The four cardinal points of all good writing: expression, content, organization, and technical accuracy
Any work that is judged to be good must have these four basic factors; otherwise the writing will fall off regardless of its intended purpose. Remember that the purpose of your writing should be to inform, instruct, entertain, solve a problem, or show how to achieve a goal or objective. Always write for your target audience, not the internet or search engines. When you connect with your audience, the rewards come back to you. The four factors are: expression, content, organization, and mechanical accuracy.
Expression: This is how you design your writing for the world to see, read and appreciate. Good writing is a craft. That is why writers are called wordsmiths. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but words are also needed to create pictures in your reader’s mind. This is the first factor that attracts the audience to your writing just like bees are attracted to nectar. You may have heard that you should write to express, not to impress. Don’t write for ego; write for your audience with clarity and simplicity – so that everyone can understand your point of view and subject matter. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Expression is an art form. You must use your words to connect and create vivid images in your reader’s mind. People only apply what they understand. It all comes down to your choice of words, style, personality and overall thought process. You must use powerful words and emotional triggers. Eliminate boring adverbs and dangling modifiers as much as you can. Use active verbs instead of helping verbs or adjectives. Active verbs make your writing more lively and dynamic. Realize that movement generates pleasure. Use active voice instead of passive voice. Thus, expression is not only what you say, but also how you say it. However, what you say is also important.
Content: This is the factor that separates the mediocre from the masters. “Either you write something worth reading, or you do something worth writing,” said Benjamin Franklin. Content is the substance and essence of your writing. In short, content is the heart of all great writing. This is the value you brought to the market. People are valuable and quality buyers. They want the best for the least money. You’ve heard it said that on the internet, content is king. The story is the same everywhere. Content is the quality of the material you publish. It relates to the key benefits that readers will derive from your writing to solve their problems or achieve their goals. As a writer, you should always ask yourself, “How can my writing solve problems or change lives?” Good writing that sells is writing with great content. Search engines love content. So put out good content that people love and search for. Then search engines will find you naturally and people will search for your offers. Keep your content fresh and original instead of recycled material that floods the internet. Content is the primary search (and research). Having said that, you also need to know how to arrange and organize your content so that the information is readable and digestible.
Organization: One of the hardest things about writing is how to organize and organize your thoughts. “Most writings are a few good thoughts floating in a sea of words,” said Jamie Buckingham. Organization is a product of coherence and consistency. How do your thoughts flow logically like a flower? One idea should lead and connect the next. To be consistent, you need a style guide as a guide. So try to plan your writing. Outline the key points or essentials you might want to develop before laying down the flesh as you go. Let each paragraph contain a theme or one main idea. The meat can be the description, examples or anecdotes to support your points. Organization is a process. It comes with practice, experience and writerly intuition. You get better as you keep writing. Formatting is a very important part of your organization. Organize the information into parts.
This is how the human brain processes information. That’s why it’s called bits and bytes. Formatting includes headings, paragraphs, bullets, lists, typography, lines, and spacing to create visual appeal for your readers. You don’t need to be a graphic artist to develop a good sense of organization. Have you noticed that most HTML tags are formatting tags? Any good content and expression can fail without good formatting – it’s a key part of your organization. The best way to learn this art is to draw from other good writings. After trial and error, it comes along with practice. Either you keep writing or you get unsubscribed. My watchword is, “Constant practice prevents poor performance.” The more you write, the better you grow as a writer. Practice doesn’t make perfect; practice makes perfect and improvement makes perfect.
Mechanical (technical) accuracy: This is a fancy way of saying that your writings should be error-free. Mechanical accuracy is the Achilles tendon of most writers. They worry too much about the difference between the colon and semicolon – causing analysis paralysis. This is the main reason why many people are afraid of writing. Mechanical accuracy is about your typographical errors, spelling, punctuation and syntax. That’s why you should have your writing tools: spell checkers, a dictionary, an encyclopedia, and other reference materials. Remember that the text is not readable until it contains no errors. It’s also a smart idea to give your writing to someone else to proofread and edit for human factors. In general, most good writers are made in rewriting. The key lies in the 3R principle: Revise, Review and Rewrite.
Your writing process is like cooking good food. All four ingredients must be present in your recipe before you create a balanced food for thought.
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