Time is money. The adage is certainly true if you’re spending an insurmountable amount of time and effort writing and revising blog articles.
Don’t stress about perfection when writing blog articles. Instead, focus on getting your message across clearly and succinctly with these four tips.
1. Keep a list of story topics
My story ideas come to mind while I’m driving, in the middle of conversations, as I’m drifting off to sleep, as I’m reading other’s content. When inspiration strikes you, jot your idea on a master list or editorial calendar. Starting an article is easier when you have a list of topics to choose from.
2. Identify your best writing method
Find a writing method that works for you. For many writers, this means:
Research > Outline > Content > Revise
- Research: what do industry leaders have to say on the topic? Research by professional organizations? Government agencies? Do your research and attribute your findings.
- Outline: there are many options for outlines. Basic outlines could include: intro, thesis statement, short supporting paragraphs, and conclusion. Outlining a story around policy debate’s stock issues works for me. Others like to incorporate storytelling into their articles and use: setting, plot, characters, conflict and theme.
- Content: this is where you simply fill in your outline with content including research, supporting quotes, and personal experience and knowledge.
- Revise: grammar and punctuation can affect your message, even how your article is recognized by search engines. Review your article for clarity. Can your points be made more succinctly?
3. Find or Create a Good Writing Environment
Your environment can also play a factor in the speed and quality of your writing. Do you write best in a quiet setting? Do you need music?
No matter the environment, try to eliminate distractions and disruptions – close your door, turn off your cell phone, and close your email and social media accounts.
4. Set a timer
When you set a timer, you are more willing to concentrate fully on the task at hand. Give yourself 10 minutes to outline, and a 20-minute writing deadline to find focused productivity.
Write for 20 minutes. Take a break. Come back to your writing at a predetermined time (schedule it!) and write for another 20 minutes. Repeat as needed.
Want to take the “timer” idea to a new level – try a program like Write or Die, which provides consequences for procrastination and rewards for producing.
5. Outsource editing
If you neglect to edit your own writing or feel you’re not an objective critic, consider outsourcing editing. Who would you trust with the task: a co-worker, family member, or professional copyeditor? The choice is yours. Inevitably, outsourcing editing takes the pressure off and can result in a better message to your readers.
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