No matter how some of us may dread it, writing is an inevitable part of our lives, most certainly of our professional ones. Newsletters, emails, website texts, social media and blog posts are just a tip of the content iceberg many of us have to produce on a daily basis. Do you struggle with writing? Then these 5 easy to follow steps are exactly what you need.
1. Stick to one topic
Unless your text is an internal newsletter full of corporate updates, stay within one topic only. Firstly, it'll help you to keep your focus. And secondly, your reader won't get confused. Chances are high that if you choose to write an elaborate 'manuscript' covering many topics at once, your reader won't make it to the end of the text.
Tip: I like to create a content planning for the upcoming week. This way, I know in advance what topic I'll be writing about on a given day.
2. Do your research
Make sure you have done your research homework. What do the experts say on your topic? What are the latest numbers? Are there new developments on this subject? Don't forget the statistics (oh, God, I do hate statistics!) That said, however, share your experience and your ideas. People read YOUR copy, therefore they are interested in YOUR opinion.
3. Structure your text like a newspaper article
On point titles, attention-grabbing quotes, key notes, snappy headers and (maybe even) captivating images will ensure your reader's attention is hooked.
Tip 1: Use the newspapers' technique and load your first paragraph with the most important information. Therefore, your reader knows from the first words what's your article/blog/newsletter about. Besides, if written well the reader will be intrigued to read on.
Tip 2: On your copy completion, create a short summary of the key ideas. Spread these ideas in bold or italics through your text as the sub-titles or quotes.
4. Just write
There is only one way to write and it is: sit down and write. No matter how much you'll struggle in the beginning, after the first 10-15 minutes, you'll get into the flow.
Tip: Don't force yourself to stick to the structure. Write what you want to write at this moment, be it the ending or the quotes or the main body. You'll structure your text afterwards.
5. "Only God gets it right the first time and only a slob says, Oh, well, let it be…"
I love this quote by Stephen King. It says it all. Editing is a crucial part of the writing process. When your piece is done, leave it for a while. Come back later and read the text out loud. Check your grammar, spelling and punctuation. I love working with Grammarly, a brilliant writing tool (also available free of charge).
And finally, one thing I've learned - quantity (eventually) makes quality. The more you write, the better you become at it.
Now, get your fingers dancing on those keyboards! And don't forget to share whether these tips were helpful and your own tricks (if you have some) to make writing easy. And if you simply despise writing and need some professional help with it, feel free to contact me here.
Written by A. van Eck-Samarina