Poor writing skills? Here's how to turn your weaknesses into strengths.
Updated: Apr 16, 2019
‘I was no good at English at school.'
‘All my ideas are boring.’
‘I talk better than I write.’
These are all excuses I have heard for not putting pen to paper. In fact, lack of confidence in one area of writing often stops bloggers, business owners and entrepreneurs from sharing their ideas.
But what if you could turn your writing weaknesses into strengths, or even a unique selling point?
Writing isn't what it used to be. It's not about knowing long words or having perfect grammar. It's about sharing unique and exciting ideas with your audience in an engaging way. And the best way to hook your audience is to add as much personality as you can.
So what are your writing weaknesses? Here are 5 of the most common, and how you can turn them into your writing USP:
Writing Weakness #1: Limited vocabulary
Do you find yourself in conversations where words are being thrown around like confetti but you don’t know what they mean? Do you struggle to come up with professional-sounding words in your writing? That’s okay! Gone are the days of having to use long words to impress your reader. Many successful bloggers and writers have built a following around a simple, jargon-free writing style. Using everyday words makes your writing approachable and, if you're writing in an industry known for its management speak, a fresh approach will make you stand out from the crowd.
Writing Weakness #2: Poor grammar
Does your grammar leave a lot to be desired? Many business owners have great ideas but are afraid to express them because they lack confidence in written English. The truth is, there are ways to work around these gaps in your knowledge—but only if you’re smart enough. One way is to avoid sentences altogether and make your blog into a series of lists and bullet points. People love quick reads and will often skip the introductory paragraphs of a blog. Why not buck the trend, skip the preamble and dive straight in to invaluable content expressed in list form?
Writing Weakness #3: Long-windedness
Do you find it hard to keep your blog posts short? Do you always go over word limits? If so, commit to writing long-form articles. After all, research by Moz and Backlinko has shown that articles over 1000 words get more back links, more social engagement and more conversions than other content. So sticking to a 500-word limit is old news. Just remember:
don’t use ‘filler’ language that has little meaning.
make sure each paragraph has a new and relevant point.
introduce plenty of white space in the form of short paragraphs, line breaks and images.
Writing Weakness #4: Informal style
If I had a pound for every time an author or blogger has told me that they talk better than they write, I’d have… at least £50. But this is not an excuse. If you can hold a physical audience and explain your ideas clearly, then you can also be a writer. In fact, you have a rare skill. Good talkers make great bloggers because they have what most writers would kill for: an authentic voice. The biggest compliment anyone can pay you is to say that they can hear your voice in your writing. So write as you talk, edit carefully for conversational quirks that don’t translate to written English, and publish. You could even try dictation, transcribing later using a service such as www.rev.com
Writing Weakness #5: Lack of material
Reluctant to write? Maybe you just don't think you have anything interesting to say. If you struggle to come up with enough material for an article or blog, stick to the platforms that celebrate brevity. Jot down your ideas, find an engaging image to go with them and post as soundbites to Twitter or Instagram. A single idea expressed simply is a joyful thing, and your readers will appreciate you cutting the waffle. By making immediacy and simplicity your USP, you might just tap into a market that isn’t served by longer articles.
What is your writing weakness? Can you turn it into a writing strength? If you’d love some human help to improve your writing, check out my coaching packages.