If you’re trying to establish yourself as an expert, then you need to sound like one. But a poorly written story will have the opposite effect, even if it’s relatively free of grammar and punctuation errors. Hence, your writing needs to be on point, and your voice needs to be strong. The best way to do that? Don’t say something in 10 words that you could say in five.
Start by writing in a more concise, direct way. In other words, go through each sentence you write, and look for words you can cut that won’t hurt the flow and tone. Not sure which words to delete? Check out these 10 words that can be cut from most sentences:
This might be a hard one for some writers – just think about the number of times you say “like” when talking. This is what’s called a word filler. “This word may be more often heard when speaking, but it occasionally encroaches upon the written word,” says Write Right Words founder Erin Feldman.
This is another one of those word fillers. However, the word “really” rarely makes a difference in the point you’re trying to convey and can weaken your statement. As Ali Hale from Daily Writing Tips says, “It sounds as though you believe the other person is unsure of your intentions.” For example, telling your readers that your service is “really popular” instead of writing why your service is popular sounds like you’re trying to cover up the facts. You’re also missing the opportunity to express your thoughts directly and build a stronger connection.
Remember, you want people to come to your blog because they regard you as an expert. By using the words “perhaps” or “maybe,” you’re planting the seed of uncertainty. Do you want readers thinking you’re only half sure?
Be specific and avoid the word “things.” For example, a blog post titled, “10 Reasons You Should Buy a Home Now” is more actionable than a post titled, “10 Things You Need To Know About Today’s Real Estate Market.”
This is a collective group of overused, diluted words. Express yourself instead of masking your thoughts with one of these weak words. “How can something be amazing if everything is?,” writes Shanna Mallon for the Globe and Mail. Make your words matter by using these words sparingly.
The problem with the word “quite” is that it can have different meanings. For example, one person might use “quite” as a way of saying “exactly,” while someone else may use the word to express the word “almost.” It’s better to just leave it out, blogger Brad Cotton says. “This insidious word tends to water down the meaning of a sentence or, worse, make it unclear. In order to cut confusion and add to the strength of your message, cut this word out.”
There is “literally” no point in using this word. Remember, if something is true, you don’t need to hammer home the point with a word like “literally.” Besides, using words like “literally” makes it sound like you’re trying to convince readers to believe something that might not be true. Plus, you’re making a stronger statement without that verbal crutch.
Keep in mind, all this takes practice – even veteran writers make these common mistakes. But if blogging isn’t your strong point, then leave it to the experts and contract it out (the Renown SEO Viral Blogging program is a good place to start; see details below). After all, “literally” half of marketers outsource some aspect of their work to produce “amazing” content, according to the Content Marketing Institute.