You know you have bad writing habits.
You have tried all you could, to get rid of it, but you are still stuck.
You know what?
It is not peculiar to you.
Most writers have one or two bad writing habits.
But the truth is;
You need to get rid of them fast.
It can stop you from being a successful writer.
In this article, I will show you how to get rid of bad habits that are not allowing you to be a successful writer.
1. Writing without an outline:
This is a very important point. You must have an outline before you start writing. It consists of your topic, the list of what you want to talk about, all organized the way you want it. Then, you will now flesh out your points, review and adjust where necessary. Having an outline helps you to stay on point and not forget your ideas. It also makes it easy and faster to write.
Here is a sample outline from Michael Hyatt
This is what a normal content outline looks like.
2. Writing long paragraphs
This is another common bad writing habits seen around the internet. It will amaze you to know that in today's world, especially on the internet, everyone seems to be in a hurry. So, you need to make it easy for people to skim through your content easily. A research carried out by UX research and eye-tracking studies, revealed that many people skim while reading online.
Make it easy for your readers to scan by creating short paragraphs of two to three sentences.
Here is a great sample from Buffer
Which one of the two would you prefer to read?
The one on the right is too congested. You will need to concentrate more to read it. While the left one is easier to read.
3. Vague Openings
You have very little time to draw your readers into your content. You can do this at the beginning of your content. If you miss this opportunity you will lose them and they will move on to the next website or click the back button.
When writing your openings , make it clear what your content is all about.
Check my opening statement in this article. It literally draws readers in.
4. The use of Slangs
The use of slang words should not be encouraged. Learn how to communicate to your audience in clear terms. Use the language that everyone will understand. If you use slang words frequently, it will be difficult for you to find your own voice.
Below are sample slang words to avoid in your writing.
5. No unique voice
Every writer has a unique voice. Your voice is all about your person and your message. You have to learn how to communicate to your audience in a language they understand.
Finding your voice helps you to get committed followers and fans.
6. Plagiarizing other people's work
The internet is filled with regurgitated contents. You cannot regurgitate other people's content and be successful as a writer. You cannot copy other people's work and pass it off as your own. That is one of the worst bad writing habits you can have. However, you can quote words from other people's research and cite the source.
7. Improper knowledge of your audience
To be a successful writer, you need to know your audience and their pain points. These are the people you want to communicate with. You need to really dig deep to understand them so that you can connect with them with your content.
8. Inability to write daily
If you ask most successful writers, they will tell you that they have a writing habit they keep to - writing daily. When you write daily, it becomes a habit. You will get better and better each day and writing blocks will be no more.
9. Not writing the way you talk
The best way for your audience to understand you better is to speak to them as if you are talking to them one on one. This makes it easy for them to understand what you are saying.
10. Allowing distractions
There are several things that can distract you from writing. They include the social media (Facebook account, Twitter, e.t.c.), the television, your friends, e.t.c. You need to get rid of distractions if you want to be a successful writer.
There are tools that will help you to concentrate while writing, such as: Tomato timer.
This is a tool that will help you to time yourself as you write, thereby avoiding distractions.
Others are Zen pen, Illys, Write-app etc.
11. Grammar mistakes
The first thing you need to do after you have finished writing your article is to check for grammar mistakes. When you post an article full of grammar mistakes, you look like an amateur. There are several editing tools you can use to weed them out, such as the Hemingway App and the popular Microsoft word.
12. Spelling mistakes
Spelling mistake is another thing that will not make you a successful writer. Some of the tools out there will not detect spelling errors or commonly confused words such as:
This is why you need to read your article very well before posting it. You can even ask a friend to help you read before you post. He or she will be able to spot the errors you mistakenly omit.
Above are some bad writing habits you need to overcome if you want to succeed as a writer. You need to get rid of writing without an outline, writing long paragraphs, vague openings, the use of slangs, No unique voice, plagiarizing other people's work, improper knowledge of your audience, inability to write daily, not writing the way you talk, allowing distractions, grammar and spelling mistakes.
When you take care of all these bad writing habits, you are on your way to becoming a successful writer.