Does it seem to take forever to write content for your website or blog? Do you struggle to create information products? If so, you can learn a few tricks of the trade from professional writers.
#1 Outline your ideas – Before you sit down to write or type, make sure you know what you’re going to write about. Jot down your main point or headline. Underneath, bullet your supporting point ideas. When you actually sit down to write, you’ll have a format to work with.
#2 Choose a format for your content – Every single thing you write adheres to some type of format.
For example, a tips article offers a series of bullet points or quick two- to three-sentence paragraphs. A “how to” article will list steps. A review article will summarize the product or service being reviewed and then dive into the pros and cons of the item. A tutorial will break the topic into manageable lessons. And an informative article will have a topic paragraph with three supporting points and a conclusion.
Decide when you’re outlining your content, what format you’re going to use.
#3 Research later – This may not make a bit of sense at first, but let’s explain it. Research takes time and we often waste time in the process. We research blindly, looking for information we can use in our content. However, if you write your content first, making notes along the way about where you need to do research, then your research will be focused.
For example, imagine you’re writing a report on comparing sugar substitutes. Researching sugar substitutes can be a very broad and time-consuming process. However, researching the illnesses caused by saccharine is much more specific and will take you a tenth of the time.
#4 Edit later – This is a habit that takes time to learn. Many people correct their spelling, change their sentences and even add and delete content as they’re writing. This takes too much time and it breaks your thought flow. Instead, just write. Don’t edit anything until you’re done.
Once you’ve put all of your thoughts on paper, then you can go back and make changes, edits and corrections. This habit takes time, commitment and practice but it does work. It’s about letting go of perfection and enjoying the process of writing. It’s okay to have a really bad first draft. No one will ever see it.
#5 Finally, this little trick is a real time saver – When you’re writing, simply write as if you’re answering a friend’s question. This helps in two key ways. The first is that you’re writing conversationally. Conversational copy is accessible copy and it’s something your readers will appreciate. It’s also much easier to write.
Secondly, if you’re answering a question it’s really easy to determine what you want to say.
For example, let’s go back to that report on sugar substitutes. When you’re creating your outline using the question format it might look something like this:
* What are sugar substitutes?
* Are sugar substitutes bad for your health?
* Are there any benefits to using sugar substitutes?
* Which sugar substitutes are the best?
If you’re writing this report and you are an expert in health and nutrition, then answering these questions will come naturally. It helps kick your brain into writing mode and removes any procrastination or stress from the writing process.
The honest truth is, you don’t have to be a professional writer to write great content quickly. Take advantage of these trade secrets and boost your content productivity today.