can tackle it later.
You’ll be able to come at it with a fresh perspective that will spark new ideas or allow you to pare down your piece to improve its clarity.
19. Join a Writer’s Community
Although getting jobs in the freelance writing world is competitive, the community of freelance writers is anything but!
As part of my course Write to 1K, I offer access to a Facebook group to budding writers. I’m always amazed, although never surprised, at the amount of encouragement and support the members give to each other.
Sometimes it helps to have experienced writers to lean on when you’re trying to improve your writing skills – and you never know what kind of tips and helpful advice they can give!
20. Find Your Voice
One of the biggest struggles for new freelance writers is finding their voice – but it’s the key to unlocking your creative potential!
Sure, you’re just writing down words someone else has asked you to write but it’s important to find your unique writing style.
This is what is going to attract clients and readers. Plus, when you’re taking on more and more work, you’ll find yourself burning out if you’re not being yourself.
You’ll know you’ve found your voice when you find that writing feels less like work and becomes more enjoyable!
Be a Better Writer!
I’m happy to be able to share all of these easy writing techniques with you! Even if a handful of them work for you, you’re on your way to becoming a better writer.
Remember that it’s not about becoming great – it’s all about improving. This takes time but someday you will look back at older pieces you’ve written and think, “Wow! I’ve come a long way!”
As a beginner, are there any other techniques you found have helped improve your writing? Share them in the comments!
And don’t forget to pin this article for later!