Kick writer’s block to the curb with these Expert Writing Tips
When I write blog posts, I take weeks from the first draft till I complete it…that is terrible… I needed to find some kind of system and framework that I could quickly fill in to simplify my writing process.
Moreso when I write for myself.
I remember in primary/elementary days we had a guide which showed us how to write essays and orals (mind – mapping, intro, main body broken up into paragraphs and then conclusion etc – I could write stuff so quickly those days).
Now… I have a huge problem getting the stuff out and onto paper and published.
First of all, I obviously lost that page… from primary school lol
Second: Sales and Copywriting and Blogging for conversions or Influencer Marketing purposes is NOT the same as school essays…there has to be some sort of pattern disrupt right, for today’s kinda content creation? The conventional way of writing they taught us back in school is boring…..
So…I asked some of my expert and talented writer, blogger, copywriter, marketer, lead – gen friends to weigh in.
Ashleigh Easthorpe, Content Writer & Virtual Assistant at Ashleigh Easthorpe says:
I find that a system that works for me is first writing down the things l want to say. Aka the message, the tips etc. In a bulleted list. Then l will work on an introduction, supporting paragraphs and a conclusion. If l don’t get those main points out, it takes me much longer to complete a blog post. For example, if I’m doing a ‘Five reasons to…’ post, I start with the five reasons then write the rest.
What I like about this is that Ashleigh says she writes down what she wants to say first, what her message is. She basically starts from the middle then fills it in.
Melissa Javan, Writer & Blogger from Mel’s Postbox says:
I write down my thoughts or idea on my phone. Leave it and later add some when I have time. …the thing that does work for me is setting aside a dedicated day to write and schedule the drafted blog posts I had on my phone (and emailed to me). I have this day or weekend bi-weekly. Then I schedule one or two blog posts a week for two weeks ahead.
This is a great tip I have heard many times before, taking note of those great ideas immediately when they come to you. I use Evernote, but I admittedly need some ideas to organize these notes better. And scheduling time to write is something I need to add in.
Nabeel Azeez , Direct response Copywriter at Nabeel Azeez says:
Hand-copying winning sales letters is my go-to way to practice writing and stay sharp.
This is a good tip. As entrepreneurs, bloggers and content creators with big ideas and projects often forget to sometimes switch off our creator brains and actually consume some good content once in a while for inspiration and learning. If you want to become a great writer, you need to read great writing first!
Dunstan Midlane, Lead Generation Specialist says:
For me it’s brain dump in one fast go. Write the first draft as fast as I can and ignore typos and mistakes. Come back later or the next day and start editing. That’s where the magic happens for me. Sure sometimes you’ll need to fact check… but do that as part of your editing process. Get the post/article out in one go and then tweak it later.
I think it is important to remember that writing is an art, a creative process. It is a skill that needs to be practiced. And it needs to come out unedited in some way first. If you thwart this process, you are holding back on your authentic way of telling a story, your natural voice, which make you different to the next writer. So braindumping is important
Pamela Obasa, Story Seller at Pam Obasa
For sales copy, I start with writing down the actual ‘offer’ first, then bonuses, then headline, pain points then fill in the gaps and make it sexy.
For blog, I give myself a strict 2hr deadline lol. I start with noting down the points a want to share, a draft headline, then I kick off with a Story to tie it all in.
I love the order in which Pam does this! I sometimes start with the headline and I can totally see why it doesn’t make sense to do that! And setting a timer is a winning idea so we can just get that content out there!
Nisa Neethling, Content Creator at Nisa Neethling, says:
I usually write down 1) how audience feels about a problem 2) What can solve the problem 3) what life would be like with the problem solved with number 2. Then a simple mindmap (like in school, handwritten) with what I will say surrounding the 3 points. Then that’s a first draft and I will edit a little later, and that’s when it comes together nicely.
Need to write sales copy? Brainstorming in this way will help you out!
Janet Kozak, Content Strategist at Janet Kozak:
Janet Kozak shared a post of hers that helps with brainstorming content ideas for your business and says that:
The actual writing though? That’s a matter of personal style. However I find that starting with my h2 and h3 headings as a roadmap usually helps. You can also try starting with a personal story as well to draw the reader in. People LOVE stories!
This coincides with Ashleigh’s tips, to start with a bulleted list, your bulleted list can become the titles of your h2 and h3 subheadings.
Luchae Williams says, blogger at My Spreadsheet Brain:
My format is: Think it, blurt it out in a blog post, go back an hour later with fresh eyes and edit it so that the world does not think you’re a psycho. Don’t be afraid to say something exactly how YOU WANT to say it. I find articles and blog posts that are written in a monotonous voice, to be boring. Use YOUR voice!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this tip, “don’t be afraid to say something exactly how you want to say it!
Bianca Johnson, owner at the WAHM Workspace, says:
I use a Trello Board for brain dumping – this is really just for the high level ideas stage. I have clients who speak their blog posts – one while driving, the other on her morning walks – I then transcribe for them. Getting the concepts out there in a casual way (talking), to then tweak them for the written word. It might make it easier to get through what you’re trying to say.
Amber Brookes says, Owner and Copywriter at The Brandividual:
Main thing- blogs/content are credibility and trust building nurture assets. Have them all relate to your offers to hit on pain, pleasure, purpose, and curiosity.
1. Crowdsource topics. Start by creating a master topic list. Watch in FB groups and other social media posts to find out what common questions are you can answer.
2. Start a mind map. For each topic, create a diagram with the topic in the center, 3-5 things related to the topic, and your own spin on it.
3. Establish expertise. Write a statement about your thoughts on each topic. What do you believe? What do you know? What troubles you in the industry/subject area? What trends do you see?
4. Back it up. Grab some interesting and credible facts from reputable sources to back up your claims for each of the 3-5 elements related to the topic. Include in text links. Don’t just weave in other people’s stuff- explain why you included it and what you think about it.
5. Include a call to action at the end. It could be asking for engagement, asking for a share, linking to another resource, offering a service/product. Etc.
Write the first draft ugly- braindump and get all your thoughts down. You can (and should) edit it later for clarity and impact.
Set aside 1 day per week where you focus solely on content. I like Mondays. Write your post(s) for the week. Then, pull out some quotes and facts for social media posts.
If that’s stressful, break it down into 30 minute chunks each day- do the crowdsourcing one day, mind map another, fact sourcing another, drafting another, editing another.
Try changing your environment so you can shift your thoughts- write outside, go somewhere different, have a glass of wine, write on paper first… something that will make you enjoy the process a bit more.
Enough said here! Amber taught me a golden piece of advice here which sparked my idea to compile this post and share these tips with others: Don’t just weave in other people’s stuff – explain why you included it and what you think about it.”
Sohail Chatur, CEO and Founder of Lively Wealth, says:
My approach when copywriting:
1. Create a fact sheet: target market, product, etc
2. Look at the competition: I usually write out some of their copy by hand, look for buzzwords, figure out what they do and don’t focus on
3. Look at reviews of the product or similar products to figure out how the customers think
4. Brainstorm bullets and headlines
5. Start writing
This is interesting, creating a fact sheet and compiling info about competitors and similar products and services before writing copy!
Shahnaaz Patel – Randeree, Owner and Blogger at The Khair Institute says:
I remember a blogger mentioning that you should take 3 days to write. Day 1 – draw a mindmap. Day 2 – write the draft. Day 3 – edit the draft. Your mind sees clearer where you want to go once you sleep on it? No idea why this works!
I am a strong believer in coming back to edit after 24-48 hours. You can look at your content from a fresh angle and spot some possible mistakes too