Content Creation: How the Pros Do It
Creating content is fun and easy — the first time. Let’s face it, you were dying to tell the world about your business. You wrote the daylights out of your first business blog post. That was the first week. Now you just can’t believe how much time and effort it takes to come up with at least 500 words of relevant copy every week.
Multiply your anxiety over your content marketing issues by one hundred and you have some idea what a professional content writer faces every day. There are two main differences, however. Professional writers live to write. It is our primary business and with constant practice, we write fluently, producing content at a much faster rate than the average person running a small business.
The other difference between you and a professional content writer is the approach. This process for tackling a 500 word blog post will make it quick and easy for you, just like a professional.
Brainstorm a topic.
This part can be fun. Once you get going, you’ll be surprised how many good topic ideas you can come up with in an hour. After one brainstorming session, you’ll be ready to write weekly business blogs for a couple months.
Break it down into sections.
You don’t want to set off to write 500 words all in one pass. Instead, break your topic down into sections. If your title suggests a list of some sort, like three tips for better baking, you are halfway there. Ideally, in a 500 word blog you want at least two subheadings. That means two separate sections in the body of your blog.
Say you’re writing a blog about how to plant your Spring garden. Break the how-to down into a couple distinct steps, maybe there are five. List them out for yourself to keep your writing organized. Another tactic for dividing your writing into smaller sections is to list tips, ideas, steps, or mistakes that are related to your topic.
Do the math.
This is one of those unexpected parts of a professional writing process. Yes, we do math, even though we don’t really like it. Start with 500, the number of words you want to have in your blog. Blogs shorter than that do not have good SEO value and may appear to short-change your customers on useful information.
You’re going to use at least 50 words for your introduction and 50 for your conclusion, so subtract those, first. Then, divide the remaining 400 words by the number of sections you defined. If you have three sections, your goal will be to write about 130 words in each section. With five sections, you only need about 80 words per section. (We don’t recommend trying to squeeze in any more than five sections in a 500 word post.)
Build out the list.
Now that you know approximately how many words you need to write in each section, your job is becoming more manageable. Go back to the list of section headings you made, and start writing one of them. All you want to do is describe that point in your list with at least the number of words you determined you need. If you need more words to fully explain your point, keep going, but don’t stop before you hit your word quota for that section.
Add intro and conclusion.
Once all of the sections are written out, you’re almost there. Now you just need to add a paragraph to the beginning of your blog, introducing your list and a concluding paragraph that wraps it all up. Keeping these two paragraphs to about 50 words will increase the readability of your blog.
And you’re done! Be sure to set the draft aside for at least an hour and then come back to proofread it. If you have someone else who can proofread your work before you publish it, that would be better. We tend to gloss over our own writing mistakes because the brain knows what we meant instead of reading the actual words on the screen. Even professional writers use an editor.
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