A Quick Way to Improve Your Writing Skills and Create Better Content

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BigPencilGirlWant a quick way to improve your writing? Here’s a practical tip.

I want you to take 15 minutes and read this article from the blog BoostBlogTraffic.com. It’s called “297 Flabby Words and Phrases That Rob Your Writing of All Its Power.

As an online content creator, you may be looking for ways to improve your writing skills. But it’s surprisingly hard to do that without hiring an editor for every piece you write.

So the question is — if you’re already a good writer, how can you become a great one?

If you’re struggling with this issue, this blog post might provide a real breakthrough for you. The post’s author, Shane Arthur, is one of the best copyeditors I’ve ever known – he can take an article, cut out all the unnecessary words, and turn it into a finely tuned piece of extraordinary content. He can find fluff in places I would never even think to look. But if you don’t have Shane to edit your writing, how can you tighten up your own email content, sales pages, and blog posts? He tells you exactly how with this “297 Flabby Words” post — and you’re going to be amazed by his insights.

After you’ve read the post in its entirety, print it out and hang it above your desk. Next time you’ve completed a piece of writing and you’re ready to edit, look over Shane’s list of “flabby” words and hunt for them in your own writing. Then ruthlessly cut them. I practically guarantee you will find a whole bunch of words you can cut – and it’s going to make your writing so much clearer and easier to understand.

After you do this a couple of times, you’re going to notice that you tend to overuse certain words or phrases again and again. When you spot those words, put them on your own personal “Flabby Words” list. Then put that list right next to Shane’s blog post, on the wall above your desk.

Here’s my own personal “Flabby Words” list:

  • Just
  • In order to
  • So (especially to start sentences)
  • That
  • Exactly
  • Really
  • And (especially to start sentences)

What’s on your personal “fluff” words list? Or do you have other ways of cutting out the fat and making your writing tighter? Tell us about it in the comments.

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  1. I would add “interesting” along with any cliches, like “take it to the next level.” The easy part of copywriting is applying the formulas, like “Who else wants…” The hard part is using original, creative language.

  2. There is always a room for improvement, and this doesn’t excuse the greatest writers. Writers need to show expertise when doing their craft. It is not just about getting sufficient number of words or offering information. Flabby words also get in the way of a supposedly great content easily. I think some of the most common ones are those that end in ‘ly’. Thanks for sharing those tips Beth!

  3. Hi Beth, Nice article. My worst words are just and really. As soon as I finish this comment, I’m going to read the flabby post you recommended. I read about your blog in Janice Wald’s new book. She lists you as one of her top bloggers. I thought I should check you out. You have a beautiful blog. 🙂

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