Here’s a little secret – I used to HATE writing.
“What? A copywriter that doesn’t like writing?!”
Yes, boss. I really didn’t like writing at all.
Let’s face it. Writing content is HARD. It’ takes a long time. It’s tedious too. Not to mention writer’s block is a !@#$%.
However, I still decided to learn how to write persuasive copy because I realised its importance in digital marketing. And besides, it pays the bills too.
But since writing takes a long time and is really hard, it would only be logical that I sought for ways to make it easier and faster.
In my search, I’ve found that writing great content fast requires following 4 simple steps.
By following these 4 steps, I’ve consistently managed to write blog posts in 1 hour or less.
Of course, I don’t always achieve such fast completion times. It varies from post to post. Sometimes it still takes quite long.
That said, I’m very sure I would have taken even longer if I didn’t use this method.
Here’s the 4 steps simple I follow for every piece of content I write.
1)Be CLEAR about what you’re going to write
The first step is to be clear about what you want to write about. I often spent too much time writing because I wasn’t exactly clear about what I wanted to write about.
This resulted in endless editing and much frustration. Definitely a few curses here and there too.
You must be clear about what you want to write about.
You need you roughly know the theme of the post, what you want your readers to learn, and how you want to convey your information, etc.
You should outline your post for the intro (usually the first few sentences), then the body (the main point of the post) and then the conclusion (the last few sentence that sums up the post)
2) Write without stopping
Yes, skeptical Bob. Do NOT stop. Just keep writing like a machine (or broken machine). It’s going to look like crap with full of broken sentences and some powerful English that you’ve never seen before.
Use bullets if you want to.
The key is to keep writing. Dump your entire brain out, without putting it back.
Do NOT stop to edit.
The temptation will be there, but do NOT stop to edit. Just keep writing.
If you get stuck (aka writer’s block), here’s what to do.
Imagine you’re sitting at a coffee table with a friend to talk about what you want to write about. How would you tell him about it?
Say everything you want to say into a recorder. Ignore the occasional (or frequent) “um…” or “eh…” when you’re talking. Just talk like you’re talking to a friend at coffee and record it. That’s your first draft right there.
3) Step away from the keyboard for a significant amount of time.
Get a drink. Watch a Youtube video. Rest for a while. This is to allow you to come back to your initial draft with fresh eyes. If you look at a piece of writing too long, your mind will get “stuffy.”
Sorry, I couldn’t find a better way to put it. Basically it means that you won’t see what’s wrong with your content if you edit it immediately.
4) Edit ruthlessly
The prolific author Stephen King said, “Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.”
Freaking wise words.
What he meant was that on your first write up, keep the door closed because it’s going to be messy and ridiculous. But when you rewrite and edit, that’s when you get meticulous and make your writing presentable, hence keep the door open.
This is the hard part. This is the part where I usually go crazy, but it’s absolutely necessary.
Now that you have fresh eyes, edit to make sure grammar is sort out, make sure your sentences flow in a logical manner, and add in stuff to make everything more interesting and enojyable to read.
This is the part where you usually spend the most time on, but this is also where the magic begins.
This is the part where you’ll find new ideas because your eyes are now fresh after you’ve taken a break.
You’ll suddenly see how you can insert new sentences.
You’ll be able to connect the dots a lot easier and everything seems to flow much easier.
I know this sounds quite abstract, but there’s no better way to explain it. There is no step by step system for editing as far as I’m concerned. It’s basically just the part where you put everything together from your previous “notes.”
Note: Avoid perfectionism.
Do not worry about being perfect. There is NO perfect. What might seem perfect to you is not perfect to another person. Writing is subjective.
Now, I’m not saying don’t make it good. Make it good. But once it’s good enough, it’s good enough. If you want to make it perfect, worrying about whether this sentence is better or that word is better or, if you should structure your post this way, you’ll never finish the post.
I’m a diagnosed perfectionist, so I know how it feels to want to get everything spot on.
But after some time I realised that there really is no perfect. “Perfect” is something different every time you look at your article again. So don’t try to achieve perfection because perfection is subjective.
Strive to make the content extremely high quality, and once it’s good, move on.
And that concludes the 4-step method I always use to write my content.
Yes, that’s it. Nothing fancy. I told you it was simple, but don’t be fooled by it’s simplicity. This method is extremely effective.
Using this method might take you more than 1 hour to write a blog post. It might take you less.
But one thing’s for sure – this method will surely help you produce great content faster. And the more you write, the faster you will get.
Give it a try and let me know how it works for you.