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online-business-3-things-good-writerNot long ago, I was teaching a course for authors with a colleague and she expressed her self-doubts about her writing ability. This is someone who has written over 30 books!

Her doubts were unfounded in my opinion and were based on an idea that being a good writer is a technical issue.

It isn’t. Really, you can be a good writer without understanding the Track Changes feature in Microsoft Word.

Of course, you need to be able to write a clear sentence and to put sentences together into paragraphs. You also need to write in an organized way. And the secret to doing that is to write a thorough Table of Contents before you start writing.

But the 3 qualities that make you a good writer are quite different.

Here they are:

1. Something valuable to say

online-business-3-things-good-writer-1If you have something valuable to say — something that will help people — and you can express it clearly, that’s the first piece of the puzzle.

What you have to say needs to be relevant to the specific people you want to reach. So, what might be valuable to new moms might be irrelevant to baby boomers. What’s meaningful to new entrepreneurs may be useless to experienced marketers.

One way you can find out what’s valuable to the people you want to reach is to ask them what their problems are, what’s nagging at them day after day, and what obstacles they face.

2. Conviction and passion

online-business-3-things-great-writer-2When you feel strongly about something, that shows through in your writing and your content becomes much more compelling. If you think it’s important, people will respond. (They’re also much more likely to share what you write with others.)

That’s why you need to believe in what you say.

Of course, you shouldn’t just write out a passionate stream of consciousness. You can start that way, but then mold it into your table of contents.

But your conviction will turn dull writing into great writing.

3. Creativity/stories

online-business-3-things-great-writer-3Finally, telling stories and writing creatively are a huge part of good writing. When you …

  • Find unique examples
  • Share your personal journey
  • Relate what you say to the wider world

… people will be touched.

Stories and creative touches make your writing come alive and turn what might be a mundane user’s manual into an inspirational guide.

Take the next step to becoming a good writer!

I have a simple worksheet that you can use to write your own story — one that will help your readers connect with you It’s called “Write Your Story Worksheet.” Click the Download button below to get started right away.

Download button

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    4 replies to "3 things you need to be a great writer — they aren’t what you think"

    • Honey Fabre

      Great advice! I’ll try to download your worksheet and work on my writing.

    • Lily

      I feel like I have a lot to say but I’m not sure if they’re valuable to my readers. I’ll think about it some more. Thanks though!

    • Ellen Finkelstein

      Lily, there are 2 ways to know:
      Before you write, ask people in your target market what’s important to them
      After you write, see what the response is. For example, you can test a topic in a blog post and see how many people comment (like you), like and share it. If people respond, then you can create a short product on that topic. If that works, you can expand that to a full-fledged course.

    • Kristofferson Grey

      I downloaded the worksheet and it was very helpful. I just need to edit some things and I think my writing looks good. Thanks!

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