Writing content

Forgive any grammatical errors in this piece, I’m writing at breakneck speed!

Not really. There are times, though, when I know that I need to get a blog post out, but time is against me. The easy thing to do is not write it, but I know how much my readers enjoy and engage with my content…

But seriously, you won’t enjoy all the benefits of content marketing – higher visibility in search engines, more social traffic, tighter customer relationships, increased conversion potential etc. – unless you are writing regularly.

The trick is to put content together in quick time, without compromising on quality. Is that even possible? Well, over the years we’ve picked up a few tricks of the trade which have helped ensure a quick turnaround on content for our clients. Here they are:

1. Research first, then write

Once you’ve come up with your topic, spend however long you need (not too long, though, right?) researching what you’re going to put into your blog post. This is when you get all your facts and stats and assemble them in an orderly fashion according to your page outline. Don’t worry too much about ensuring everything is neat and tidy when collating your research – as long as you can understand what it means.

Once you’ve got plenty to work with, disconnect from the internet and get down to writing the thing. If you’re missing a stat, don’t worry about it for now, simply make a note and go get it at the end.

2. Leave the editing ’til later

When writing, it often feels natural to adopt a correct-as-you-go policy, but that will only serve to slow you down. Leave the messy first draft of your blog post be, rather than sense checking every sentence. That way you can keep your fingers on the keyboard and away from the distraction that is the mouse (it’s always urging you to click away from the page, isn’t it?).

When it comes to editing, your final draft will, ideally, be read by somebody else – it can be hard to spot our own mistakes. At M2 Bespoke, all our writers are paired with another writer who will edit their work and vice versa.

3. Write your conclusion early

The conclusion is often one of the nicest bits to write – it is the place where you sum up your thoughts in a tidy fashion; where your call to action goes; it also marks the end of the piece. Writing it early can give the rest of the piece a sense of direction by showing it where it needs to end up, i.e. what points you need to cover.

4. Write your introduction last

The introduction, on the other hand, can be a right pain to write. We don’t need to tell you that you need to make the introduction count, as it’s what convinces the reader to read on. As a result, it’s far too easy to ponder over what is essentially 50 or so words for way too long. Instead, leave writing your introduction until last, once the rest of the article has taken shape. That way, you won’t need to imagine how the article is going to look – it’s all there, ready for a powerful introduction.

5. Drop the perfectionism

We’ve written before on how having a perfectionist’s mindset can see content creation to “churn at a snail’s pace” – all it serves to do is hold you up in getting your content out into the world. Sure, it helps to be a stickler for typos, bad grammar and spelling mistakes, but if you’re adamant on making every sentence read like poetry, you’re not going to be able to build up any sort of head of steam with your content. Remember, you’re not writing literature here – your audience are probably skim reading your content, if truth be known.

6. Set imaginary deadlines

Quite often, you won’t have a firm deadline for your content – just to get it done ‘as soon as you can’. This can be dangerous, though, as it immediately sinks to the bottom of the priority list, which often means it never gets written. So, even when there are no strict deadlines to hit, set yourself an imaginary to-be-written-by date, rewarding yourself when you meet it. You’ll be surprised how effective this can be as a motivational device.

Obviously, these tips are all well and good when you have a bit of spare time to create content, and you’re equipped with the skills to write professionally. What happens when time, skills or resources are lacking in your organisation? That’s where a content agency comes into their own. We can not only produce content in quick time, we can also distribute it to the right audience and expand your reach. Get in contact today for more information on how we can help.

Ben Hollom

July 21, 2017