Let’s Write! Tips To Help Get You Started When Writing Copy
Since I posted the content creation guidelines and the recent podcast about the importance of creating good copy, I have been thinking about other ways to help people with copy creation. The fact is that writing is a difficult process, especially when you have to create all new content totally from scratch. There is no doubt that there will be times when you hit a wall, and cant get over the writers block. So I came up with a few tips for getting started on writing content.
1. Outline – This is a great way to start gathering your thoughts. It makes writing way easier to start with a few general points you want to make, and then expand from there. You don’t need a full outline, but some headers and bullet points will be enough to organize your thoughts.
2. Free Writing – Just go at it. More often than not, you’ll get in the zone and end up with something workable or even really good. Personally, this is my main go to. I often end up just writing, making a few changes, and eventually finding a flow. You’d be surprised at how exercising your brain in this way opens up the doors to creativity.
3. Start With What You Know – Start with the easy parts, and work your way to the difficult parts. More often than not, you’ll figure things out as you go, or end up having an idea for one of the more difficult sections. Regardless, making progress and having something on paper takes the pressure off writing the difficult areas.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Throw Out Drafts – Not everything you write is going to be gold. Sometimes you have to throw out something that doesn’t work, and start clean. I often will save some of the better points at the bottom of the new draft, and try to work them in as I go. If they aren’t used, they aren’t used.
5. Edit, Edit, Edit – Writing is a process, and part of this process is making changes. Don’t be afraid to edit drafts or change ideas and direction. Most of the time, your final product will not be identical to your initial draft (nor should it be).
6. Don’t Be Afraid To Fail – Not everything you write is going to be Shakespearean in quality. Sometimes, you will miss the point and need to go back to the drawing board. This is not the end of the world. We no longer carve things into stone, so you can always rewrite drafts or try again.
7. Get Feedback – Editing is a HUGE part of the writing process and should not be overlooked. Many times people will assume you did a fine job, but its always good to get a second (or third and forth) opinion. You never know what new ideas, improvements, or changes may occur that will really take your copy to the next level.
8. Take Breaks – Get up and walk around. Clear your head. Soemtimes that is all it takes to spark an idea. You don’t need to write the entire thing at once. You can do it in waves, or even leave parts out until you have a better understanding or good idea of what’s needed.
Writing is a difficult thing, but it needs to be done. While each person has their own process, and these techniques might not work for everyone, these are definitely good ideas to get you started. The most important thing you can do is not stress and try your hardest to get your ideas down on paper. That’s one of the good things about writing content for your website: You can always change it!