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Improve Your Online Writing Prose In 5 Steps
virtual writing is different than print - here's to how you can work with it
amanda linette meder
Did you know there are more than 79 different types of mediums, and only 1 is the kind that does sit down readings for pay?
There are poetic mediums, historical mediums, scientific mediums, medical mediums, philosophic mediums, literary mediums, writing mediums, and so many more.
Over half of mediums first defined by Allan Kardec's Book on Mediums in 1861 were mechanical or semi-mechanical mediums (read: writers). At the time, any artist was receiving inspired words, poems, stanzas, or poetics, this was classified as mediumship. They were a medium. Also at that time, it was not unfamiliar to classify yourself or anyone as a medium, given the broad definition of someone who received inspired thoughts, ideas, and concepts in various ways, at seemingly divine times.
So where have all the medium writers gone?
Well today, many mediums now call themselves by other names.
Channels, psychics, intuitives, creatives, inspired artists and so on, but regardless of what you call yourself, a lot of them have been making their living in blogging. Internet publishing. Writing online.
Writing to an online audience is different from writing a book because most articles you read online, the author has to get to the point in less than 2,000 words, and often in less than 1,000. Some virtual essays are less than 500 words even still.
This means that writing online is more like crafting a short story, all for people to read behind a glowy screen, which adds it's extra sort of flair.
Sharing your work virtually is a great idea that often works in your favor, it gets your work in front of the eyes of millions of people quite quickly. Over time, you can earn revenue off of your writing through monthly page views. And, most of all, it’s fun to publish ideas and have them released near-immediately.
To publish online, though, there are a few tricks I’ve learned in the process of myself owning this blog and others, that will help you out in the future, so today I wanted to share with you.
5 Tips That'll Improve Your Virtual Prose
Tip #1. Get a grammar editor.
There are two types of readers.
Line readers and contextual readers.
Line readers have a difficult time reading documents with small contextual errors, which are exactly the kind most writers make because most writers are contextual readers themselves.
Writing for context, most writers read for context. (This is called Speed Reading and I recently wrote a Member Article titled, Speed Reading and Content Scanning: How To Cover Lots of Literary Ground in a Very Short Amount of Time, for writers doing research on their next text).
But in short, having an editor to catch all your line errors really, really helps catch things your eyes don't - and makes things easier on your readers. If you don’t have a grammar/line editor service, I use Grammarly.com’s service and I love it. I've said in previous blogs it's one of the best investments I've ever made in my business.
There’s nothing like having a final check for basic things your eyes miss such as extra spacing or one too many pronouns, and they have an extension you can add to Chrome browsers making it possible to edit blogs and emails as you go.
In my last blog on writing, Blog Reader Criticism, I mention that comments on your grammar are the low hanging fruits for people looking to reach out and wanting to provide unsolicited feedback on your writing. So if you are looking to insulate yourself from unsolicited critiques on your writing, the number one thing you can do is get a Grammar editor. I invested in Grammarly’s Premium Service over a year ago, and haven’t looked back.
Tip #2. Tighten up your argument.
Anytime you’re writing online, you’re generally presenting a case for why something is and the best thing you can do, and you’re doing it in front of a huge audience.
Whenever you’re presenting a case for an idea, it’s important to have a pretty strong argument for it, and especially so for the virtual audience. The Thesis Whisperer, a website designed for helping graduate students, actually has several great blogs on how to flesh out an idea before you write it down. Here’s one of them. The whole site is fantastic for bloggers and anyone who writes with the intention to spread their ideas.
Tip #3. Use bullet points, headers, and lists.
When writing for online, people’s eyes get tired more easily when they read, primarily because of the glow of the screen.
To keep people reading, you have to help their eyes, otherwise, they’ll get tired and quit a blog halfway through - and you don’t want that - you want people to get to the point. You can help people's eyes by adding white space to your writing, more than you normally would in a written text.
Add some page breaks and spacing to your text, and keep your paragraphs short (2-3 sentences vs the normal 4-5). This’ll help your readers stay more engage for longer, and not to mention, their eyes will thank you!
Tip #4. Read. As much as possible.
According to Stephen King, his #1 rule for getting better at writing is reading and I happen to agree with this - except don’t read just anything - read things outside your subject area, read things from 400 years ago, read things from poets, from scientists, from romance novelists. The more diversity you include in your reading, the more diversified your writing will become.
Tip #5. Go back through and re-edit.
If you've been writing for a couple of years already, chances are, you’re a much better writer than you were a year ago, and a much, much better writer than you were two years ago, and so on.
The more we write, the better we get at it and the more critically we can look at our own work, especially if it’s something we wrote a long time ago.
To really improve your own writing, go back to pieces you wrote one, two, three years ago or more, and think about how you’d say it differently - then do.
Finally, one of my favorite tips for becoming a better writer online is to be entertaining. You can do this by just being you. Write as though you’re talking to one person as a friend, not a crowd because most online readers are just one person. When you write as though it’s to a friend, your writing will come off more personal, develop more style, and feel more you. Which is all writing is meant to do - be a means to express oneself, clearly.
Need help with basic writing style? My favorite book on style is The Elements of Style written by William Strunk Jr and E.B. White and as a final editor before you publish, though it doesn’t catch everything, my favorite tool is Grammarly.
Amanda Linette Meder
Other Articles You May Enjoy:
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- The 10 Best Websites for Spiritual Growth and Intuitive Development
- Reading List Essentials: For Developing Psychic and Mediumship Abilities
- Blog Reader Criticism: How To Handle It and What To Do
- Here's how to build a network of 935,000 readers in just 3 months
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