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How do you become a better writer? You write. There’s no shortcut. You write as much as possible – everyday is best. You write when you don’t feel like it and when do feel like it. Make friends with other writers so you can share your work and get feedback. Writing comes with practice like most things that are worth doing.
The ultimate goal, especially with a blog, is to write how you speak. That’s much easier said than done. You’ve got to write all the time to find your voice in the words. You can even try a speaking program like Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home that will actually type the words as you speak them. Some people prefer to write like this, but the end goal is to be able to write exactly how you speak whether you have a speak-to-write program or not.
Here’s how to become a better writer and actually get paid…
Before we go on, check out Copyblogger’s guide to becoming a better writer:
My Top 3 Writing Tools
There are so many free writing tools out there. I would highly recommend using them all first before paying for one. Here are a few of the best tools, that I have used personally and continue to use to help with my writing:
Grammarly is like spell-check for grammar. You can simply install it as a browser extension in Google Chrome and it will automatically start highlighting and checking your grammar. It’s so useful that I actually learned a few things about grammar just by seeing my mistakes.
Here’s a screenshot of Grammarly:
2. The Readability Test Tool
The Readability Test Tool allows you to type in a domain name and see how easy the content is to read. Your content should be as simple as possible and this test will help you determine that.
Here’s a screenshot of The Readability Test Tool:
Scrivener is the ultimate writing platform, whether you’re writing a blog post or a 400-page book. The best part is that you can try it for free. Scrivener offers a 30 day free trial that only counts the days you use it. So if you use it everyday, you have the program for 30 days. If you use it twice a week, it lasts fifteen weeks. Plus, you can always export all your writing before the trial expires if you decide to discontinue using it. By the way, if you decide to buy it, it’s only $40.
Here’s a screenshot of Scrivener:
10 Websites That Will Pay You to Write
It’s not uncommon to write and work on your blog for a year before you start earning an income. Many bloggers, myself included, get paid writing gigs to not only help our pocketbook, but also to grow and become a better writer. Here are some of the best places to go for getting paid writing gigs:
- FundsforWriters – FundsforWriters pays $50 for each accepted post. They are looking for articles about writing and making money with it. They only accept articles between 500-600 words, but they want you to make each word count.
- Uxbooth – Uxbooth pays $100 for each accepted post. They take four to eight weeks to accept and post articles, so don’t count on this being a quick money maker. They take so long, because they pair with editors to only publish the best content.
- iWriter – iWriter pays up to $15 for each accepted post. That may seem small, but they aren’t as strict as many of the others above and they allow you to pick exactly what you write – as many or as few articles as you want.
- Textbroker – Textbroker pays up to five cents per word, if you’re a 5-star writer. You’ll start by submitting a short sample article and you will most likely start as a 3-star writer, but you can work your way up by writing more and writing great content.
- Listverse – Listverse pays $100 for each accepted post. The article must be a list, it must be at least 1,500 words and you must include at least 10 things. Other than that, you can get pretty creative with it.
- TopTenz – TopTenz pays $50 for each accepted post. Again, the article has to be in a list format and it must be at least 1,500 words, with few exceptions.
- A List Apart – A List Apart pays $200 for each accepted post. They’re not first on the list, because they tend to publish less articles, which means you have a smaller chance of getting accepted, but they pay well.
- International Living – International Living pays $75 for each accepted post. They are mostly looking for travel experiences from countries you have visited.
- Matador Network – Matador Network pays up to $60 for each accepted post, but standard pay is around $20-$25. They don’t really focus on a minimum word count, but they have a maximum count of 1,500 words.
- The Penny Hoarder – The Penny Hoarder pays up to $800 (rarely), depending upon the number of page views you receive. The pay starts at $100 for 50,000 page views, so this isn’t a guaranteed paid article, but it can potentially be highly rewarding.
Writing Resources for Days
There are all kinds of tools out there to help you improve your writing and most of them are free thanks to the internet. Here are some huge lists of writing resources that you will want to bookmark and come back to:
Improve Your Grammar
Grammar is important. Whether you’re writing on your own blog or you want to write for some big websites, you have to make sure your writing is on point. Here are some great resources to put you ahead of the game:
- Start with The Compact Guide to Grammar for Busy People for a refresher
- Avoid these 15 grammar goofs
- Avoid these 11 compound word errors
- Don’t make these 10 common grammar mistakes
- Make sure you’re using these 27 commonly misused words correctly
A Few Hundred More Writing Resources
- Try these 5 simple ways to open your blog posts with a bang
- Check out this list of apps and services for writers
- Read these 101 Writing Resources that will take you from stuck to unstoppable
- It will take time, but go through these 150 writing resources
- Try these 50 free resources that will improve your writing
- Get theses free ebooks: 52 Headline Hacks and 101 Headline Formulas
- Try this free Emotional Marketing Headline Analyzer to test your headlines
Do you feel like you have the tools to become a better writer? If you’re not a writer now, are you interested in becoming one? Share in the comments!