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Many people find writing difficult. Here are a few tips that you may find useful if you’re writing for the Internet, whether it’s a long article or a few paragraphs that describe your business.

  • Get a rough idea in your head of the key points that you want to make.
  • Write down a few headings that map out the rough structure.
  • Start writing and write as if you were talking to someone.
  • Don’t bother about correcting spelling mistakes or grammar at this stage. Just keep writing and let it flow. One of the biggest inhibitors to writing is trying to get every sentence perfect before moving on to the next one.
  • A good tip for helping your writing flow is to turn off the spelling/grammar checker in the editor. It’s too distracting. You can go back and spell/grammar check the entire document when you’ve done the first draft.
  • Don’t worry too much about grammar rules. I’m not suggesting that you should ignore grammar completely but many of the rules that were drummed into us at school, such as not starting sentences with and, also etc., can be safely ignored if the sentence sounds right.
  • Use simple words where you can. Using a more complicated equivalent word if there is one won’t make you sound literary. You will sound pompous and it will just turn the readers off.
  • Use short sentences and short paragraphs. Long sentences and paragraphs make reading more difficult. Remember the people reading your article are probably pushed for time and won’t read something that looks as if it’s going to take time and effort to digest.
  • When you’ve written a first draft then go back, read and correct any mistakes. Reword anything that you’re not happy with.
  • Don’t over-polish the document. When you’re reasonable happy with it, publish it. You won’t get extra brownie points by spending hours polishing it.

Remember you’re not at school where maybe you were put off writing by overzealous English Language teachers. No one is going to mark your writing.

Oh, and as an afterthought, if you do get the odd pedant commenting about typos or some obscure grammatical mistake, ignore them. If they’re more interested in looking for mistakes rather than considering the content of your article they don’t deserve a reply.

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