How to Spot Weaknesses in Your Writing (and Fix Them)

Let’s face the truth: Most of us can improve our writing. It’s not that our writing is bad. But it’s not great either.

Acknowledging that your writing needs improvement is the first step towards becoming a better writer. Most of us make certain common mistakes that can easily be identified and rectified. However, before you spot weaknesses in your copy, you need to put your teaching cap on.

Become your Favorite Teacher

Do you remember your favorite school teacher? She was the one who applauded your achievements and encouraged you to be better. Sure, your favorite teacher spotted your mistakes. But she never criticized you. She always motivated you.

Before embarking on a journey to become a better writer, become your favorite teacher. Instead of letting negativity get the best of you, focus on improving certain aspects of your writing.

Spotting Weaknesses

Use the below online writing tips to identify your weaknesses and areas that need some serious improvement:

  1. Sentences are Too Long

Do all your sentences consist of more than 14 words? Do you use way too many words to make a point?

Reading long sentences is more difficult than short ones. In an age where people’s attention spans are short, having long sentences in your content will make them reach for the X sooner than you think.

Of course, not all sentences in your content have to be short.

How to correct it: While editing your blog, split long sentences into shorter ones. Instead of typing one long sentence, break it down into two or three easily digestible ones.

Don’t make all your sentences short, however. Add long sentences occasionally and ensure that it’s preceded with a short one in order to create a dynamic effect in your writing.

  1. Using Passive Voice

No one likes reading content written in passive voice. What is passive voice? It’s when the verb is more important than the subject in a sentence. The act (doing, seeing, etc.) is placed at the beginning of the sentence. For example, mistakes were made is a sentence that doesn’t tell us who made the mistakes. Only that it was made by someone.

How to correct it: Now that you’re clear about what passive voice is, go back to your writing and consciously re-write such sentences in an active voice. This is one of the most useful online writing tips.

  1. It’s Boring

If you’re bored while writing a blog how bored do you think the reader will be reading it? Read your content. If you can’t get to the end without yawning or losing interest, you have a problem.

How to correct it: Perhaps you forgot that you’re writing for readers and not giving an academic lecture at a university. The best way to remove boredom is to picture your ideal reader. Now imagine him sitting in a café with you while sipping on a latte. How would you talk to him?

You would use emotions, tell stories and pepper your conversation with examples, right? So add these to your content.

  1. Using Technical Terms and Jargons

Several online writing tips dictate the use of simple, fuss-free words. Your online content should be easy to read for even a 12-year-old. Complicated words, technical terms and jargons should only be used when you’re 100% sure that all your readers will understand them easily or if you’re writing a super technical article.

How to correct it: Read your content aloud. Is it easy to understand? Are you having a conversation with your readers or trying to impress them? Are your points clear?

  1. Not Listening to your Gut

Most writers are their own worst critics. We often know what’s wrong with our writing. Maybe you know your ending isn’t as power-packed as you’d like it to be. Maybe you know deep down you need to add more emotions, descriptions and stories to your content. Our guts are powerful indicators of what’s intrinsically wrong with our writing.

Your gut can probably tell you more about the shortcomings in your writing than most online writing tips.

How to correct it: Pay attention to your gut. Don’t listen to the “you’re not good enough” voice. Listen to the one that says your plot needs a little polishing or your article needs to have more information.

Improving your writing can be a daunting task but it will make you better writer, acquire a loyal audience and attract higher paying clients. Remember to improve one weakness at a time and go easy on yourself. No one’s perfect.