5 Tips for Writers – Plus, a New One Every Wednesday
To up your writing game, all you need is Instagram or LinkedIn and 2-3 minutes per week.
And what writer isn’t looking to up their game? Even seasoned professionals can use fresh ideas and inspiration to get the creative juices flowing.
Every week, we share a new piece of writing advice on Instagram and LinkedIn, in a video series called “Writing Wednesday.” Here are some of our favorite Writing Wednesday tips from Ahava Liebtag, founder and president of Aha Media. We hope they give you some inspiration for your next project.
Top 5 Writing Wednesday Tips
Think like a teacher
Ahava says that when she tells people she’s a writer, they imagine her taking long strolls in the woods to think deep thoughts, then sitting at a desk and writing them out. But what a writer does is teach. And a teacher’s job is to answer the questions that their students have.
A writer needs to compose ideas in a way that makes sense for readers. So before you start writing:
- Think about your topic and research it
- Make a list of the primary and secondary questions someone might have
- Map the information flow
- Begin the mechanics of writing
Use UGC (user-generated content) to inform your research
As search engine developers prepare for voice-activated search, they’re thinking about the way users ask and type questions. You probably noticed that when you start typing into a browser’s search bar, questions that others have asked auto-populate. That’s because people are looking online to find information on how to do something. As a writer, think about the questions people might have before you start writing.
Where do you find these questions? Through UGC. As you research and read through blogs or forums, note what users are asking. You’ll find the questions and answers to use in your writing.
When you’re stuck, use your senses
Struggling for a way to draw readers into a particular scene? Try this: Imagine the setting through each of the 5 senses. Jot down nouns and adjectives that describe what it looks and feels like to be there.
Think of the colors, sounds, smells, textures and tastes that are part of your scene. Then, weave those descriptions into your story.
Find your lede (Hint: It’s right in front of you)
Writers often think that they need to share all of the critical information right away in a post. But most readers don’t need all of that background at the beginning. Instead, begin with the punchline.
Write down what you’ve learned through your research and interviews. Then, read the piece and find that sparkling diamond buried within the text to use as your lede. This method helps take the pressure off that first sentence: You’ve already written that great lede; you just need to find it!
Turn one piece of content into more
All content marketers want more content to use. But we often have more than we realize because we can repurpose our current content. Before you start planning for new content, think of the material you have and the varied ways you can use it.
At Aha Media Group, we call this the “Thanksgiving approach to content.” You cook your turkey on Thanksgiving, make turkey salad on Friday and use the leftovers for soup on Saturday. Do the same with content. As you plan your big pieces of content, think about how you can break them up into smaller chunks to use in different ways and on different channels.
Join Ahava for Writing Wednesdays
During these short videos, Ahava:
- Shares wisdom from uber-successful writers like Joan Didion and Stephen King
- Gives technical web writing tips, like how to get your content to show up in voice search
- Reminds writers of what we all need to hear often—how to sit down and get the work done