The next step for you as a busy entrepreneur is to find a way to consistently create the content you need to engage, educate and connect with your audience. There are a myriad of options available for outsourcing this, but the quickest way to get started is to create your own content.
The more you write, the quicker you’ll grow at writing effective, punchy content that is truly valuable to your ideal client.
Since you are pressed for time, here are 10 easy tips you can implement today to speed up the process:
1. Eliminate distractions – Disconnect from the net. Close Facebook. Activate your telephone answering machine. Shut your home office door, if you can.
Try to pick your ideal time of day to write – for example your time might be 8:30am, when you’ve got that freshly-made cup of coffee sitting on your desk, the kids are safely in school and your first appointment doesn’t start until 10:30am.
You will want to make that time slot sacred: You’ll be amazed at how easy it becomes to start writing creatively, when it’s a daily habit.
2. Keep it short – For example, one idea per blog post will easily fit within 350-450 words. (If you find yourself passing 750 words, you’ve got two or more ideas – split them up!)
3. Re-use and Re-cycle – Do you have any old articles you’ve written? Reports? Blog posts that never got off the ground? Put them to good use and re-purpose them into new blog posts.
- Go through your piece of old content and use a yellow highlighter to isolate individual ideas.
- Pick on.
- Write a short post (no more than 450 words) just on that single idea alone.
4. Write about what you know – Stick to subjects you know by heart and you’ll be able to crank out a quality content piece with very little effort. (Hint: Think of the top 3 questions prospective clients always ask you and write about those!)
5. Share a gem – If you produce a really fascinating fact, helpful link, hidden shortcut or little-known resource, you really don’t need to write pages and pages about it! Your audience simply desires your golden take-away.
6. Make your reader want more – It’s better to leave your readers wanting more than to put them to sleep with pages of weighty research or – even worse – your unedited, in-depth opinion. (Think “teaser”).
7. Create a series – This is one way to break a lengthier subject up, dealing with it point by point. As long as your reader grasps the idea or technique you’re sharing, they’ll still leave your blog pleased – perhaps even excited – and wanting more.
8. Keep an “Idea Jar” – Either a literal one (such as in a notebook) or a file folder on your desktop. (Evernote is a GREAT place to capture an organize information like this). Every time an idea for a blog post hits you, save it there and you’ll never have to “figure out” what to write about.
9. Stick to a basic structure – Make sure you learn the basic structural elements of a strong blog post:
- A beginning paragraph that makes a statement and promises what the reader will learn
- At least two or three middle paragraphs that expand on the premise
- A summary, that brings your post to a strong conclusion
- A call to action, enticing comments or click-throughs from your reader
Do use sub heads and/or a few bullet points, if your post is over 350 words long. Sub heads and bullet points break up the text… and make the reader feel that your post is even easier and quicker to read!
10. Don’t edit as you write – Doing so is the surest way to:
Taking the fire out of your writing
- Going off on a tangent
- Losing the conversational feel and immediacy of your post
- Undermining your own confidence
- Putting how you say things ahead of your vital message
- Stealing time away from your day and adding it to the writing process
- Throw off your pacing (story flow)
Even if you don’t use every one of these 10 speed tips for content writing, adapt as many as you can. Writing marketing content efficiently and quickly is mostly a matter of habit and practice. And the best part is… anyone can do it! Try it and see!