How To Make Your Writing Sound More Professional (11 Steps)
Last Updated on May 16, 2023 by Jordan Alexo
Writing can be scary, especially if you want to do it professionally.
You probably wonder “if your writing sounds clear and concise?” “Will my readers understand what I’m talking about?” These and other concerns are valid.
Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to make your writing sound top-notch.
In this guide, you’ll discover eleven steps to make your writing sound more professional.
From crafting headlines to using editing tools like Grammarly and setting achievable goals, these steps can help you take your writing to the next level. So, let’s get started!
- Writing professionally means using clear and simple language that is easy to understand. Being professional does not require the use of complicated words and jargon.
- Writing professionally is crucial because it establishes you as an expert, makes your writing clearer, and expands your career opportunities.
- Writing better headlines involves using numbers, being ultra-specific, and using “power words” to catch people’s attention.
- Using casual language and shorter phrases can make technical writing more approachable and easier to understand.
- Being straightforward and avoiding unnecessary words while making each sentence count can help you provide clear instructional information to your readers.
What Makes Your Writing Sound More Professional?
Well, writing is an art form. It depends on the style of writing you want to produce. Not all writing is created equally.
For instance, someone writing content to promote their novels might have a more creative and playful writing style, while someone writing technical information needs to go straight to the point and use simpler language.
Anyway, I will focus more on technical writing because it’s the style often used in business, blogging, and academic writing. And honestly, I’m not a nonfiction writer!
Often people think that being professional means using complicated words and jargon. In most cases, quite the contrary. You have to remember most people read at a 7th to 8th-grade level.
Also, many people who read your content may not have English as their first language. For this reason, professional writing should be easy and straight to the point.
3 Reasons Why Writing Professionally Is Important
Here are three reasons why writing professionally is essential:
1 – People Can Take You More Seriously
You establish yourself as an expert on the field, someone worth listening to and taking seriously when you write professionally. This is important if you want people to read your blog, take your business seriously and trust your expertise.
2 – Your Writing Becomes Clear
The clearer your writing is, the easier it is to understand your message. In technical writing, clarity is essential to ensure that whoever reads your content understands the information.
Usually, people who read technical content is because they need to solve a problem, make an informed decision, or learn something new
3 – Expand Your Career Opportunities
Good writers are always in high demand. If you have a professional writing style, you can increase your chances of getting hired.
For instance, you may land more freelance opportunities or work for a company as a technical writer, where you’d be responsible for writing content for their blog, product manuals, and other documents.
11 Steps To Make Your Writing Sound More Professional
Now let’s go deeper with the eleven steps that will improve your writing.
Step 1 – Write Better Headlines
A good headline makes the difference between someone reading the rest of your content and ignoring it completely.
Your headline should be catchy and clear about what the article is about.
Here are three tips for writing a better headline:
Tip 1 – Use Numbers
People love reading lists and quantitative details, so using numbers in your headline can draw more people to click on it. For example, “5 Reasons Why Writing Professionally Is Important.”
Also, use numbers such as 5, 7, or 11 for more impact. I don’t know but people like odd numbers.
Tip 2 – Be Ultra Specific
Your headline should describe what someone will learn or gain from reading your content.
For example, instead of writing “Why You Should Write Professionally,” write something like “3 Ways That Professional Writing Can Benefit Your Career.”
Someone reading that last headline will know immediately what the article is about and what they can expect to learn from it.
Tip 3 – Use “Power” Words
Power words are trigger words that catch people’s attention and create an emotional response in the reader. For instance, words such as “amazing,” unbelievable,” and “essential” can make your headline stand out.
If you want a complete list of power words, quickly Google “list of power words.” You’ll find many helpful resources you can use to improve your headlines.
Step 2 – Use Casual Language
Using casual language can make technical writing easier and less boring for readers. Instead of writing dry technical jargon, try to write as if you’re conversing with your reader.
To do this, try using “you” and “we” pronouns, keeping your tone friendly and approachable.
At the same time, you don’t want to be overly casual, like you are chatting with guys at a bar. Still, it’s essential to maintain a certain level of professionalism; after all, you want your reader to trust and respect what you’re saying.
One way to keep things safe is to avoid jargon, offensive language, and slang.
Step 3 – Use Shorter Phrases
Someone who can pass a message in fewer words is more effective than someone who takes longer to get their point across.
Using shorter phrases can help readers more easily understand your message. A good way to do this is by breaking up long sentences into two or shorter ones.
Another way to keep phrases short is by eliminating unnecessary words, such as “that,” “very,” “just, and “seem.”
Step 4 – Correct Your Grammar
There is nothing worse than having grammar mistakes throughout your writing. Often this causes your readers to lose interest and credibility in what you’re saying.
Besides, nowadays, you have access to grammar tools like Grammarly. So, there is no excuse not to double-check your writing and make sure that it’s free from grammar mistakes.
Before I publish any blog posts, I always pass them through Grammarly and fix any grammar errors that I come across.
This not only makes my writing more professional but also ensures that readers will more easily understand my content.
Step 5 – Be Straightforward
Don’t beat around the bush and leave your readers guessing. See technical writing should provide clear instructional information.
Here are a few things you can do to keep your writing straightforward:
Tip 1 – Make Each Sentence Count
Each sentence should provide instructional information that is clear and easy to understand without overloading the reader with too many technical terms or complex concepts.
Tip 2 – Share Stories and Anecdotes That Make Sense
People love to relate to stories and anecdotes. However, people don’t want to spend time reading a long story about the time “you went on a trip to Europe and got drunk with your friends.” Especially if it’s out of context with what the technical writing is all about.
I mean, if you’re talking about the effects of alcohol on the human body, it may be appropriate to share that trip to Europe, where you learned a valuable lesson. But besides that, only share relevant details and anecdotes that support your writing.
Tip 3 – Build Up
Your content should build up logically. For instance, if you’re explaining how to set up a new software program, start with the basics, like downloading and installing the program. And get deeper as you progress through the steps, such as entering user information and configuring settings.
Step 5 – Use An AI Writing Assistant
An AI writing assistant is a great way to keep your writing straightforward. One thing machines do well is write content that is clear and concise.
For this reason, we sometimes find the content generated artificially monotonous and lacking the human touch.
And that’s why AI writing tools like Rytr and Jasper AI can be great supplements. In fact, I noticed that after using these tools, my writing is more straightforward and to the point.
Besides, they also help me catch any typos and grammatical errors, making my writing more polished and professional.
The idea is to use these AI writers as an assistant while maintaining your unique writing style, which adds a personal touch to your writing.
Step 6 – Craft An Outline
I can’t stress enough how important it is to craft an outline before starting your writing. It helps you clearly understand what you want to share with your readers.
Also, it keeps your content structured and organized, making it easier to read and understand.
I always recommend checking your competitors’ content to understand how they structured it and what topics they covered.
You want to see what you must cover and what they missed. Also, find ways to make your writing more unique, adding fresh angles or insights to set your content apart.
Step 7 – Take a Break, And Read It Over
Sometimes, we get caught up in our own writing and may not notice errors or confusing sentences. That’s why taking a break and reading your work with fresh eyes is essential.
You may take a walk, or in my case, I go pump some iron to clear my head.
Often, I leave my blog post on draft for an hour or two before I come back to it with a clear mind. This helps me notice any areas that need more explanation or clarification, and I can make appropriate changes.
Step 8 – Have Someone Review Your Work
We sometimes can be too close to our writing, making it challenging to imagine that anyone else might not understand what we’ve written.
For this reason, you can ask a friend or a family member who is not in your niche to review your work. If it’s a beginner’s guide, they should understand the instructions easily.
Also, they shouldn’t need to re-read the same sentences a thousand times to grasp the meaning. Consider taking their feedback and making the necessary changes until your writing looks crisp and flows nicely.
Step 9 – Take Regular Breaks
I have already spoken about taking a break after you conclude a piece of content. However, it is equally important to take breaks throughout the writing process.
I sometimes have to get up and stretch or grab a cup of coffee to help me refocus and stay productive. I know some days can be tough! You probably feel tired and don’t want to write. But as a professional writer, you write anyway.
That’s what separates professionals from amateurs. Also, looking at a computer screen for extended periods can lead to eye strain, headaches, and other physical discomforts. For this reason, taking breaks is crucial to prevent burnout. Try taking a 10-15 minute break every hour or so to rest your eyes, stretch and clear your head.
Step 10 – Keep Practicing It
As they say, practice makes perfect! When you start your writing journey, your first pieces won’t be flawless, and that’s okay.
The more you write, the better you’ll become, and the easier the content will flow. It’s like building muscle – the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.
In the beginning, when you start writing, it feels like you’re pulling teeth. No matter how hard you try, words won’t come out as you want.
Although I had written content before, I wasn’t a professional blogger until recently. I sometimes would write an article here and there, but not consistently. I also had stopped for a year or more from writing content for Jordan Alexo.
It was initially challenging when I returned and decided to take blogging seriously. My first blog posts took several days to complete because I wasn’t used to writing consistently.
Also, I had mental fatigue and blocks, and it was frustrating. But now, after more than hundreds of articles, I can say that writing has become second nature to me.
I can now write over 2,000 words with some assistant from AI tools in three hours or less while maintaining quality content. So, the key takeaway here is to keep practicing it!
Step 11 – Set Achievable Goals
My initial goal for my blog was to publish ten articles in a month. Now it is to publish seven articles each week on my blog.
You should set goals that are achievable and realistic. This keeps you motivated and encourages you to push yourself to meet your goal.
One of the problems most writers have is being consistent with their writing schedule. Often they struggle to write content, and since they don’t have a goal to work towards, they tend to give up easily.
For this reason, setting achievable writing goals is key to building a consistent writing schedule and keeping yourself motivated to continue writing over the long term.
So now you have the essential steps to help make your writing sound more professional. Remember to write better headlines, use Grammarly to correct grammar mistakes, practice writing consistently, and set achievable goals.
By implementing these steps into your writing routine, you’ll notice an improvement in the quality of your writing, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a professional writer.
If you have any questions, leave them below, Jordan Alexo will be happy to answer them and offer any additional advice to help you.