Writing is not just a profession; it's an art. Great writers master their craft and know how to use the English language effectively without making mistakes that could hinder their readers' understanding.
With more and more content being created every minute of every day, the pressure is on content marketers, bloggers, content creators, and advertisers to create writing that is clear, valuable, and right for the job.
Lucky for you, we’re breaking down what makes a good writer in this article. You can use these points to become a better writer yourself. Plus, if you need a sidekick, we have just the tool to help you create and structure your writing with less effort.
8 important qualities that will make you a better writer
Wish you were a better writer? Here are the top eight things every good writer — whether you write fiction or non-fiction — needs to do to improve their writing skills:
1. Be Disciplined
Discipline is important to be a successful writer. Whether it's making time to write every day or learning how to organize your thoughts during your writing process so that readers will understand, discipline is an essential skill to hone if you want to be a good writer.
Great writers take the time to generate great ideas. They also know that it takes time to express an idea in the best way possible. It requires the practice and discipline to revisit a piece over and over until it works.
TL;DR: Discipline is crucial to great writing. Without it, you’re more likely to create subpar pieces. You can develop discipline by creating and following through with a daily writing routine.
2. Pay attention to detail
A good writer conveys specific emotions in their writing, and making sure details are accurate is one way of doing that. This kind of attention to detail turns simple descriptions into powerful imagery, which is what makes good writing.
Attention to detail also shows up in formatting and readability choices. With great structure and formatting, a boring article can become an engaging article. A good writer pays attention to things like headers, consistent formatting, grammatical errors, varying content lengths, and writing in the language their audience likes.
The ability to self-edit is another crucial tool the best writers possess. Show your attention to detail by editing your document more than once. Multiple edits mean you know you can find more places to improve and take the time to do so.
TL;DR: Attention to detail makes your writing clearer, stronger, and more accurate. To be an effective writer, be specific as you express ideas, and pay attention to structural details like formatting and readability.
3. Tell a story
Humans are wired for storytelling. Stories connect, inspire, and move us emotionally. People also remember things better when they’re in a narrative.
Through storytelling, you can explain complex ideas, connect people, and inspire others. Storytelling also improves your writing because you have to practice entertaining your readers while still educating them. In content writing, storytelling does three things:
- Connects your concept to a feeling your audience can relate to
- Conveys your values while also offering a real-life example
- Creates engagement by fostering community around the topic
Good stories have believable characters, speak to their target audience, set the stage for an emotion, and share a core message. They also have a storyline, which typically includes a problem and a solution of some kind. The solution is often part of the core message of the story.
You can infuse storytelling in your writing by considering what feelings are associated with your concept and then writing about a problem and a solution that explores the core message. For example, if you’re writing about how your product fixes a problem, share what a happy customer felt before and after using your product.
TL;DR: Storytelling connects with your audience on an emotional level, and emotion is what makes things memorable. You can infuse your writing with storytelling by showing readers how your solution fits into their lifestyle.
4. Connect the dots
Great writers know how to make sentences flow from one paragraph to the next. You also need to be able to create a piece of writing that has a beginning, middle and ending. Being able to connect the dots as a writer allows readers to follow along easily.
Connecting the dots requires that writers have an idea of the overall goal of their piece. From there, they can break down the steps needed to reach that goal and then connect the pieces along the way.
One way to make connecting the dots easier is to outline your piece beforehand. First, decide on your main goal, then develop smaller goals (your headings), and then write your piece after you’ve settled on its structure. This ensures that your points flow well from one point to the next.
TL;DR: A good writer knows how to make their writing fluid. Start with a goal and outline and then build your piece from there.
5. Understand your audience
Writing is about communication, so for your audience to understand your writing, you must write for them.
To do this effectively, good writers need to know a lot about their audience. Some of these things include:
- Their demographic
- What they do
- Industry terms they use
- The style of writing they like
- Their pain points
All of these things contribute to a fuller understanding of who your readers are as people. Knowing who they are as people allows your writing to cater to those needs, which helps you create better emotional connections.
Audience knowledge also helps you figure out the right tone and vocabulary for your writing, as well as how to answer pertinent questions readers might have.
Want to learn more about your audience? Engage with them, do some research, or run a survey.
TL;DR: A good writer needs to have a strong understanding of their audience. When you know what readers want, you can write exactly what they want and need. You can gain audience understanding by doing in-depth research.
6. Share new perspectives
The best writing offers new perspectives for readers to expand their knowledge, positioning the writer as a thought leader.
Consider Van Gogh’s famous “Starry Night” painting. Everyone saw the same night with the same stars, but it was the artist’s way of showing a new perspective, with swirls and color and new shapes, that gave the artwork life.
Good writers do a similar thing with their words — they can paint an entirely new picture out of the same old story.
To share a new perspective, you have to be able to dig deep into your reflections on a topic. Get clear on what you want to explore and find different ways to expand your thoughts. If you’re stuck thinking up new content ideas, try Amanda Natividad’s top three content generation tips.
Readers love hearing new ideas, and clear writing explaining your thoughts will make you the star of your own show.
You can take this one step further and interview people who are experts in the subject you’re writing about. Sharing their insights will add to your credibility as a writer and offer a broader perspective on the topic.
TL;DR: New perspectives make your writing shine. In every piece, focus on sharing a new idea or an old idea from a different perspective to give your readers new insight and keep them attentive.
7. Have a wide vocabulary
These last two points go hand in hand. Having a wide vocabulary comes from reading lots. And you can read more when you have a bigger vocabulary.
When you have a robust vocabulary, you have more word options to make concepts as clear as possible. By using words with specific meanings, you can avoid confusion or ambiguity in your writing. Consider how you might describe a sunny day. You might say, “It was sunny and hot outside.” Or you could say, “The sun beat down mercilessly from a cloudless sky.” Certain words will paint a better picture for your readers.
Choosing the right words for the right occasion makes your writing stand out. An extensive vocabulary also allows you to add interesting and unusual words to your writing to keep readers invested.
Remember, however, that the main goal of good writing is communication, not showing off fancy words. Your readers need to grasp concepts clearly and your vocabulary should work toward that goal, not against it.
A tip for expanding your vocabulary is to try creative writing. When there are no boundaries and no rules, you’re more likely to discover new words that you like.
TL;DR: Clear writing uses the best vocabulary possible to convey ideas well without confusing readers. Build a strong vocabulary that strengthens your writing by reading more and practicing creative writing.
8. Love reading
You can’t be a good writer without being a good reader. A love of reading often means a love of stories, storytelling, and crafting ideas. Remember that this applies more to actual articles, books, and other long-form writing, not just reading on social media.
Reading stimulates your imagination and exposes you to new thinking which allows you to stay creatively inspired. People who read and write are more likely to be better creatives.
Reading widely allows all writers to refine their thoughts and responses, and discover new perspectives. Reading is also a fine way to develop your expertise. A writer who focuses on gaining in-depth knowledge on certain subjects by reading will know that subject inside out. This often translates to writing well.
To improve their skills from reading, good writers read actively. They study what great writers leave on the page and what happens off the page. By reverse-engineering articles, good writers learn how to research, how to write better sentences, and improve their writing overall.
As William Faulkner said, "Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window."
TL;DR: Good writers also love to read because reading expands your knowledge and lets you improve your writing faster. The best way to read to benefit yourself is to read actively, observing the mechanics behind great writing and gaining expertise on your desired subject.
How Jasper Can Help
It takes time to develop these qualities of a good writer. In the meantime, as a content marketer, generating and creating content can be time and energy-consuming — especially if you’re trying to scale your business. Fortunately, that’s where Jasper comes in.
Jasper is an AI writing assistant that works to help you write up to five times faster than usual. It has read 10% of the internet and has been trained by expert writers to write using over 52+ writing templates.
Take your writing to the next level by letting Jasper:
- Come up with topic ideas that rank well (Blog Post Topic Ideas templates)
- Write an introductory or concluding paragraph (Blog Post Intro Paragraph and Blog Post Conclusion Paragraph templates)
- Create search engine optimized product descriptions (Product Description template)
- Improve the quality of your sentences (Content Improver template)
- Help you write and publish a book on Amazon (Long-Form Assistant template)
Still not convinced? See Jasper in action with examples of books that have been written with Jasper. Or take it from one of the hundreds of writers who are already using writing tools like Jasper to write better and faster.
You can also ask our Facebook group what they think. While Conversion.ai is now Jasper.ai, we’re just as happy to connect and help you reach your writing goals.
Ready to scale your writing? With Jasper, you can generate high-quality ideas and paragraphs that speak to your audience in just seconds. For easy step-by-step training to get started, check out our Jasper Bootcamp.
Sign up for Jasper now to get access to everything Jasper can do for you.