Are you studying what top writers do? If the answer to the title is no, then you should be.
Top writers are where you want to be. They gain this title because they put in consistent effort in their chosen niche. They have worked hard and found a formula that works. Through their posts, you can analyse their work and learn a great deal about writing.
It is important to recognise that when I speak about studying what they do, I do not mean copying their work. I had a writer plagiarise my work six months ago and it was the worse experience. Rather than looking at their content, I mean study their style.
Whether you are a writer of blogs, articles, or books the advice is the same. It is an advantage to pick up a leading writer’s work, in your genre and study it.
How and what to look for if you are a blogger.
For writers on the internet, you can do a quick search on the topic you write in. Look at the top writers in this category. On Medium this is easy, on the internet it takes a little more time, but is manageable.
With Medium, you can search for the topic you write in. Take some of the best-performing articles in these topics and study what the writer has done.
On websites, the system is similar. Search for your given topics and find other bloggers who have written on these topics. I would suggest you look at people who have over 500 followers and who write consistently on their blog.
Initially, look at what drew you to the article. What about the headline wanted you to click and read more. Were you drawn by the image? What was it about the image that got your attention?
Look at the structure of the post. How long is their introduction, have they broken the text into categories?
How much white space do they use? Have they broken their text up with bullet points, graphics, etc?
Can you then use this to format your posts? If you broke some of your text up, would it attract more readers?
There is nothing, unethical about this. At some point, these writers studied the current top writers in the category. It was what made them future top writers.
How and what to look for if you are an author.
I am a strong believer that you shouldn’t be writing a genre of book you do not read and enjoy yourself. The crime genre is my favourite and my latest book is a crime novel. Again pick up a best seller in your genre of writing.
Look at how the chapters are structure are they long or short? Many crime books have relatively short chapters, which keeps me reading long after I should have gone to bed. Do short chapters work for your genre of story? Does your genre enjoy longer, more detailed chapters?
How does the author introduce the characters? Does the author give all the details about the character or do you find out slowly their back story?
How do they build the back story into the novel? Is it through flashbacks or do they use dialogue? Is this back story a chapter on its own or is it contained within the action?
Within the first chapter is there action all the way or do they include some backstory.
Analyse what about there writing, keeps you turning the pages and reading chapter after chapter. Are they leaving cliffhangers at the end of every chapter or every other?
All these factors can provide you with valuable insight. This insight will help you improve your skills in writing.
Writers and bloggers have all been in the place you are, starting. They used these techniques to learn what sells and what doesn’t. Some of the tips and tricks they will have found out by experimenting.
Experimentation is a good way to understand your audience, but so is studying what other people’s audiences like. These writers will only have got to this stage with hard work.
What I have suggested above is not about taking the advice of other writers. My intention is, that you all analyse the work of others and then make your conclusions. Read, analyse, write and keep going at it until you all get the recognition you deserve.
As always if you have any questions do not hesitate to ask them through the contact function.
Sam H Arnold is a UK writer and blogger. Click here to take your writing to the next level and start earning three figures a month. To follow all her work find her on Facebook or join her Email List for a copy of her writing tips book.