May 5, 2012

How to Write Good Content

Writing is enjoyable when we’re inspired and motivated. It can also be a chore if we’re out of fresh ideas.

I believe the love/hate relationship with writing exists because writing requires both inspiration and perspiration. I’ve found that it’s important to have a balance of both in order to create compelling content on a consistent basis.

Here are a few tips to help with the writing process.

Inspiration

This is the free-flowing gathering of ideas and content.

  • Buy some notebooks. Keep a notebook by your bed, in your car, and on your desk and write down every single topic idea that comes to your head.
  • Brainstorm with a team.  A team can help generate ideas you may have never thought of on your own. They can also help in deciding if your current ideas are blog-worthy.
  • Read and research. Google your industry, see what’s trending on Twitter, and check out the buzz on LinkedIn groups.
  • Step away.  Sometimes we get our best ideas when we’ve had a chance to refresh and reboot.
  • Search past content. Browse through old emails and blog comments and see if you can find some things that spark your interest.

Perspiration

This is the process of organizing, developing, editing and publishing.

  1. Organize a calendar of dates and topics. Feel free to change these topics, but do use them as a way to hold yourself accountable for regular content.
  2. Flesh out an idea. Choose a topic and create a few bullet points of what you want to say about it.
  3. Write a rough draft. Just hash it out on paper, and then step away for a while.
  4. Edit. Come back and edit the draft. Once you think you have solid copy, try reading it aloud.
  5. Search for supporting content. Decide what pictures, links, and videos will enhance the piece.
  6. Publish and promote. Load the content, preview, and publish! Remember to promote on social media channels, email, groups, and any other place you find the content relevant.

Putting these practices into place will help in developing content on a consistent basis, in managing your ideas, and in maintaining a steady flow.

What techniques do you have to help develop your writing?

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2 comments on “How to Write Good Content”

  1. As far as the writing process goes, stepping away is so important. I call it "stewing." I know it isn't a very elegant expression, but when I leave ideas sit for awhile, they come out tastier! For many businesses, I think that social media is easy to push aside. It sounds counter-intuitive, but creating and sticking to deadlines will help you focus.

    1. Hey Anne,

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Carrie Wilkerson calls it 'marinating.' It's so important especially for those of us who seem to have boundless ideas!

      SO TRUE - Social media is an afterthought. It needs to be a forerunner; an integrated piece.

      Rachel

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