I have collected some rules which has improved my writing dramatically over the past year.
Remove the drama. Internet articles are riddled with hard paragraph breaks to dramatize sentences in lieu of a thesis. See what happens to your article if you simply deleted them.
Clarify your introduction. State your thesis clearly and move on. You do not need to qualify yourself, apologize for writing, or explain with an analogy.
Ensure precision not pretentiousness. Do not use a top-shelf word unless it’s more efficient. While you’re at it: avoid marketing speak. Most of the time, it’s hiding what you’re trying to say.
Use these words sparingly. That, usually, actually, really, very, like, basically, essentially, just, kind of, practically, somewhat, sort of. Is saying she’s really nice that much different than simply nice?
Stop with the analogies. If your analogy takes you the same amount of time to explain as your main topic, skip it. It’s a technique which should be used only if your topic is complex. If your topic isn’t complex, you’re wasting time.
Read your work out loud. Pay attention to how the sentences sound. Is there rhythm? Are there too many short sentences with awkward breaks? Would you ever speak to anyone that way?
Re-write your work. If you’re not spending just as much time rewriting (or more), you’re being sloppy. Spend some time to reread and rewrite. Cut, and cut, and cut, until there are no more unnecessary words.
There are many more, I’m sure, but these are the ones I live by.