Whether you’re a freelance writer making pitches for magazine articles, or someone who’s responsible for writing business-specific content at your day job, creating compelling content requires you to move seamlessly from researcher to writer to marketer. Here’s five tips to help you generate, compose and market your final product in a way that !
- DON’T be tempted to sit behind your computer searching for trending ideas that are on their way to becoming tired. DO get out and talk to people! If you’re a freelancer, walk or drive around your area, introduce yourself to business owners – you’ll uncover countless ideas if you let them tell you what makes their product or service unique.
- If you’re responsible for creating content at work – whether it’s a blog or other website content, a newsletter or white paper – the same principle applies. Find out what new projects are being worked on, ask for an interview with the CEO to discuss his/her five-year growth plan (They all have them!) or create a Q&A for the company’s social media followers to participate in. *If you’re responsible for regular postings, make sure to try one of the many applications that allow you automate your online content offerings – work smarter, not harder!
- Once you’ve finalized your idea and outlined the major points to cover, start writing a first draft. All writing, fiction or non-fiction, deserves a first draft. This allows you to get all your thoughts on paper, without that pesky editor sitting on your shoulder, shooting for immediate perfection…immerse yourself in this creative part of the task.
- DON’T just edit for grammar and typos. DO look for holes! Ask yourself: How this article is compelling and not common? Is there a fresher POV that you could employ? Will the work satisfy you, the reader, the person you interviewed and the person who’s paying you to write the piece? I know, that’s a lot of people to please right? This is the time during the process where you have to remember anything worth doing is worth doing well. Find those holes and fill them in thoughtfully.
- Once you’re done, you’ll likely need to tell people why they need to read what you wrote. Don’t leave this part up to someone else. Craft pitches that editors won’t be able to turn down – and just like the article, the pitch has to be compelling. Show them something they haven’t seen before – even if the idea itself isn’t new, your slant on it should be. If you’re in the office, make sure to be on point with all your facts and figures. Work at bringing your creativity inline with your business acumen – you’ll become invaluable!
BONUS TIPS: No matter how good a writer you are, there are two things you MUST be willing to do if you want to be taken seriously…MEET ALL DEADLINES & BE OPEN TO CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM!