Writing when you are not a writer
What readers don't realize is that when we write we are doing more than just writing. We are telling a story about a subject that we hold dear to our heart. The story that we are telling has a deep meaning to us that can be informative, educational, and sometimes even therapeutic. Sometimes when I write a story it is written for no one other than myself but more often it is for the audience to educate and inform. Today is one of those informing times where we look at the English teacher version of an article having a beginning, middle, and end.
When we talk stories the first thing that comes to my mind is either a book or a short story. This is related to the short story series but could also apply to a book if you have that kind of time. When writing your story, you do need to decide on how long you are going to make it. When I write I will do one of two types of stories. One where I look at the clock and see that it's 4:03 am and set a time of 20 minutes, done, and then edit. The other is where I give myself a range of 800-1,000 words, done, and then edit. Most blog articles I do the time. When doing a case study or something that requires research I typically find myself doing the number of words which will be between 3,000-4,000 words.
Once I determine how I am going to write the next is deciding who my audience is. Am I going to be speaking to the business owner, digital marketer, search engine specialist, general audience, etc? Knowing your audience helps determine what your story will be about.
Your title of your article defines the article you are writing. For this 30-day series challenge, it's been easy as I have been given over sixty subjects that are randomly chosen for me. Normally, it is not that easy to decide on a title. For each article, I will typically have a dozen titles from bad to great. The ones that fall toward the great side stay around for a later blog article. You want people to want to read based on the title.
With anything in life, you want to practice your writing. You want to find a style that not only works for you but your audience. You could be a grammar Nazi and not release until it is absolutely perfect. You could go the other extreme and write with no proofreading and release. In the middle is where I know I fall where I write, proofread once, and release. For our audience, this seems to be the right balance. You keep your authenticity where it doesn't feel it's been edited to death, most of the grammar errors (not all) are fixed, and we gain business from our articles. Yes, revenue is a core focus of what we do as we are in business to make money. Yes, my writing is educational and informative but when push comes to shove I look for a one out of every thousand readers to become a customer.
Part of any writing is you need to keep your audience captured. Avoid sounding perfect, like a robot, or something you are not. Be who you are and let your personality come out of what you write. Your audience will appreciate the authenticity as well as read toward the end of the article.
Consistency is a key to your becoming a better writer. All too often we see someone write, promise to push out a blog a month, and then nothing. Boring! You just lost your audience. Another is you state you are the expert in your field (awesome!) but all you do is share what others write (expert? Really? Come on now! Write!!!). All too often people don't stick to what they are or they don't cover their niche as they are more smoke and mirrors that fact.
Use the tools that are available to help you out. For the past five years as I have written over 300 articles I have used a program called Grammarly to help fix some of the areas I have forgotten since Bailly Elementary School in Chesterton Indiana. You can get it yourself and use the free version at https://www.grammarly.com/.
Speaking of being an expert make certain to stay consistent with your message. If you want to be the "go to person" in your industry always make yourself available to help. That can be in writing or in person. When someone wants something for nothing (don't we all) we don't truly give that person all the details. We listen to their pain points, then write an article so that others can benefit as well. I mean if we have to do it for "free" then shouldn't we help as many people as we can? That's my thought process.
I have said it throughout this article that your personality needs to come through. That's is a key part of writing and especially if you are not a writer (like me). You need to be consistent, fun, spark interest, and definitely have a catchy title. The last item I can say is if you write you should encourage people to become better than what they were when they started reading your article. We are all here on this planet for a short period of time and making ourselves better is the magical key to making the world a better place.
Oh, and the last was stick to the length you want your article to be. My target when I started was between 800-1,000 words for this article. Before this paragraph, I was at 930 words and now just slightly closer to that 1,000-word mark. Target met. :) Get out there and be the best writer you can be whether you are a writer or not!