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.
This is where you brainstorm for content ideas and ways on how to bring them into life
This is where you gather all the information and resources about your topic.
This is where you remove unnecessary information and add what is needed more to make the piece a better one.
This is where your edit out technical errors and finalize the copy.
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.
Thank you very much for this post. I have been experimenting with several different writing styles. And I have been enjoying my journey so far. I agree with you that one of the most important things about writing is revising what we wrote. In fact when we finish a piece, there is where the real work begins. At least that’s what Ernest Hemingway said after he wrote “The Old man and the Sea”.
Hi, Ann! Good to hear that you’ve been enjoying your journey. Indeed, finding your own writing style is a process but there are a lot of things to enjoy and learn in the way. I totally agree that the real work begins just when we “finish” a piece. Writers know how hard yet fulfilling the process is. Best of luck in your journey! I’ll be happy to hear from you if ever you have questions or things you wanna talk about.
Your post is very informative. I myself have been writing my own post for awhile now and I have come to find out from my coach that I am actually a pretty good writer. I really had no clue what I was doing at first but after awhile I came into my own style.
You have made some excellent points on the process. Some people when writing don’t realize the whole process that actually goes into it. Brainstorming, Research, Editing, Proofreading, More editing and finally publishing. All are pretty tedious sometimes.
How long was it before you got into your writing groove, when you started, and how long before you came up with the process you have discussed?
Hi Steven! I’m glad this article gave you some value. It’s good to hear that you finally came into your own style. You can stick into it forever, you can tweak in some changes, or you can decide to change paths someday. What’s important is that you are comfortable and your style jives into your personality as a writer. Indeed, writing is pretty tedious. You will learn to embrace the process though as you go along. For me, it took a couple years and a lot of trial and errors before I finally stick into my unique style. The phases in the process I’ve mentioned here is pretty much generic but how I do each of them is a product of the years of experimenting. I wish you the best in your writing journey and just hit me up if you have more questions and writing things you wanna talk about.
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