3 Ways Professional Writers Differ From Amateurs
Would you like to dramatically improve your writing skills and become a professional writer? These 3 simple steps will help you go from an amateur to a pro.
Are you writing as an amateur, or as a professional? How can you reach and transform your audience with your writing? Amateur writers write for the sake of writing.
While this may create copious amounts of inconsequential content or provide them personal pleasure, it does nothing to increase business prospects, improve the world, or move their audience to take action.
So what is the goal of great writing, and how can it change your articles, blogs, or books? Professional writers always have one main goal in mind with everything they write — to transform their audience.
Successful writers strive to help their audience see through different eyes, act differently, change the way they interact with the world.
Anyone can throw words together and make complete sentences (case in point: most of the blogosphere), but if you want to actually have an impact through your writing, you must learn to write for transformation.
It’s the difference between being merely informative, and being compelling and persuasive. Here are the 3 simple steps to transformational writing that set professional writers apart from amateurs:
1. Writing for a specific audience
If you want to reach your audience, it’s absolutely crucial that you understand them, get out of your own perspective, and write to their perspective.
One of the first things you must do with every article or blog post you write is to identify your target audience and know their demographics, such as age, gender, location, income level, purchasing habits, hobbies, talents, interests, etc.
When you know who you’re talking to, you’ll be better prepared to tailor your article or blog post to resonate with them specifically.
For example, words such as “revolutionary,” “cutting-edge,” “fresh,” or “in-vogue” will more likely resonate with an 18 to 25 age group, whereas a 60 to 70 age group who prefer things that are “proven,” “safe,” and “sensible,” will probably have negative reactions to these words.
You can learn what sort of keywords to include in your blogs and articles with these SEO content writing tools.
2. Using the right medium & publication
The medium you choose to convey your message can include blogs, magazines, newspapers, journals, books, podcasts, ads, websites, etc. The publication you choose is, in large part, determined by your audience.
Of course, if you want to be a professional writer, you must also know the different types of writing skills you can learn, and why and where you can use them.
For example, if you’re writing a lengthy essay on monetary policy intended for scholars and economists, the best publication to reach your audience would be a scholarly journal.
Few people can stand to read long blocks of meaningful text on a computer screen, so you probably won’t have enough space to make your case in most magazines, etc.
On the other hand, if your content is concise, simple, and intended for a broad audience, perhaps a blog or newspaper article makes more sense.
All of us are exposed to written communications that we skim or ignore. Yet, if that same message is presented in a medium or publication more attractive to us, we’re much more likely to spend time reading it.
Writing for transformation requires utilizing the best medium and publication for your subject matter and audience. It also requires the knowledge of writing for the web, which is a skill that all website content writers and bloggers need to learn.
3. Choosing & executing the right type of transformation
There are three types of transformations: KNOW, FEEL and DO.
A KNOW transformation seeks to give the readers new information, or old information arranged in a different way, to help them to learn and know things they didn’t know before, in a way that changes their life and perspective.
A FEEL transformation obviously seeks to evoke strong emotion in the audience, while a DO is designed to get an audience to take very specific, immediate, and tangible action.
Amateurs look at this list and try to do all three. Professionals focus on one and nail it because they know that doing all three dilutes the impact of their message.
How do you want people’s lives to change because they read your published book or article? What sort of transformation do you want to see in them?
Do you want them to know, feel, or do something? Pick one, just one type of transformation, and execute it well, and the others will take care of themselves.
To sum up, if you want your message to actually have an impact, you must learn to write for transformation. Know who you’re writing to, use the right medium and publication to reach them, and then choose the right transformation and execute it well.
After all, transformational writing is the only writing worth reading. It’s also what separates professional writers from amateurs.