A Guide: How to be a sought after freelance writer in 2023

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Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

The ability to write effectively is no longer just a gift for a select few but a necessary skill for everyone. Effective writing has become an indispensable skill in today's world, from casual social media exchanges to formal emails and official presentations. Whether you're an aspiring author or blogger or need to write a professional report, delivering your message effectively and with impact is crucial. 

To help you achieve this, we've compiled some important tips to make your writing sound smarter and more impactful.

How to sound smarter in writing

Have you ever read a blog post or an essay that left you in awe of the writer's intelligence? Their words flowed effortlessly, and their ideas were conveyed with eloquence and clarity. You may have wondered how they made their writing sound so smart. Effective writing can be learned with the right knowledge and through constant practice. Below are important tips to make your writing sound smarter.

1. Clarity is key

To make your writing sound smart, it should first be crystal clear. Avoid convoluted sentences and jargon that might confuse your readers. As George Orwell wisely said, "Good prose should be transparent, like a window pane." Keep your message simple and easy to grasp; sometimes, the yardstick should be “Will a child understand this.”

Example: Instead of saying, "The preliminary investigation led to the identification of potential causative factors," say, "The initial investigation revealed possible causes."

Tips to ensure clarity

  • Know your audience: You’re not writing for yourself, so you must be able to communicate clearly to your audience by taking cognizance of their expectations, disposition, and professional outlook. For example, you cannot write for K12 students the same way you’ll write for nursing mothers.

  • Know what you want to say: before setting out, clearly understand your purpose and stick to it. 

2. Easy writing always does it

While it's important to sound intelligent in your writing, don't overdo it with complex words or phrases. A well-placed, sophisticated term can enhance your writing, but an abundance of them can be overwhelming. Remember Mark Twain's advice: "Don't use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do."

Example: Instead of "utilize," you can use "use."

3. Skip the unnecessary details

Overwriting can muddy your message. Your readers shouldn't have to decipher complex sentences or sift through unnecessary details, or else it becomes boring. As George Orwell advised, "Never use a long word when a short one will do."

Example: Instead of saying, "The individual in question demonstrated a conspicuous lack of cooperation," you can say, "They were uncooperative."

Always remember that when it comes to writing smartly, less is more 

4. Break down your paragraphs

One of the key things to keep in mind while writing is the use of short paragraphs. Why? Because it makes your content more digestible and engaging. Long paragraphs can overwhelm your readers, and in our fast-paced world, people tend to skim rather than read in-depth. Short paragraphs capture attention and keep your readers interested.

A study by Idaho University suggests that in Journalism, paragraphs should be 1-3 sentences long, while academic papers can be a bit longer. Another study recommends a maximum of 200 words for a paragraph. The less, the better.

5. Short sentences are always better

According to an MIT publication, a sentence should never be more than 30 words long. Some other publications recommend that a sentence should only be 15-20 words. Short paragraphs are easier to read and digest. They help break down complex ideas into bite-sized chunks, making your writing more accessible to a broader audience.

6. Active voice first

Active voice means that the subject of the sentence acts, making the writing more direct and concise. Here's why it matters: When you use an active voice, your readers immediately know who's doing what. It eliminates confusion and makes your writing easy to follow.


Passive: "The decision was made by the committee." 

Active: "The committee made the decision."

Passive: "An analysis of the data was conducted by the researchers." 

Active: "The researchers analyzed the data."

7. Corroborate with facts

Facts can add credibility and depth to your writing. Incorporate statistics, research findings, or historical events to support your arguments or narratives. Whenever you make a claim or provide information, back it up with verifiable and credible facts or statistics. It makes your work reliable.

Example: "According to a recent study by Harvard University, 70% of adults prefer online shopping."

8. Structure matters

Organize your writing logically. Use paragraphs and headings to break up your content into digestible chunks. Arrange your ideas logically. Each paragraph should flow naturally into the next, like building blocks. A well-structured piece of writing is easier to follow and appears smarter.

9. Eliminate fluff and filler words

Sometimes, we tend to repeat ourselves without realizing it. For instance, saying "added bonus" is redundant because a bonus is already something additional. So, just say "bonus."

Also, words like "actually," "basically," "literally," and "essentially" don't add much value to your sentences. They can make your writing sound less confident and cluttered.

So, it's crucial to make every word count when writing, whether it's a blog, an essay, or just about anything. That means eliminating all the unnecessary stuff that doesn't add value to your writing.

10. Edit and revise

Smart writing doesn't happen in the first draft. The real magic often comes during the editing process. Take the time to review and revise your work. After drafting, revisit your work with a critical eye. Look for redundancy, awkward phrasing, and unclear ideas. Each edit sharpens your writing and makes it smarter.

As Stephen King said, "To write is human; to edit is divine."

11. Seek feedback

Don't hesitate to share your work with others and seek constructive feedback. Embrace criticism as an opportunity to grow. Compliments can boost your confidence, but feedback is what truly sharpens your writing.

12. Read widely

The more you read, the better your writing will become. Exposure to various writing styles and genres can expand your vocabulary and inspire your work.

Tools to help you write smartly

Various tools are available to help you write smarter, such as grammar checkers and even AI-powered writing assistants. Let’s discuss a few that should be in every writer’s arsenal.

  1. Grammarly: Grammarly is like your personal grammar coach. It checks for spelling and punctuation and suggests improvements for clarity and conciseness. It's a great tool to ensure your writing is error-free and easy to understand.

  2. Hemingway Editor: This one is pretty neat. It helps you write more concisely and clearly by highlighting complex sentences and suggesting simpler alternatives. It's like having a virtual editor to make your writing more reader-friendly.

  3. Scrivener: Scrivener is a fantastic tool for working on a longer project like a novel or research paper. It allows you to organize your thoughts, research, and drafts all in one place. It's like a virtual writing binder.

  4. Thesaurus.com: A thesaurus is like your vocabulary expansion pack. This tool can be handy whenever you're stuck looking for the right word or want to add variety to your writing. It's not just for finding synonyms; it helps you find the perfect word for the context.

  5. ChatGPT: ChatGPT can automatically generate content for you to build on, but the focus should be on enhancing the information provided, ensuring that the output text is not bland or empty.

Tools to help you boost your freelance writing career

And if you’re a freelance writer or an independent professional, you need Workee.

Workee is a complete business management suite that enables you to manage your freelance writing business while positioning your brand more effectively. It’s like having a sophisticated office complex with all the necessary support staff in a virtual form.

Why do you need Workee.net?

  • You build a branded SEO-supported website for your business to aid visibility: You are probably a professional writer and not a web developer. Workee makes it easy by taking care of the technical aspect. You can select a suitable template and design your website using easy drag-and-drop tools on the website builder. Your Workee website is optimized for web search (SEO), and you can embed a YouTube video to promote your brand.

  • Client management and support tool: With Workee, communicating with your client is seamless. You get a client’s page that lets you communicate in real-time and track work progress and previous interactions.

  • You can also hold video conferencing to further discuss with your clients on deliverables.

  • Booking and scheduling: Workee makes it even better if you work by appointment. Your clients can book appointments with you according to your available time slots, which you set on your profile. This booking and scheduling function is intuitive and flexible, allowing for cancellation and rescheduling. You decide if it’s going to be a paid session or not. If it is, Workee generates and sends an invoice to your client in addition to sending email reminders.

  • Receive payments easily: One of the benefits of using Workee is that you can receive payments through integrations with PayPal and Stripe. You can easily manage your incoming payments through your Workee dashboard and track all transactions without additional fees or commissions. It's important to note that the Workee starter plan does charge a 5% transaction fee. To enjoy complete and unrestricted access to the Workee smart tool, sign up for the Workee Pro. However, Workee Starter is a free but limited version of the smart tool.


Writing smarter doesn't require a vast vocabulary or a complicated writing style. It's about clarity, credibility, and connecting with your audience. Keeping these simple yet effective tips in mind while writing can make your words sound smarter and more impactful. Remember, the tools you need to write smarter are within your grasp, and practice makes perfect.

Ihor, CEO at Workee

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