8 Writing Tips From 4 Years Of Penning Down My Thoughts

Rejection after rejection, I’ve accumulated some strategies that have worked for me. You’re allowed to steal them and use them.


Yousuf Rafi

3 years ago | 4 min read

Anyone can write, but not everyone writes with the same intensity, same passion, and intention to add value to the world. I’ve been writing for 4 years, and over these years, I’ve learned some tried and tested ways to improve your writing in no time.

Here is what I’ve learned in the past 4 years of writing:

1. Ship Work Everyday

Are you feeling excited? Ship your work! Are you feeling worried? Ship your work! Are you procrastinating? Ship your work. The key to successful writing is shipping your work every day.

People ask me how to improve my writing? I say, ‘Deliver a lot of crappy work.’ When you deliver work every day, it helps you get into the flow where you can create awesome work. But before that, you need to ship work every day.

2. Use Powerful Titles

If your title is not engaging, the reader will not take the time to read further. People read posts when the title grabs their attention. Here’s how Neil Patel create his headlines:

Or, if you want to follow Medium Genius

Nicolas Cole, follow his way to create an effective headline.

In a webinar to Copyblogger, Cole revealed his title hack.

You need to create a curiosity gap from the how-to to the outcome.

First, mention the number in how, next, what it is, followed by the why — for whom, and the feel — how the reader will feel after reading it, closing it with a promise/outcome.

Screenshot by author
Screenshot by author

Here is another example for you to ponder:

Screenshot by author
Screenshot by author

For more, do visit Nicolas Cole Medium profile and see how he creates the titles.

3. Use Storytelling To Attract The Reader

When I started writing, my initial mentors forced me to use correct grammar, big vocabulary and even focus on more words rather than quality work.

But as I started taking global projects, I realized that the clients don’t care that much about grammar (I don’t mean ignoring it. Use Grammarly tool to check your grammar) and more about the story in the content.

The clients asked me to learn storytelling as it will help me with writing. Here I would like to recommend two books that helped me a lot.

The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall and Made to Stick by Chip Heath. Both of these books share methods for creating engaging content and what type of stories engage users.

If you are willing to succeed in writing, then you must master the art of storytelling and use it in your content.

4. Keep It Simple

Most novice writers feel that using heavy words is good writing. Well, I am here to debunk your myth. You are writing to create value. If the reader cannot understand your content, what is the point of writing in the first place?

Use short sentences. Of course, you can occasionally use long sentences to explain something deeper, but it is better to use short sentences. Keep your paragraphs short: around 3 lines per paragraph.

When you are finished with your first draft, use Hemingway Editor to simplify your content. The app will grade your content. Lower-grade signifies good content.

The aim is to keep your content below a score of 10. Achieving 5–6 grade is great. Engage with the audience, which is simple and easy to understand.

5. Garnish Your Content With Synonyms

Repetition is a sin. To avoid such sin, you can use powerthesaurus, where you’ll find synonyms of words and use them. If you’re out of ideas, try using Wordtune, which will show you how to say one idea in different ways.

6. Write Casually, Edit Ruthlessly

I’ve gathered that writing goes in three phases. In the first phase, you write whatever comes to your mind: no editing, no judging, or anything.

In the next phase, you do the editing. Here you check the grammar, sentence structure and making sense of the text. You can use Grammarly to check grammatical errors in your content.

The last phase is the most interesting. It is proofreading. Here you polish your content and ensure that it is ready to be published. Cut the words, sentences that don’t add meaning to the reader. Simplify your content and publish it.

7. There Is No Such Thing As Writer’s Block

Staring at your screen, the numbness and being static is not a writer’s block. Writer’s block is simply being out of ideas. When you feel like there is nothing to write, write how your day went. Or simply read this blog on kicking your writer’s block:

8. Writing Is 20%; Marketing Is 80%

It’s not all about putting words on the word processor. Surely, you need to pour your heart out. But if you want to succeed as a writer, you need to learn how to market your blogs.

Over the years, I’ve used unconventional ways to market my blogs. Here’s how you do it:

  • Quora: The most underrated platform to market your blogs. Basically, it is a question-and-answer platform where users ask questions, and within those questions, you can integrate your blog. Take some portion of your blog, answer the question and link your link.
  • Pinterest: Join writing boards and post your links on these boards. Once you signup, you’ll know what to do.
  • Facebook Groups: It is not always about spamming. Facebook groups can be used to post your blogs and interact with other bloggers. Ask questions, share tips and connect with like-minded people.
  • LinkedIn Groups: Same goes for LinkedIn groups. Join the relevant groups and share your blogs after you’ve shared some insights from your blog.
  • Guest Posting: One of the fastest ways to make your way on top of search results is to do guest posting on high domain authority(DA) websites. When your link gets shared on these sites, Google improves the rank of your website.

Closing Thoughts

Writing is a job of passion. When you involve yourself in the content, you get into the flow state where miracles happen. The key to improving your writing is to write every day. When you write content in quantity, it is then you create quality content.


Created by

Yousuf Rafi

A Caffeine dependent writer who loves writing on self-help, life, happiness & motivation.







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