It’s not easy to be a good writer, let alone a great writer. I’ve been making a living as a writer since my 20s and I do not consider myself a great writer, merely a serviceable one. On the other hand, I know that I create better written materials than many people in the corporate marketing world, simply because I have focused on my writing skills for so long. So that’s my top piece of advice for everyone in digital marketing: commit to continuous improvement of your writing skills.
Why should you learn to be a better writer? Not just because it will help with digital marketing, though it will. Good writing is always in demand, and workers with good writing skills will win jobs and assignments over those with poor writing skills. Become a better writer because it is one of the best things you can do for your career.
Here are some other tips:
- Be an internal “reporter.” Working journalists notice interesting things and file them away, and they chase interesting stories when they hear about them. As an “internal reporter,” you can still notice things and you can still chase down good stories, you just need to be careful of corporate boundaries. Good and plentiful details and interesting stories about your company will help you pitch and place stories and create your own content.
- There’s no shortcut to becoming a better writer. The process involves writing, re-writing, being edited and criticized, being read by readers and receiving feedback, and then doing it all again. Many times. It’s worth it, but it does take time.
- Avail yourself of writers’ resources on the web and beyond. If you’re serious about this, you can enroll in writing courses, both in person and online. But on an everyday basis, you can improve your writing skills by stopping to check spelling, grammar, or other usage questions on web sites such as Grammar Girl, Merriam-Webster’s dictionary and thesaurus online, and Google’s define feature.
Got a question about online language and usage? Leave a comment here and let’s start the dialogue.
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