The demand for content for any business seems to be increasing every day. Gone are the days when a simple press release or advertorial would suffice to get your message across. To be competitive today it is critical that you are in front of your target audience consistently and often. If it isn’t you that is ‘top of mind’ it will surely be your competitor. The good news is – you don’t have to be a professional writer to produce great content. Nor do you need a team of communicators to get the job done. What you do need is a strategy for how you plan on producing content and the time (and will!) to do it.
Want to improve your business writing? Try these suggestions:
1. Read More – The best way to become a better writer is to become a stellar reader. Read everything you can not only about your industry, but about the world outside your own. Grab magazines, books, digital postings and social media and see what people are saying and how they’re saying it.
2. Make it Personal – When we sit down to write something for a business blog or article, we wonder ‘what do people want to read?’ Since you aren’t a mind reader, you most definitely have an opinion. Or something is on your mind. Perhaps you’ve just overcome a business challenge and want to share the outcome with others. Writing that is ‘real’ and that comes from an authentic place inside you is something that will truly connect with people.
3. Write First, Edit Later – It is tempting to edit as we go along and chance sentences and phrases while trying to bang out a blog post but the very best thing you can do is turn off your internal editor and just write. It’s a first draft so spelling and grammar are not as important as the idea and message. Go back and edit later, but by all means get the ideas down first.
4. Write Anywhere – There are no rules that say you must be sitting at your desktop to write about your big idea. Quite the contrary, in fact. Many people are more motivated when the scenery around them changes. I brings new ideas a life to what they’re writing. So by all means head to the coffee shop or library or sit in the mall food court with a notepad and pen. You’ll be amazed at what new ideas will shine through.
5. Create and Follow a Schedule – This is a good idea for two reasons. First, it helps you to plan out what you want to write about and when the time comes to actually sit down and write, you will already have some ideas and notes to draw on. The second reason to follow a schedule is that once you start producing content, people will begin to expect it. Nothing worse than finding a cool new blog then having it disappear on you. Don’t do that to your readers.
6. Stay healthy – If you take care of your whole self you will net rewards. That means body, mind, and spirit. Perhaps your business activities stimulate your mind but be sure that you are getting plenty of rest, eating properly and keeping your body in shape. Take care of your physical and mental well-being and also take time for reflection. Your ability to write will improve dramatically.
(thanks to Mitch Joel of Twist Image for the inspiration for this post)
Photo courtesy: adamr of freedigitalphotos.net
Marnie Hughes is an SEO copywriter, author and online marketer. She works with small and medium-sized businesses to develop their marketing and communications and expand their customer base.
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