In digital media, short sentences and short paragraphs are your friends. But that doesn’t mean every sentence and paragraph you write should be short. Too many short sentences in a row and your writing will bore your readers. Too many long sentences in a row and you’ll overwhelm them. So, mix things up. Let the rhythm of your words dictate when each paragraph begins, and you’ll strike up the perfect balance between short paragraphs and long.
Too many writers dilute their writing with weak, empty words that bring nothing to the table. Worse? They silently erode your reader’s attention — one flabby phrase at a time. Spot these weak words and eliminate them from your writing.
Smart Blogger’s CEO, Jon Morrow, recommends spending at least 20% of your time on the headline for your content. That isn’t a typo. If you spend 10 to 20 hours writing an article, 2 to 4 of those hours should be spent writing and re-writing the headline. Why so many? Because if your headline sucks, no one is going to give your content a chance. In short: Headlines are important. Practice writing them so you get really, really freakin’ good at them. It’s a writing habit that’ll pay off again and again.
Whether you’re blogging, crafting a short story, working on a creative writing essay for your high school English class, dipping your toes into content marketing, or writing the backstory for what you hope will be a bestselling non-fiction novel for Amazon; most of us are limited in the amount of time we have available to write. So, if you want more time to write every day, you only have three options:
Most readers stick around for fewer than 15 seconds. Heck, most will stick around for fewer than 5 seconds. Why? Because readers are experts at scanning. They’ll click your headline, quickly scan your content, and — in only a few seconds — decide whether to stay or go. Writing a great intro is one way to convince readers to stick. Another? Write masterful subheads that create curiosity, hook your readers, and keep them on the page long enough to realize your content is worth reading.
Many first drafts are clumsy, sloppy, and difficult to read. This is true for most writers — even experienced, well-known ones. So what separates great content from the nondescript? Editing. The hard part isn’t over once your first draft is complete; on the contrary, it’s only beginning. To take your big words to the next level, you need to spend just as much time editing your words as you do creating them. It’s ruthless work. It’s kind of boring. But it’s vital.
If you aren’t using power words or sensory language in your writing, you’re missing out. Smart writers and copywriters use power words to give their content extra punch, personality, and pizzazz. And great writers from Shakespeare to Stephen King to Ernest Hemingway use sensory words evoking sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell to paint strong scenes in the minds of their readers. Both types of words are effective and super simple to use. If you’re tired of lifeless words sitting on a page, try sprinkling power and sensory words throughout your content.
Grammarly Premium's Delivery Confidence setting also can identify unnecessary qualifiers that make you sound less sure of yourself. The result is snappier, more confident writing.
Another premium feature in Grammarly detects language that can be overly harsh, and then suggests alternatives that are less likely to upset the reader.
More and more people value inclusive word choices, but sometimes it can be hard to recognize these kinds of errors. Grammarly has inclusive language tools that can help you choose the language that is the most respectful and up-to-date.