As a Hamilton Ontario writer for hire, I’m always working with many excellent clients, and I’ve learned to master this thing called writing, whether it be article writing or writing blog posts for the internet.
If you’re interested in working with a Hamilton Ontarion writer for hire, contact me via the menu on this site. I would love to get to know about you and your work so I can deliver exceptional writing that meets your objectives.
Over the years, many people have asked me for my top writing tips. And I would love to share them with you.
As a Hamilton Ontario writer for hire, I’ve worked in so many different forms of writing:
- Online copywriting and website copywriting such as for blog posts
- Business letters
- Article writing
- Sales copywriting
- Marketing copywriting
- SEO copywriting
- Social media posts
- Whitepapers and business reports
- Email newsletters
- Direct marketing campaigns
- Novels / Poetry / Other creative writings (take a look at my guide to the best novel writing tips)
But what I’ve learned as a a freelance Hamilton Ontario writer for hire is that there are some rules of writing that apply to absolutely everything.
Whether you choose to hire a freelance copywriter or write your own copy, there are rules for effective writing that apply every time. And even though I’ve been hired as a freelance writer for everything from business writing to blog writing to writing obituaries, these rules always remain the same.
When you know the rules for effective writing you can nail that sales copy, online copy, email newsletter copy, or whatever it is you’re working on.
In this tutorial I’ll share the most important writing techniques I’ve used as a freelance writer for hire in Hamilton ON—techniques you can use to write effectively every time.
My Top 15 Tips As A Freelance Writer In Hamilton Ontario
As a professional writer in Hamilton Ontario (as well as an editor and proofreader) the following techniques and strategies help me to perfect every piece of writing I work on.
Note: I’ve created specific guides to help with various industries:
Writing Rule #1: Have a clear message and meaning
This is the single most important writing tip: have a message and a meaning.
Through my years as a Hamilton writer for hire, I’ve found that the very best thing you can do for your writing is to decide very clearly what it is you’re writing about. Your message and meaning should be immediately obvious.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s for article writing, blog writing, or sales writing, you need a clear and concise message.
As a Hamilton ON writer for hire the first thing I always ask is: What’s the point?
What’s the meaning of this writing?
Write your message and meaning at the top of your document or notepad. Stick to it. And if you are hiring a freelance writer, make sure they know the end purpose of the writing before they start working on it.
The more you nail-down your message before you start to write, the better your writing will be.
Regardless of what type of writing you’re doing, it has to have a purpose (yes, even if you’re writing experimental fiction or abstract poetry).
Here’s what to do:
- Write down the topic you’re covering
- Write down why this piece of writing matters to you
- Write down the points you must communicate (the bare-bones details)
- Write down the benefits your reader will get from reading your writing
- Write down why this piece of copy writing is different to other pieces on the same theme
- Write a list of ways you will make your writing achieve its purpose.
Here’s an example of this writing tip in action.
Let’s say you want to write a direct marketing campaign to sell plumbing services.
- We’re writing about plumbing
- This writing matters because it will make people call the company to book plumbing services
- This direct marketing campaign must show the phone number, the company name, and tell people that they can save money on their bills.
- This piece will benefit the reader by making them aware of a potential problem with their home (e.g. that bad plumbing could be causing them to lose money on their bills).
- This piece of writing is different to everything else because it makes plumbing look funny.
- This writing will achieve its aim by being: funny, concise, showing the vital information very clearly, and having a design that immediately draws attention.
Here is the deliberately tongue-in-cheek direct sales writing sample I knocked-up as an example of this.
Notice how this simple graphic meets all the criteria we looked at above. It has a purpose, communicates all important information, and is different to other pieces on the same subject.
Writing Rule #2. Always remember your responsibilities as a writerA writer has the duty to be good, not lousy; true, not false; lively, not dull; accurate, not full of error –E.B. White Click To Tweet
Different types of writing create different responsibilities for the writer. That’s one thing I’ve definitely learned as a Hamilton writer for hire.
It’s your job to know what these responsibilities are.
For me as a Hamilton freelance writer for hire, my main responsibility is to you, the client.
If you’re writing articles yourself (not hiring a professional writer to do it), then you will still have certain responsibilities.
- If you’re writing an industry white paper, your responsibility is to write factually and to substantiate your every claim.
- If you’re writing a novel or poetry, your responsibility is to have a meaning to your work and to have the guts to say something heartfelt even if it is risky.
- If you’re doing online copywriting, your responsibility as a copywriter is to write for Google (SEO) and for your audience at the same time.
You must know what your responsibilities are as a writer, and you must stick to them. That means that if you’re doing creative writing you must say something personal and meaningful because the style of writing demands it, even if you would never say anything personal in a white paper.
When you hire a freelance writer, you should discuss their responsibilities with them before they start working.
Know your responsibilities as a writer before you start writing. This will help you to avoid pitfalls and to produce the proper style of writing for the specific job.
Writing Rule #3: Speak your audience’s language (even if that language is SEO and the audience is a robot)The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator — Jonathan Franzen Click To Tweet
Writing means reading. And reading means an audience.
In essence, good writing is writing that communicates effectively to the reader.
One of the first things I ask myself as a Hamilton Ontario writer for hire is: Who’s the audience?
Take a moment to consider.
If you’re writing articles for a science magazine (for instance) you will need to use formal writing because that’s the style that will communicate effectively with the audience. But what if you’re writing a speech to be given to under-educated people? Then you will need to write in a very simple fashion.
Too many writers (even professional freelance writers) make a mistake here. Writers have a nasty habit of forcing their intellect down their audience’s throat (this is particularly true of amateur writers). They use long, complicated, technical terms that many people do not understand. They use unnecessarily long sentences and paragraphs. They drown their readers in superfluous facts and details. Then they wonder why no one read past the first page.
Sure, if you’re doing article writing and your audience is a group of scholars, be scholarly.
Imagine if you’re writing articles to kids, or to readers for whom English is a second language, or readers who simply do not have very broad vocabularies. Then your writing will be worthless.
Today there is also the possibility that part of your audience will be a robot: namely, Google.
When writing for the internet, part of the “audience” is the group of spiders that crawl your website. Sure, these aren’t technically readers, but they can be thought of as such. To succeed online you will need to speak both your human audience’s language, and the language of bots (SEO).
I find today as a Hamilton Ontario writer for hire, I’m constantly speaking to both people and machines (via SEO).
Write to your audience. Period.
- To learn more about this I recommend reading Act-On’s guide.
Writing Rule #4: When it comes to your first draft, just get it writtenEvery first draft is perfect because all the first draft has to do is exist. It’s perfect in its existence. The only way it could be imperfect would be to not exist. ─ Jane Smiley Click To Tweet
Some people are surprised when the professional freelance writer they hire is able to spit out a first draft in a day.
Truth is, the freelance writer knows a secret.
Since I became a Hamilton Ontario writer for hire I’ve written thousands of first drafts. And I always follow the same principle.
When you’re writing your first draft, the only thing that matters is that you get it written.
Too many writers get bogged down in their first draft because they wrongly thing it has to be perfect.
Newsflash: There’s a reason it’s called a first draft.
Just get it written.
As a freelance writer in Hamilton Ontario, when I’m hired I get the first draft done day one, two at the latest. The rest is editing.
Sit down at your computer and type, even if what you are typing seems like garbage. 90% of writing is editing. All that matters in the first draft is that you get the core ideas, arguments, facts and points onto the page. The real artistry happens thereafter.
- Read The Write Practice’s guide to first drafts.
Writing Rule #5: Edit, Edit and Edit Again (this is what I do most as a Hamilton Ontario write for hire!)Be your own editor/critic. Sympathetic but merciless! — Joyce Carol Oates Click To Tweet
Every professional freelance writer for hire knows that good writing is good editing. The more you edit, the better your writing will be.
When it comes to editing, you should feel free to be brutal with your own work.
Here are a few tips for editing:
- Stick to your argument / premise
- Cut long sentences in two
- Replace overly complicated words with simpler ones
- Use adverbs sparingly
- Delete unnecessary punctuation
- Turn negatives into positives
- Check for personality
- Reduce prepositions
- Use strong verbs
- Use active voice, not passive voice
- Remember, people are “who” and objects are “that”
- Which uses commas, that doesn’t
- Never mistake there, they’re and their
- Don’t split infinitives
- Know your its from your it’s
- Please! Stop! Using! Exclamation! Marks! So! Much!
Writing Rule #6: As a Hamilton writer for hire, trust me when I say your thoughts are what matter most, and they must be organisedMy thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellation — John Green Click To Tweet
Writing is basically the orchestration of thoughts on paper.
Whenever you write, you are taking ideas, thoughts, facts, and stories and communicating them in an organized way on the page.
The easiest way to do this is to organize your thoughts before you write.
The more you understand your thoughts (or the arguments, ideas, facts and opinions of the piece) the better your writing will be—and the easier it will be to write.
Ways to do this include:
- Using apps like Evernote
- Using post-it-notes
- Writing your first draft then cutting it up and organizing it into sections
- Organize your thoughts and arguments by themes and use these as headings / subheadings
This is especially true for long-form writing. For instance, when writing articles or writing blog posts of a several thousand words, you will save a great deal of time by organising your thoughts.
As a Hamilton writer for hire, Ontario’s post-it-note sales have basically gone through the roof just off of me alone, I think!
Writing Rule #7: Know your writer personality
Readers subconsciously analyze the writer’s personality as they read.
This is true of all writing.
Sure, when writing novels and poetry the personality is inherent. But article writing and blog writing also have personality. Even when you write whitepapers or business letters, there is still personality.
When you hire a freelance writer you must make sure they understand the personality required.
As a Hamilton Ontario writer for hire, one of the first things I ask myself when working on you (my clients’) writing is this: what personality am I communicating?
What does your writing say about your personality and (for marketing) the personality of your brand?
Read through your writing and check it is communicating the ideal personality for you, your brand, and your company.
Remember, your readers, customers, and clients will judge you on your writing, so it is imperative that your writing communicate the appropriate personality.
This is especially true when copy writing marketing assets such as direct marketing campaigns, email campaigns and social media posts. Here, you are intentionally creating a relationship with your readers, and the strength of that relationship will be determined largely by how your brand personality matches the demographics and psychographics of your audience.
If you hire a writer for marketing or sales, make sure they understand your brand personality before they start working.
- I recommend Untamed’s guide for learning to write with personality.
Want to work with a Hamilton Ontario writer for hire? Contact me today.
Writing Rule #8: Simplify, do not overcomplicateOne day I will find the right words, and they will be simple. --Jack Kerouac Click To Tweet
Want to know the number one way novice writers let themselves down? They try to sound super-intelligent and come across as stuffy.
This is even true of the freelance writers you hire for their professional writing services: they still make this cardinal sin.
The chief cause of this is using unnecessarily complicated words. Some writers call an animal by its Latin name, or use words like “expeditious” instead of “fast”. This does not make the writer sound intelligent, just comical and superficial.
Cut out needlessly long words.
One of George Orwell’s tips for writing is “never use a complicated word when a simple one will do”. Good advice. Of course, if you’re writing to an audience of scholars whose number one passion in life is the Oxford Dictionary, you can ignore this tip. Otherwise, stick to it.
This same advice also applies to sentences, paragraphs, arguments and other areas of writing copy.
Use these tips to write in a simple, effective way:
- Cut short sentences in half
- Avoid unnecessary technical terms (unless writing exclusively to readers who are experts in the subject)
- Choose shorter words over longer ones
- Write your arguments in a simple and coherent fashion
- Write in the way your audience speaks (unless it is technical writing)
- Use headings and subheadings so writing is easy to scan
- Consider a contents page, if that’s an option for the type of writing you’re working on
- Get to the point quickly
As a Hamilton Ontario writer for hire I find one of the main reasons people love my writing is this: i communicate their complex ideas in the most easily comprehensible fashion.
Want to work with a Hamilton Ontario writer for hire? Contact me today
Writing Rule #9: Write scannable content
Create writing that is easy to scan. Online this is especially important.
There is a particular way in which people scan, and you should take advantage of this.
The simple way to do this is like so: Put all important information at the beginning or end of a sentence, paragraph, and of the overall piece of writing.
“Write scannable text because it is easier to read”
“Because it’s easier to read scannable text, write it that way.”
Important information should be placed:
- At the beginning of the writing
- At the end of the writing
- At the beginning of the paragraph
- At the end of the paragraph
- At the beginning of a sentence
- At the end of a sentence
- Alternatively, place important information in standout sections, such as in graphics or in bullet-points.
These writing tips will help readers. And they are particularly important when writing a blog post.
Much of my work as a Hamilton Ontario writer for hire is online. And one of the most important tasks for writing online is to write not in the lengthy-prose of a novel but in the easily-scannable format that internet writing demands.
Writing Rule #10: Research everythingIf you don’t have time to read, you don’t the time nor the resources to write –Stephen King Click To Tweet
By researching everything beforehand, and by writing an exhaustive list of facts, figures, data, and so on, you will have so much valuable information that your writing will be all but guaranteed to succeed.
Go nuts researching.
This is as true for creative writing as it is for a whitepaper. Of course, your business whitepapers need facts, but so do other types of writing, such as novels (for instance, if your story is set in a specific city you will need to research that city before you write).
The more research you have going in to the project, the deeper your writing will go.
Note that when hiring a freelance writer for academic work (such as health articles or lengthy, niche-specific blog posts) it is completely reasonable for them to ask for a research fee to cover the time they spend researching the subject.
Writing Rule #11: Read it out loudRead it aloud to yourself because that's the only way to be sure the rhythms of the sentences are OK (prose rhythms are too complex and subtle to be thought out—they can be got right only by ear) — Diana Athill Click To Tweet
Something fascinating happens when you read your writing out loud: it becomes real.
By reading out loud we can hear our writing in the same way reader would hear it when they read. This is a classic tip that you may have heard at school, and it works.
Try reading your writing out loud and see if you notice anything different about it that you didn’t notice previously.
It is easier to find grammatical and spelling errors while reading out loud, and it is easier to hear the personality of the writing too.
No matter what type of writing you’re working on, read it out loud. Of course, this is doubly true if you are writing a speech.
If you do not intend to hire a professional writer, make sure you do this tip for everything you write.
Want to work with a Hamilton Ontario writer for hire? Contact me today.
Writing Rule #12: Make everything positive and activeNever use the passive where you can use the active—George Orwell Click To Tweet
Here’s a writing technique that will give your writing personality: make it positive and active.
Why is this important?
Well, consider the types of personality you like in people. You probably like spending time with people who are active and positive, right? You probably don’t enjoy spending time with passive and negative people correct?
Now remember that writing communicates personality.
Now you can see why readers prefer writing that is active and positive: because that’s the type of personality we all enjoy.
This writing strategy is an effective way to put personality in your work.
Here’s an easy way to use active voice:
- Take your subject and put it at the beginning of the sentence
- Use a verb after the subject
- Use the object at the end of the sentence
- Turn negatives into positives (especially in marketing and business writing):
Examples of positive active voice:
“The computer was broken by me”
Becomes: “I broke the computer”
This house is for sale but it’s old and kinda cramp so don’t bother viewing it because you might not like it.
You’ll love this antique house with its cosy interior. Schedule an appointment today.
What positive, active writing does:
- Makes your readers more likely to act (i.e. to convert—a big deal if we’re talking about writing marketing materials)
- Gives your writing more energy
- Brings your writing to life
- Presents a likeable personality
Note: Active voice may not be ideal for some scientific and academic types of writing.
Writing Rule #13: Always remember that you are your writingWriting is the painting of the voice—Voltaire Click To Tweet
Writing is even more important than most people realise. Why? Because to the reader, the writer is their writing.
Think about it.
Many of your readers will never have spoken to you before. And if this copy is for a product, many people will not have heard of your brand or company before.
Writing is often the very first impression people (customers / clients / fans) get of you. And trust me, they will judge you based on your writing, because it is all they know of you.
Every time you write something, remember: as far as the reader is concerned, the writing is you.
As a Hamilton Ontario writer for hire I always make sure the writing represents my client and their business in a positive way.
To make a good first impression, write effectively in a manner that is attractive to your audience. That way, your excellent writing will give people a good impression, not just of your work or your product or your brand, but of you.
Writing Rule #14: Be your own worst critic and explore the opposing argumentsIf you're not your own severest critic, you are your own worst enemy —Jay Maisel Click To Tweet
In every type of writing it is important to a) critique yourself, and b) cover opposing arguments.
Let’s say you’re writing an essay about why laptops are better than desktop computers. You fully believe that laptops are superior. But some of your readers will feel the other way. You will not win the argument by ignoring all evidence that is contrary to your argument. To appease all your readers and to win them over, you must cover both sides of the argument.
This is true for all types of writing—even if you’re comparing yourself to a competitor you will still benefit by being upfront about the ways the competitor is superior. Doing so will establish trust in the reader, which is worth more than gold when it comes to writing.
This is even true in fiction.
Many writers think “fiction does not have to be truthful, so I don’t need to explore all angles of the story.” This is a mistake. Master novelists write a novels around a premise (a central argument or idea) and they explore all angles of this.
A brief example: The premise of Romeo & Juliet is ultimately love triumphs over hate. But to do justice to this premise Shakespeare had to examine the counterpoints, even going as far as to have Romeo and Juliet die. Only that way could he cover the premise in depth, leaving us with one of the absolute masterpieces of literature.
In all writing, fully explore both the argument you are in favor of, and the alternative. Tear into your own argument so you fully understand all aspects of the subject / theme / debate, then steer your writing to your conclusion.
Copywriting Rule #15: Hire A Proofreaders (Professional, preferably)To write is human. To edit is divine—Stephen King Click To Tweet
Did you know that even the best writers in the world have their writing professionally proofread?
Truth is this: different readers notice different things. You will always benefit from having a fresh set of eyes look over your work.
If it’s an unimportant piece of writing, you’re probably fine having your spouse or a friend read it for you.
If it’s a valuable piece of writing, you will benefit from hiring a professional proofreader.
Consider how much more confident and relaxed you will be knowing that you have had your work read by a professional proofreader. When you hit Publish or Send you will know that the recipient(s) will be impressed with the quality of your work.
Want to work with a Hamilton Ontario writer for hire? Contact me today.
And those are my top writing tips as a Hamilto Ontario writer for hireIf I waited till I felt like writing, I’d never write at all—Anne Tyler Click To Tweet
Time to get writing.
Above we have examined the most important rules for effective writing—techniques and strategies you can trust.
With these writing tips you’ll be able to write effectively whether you’re working on an essay, a business letter, a marketing campaign, or something more creative like a novel.
Of course, this is just a snapshot of what goes into truly effective writing. There are innumerable techniques and strategies for writing, and each form of writing comes with its own rules and guidelines.
If your writing is valuable to you, it is definitely worth hiring a professional writer, or at minimum having your work professionally edited or proofread. That way you can rest assured in the knowledge that your writing is making you look like a star in the eyes of your readers—be they a potential employer, a colleague, customers and clients, or your legions of fans.
If you’d like to hire the best professional writer and editor in Hamilton Ontario, contact me, Paul M Harrison, today.