You’ve got a list of topics a mile long to blog about.
Every time you go for a walk or take a shower more and more come to mind. You hastily capture these ideas in your notes app, all with the intention of writing a full post later.
You run to your computer, open up a new document and prepare to type. But you’re stuck. All of the words that were flowing before are gone. Each sentence you type feels more forced than the previous one.
No one’s gonna read this, you think. So you stop.
How can you have such a clear picture of what you want to say one moment and be at a loss for words the next?
THE ACADEMIC CURSE
Most business owners I know - like myself - took a roundabout course to working for themselves. High school to college. College to career. Career to burnout. Burnout to entrepreneurship.
Along the way we learned that writing was a powerful way to prove our worth. The more we could use industry speak, the more we fit in. It was better to explain everything about a point so that our readers could fully understand and appreciate our thought process. And you never put anything in writing unless you could be completely sure of the facts supporting it.
Approaching writing this way, we embraced certain truths:
- To write professionally you need to have a proper beginning, middle, and end.
- As a rule of thumb, longer is better.
- The bigger the words, the more intelligent you sound.
The problem with this mindset is that writing for our business requires building connection with our audience. Connections are really hard to make when conversations feel forced. Your written materials - blogs especially - need to be your conversation starters!
5 STEPS TO START WRITING NOW
- DEFINE YOUR BIG IDEA. Before you start drafting, think about what one message, if nothing else, you want your readers to take away.
- TALK IT OUT. Rather than staring down a blank screen, try recording yourself talking about what you want to say or telling someone else and having them write down your main points. This will help you recognize what your more conversational writing voice sounds like.
- ASK WHY THIS MATTERS TO YOUR AUDIENCE. You’ve defined your focus, but you don’t want to come off as preachy. Readers are engaged when they feel the information being shared is directly applicable to their life. Make sure you’re making it easy for them to adopt and apply your knowledge.
- WRITE YOUR SHITTY FIRST DRAFT. Just get it all out.
- EDIT DOWN. As experts we try to cram in as much information as possible. What we don’t realize is that most of the time what we end up writing could be more effectively broken down into 2-3 different messages. Keep your focus on what you identified in Step One, above, and cut the rest. Brevity will always keep people wanting more.