Believe it or not, the heart of your brand is in your content. The visuals and style may make some points but the best way to make your crowd stay is by offering them something valuable. That value is in the kind and quality of your content. Are you giving them solutions to the problems, advice to make life easier, or answers to their questions? If yes, then you are in the right track.
But how is this possible if writing is something you are not that comfortable doing? What if you are not confident with your writing skills? Well, don't fret because I got you. In this article, we will revisit the basic process of writing in order for you to be guided in your journey to making each piece a winning one.
For sure, there are a lot of how-to's about writing in various books and across the internet. Your teachers may have taught you in school as well. I don't know if you'll agree with me but the variety of ways we have been told and taught is somehow confusing, right? With all of these ways, is there really a single right path to efficient writing? Is there a right way to write? Well, to drop off the bomb, there is none. This is because there are a lot of right ways to deliver the perfect content idea in your mind through words. What's important is that you are comfortable and able to connect with your audience no matter what style you stick into.
Don't worry. I will not tell you how you should write. What I will share with you is how you will write. "Should" is about your unique style but "will" is all about the process of turning a content idea into a winning piece.
The first phase of the writing process is pre-writing. It may sound and seem easy because you are just required to brainstorm and list down content ideas. However, brainstorming is actually harder than it seems especially if you are not familiar with your niche or if your have a lot of ideas fighting their way to be chosen.
The key to successful pre-writing is knowledge. Knowledge about your niche and your audience. Brainstorming will be easier if you make yourself familiar with what is currently on trend within your niche and the concepts related to it. From there, you can think about topics within your niche which can be relevant in terms of time and audience. This means that the topics you have to write about shall be what your audience needs. Same reason why you should also be familiar with the characteristics and demographics of your audience so you can align your content and style to their needs and preferences.
Once you are already decided with the topic to write about, the next thing to do is to do your research about it. This is not just the 5 W's and 1 H way of research but efficient investigation is actually going out of your way to learn everything you can about your chosen topic. It is important because your audience may already know about the basics and what they are looking for is something fresh, something they still do not know about.
In doing so, you have to utilize all ways and platforms available in doing your research. Luckily, the internet is at your disposal but if you think primary and real-life sources are applicable to your content, then go for it. What you just have to consider is the credibility of your sources and quality of information you acquire from your research.
Just write. You see, this imperative is easier said than done. The process of drafting takes a lot of crumpled papers, erasures, and words deleted after being typed. But the thing is, you just have to start. It doesn't have to be perfect (yet). What's important is you fill in the skeleton of your piece.
Speaking of skeleton, you can start by creating an outline based on the information you gathered from your research. Then, fill that outline by writing sentences and paragraphs in your own words. It doesn't matter where you start. You can have ideas about how you will end before you come up with a title or introduction. You just have to make sure that all parts are coherent and are making sense. Once you think you are done with a part, read it and write again. Do this repeatedly until you already completed your outline.
Once you are done with your draft, the next thing to do is to revise it. Not just once, but multiple times. It is called a draft for a reason - it is not yet final. Since your draft is not yet perfect, revising it is more of making room for second chances. This means correcting what is wrong and redoing thing to make it right.
When you revise, you read your draft over and over again to spot unnecessary or redundant information, rearrange paragraph positions, fill in missing information, and clarify unclear parts. You can do additional research if you think you have to. Moreover, you can read your draft aloud to ensure coherence and smooth flow.
Revising may already sound like polishing but the real quality control part in writing is editing and proofreading. Not all writers do these as they are optional for some but to be honest, editing and proofreading are actually critical parts of the whole writing process. Many readers are silent grammar nazis and perfectionists who puts premium not only in the content itself but the way it is written.
Editing and proofreading is all about technical accuracy. This entails completeness of sentences; correct grammar, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation; and appropriate choice of words, referencing, and style formatting. Every piece is a package and the key to making it flawless is by diving into the details.
Now you know already about the basic phases of content writing. Pre-writing, researching, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading are just basics. As I have said, there is no single right way to write. You can add more or skip some but no matter which path you choose to take, the bottom line is just that writing is a process. Five steps may sound so short and easy but I bet all writers will agree that the entire process is hardcore. It takes time, effort, and resources. Writing may be a talent for many but for some, it is a skill developed and improved over time out of dedication and perseverance. Therefore, the key to coming up with valuable content is treating your audience and the process with value as well.