Make an Outline
I know, I know! If you don’t have time to write the content itself, why would you waste time also writing out an outline? It seems counter-intuitive, but trust me – making an outline will actually help you to get content written in less time than just attacking it all at once. By spending just a little bit of time brainstorming about what you want to say and organizing those thoughts, you can save yourself tons of time (and frustration) later on.
Once I have an outline done, I find that it’s most efficient to step away from it and do something else for a few hours or even days before coming back to write the content itself. The reason this works is because your brain will remember much of the outline that you’ve made and work through the information as you do other tasks, essentially writing the content for you subconsciously. Then, when you sit down to do your writing, you’ll be surprised to see how quickly it comes because you’ve essentially already written it in your head and you just need to put fingers to keyboard now to get it finished.
Stop Where It’s Inconvenient
When you’re writing, getting to the end of each section feels like an accomplishment, but then starting the next one can feel like a terrifying leap into something new. Sometimes I’ll find myself stuck at a good stopping point just dreading jumping into the next section as if I’m about to attempt a record-setting cliff dive. To combat this, I try to stop at a place that’s inconvenient. That’s right – I stop someplace where you don’t want to stop. If I leave an article mid-paragraph I don’t get the satisfaction of finishing, which entices me to want to go back and complete that part. Then, when I’m in there finishing off the part that I left abruptly, I find that it’s easy to get started on the next section as well because I’ve warmed up my writing brain. So, by pausing where I don’t want to, I make coming back to write some more a reward instead of a stress trigger. (Of course, simply sitting down to do an entire piece at once is the most ideal way to write, but who has time for that?)
If I don’t just charge ahead writing quickly I can get caught up in all the little nuances that don’t really matter anyway. For this reason, I try to write as quickly as possible to get everything down that I’m thinking and then go back later and edit it so it’s more polished. This isn’t to say that you should be sloppy and write poorly, but it’s a great time-saver to just write whatever you need written with pace instead of stopping to critique and analyze everything as you go. You’ll find that you save not only time with this trick, but also some of your sanity.
Once you have an initial draft, the odious task of editing it is up next. Most people don’t really like editing their own work because they have a hard time parting with the words that they spent so much time and energy creating. For this reason, it’s great to have a peer edit your work for you. They’re not as attached to what’s already been written, and they can pose the type of questions and suggestions that only someone who’s a little bit removed from the piece can. Finding a peer that you can trust and whose style you like is valuable resource because you can edit each other’s work and give good feedback.
If you still don’t have the time to write your own content (or just don’t like doing it), give us a call! We’d be happy to discuss your content needs and put together a custom quote for you at an affordable price. We can do ongoing copywriting or ad hoc projects to suit your needs. If writing isn’t your thing, use an experienced copywriter like the LionShark team to have compelling, professional copy written for your business.
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Business Blogging and Web Copywriting. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and son and enjoys cooking, watching sports, and spending time together as a family. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about current marketing trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!