Anyone can be a writer! Often, the hardest thing about writing your own content is just getting started. It’s easy to procrastinate by making another cup of coffee, running to the grocery store, or taking the dog out. Some procrastination is okay, but when you sit down at 9 in the morning to write your content and suddenly it’s 5 o’clock and time to cook dinner, you know you have a problem.
If that sounds familiar, these 6 steps for actually writing your own blog content are for you.
What’s the Point?
Your keyword research and social monitoring should already have given you a good idea of want to write about. That’s great news – it means the hardest part of the process is already over.
When I write a blog, the first thing I do is write out 2 or 3 sentences that summarize what the post is going to talk about. These sentences don’t have to be eloquent or even grammatically correct, as long as you can understand them.
Write an Outline
Once you know the point of your blog post, start putting together a rough outline. I write out everything I want to say in bullet points, then organize my bullets under headings.
An outline is a roadmap for your post. Like your summary sentences, it doesn’t have to sound great. No one else ever has to see it! You just have to write it.
Pound Out a First Draft
Once you have an outline, it’s a lot easier to write your first draft. Don’t worry about crafting the World’s Best Blog Post – just get it down and you can fix it up when you edit.
The hardest part about writing your first draft is getting started. I find that the best way to get over that hump is to simply write whatever introduction comes to mind. I don’t care about quality, flow, or grammar. I often completely delete my first paragraph, but at least it got me started. If you’re still having trouble, check out this post on how to create good copy from Copyblogger.
Once you’re done your first draft, then you can walk your dog, go to the gym, or make a snack. Take a step away from your draft before you start editing it. I prefer to come back to my first draft the next day – that way, I can view it with fresh eyes, and my ideas are more refined.
It’s All in the Editing
Edit your first draft mercilessly. Delete anything that seems unnecessary or flowery and get to the point! Always ask yourself “so what?” – it helps you find the sentences that don’t contribute to your post. Get rid of them.
I like to read my posts out loud before I publish them. That way, you can hear where your sentences don’t flow, where you’ve used an inappropriate word, or where your grammar needs to be tightened.
Don’t Edit Solo
Once you’re satisfied with your post, send it off to a friend, family member, or other writing buddy. They’ll spot the mistakes you’ve missed, and they’ll tell you where your argument fails, what’s unnecessary, or what needs expansion. Be open to your editor’s comments! They (usually) know what they’re talking about.
A well-edited post is a publishable post. Once you, your editor, and your client are satisfied, publish away! Don’t forget to promote your new content on your social media channels. If you’re proud of your content, share it!
The trick to writing your own content is to get started. Rip off the band-aid and just start writing. It’s easy to edit and rewrite your thoughts into a more coherent, readable package when you already have the words in front of you.
Good luck, and happy writing!