“2020 will be my best year of content writing . . . ever!”
You know how important it is to produce engaging content. Writing is a powerful medium. Through it you communicate inspirational ideas, thoughts, and emotions. You write to foster a significant impact on the lives of others!
But lately, your writing has fallen flat. You struggle whenever you start new develop content. Your confidence has taken a nose-dive. Maybe you don’t get the engagement you want. Perhaps your metrics aren’t ranking as highly as you would like.
Rather than spend a lot of time in content production, you ask yourself what you could be doing differently. Something needs to change, either in your perspective or actions.
You need a new approach and a roadmap to better writing. As with any journey, the road ahead is full of detours and distractions.
But what if you had a set of guidelines to keep you going in the right direction . . . a plan that assures success every time you write?
The most important step is to give readers the motivation to follow you. Why should your readers trust you, and not the dozens of other writers vying for their attention?
I have nine strategies to share with you. Let’s dive in.
1. Engage readers with the best version of you
The internet is awash with new content posted daily. Writers dazzle readers with crisp ideas, convincing arguments, and recycled content. The missing piece is something that engages. Something that fosters loyalty.
You need a connection at a personal level. Let your personality shine through. Do you bring a smile, or a snort of laughter, when speaking with others? Fold that unique element into your writing.
Are you a Type-A person? Chances are good that your personality permeates your writing. Cut loose that persona and let it infuse your copy. Imagine your written words flowing from your tongue in a conversation. If you envision your writing as merely an academic project, your readers will do the same.
You are now ready to unleash the new you, but how can you keep fresh content in the hopper?
2. Your best post starts with a simple keystroke
Face it, there are days when you don’t want to write. You gaze in terror (or frustration) at your keyboard. Nothing. Your creative well is empty. You need a new routine.
How long does it take to develop a new habit? Current wisdom tells us that you need 21 days. If that is true, where are you in the process? Are you languishing when you should be unstoppable? You can alter your course.
Make writing part of your every-moment routine. Carry a small notebook. Buy one small enough to slip into a pocket or your carry-bag. Don’t trust your memory. Some of the best ideas appear and disappear in moments.
Would you like a sure-fire method to carry yourself through dry times? Every day, without fail, brainstorm, and record at least a dozen fresh ideas. You will approach every writing day full of confidence.
So, you have a brilliant blog ready, but you are hesitant to share it. How can you take your writing journey to the next step?
3. Get over your need for approval
Take a moment and ask yourself — what keeps me from publishing good content? Why does my content sit idle in a draft folder?
Sitting at the computer, or staring at a blank sheet of paper and starting a document is challenging. In fact, some writers never overcome that paralyzing fear and get to a finished document.
If you want to produce abundant and valuable content, you must put aside the things that hold you back. You may have feelings of inadequacy, lack of originality, depth of material. You can, and must conquer each of these feelings, and others that may threaten to derail you.
To write fearlessly, write more! Pay attention to what you write, fine-tune it, and put it out there. With each new piece, you can watch your confidence grow. Publish it and move on.
4. A desire for success is not enough
Your desire to create better content is spot-on! But desire by itself won’t cut it. You must generate content that resonates with and grabs your audience.
Producing great content is hard work. Your goal is to know what topics strike a chord with your unique audience. Let’s look at some ideas to raise the bar.
Develop an intimate knowledge of your readers. Put together a written sketch that defines the vital characteristics of your chosen niche. Describe their age, interests, buying habits, and particular areas of desired growth. Now you know where to direct your writing energy.
Ensure that your writing brings value to your readers. Keep them attached to the page and not skimming. The longer they stay on your page, the greater your ability to influence them.
Present your writers with a clear call to action. If your call is marginal or absent, you have wasted your time. And they have moved on.
You worked hard to truly know your readers. Now you are poised to move them forward with solid action steps.
5. Give readers guidance for their writing journey
There is no cookie-cutter solution to every problem. Your writing and suggestions are only valuable if they clear up confusion and guide readers in a helpful direction.
Convert your knowledge into actionable steps. Look at the big picture of a process and break it down into bite-sized pieces. Define the action steps and determine the best way to present a roadmap to completion.
Be creative. Don’t limit your output to mere text. Can you produce or link to a video, graphic, chart, or meme? You have no limits. Determine the process and transmit it effectively and attractively.
6. Stay in your lane
You haven’t got the time, or depth of knowledge to write about anything and everything. Be wary of a tendency to drift away from your main topic.
Identify the topics that you have mastered. Prove your expertise in those disciplines. They are the focus of your writing. Devote time and dig deep.
As the depth of your knowledge expands, your confidence will grow, and your readers will value your output and advice.
7. Brevity trumps verbosity — Write lean
Can you take self-education and research too far? Perhaps. But the greater danger is information overload. Keep it lean. Learn to craft your words and reduce excess verbiage.
Everything you write matters. Do you want readers to stay with you until the end? Form a quick connection with them and give them a reason to stay on your page.
Every character you drop on the page — words, sentences, and phrases — form an indelible mark. Your first impression dictates your staying power.
Keep your writing tight, pithy, and crisp. Don’t get sloppy with overuse of adverbs, passive voice, and overly-complex sentences.
But writing by yourself can be lonely. Find some company for the journey.
8. Look for venues to prime your own pump.
Use the power of networking to refine and improve your writing. Find an outlet to share and test your ideas.
How can you push yourself to become better? Begin by learning from others. You want a strong relationship with your readers. You know the importance of community. Make it a priority to get close to a group of peers and mentors who can help sharpen your skills.
Why are relationships important? They invite you to step outside of your comfort zone. The feedback of others encourages you to become better. Groups open you up to new ideas and writing styles.
Grab a piece of paper and record the names of your favorite readers. Follow them, connect with them, interact with them. Has someone’s writing inspired or motivated you? Let them know about it. They may return the favor.
As you read, look for characteristics, styles, and patterns that you find attractive. Practice putting these nuances into your writing. Incorporate these techniques into your own personal writing style.
Now, do these things day after day. Make regular practice a part of your writing practice.
9. Develop a comfortable online image
Consistency is the fuel that will keep you on target. Consistency will foster a comfort factor that draws readers in and makes them feel at home with your writing.
Your definition of consistency may include word counts, hours spent writing, or blogs produced each month.
Consistency might refer to the distinct characteristics and style of your writing. What is your signature voice, tone, content, message or platform?
Every writer faces a daily struggle to gut it out and do the work. Don’t let yourself slip! But if (and when) you do, dust yourself off and get back to the job.
Are you ready to put your new strategies to work?
Position yourself to make 2019 a banner year in your niche.
You have a clear course of action, and steps that will amp up your writing. Nothing holds you back from taking your writing to a higher level.
What are you waiting for?
Put these new strategies to work for you. Starting today, expect an impressive year of producing rich content.