I am a writer, so the ability to write content fast is one of the things I’m known for.
If you have ever worked in a newsroom, believe me, it’s about being able to type at the speed of light and push out content fast.
But I know that writing doesn’t come easily for everyone.
I have often been in the position of encouraging colleagues to write, with offers from me to proof and edit, and the common complaint I hear is “it’s easy for you to say because you are a writer”.
So here I have compiled my best tips for how to get something on the page!
These tips can be applied to social media, blogs, websites, promotional materials and advertising copy.
1. Do your Research
An absolute must is to read widely on the topic you wish to write about.
I never approach any writing task without first doing my research.
This is not because I’m scientist.
You just need to set yourself up, armed with all the facts, before approaching a blank page.
2. Ready to Write? Not yet - You Need a Vision!
The next thing you need to do is map out a strong vision.
I tend to not put this down on paper.
I just spend some time thinking about the messages I see as key to communicating for the piece.
3. Action Stations – Make a draft
Make a rough draft of your content.
Put everything down on a page in writing.
Even if it doesn’t make sense at first – it doesn’t matter!
This is about feeling positive, a sense of achievement of getting something on the page, and putting your vision into motion.
4. Edit and Tighten up
After you have jotted absolutely everything down it’s time to get critical about the form and structure of the content.
Does it have a strong opening and is the narrative both logical and compelling?
It’s important to note that this step can take some time.
After the initial boost of getting something on the page it’s time to get picky about what you’re communicating.
Work out whether some of it’s total rubbish and deserves to be deleted.
Of the points that are valid – do they need to be expressed in a different way.
5. Leave it to Marinate
Once you’ve edited the content (several times) to the point where you’re happy with it, you need to set it aside and let it rest like a good dough.
The best thing you can do for your content for now is step back and consider it a job a well done.
6. Proof it
After some time has passed give your communication a final review.
I like to read the content through very closely and check for typos and grammatical errors.
I’m also checking my communication for whether it’s compatible with my original vision.
Sometimes it isn’t and I will make adjustments to my copy if I think my original thoughts were better than what ended up on the page.
Sometimes my original vision has been improved upon and I’m happy to leave it as is.
You just need to listen to your gut on this one.
7. Find some Fresh Eyes
Recruit someone else to read your content before pulling the trigger on publishing.
It doesn’t really matter if they don’t closely understand the content or topic.
Anyone should be able to read your piece and give you a thumbs up or thumbs down on whether a sentence you wrote makes sense.
8. Review and Revise
Based on the feedback you received critically analyse your content and make adjustments where necessary.
9. It’s now Time to Publish
Do one final proof and then pull the trigger on publishing your content.
My Final Thoughts
My final recommendation, which should permeate through all of your writing tasks, is don’t become too attached to the words you write on the page.
When you’re writing and editing drafts you need to remain flexible and open to cutting content that’s just not going anywhere for whatever reason.
Don’t take yourself too seriously because writing can be fun!
What’s your best writing tip?
Leave me a comment or suggestion below.
If you’ve found these writing tips useful share this article with others.