Content lessons from 4,700 articles, 24 years of journalism

The type of blog posts, whitepapers and articles that attract and engage the company's potential customers are often the result of a process.

Certainly there is a level of creativity in everything written. But for content marketing, that creativity is often similar to the work of a builder who carefully frames and finishes a house – one step at a time.

Generally, the action is to write a blog post or article something like this:

  • Brainstorm topics,
  • Do some research,
  • Find an interesting angle,
  • Write a draft,
  • Rewrite the draft,
  • Edit,
  • Publish.

Each author will go through these phases in a more or less systematic way. This process or workflow varies not only from author to author, but also from article to article. Sometimes extensive research is needed. At other times, it is necessary to rewrite and edit over some revisions.

While much can be said about the writing process, in this post I will share five tips from my own experience as a writer. I have developed these tips (or habits or trends) from more than 24 years of journalism and (as of February 2020) more than 4,700 published articles that have been published.

Maybe at least one of these will help you.

1. Listen and read more

Listening and reading are the first scriptures. These are behaviors that help you identify topics and angles.

Your listening and reading may take some form. For example, you might listen to podcasts, audiobooks, or even conversations in a meeting you've been to. You can read books, articles in magazines or tutorials.

Each of these sources contributes to your knowledge and can help generate ideas for your next article.

As an example, I wrote an article in January 2020 that was the direct result of a conversation. The article was about the essential tasks of a new marketing manager.

A woman raised the issue in casual conversation. Her company had recently hired a new marketing manager and she wondered why he didn't buy more advertising. The company wanted sales growth, but instead of investing in pay-per-click ads, the guy asked a lot of questions.

Listening and participating in the conversation helped me realize that many smart business people, like my female friend, do not always understand the marketing process or its tasks.

2. Talk to yourself

Recently, I "wrote" the beginning of an article about first-party logistics while I was driving.

I had chosen the subject. I had exchanged emails with a couple of sources. I had a pretty good idea of ​​what I wanted to write. But just as I started the composition, I left with a client.

I had about a 40-minute drive, so I talked my article. I had run through the paragraph a few times when I came to a stop light and quickly recorded it on my mobile phone.

Recording a piece or two is not the only time I talk or talk. I often read aloud, to myself, what I write.

Reading a draft aloud helps me capture grammar and word choice. And it also helps me to communicate the ideas.

Try reading your next article as an actor can read a script. How do the words sound? How is the subject conveyed?

3. Ruminate

There is a memorable scene in the movie "Ford v Ferrari" from 2019. The scene begins about eight minutes into the movie when the characters are introduced.

Tracy Letts plays Henry Ford II in the film

Tracy Letts plays Henry Ford II in the movie "Ford v Ferrari."

Actor Tracy Letts, who plays Henry Ford II, takes a leading position across the Ford production line and orders production stopped. The machines swirl to silence.

"Here it?" Let 's Henry Ford II say. "It's the sound of the Ford Motor Company without operation."

In 1899, my grandfather, Henry 'By God' Ford, left home from Edison Illumination after working a double shift. He was rumored. That morning he himself had an idea that changed the world. "

In the film, Ford continues to exhort his workers and set the theatrical scene for the story ahead. When I looked at it, I was touched by the word "ruminant." It is the idea to think deeply about something. And that's what I'm trying to do for my writing and my other work.

For example, I voted for these five tips while shopping at Albertsons, a local grocery store. To the occasional onlooker, I walked the hallways and bought bottled water, vegetables and a couple of Amy's frozen meals. But inside, I was thinking about what allows me to write.

Try Russian for your articles.

4. When in doubt, write

Don't wait forever. Thinking deeply about your topic is important, but it must come to an end. At some point you have to start writing.

There have been many times when I'm stuck – not sure how to pick up a topic. The solution evolved when I started writing.

For me, that means opening a new Google Doc, giving the article a working title, and starting writing. Sometimes I end up with something different than I first imagined. But it was the act of writing, forcing my fingers to hit the keys, which helped me gain the necessary momentum.

5. Go ahead

My fifth and final tip is to move on. Just let go.

Writing an audit or two for each of your content marketing articles is a good practice. But perfection, in my experience, is unattainable. So I often force myself to stop rewriting and move on.

Moving on can give a feeling of completion. It allows you to create more content overall.

Source link

Leave a Comment