How does that sound when you say it out loud to yourself? “I am a writer.”
I believe it’s true. If you can type a string of words together then you are a writer. It doesn’t matter what your 6th grade English teacher told you or the class know-it-all. You can write.
Not only can you write, but you have important things to write. You’ve worked hard in your life and the knowledge you’ve gained is valuable. You have a unique insight that no one else has. If you don’t communicate this to your audience, you are doing them a disservice.
Communicating your ideas and insights is key to building trust and authority with your customers. It shows you understand their problem or need and you’re going to take care of them.
Now, you don’t have to write long blog posts. You can create video blogs or podcasts too. However, writing is important in creating webpages, connecting on social, and making sure your website can be found.
Good writing is a learned skill
Writing is not some mystic talent you’re either born with or not. It’s like a muscle and you can learn to develop it. Don’t believe me, than believe the words of Ann Handly who literally wrote the book on it.
” Writing well is part habit, part knowledge of some fundamental rules, and part giving a damn. We are all capable of producing good writing.Ann Handley, Everybody Writes
Everyone has ugly first drafts and grammatical errors. No one produces the perfect piece over and over again. The best taglines and sales pages have hours of work in them.
The first step to creating good content is to have a system and know where to start. You don’t start with the finished draft. You start with your idea! Here’s the process that I follow for writing, which is based on the one Ann Handly talks about in Everybody Writes (which you should have on your bookshelf).
It saves me time by improving my efficiency, but most importantly, it gives me permission to write bad, unfished, vague slop because I have a system to refine it. You are a writer, so implement a system that makes it easier.
9 Steps to Write Great Content.
- Brainstorm. What are all the things you could say about the topic? What are all your ideas and thoughts – either complete or not complete.
- Research. Even though you’re an expert on what you’re writing, having outside opinions to bolster them is important. Researching your topic will not only align you with thought leaders, but it will help you organize all your thoughts.
- Create an Outline. This is the easiest step to skip but the one that will save you the most time and give your piece the most clarity. Take all your ideas and figure out the order to introduce them and what ideas fit together. It can be rough, but having an outline before you write keeps you on track during the process.
- Your Ugly First Draft. Get to writing and don’t look back. This is the biggest lesson I learned from Ann Handly. I’m giving you permission to write something crappy and unfinished because, duh, it’s
a firstdraft. Get your ideas out there. Don’t read it as you go. Just write.
- Do Something Else. You need a fresh brain and fresh eyes to edit what you just wrote, so set it aside. Go for a walk, do some other work, go to sleep. Give your brain a break so you can come back with
- Edit that Thing! Now you are ready to read through and edit. Look for superfluous words or sentences to cut out. Rewrite paragraphs that don’t make sense, re-order the structure. Be ruthless, but not mean. You are a human after all. Look up grammar if you’re unsure or use the Grammarly app. Use a thesaurus to change up words you say too much.
- Give it to Someone Else. Find a buddy who can read your piece with new eyes. Someone you trust to be honest and helpful. It’s even better to have a reciprocal agreement with someone because you’re accountable to each other! Take their edits and opinion and use them as needed.
- Just Ship It. This is a Seth Godin thing. Just get it out there. You’ve taken the steps to write the thing, now send it. That’s why you went through this trouble right.
- Let the World Know. Let people know you created something for them! Shout it out on your social media, send it to your email, send it to your favorite people or the people you tag in the blog. Let the people know!
You Are a Writer
You are. Now go do your thing! You have people waiting to hear from you!
If you’re feeling like you need a little order in your life, or you aren’t sure how to produce all this content and publish at the same time, I can help you! Check out the 3 Month Content Strategy Session for a little more guidance and even more help with your systems from yours truly!