Books on Article Writing

30 replies
I've been getting into blogging and article writing and one thing I've really started to notice is... I am very out of practice! I went through high school getting great grades in English, took some classes in college... but my last class was in 2007! I'm looking for some books to help improve my writing. Any suggestions?
#article #books #writing
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by AmandaT View Post

    I'm looking for some books to help improve my writing.
    Then stop looking for some books to help to improve your writing.

    As can be seen from your posts here and from your blog, your writing is already commensurate with someone who went through high school getting great grades in English, and then took some classes in college, too. To word that another way: the standard of your writing is already somewhere well above just "literate".

    You don't need books, and you don't need classes.

    If you want to write articles, the standard with which you have to compete will shock you: it's far, far lower than you can possibly imagine. I think you're probably way above average already.


    Originally Posted by AmandaT View Post

    one thing I've really started to notice is... I am very out of practice!
    Shhhh ... it doesn't show to anyone else.

    Your writing will continue to improve as you get further back into the swing of it and write more. This is all you should be doing: you just need to write, not to read/study.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jake Gray
    I can tell you one product I'd honestly recommend which is by
    Bill Platt. The price he is asking is especially cheap considering
    how valuable the information is. Bill Platt knows what he is talking
    about.

    It's located here.

    Best of Luck,
    Jake Gray
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  • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
    Well thank you for that boost in confidence! I've been writing a lot of articles I'm getting ready to submit and post on my blog. (Only wanting to post one entry a day onto my blog instead of flooding it.) I figured practicing was my best option but thought looking into books might be a good idea as well, especially since I'm not always at home where I can write.
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  • Profile picture of the author myob
    Amanda

    Your writing is absolutely fine. But perhaps some books may help for resources on where to submit your articles. Although I haven't read Bill Platt's book, I can tell you he does know what he's talking about.

    A book which has helped me tremendously in my early days was Turn Words Into Traffic by Jim Edwards; a former newspaper syndicated writer turned online marketer. It's also available at Amazon in hardcopy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Roaddog
      Originally Posted by myob View Post

      Amanda

      Your writing is absolutely fine. But perhaps some books may help for resources on where to submit your articles. Although I haven't read Bill Platt's book, I can tell you he does know what he's talking about.

      A book which has helped me tremendously in my early days was Turn Words Into Traffic by Jim Edwards; a former newspaper syndicated writer turned online marketer. It's also available at Amazon in hardcopy.

      Paul I was going to recommend that book to her...after seeing you recommend it in another thread, I bought it.
      I'm about halfway through and while I have you 'on the line' here,

      all I can say is ...Thanks.


      Jim
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  • Profile picture of the author bnwebm
    I completely agree with Alexa. Anyone can write and sometimes that in and of itself, is unfortunate. Don't let your writing get tainted by the suggestions of other, purported experts. I learned to write, by writing. I have a bachelor's and master's degree and neither one of those helped me learn how to write. I'm professionally published as well, with three research articles in print but again, I learned how to write by simply writing.
    Signature
    My blog, because nothing is a more powerful marketing tool than a well written article.
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  • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
    Thank you for the help, I'm looking into getting Bill Platt's book when my Fiverr money comes in.
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  • Profile picture of the author Henry White
    Keep a journal, read a LOT, and be yourself.

    The only books you really need are a high school dictionary (not collegiate) and a thesaurus, so
    before you buy anything, check out this one:

    Roy Peter Clark. Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer.
    Boston: Little, Brown, 2006. 272 pages; $13.50 hardback (Amazon).

    Writing is a craft, so the more of it you do, the better you get at it and the easier it is to do.
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    • Profile picture of the author Chance2427
      Originally Posted by hwhite View Post

      Keep a journal, read a LOT, and be yourself.

      The only books you really need are a high school dictionary (not collegiate) and a thesaurus, so
      before you buy anything, check out this one:

      Roy Peter Clark. Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer.
      Boston: Little, Brown, 2006. 272 pages; $13.50 hardback (Amazon).

      Writing is a craft, so the more of it you do, the better you get at it and the easier it is to do.
      Great advices above.

      I like Stephen King's formula, which we can simplify as: read a lot, write a
      lot. Read a lot to learn what the great writing looks/feels like, and practice
      a lot to achieve the same effects yourself... one day.

      Journaling is perfect for that. Just get a software that has password
      protection (TheJournal, DiaryOne, TreeDBNotes), and you can then freely
      write whatever you want inside...

      Exercises from the book hwhite suggested would be a great start. I love
      that book, always gets me into a creative and productive writing mood
      after doing a few short exercises.

      I'd also add Margret Geraghty's "The Five Minute Writer — Exercise
      and inspiration in creative writing in five minutes a day"
      . It has
      some ~50 short exercises you can do at random times during the day.

      Just don't avoid practice. Whatever you write, it's better than writing
      nothing at all.
      Signature

      There are no mountains in Holland.

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  • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
    Thanks for the encouragement! Because of the added confidence, I sent my samples to a company that was looking for someone to write articles for them from time to time and they accepted me as one of their writers!
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  • Profile picture of the author Moneyerr
    Practice makes a man perfect. Your practice will improve your writing skills. You can seek help from Internet is like an ocean of knowledge about every thing. Before writing article on any topic, you should spend some time for research and development on interest and I am sure you will get your desired results without reading any book.
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  • Profile picture of the author bretski
    I'm with Alexa on this one (go figure!). There's nothing that is more important than "time on task" and I it is often said that "a writer writes".

    Good luck and keep on writiing
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  • Profile picture of the author Yogini
    Your writing seems very good. The one thing you might want to read more on is about writing articles for seo purposes because if you are writing for clients or using it for web page content, it can be good to read a bit about headline tags and ways to use on-page seo a bit.

    Debbie
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  • Profile picture of the author anthony2
    Two really good books on article marketing is
    below

    Josh
    Article Domination

    Jim Edwards

    Article Marketing: 7 Keys To A Profit-Pulling Title |

    Josh and Jim are article marketing experts.

    Two guys if you study will help take your article marketing to the
    next level.
    Signature
    "I Leveled The Playing Field And Removed Every Roadblock
    To Helping You Make Maximum Profits In Minimum Time"
    Click Here Now To Find Out How!
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  • Profile picture of the author soloman
    I was amazed to see the massive comments on this post. I share the same challenge with Amanda . I've been trying to write, but english beign my second language, am not convinced about my writing. I posted at a site they regect my post. If I can see someone that will assess my work I will appreciate it the more. Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author kaytav
    Hi,
    For Amanda and Soloman,

    You both can try something called WritersDigest. It is a site which will definitely help you improve your writing skills and also help you understand where you are going wrong. Try it out. It is of great help and the review of that site is really good.
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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      Then stop looking for some books to help to improve your writing.
      I strongly disagree.

      No matter how decent you already are as a writer, you can get better. Real writers never stop studying their craft.

      When I had already been publishing in national magazines like the New York Times Magazine, I read dozens of books about how to get better as a writer. I listened carefully to what my editors said and watched what they did.

      In addition, I began to read differently. Every time I read an article that surprised me or that I admired, I took it apart to see what the author did to create a particular effect. I noticed what kinds of sentences and word choices other writers used that I didn't. I noticed different ways to start and end pieces or paragraphs.

      Writing doesn't improve on its own. It gets better with an analytical attitude and observation, which some people need to learn from books and teachers.

      One resource for writing articles that may have the information and inspiration you are looking for is my own book WRITING ARTICLES ABOUT THE WORLD AROUND YOU. It's aimed at people who are itching to be paid by magazines and newspapers for their work, and you may be ready for that universe.

      Other books I recommend are GETTING THE WORDS RIGHT by Theodore Cheney, which discusses how to edit your own work, and STYLE by Joseph Williams.

      Good luck, and don't ever let anyone quash your desire to learn. It can lead you to great places.

      Marcia Yudkin
      Signature
      Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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      • Profile picture of the author kaytav
        Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

        I strongly disagree.

        No matter how decent you already are as a writer, you can get better. Real writers never stop studying their craft.
        Very True!! You cannot be always perfect and there is always a scope for you to get better in what you do. There will always be new techniques which will help you improve more and more. And books are a nice way to keep yourself updated.
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  • Profile picture of the author techbul
    If you want to improve your article writing you need experience. That's not something you can read from a book.
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  • Profile picture of the author Val Wilson
    I agree with Alexa - I have seen your writing Amanda, and it is excellent, you have nothing to worry about on that front

    Though I would also recommond Turn Words Into Traffic for great strategies on how to make the most out of every article you write.
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  • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
    Amanda, you studying writing is a waste of time. You already write really well - not just factually, but personality too.

    Spend that time on something you don't do well. I don't know what that is, but it isn't writing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
      Amanda,

      Not exactly sitting on the fence, but I'm half with Alexa and half with Marcia.

      Whilst it's useful to to be aware of the conventions of writing, I think too much education/input can stifle creativity and we can lose our unique voice.

      I remember reading a book on writing by a very famous and successful author. In his introduction he said (to paraphrase):

      Look, you don't really need to read my book. I can sum it up in two words:

      "Writers write."

      Martin
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    Did anyone notice the thread is actually 18 months old?
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    Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
    Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    I've been writing a long time and have never warmed up to books on writing with one exception. That was Stephen King's book titled On Writing. The only reason that book worked for me is that it was as much autobiographical and motivational as it was about the craft. In other words, it was fun reading. I've also spent some time reading several books on copywriting but they're not nearly as much about writing as they are about selling and marketing.

    The problem I've had with books specifically about writing is they're so freakin' boring I want to slit my wrists rather than read one more picture perfect, grammatically sound, boring sentence. Ugh. Maybe people who write such books should learn how to make dull, academic stuff more interesting. What a concept, huh? After all, shouldn't a book written specifically about the craft include something about holding a reader's attention? Of course it should.

    A couple of months ago Alexa mentioned a book titled Writing a Thriller by André Jute. I bought it. There was some excellent stuff in there but I didn't finish it. I actually felt guilty because I wasn't writing.

    Stephen King summarized everything you need to do to become a good writer in his book with two single sentences. It's the best advice any writer could ever receive. Here it is: Read a lot. Write a lot. That'll be $24.95 please.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    Amanda,
    Considering how well you've done since this post; I would love to hear if you found any writing books that you felt helped you along the way?

    Rose
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  • Profile picture of the author Jackson Tan
    continue to write.. write with your own style... someone will love your writing and these are your valuable reader.. don't be afraid of opposing an popular opinion.. we all think differently.. Good luck to you!

    To Your Fun & Freedom
    Jackson
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  • Profile picture of the author emini_guy
    I don't know if this was already mentioned here because I did not read all the posts in this pretty long thread, but I don't think that how you write (assuming it's not awfully bad), but what you have to say is what really matters.

    The content is still more important to most people than the form in which it is delivered. As long as you keep this in mind, I think you should do well. My CTR on EzineArticles is well above 20%, so I have some experience and evidence to back it up.

    Good luck and don't sweat the style too much. Just make it interesting or useful.
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