Looking for suggestions on courses/resources to help me write truly engaging content

23 replies
Hello Warriors,

I'll come straight to the point. As the title suggests, I'm seeking suggestions on courses or training resources to help me write truly engaging content.

I want to improve the way I write... especially the aspects like style, humour, brevity, easy-flow, phrases/idioms, etc. I'd like to write content that's fun to read so that people feel like sharing it.

I want to take my writing to the Ultra-Pro level.

I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks in advance.
#content #courses or resources #engaging #suggestions #write
  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Read. A lot.

    Read fiction, non-fiction, literature, journalism, anything and everything. Take note of things that work for you as a reader, then try writing something using that thing.

    You'll absorb some of what you are looking for purely by osmosis, but doing a post-mortem on the things that really speak to you or engage your interest will help even more.
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    • Profile picture of the author AnniePot
      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      Read. A lot.

      Read fiction, non-fiction, literature, journalism, anything and everything. Take note of things that work for you as a reader, then try writing something using that thing.

      You'll absorb some of what you are looking for purely by osmosis, but doing a post-mortem on the things that really speak to you or engage your interest will help even more.
      This ^ ^ ^

      So absolutely true. All my life I've been a voracious reader. As a child (back in the UK) I belonged to two libraries, the city library and a pay-as-you borrow library. Even today I always have a book close by and over the years, my husband has needed to keep extending the bookshelves in our family room.

      I've learned so much regarding writing style and how authors mold the overall character of their work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andreas Quintana
    Hi

    As John already suggested, reading a lot will definately help you getting better at writing.
    What kind of content are you thinking of writing. Are we talking about blog posts, sales letter copy, fiction or non-fiction books?

    I found this book on amazon, which seems to be free right now. It is a collection of general writing tips from real authors. Maybe you will find it useful. It's called "Write Good Or DieWrite Good Or Die "

    Otherwise, if you are looking to create Kindle books, I would recommend "Kindling", as it is a very comprehensive guide on creating fiction and non-fiction books, as well as marketing them.

    Hope that helps
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  • Profile picture of the author Jouvan Johnson
    Like what has already been stated read best selling non fiction books and mirror their style. I woud also recommend reading the best books on copywriting so you learn ways to hit the emotional triggers of people.

    I am currently reading the greats:

    "Scientific Advertising" -by Claude Hopkins
    "The Robert Collier Letter Book" -by Robert Collier
    "Tested Advertising Methods" -by John Caples
    "How To Write A Good Advertisement" -by Vic Schwab
    "Break-Through Advertising" -by Eugene M. Schwartz
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      There is so much that could be said about writing. Here's just one small tip that has helped me immensely.

      Learn how to be a good story teller.

      There is something in all of us that is triggered when we hear a good story. I think it must have something to do with our childhood and listening to stories told and read by parents, teachers, or others. Most of us like hearing good stories.

      If you learn how to tell them so they come to life and paint a picture in the mind of the reader, you will have grabbed attention which is so hard to do given all the messages we are bombarded with daily.

      When you command attention, you can lead the prospect where you want him to go.

      The very best to you,

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    Originally Posted by theultimate1 View Post

    Hello Warriors,


    I want to improve the way I write... especially the aspects like style, humour, brevity, easy-flow, phrases/idioms, etc. I'd like to write content that's fun to read so that people feel like sharing it.

    I want
    Try pretending like you are talking to a friend, family member, co worker, or just anyone who brings out these characteristics that you list.....that is when you are writing your Follow Ups/Broadcasts, Blog Posts, Articles etc....

    Tune out all outside distractions and visualize one of these people sitting next to you having a beer with you or drinking a tea or coffee with you or even having a meal with you..

    Talk out loud if this makes it more effective for you.

    Just let your casualness and fun come out and this will be manifested in your writing in a very beneficial way.


    - Robert Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author bostjan33
    Banned
    1. Read a lot.
    2. Write even more.
    3. Repeat until you master it.

    4. Don't buy courses about something that you can learn for free.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mary Davis
    I recommend AWAI's (American Writers & Artists Institute) The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting. It's where I got my start and has solid copywriting lessons of how to woo and wow your readers.

    The biggest goal you have when writing is making a connection with your readers that will get them to feel, then act (in sales, this means buying your product; in the literary world, it means raving about your work to friends.)

    Lastly, as others have said, reading great writing is a catalyst for success. I also recommend Stephen King's book, On Writing - A Memoir of the Craft: Stephen King:...On Writing - A Memoir of the Craft: Stephen King:... . Part autobiography, part tutorial, Mr. King offers sage advice for aspiring writers looking to hone their craft.

    [NOTE: Neither of those are affiliate links]

    Best of Luck to You,

    Mary
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  • Profile picture of the author JessUBotNinja
    There is soo much information out there. Ideally, you want to find styles that you can relate to and read and emulate as much as you can. I really enjoy a lot of the stuff Copy Blogger puts out. They have lots of stuff you can access for free and then an entire forum and area dedicated to members only with special webinars and content to help you on your journey.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Stop right now and think of something that really excites you. Got it? Good. Now write an engaging letter about that thing to a close friend telling him all about it and why it has moved you so.

    Keep a conversational style while making your words engaging and exciting as you deliver the info. That's it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Christopher Fox
    Originally Posted by theultimate1 View Post

    I want to take my writing to the Ultra-Pro level.
    Then seek tutelage from a pro. I have given the same advice in the past as proffered by others in this thread, but, in the end, it is pretty vague, not really helpful, and can actually send you off chasing your tail.

    Yes, writers write and they read more than the average person. There is merit in reading broadly, but as far as reading everything you can get your hands on, well, aside from some enjoyable reading, it is a waste of time at worst, or one hell of a circuitous route to arrive at your destination at best. As an example, you can read all of the Edgar Allan Poe (one of my favorite authors) you want, but trying to pattern your writing after him will get you pissed off clients and end readers that don't understand half of the words you are using, nor appreciate the long, complicated sentence structures.

    I gotta disagree with the common answer to this question that gets asked every so often, namely 'just read everything you can'. You are trying to make money at this while also improving your writing. DON'T go about the task with the notion of reading 'anything and everything you can get your hands on', for you will WASTE plenty of time, something I'm sure you do not want to do.

    I would suggest a trip to your local library and go to the 800's section. Specifically, poke around the 808.02 area. There you will find books addressing your issues and offering useful instruction. Books about writing written by editors, among others, like Pulitzer Prize winning authors. I certainly enjoy books about writing written by editors, for that is one of their jobs everyday - coaching professional writers to write better. To write more clearly, concisely, compellingly, etc. Plenty of them have distilled decades of such coaching into book form.

    Be smart, selective, and specific about your self-education. Don't waste your time trying to read everything, for it will be a waste of time relative to your stated goals and most definitely not since you are trying to write for money. Understand the type of writing you are doing and the audience that will read it, and then seek out how to improve your skills for that type of writing.

    Don't be afraid to specialize, either, or at least limit the types of writing you do and have a few identified specialities.
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    • Profile picture of the author timfleagle
      depending what your passion or niche is you could start out with plr articles great way to generate your creative writing skills
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Christopher Fox View Post

      Then seek tutelage from a pro. I have given the same advice in the past as proffered by others in this thread, but, in the end, it is pretty vague, not really helpful, and can actually send you off chasing your tail.

      Yes, writers write and they read more than the average person. There is merit in reading broadly, but as far as reading everything you can get your hands on, well, aside from some enjoyable reading, it is a waste of time at worst, or one hell of a circuitous route to arrive at your destination at best. As an example, you can read all of the Edgar Allan Poe (one of my favorite authors) you want, but trying to pattern your writing after him will get you pissed off clients and end readers that don't understand half of the words you are using, nor appreciate the long, complicated sentence structures.

      I gotta disagree with the common answer to this question that gets asked every so often, namely 'just read everything you can'. You are trying to make money at this while also improving your writing. DON'T go about the task with the notion of reading 'anything and everything you can get your hands on', for you will WASTE plenty of time, something I'm sure you do not want to do.

      I would suggest a trip to your local library and go to the 800's section. Specifically, poke around the 808.02 area. There you will find books addressing your issues and offering useful instruction. Books about writing written by editors, among others, like Pulitzer Prize winning authors. I certainly enjoy books about writing written by editors, for that is one of their jobs everyday - coaching professional writers to write better. To write more clearly, concisely, compellingly, etc. Plenty of them have distilled decades of such coaching into book form.

      Be smart, selective, and specific about your self-education. Don't waste your time trying to read everything, for it will be a waste of time relative to your stated goals and most definitely not since you are trying to write for money. Understand the type of writing you are doing and the audience that will read it, and then seek out how to improve your skills for that type of writing.

      Don't be afraid to specialize, either, or at least limit the types of writing you do and have a few identified specialities.
      I partly agree with you. Mindlessly reading anything and everything can suck up a lot of time. But reading widely, and then thinking about what you read as it applies to your own writing, can be a very positive exercise.

      You mentioned Poe, and his use of elaborate sentence structure and uncommon words. Reading pretty much any of Poe's short stories and thinking - recognizing that Poe wrote at a time where such structures were expected - would save you from trying to emulate such a literary style in a commercial, non-fiction setting.

      I think I could have phrased my advice better. Read selectively, from a wide variety of styles and genres, would be more accurate.

      If the OP does take your suggestion to frequent the 808 section of the library (an excellent suggestion, wish I'd thought of it), I'd say don't just read those books. Practice. Many of them have writing prompts and exercises. Use them. I've seen many writers let reading about writing sidetrack them from actual writing.
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael Bely
        To write a truly engaging content can be easier if you understand the concept of consistent storytelling (don't be afraid of the term, I've made it up myself ).

        I recommend reading Seth Godin's book "All Marketers Are Liars" for that. (The title is too provocative, but it's just a part of the game)

        The author is an expert in marketing. And his book is very easy, interesting and useful to read.

        I liked the book very much and even reviewed the book here.

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        • Profile picture of the author myob
          Although wide reading certainly can help improve writing skills, this method will swallow large gulps of your time to master. An excellent resource which I included as a part of training courses for my new writers was "The Elements of Style", by William Strunk. The original edition was written over a century ago, but there are recent updated versions available such as on Amazon Kindle. And by all means, also immerse yourself in the Classics.

          "The ancients wrote at a time when the great art of writing badly had not yet been invented. In those days to write at all meant to write well."
          - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
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  • Profile picture of the author jgant
    Check out content that is shared a lot on social media. There isn't a single type of content that goes viral, but you will get plenty of ideas.

    This won't necessarily make you a great writer, but coming up with engaging topics and headlines is half the battle.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Originally Posted by theultimate1 View Post

    Hello Warriors,

    I'll come straight to the point. As the title suggests, I'm seeking suggestions on courses or training resources to help me write truly engaging content.
    Send me a PM and i'll email you a few good courses on how to become a better writer, and how to use your writing skills to sell products, or become a freelancer online.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Bely
      I'll just leave it here

      "If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that."
      ― Stephen King
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  • Profile picture of the author Work1099
    I recommend acquiring sales materials written by Gary Bencivenga and writing them long hand (paper and pen). This practice may seem odd, but after you try it, you'll be amazed at how quickly it improves your skills.

    In this case, I recommended Gary B. in particular, because he is a vetted copywriter to learn from. It only makes sense to learn everything you can from the best, before going for learning even a scrap from second best or lower.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by myob View Post

      Although wide reading certainly can help improve writing skills, this method will swallow large gulps of your time to master. An excellent resource which I included as a part of training courses for my new writers was "The Elements of Style", by William Strunk. The original edition was written over a century ago, but there are recent updated versions available such as on Amazon Kindle. And by all means, also immerse yourself in the Classics.
      You're right. If one is trying to improve the mechanics of their writing, studying something like Elements of Style (my favorite, and free in the Kindle version last I looked) will pay quicker dividends than simply reading widely.

      I still advocate choosing a wide variety of both fiction and nonfiction for leisure reading.
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  • Profile picture of the author tonyharte
    Read read read but stick to material that has stood the test of time. Another thought is to find and editor that might give you a bulk rate to review and provide writing feedback for a while. This might be more helpful depending on what kind of learner you are. Best of Luck!!
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