eCommerce Insiders

3 Steps to Writing Great Content – Even if You’re Not a Writer

The time has finally come. It’s time to create some content for your company’s website.

You sit down at your computer, bang your head against the keyboard, pour a steaming cup of coffee, and meander to the fridge a time or two for good measure.

Despite the constant activity, words have yet to appear on screen. Your mind might feel like the colorful, ever-spinning Mac wheel…turning over and over desperately trying to process information. Yet… nothing.

Finally, you roll away from your desk with a mighty push.

You may feel unqualified to write marketing copy for your business. But, let me assure you-yes you!-can craft quality marketing pieces! Here are three steps to get you started.

1. Read – voraciously:

The primary way to develop your marketing chops is to read, read, read. From books to the blogs, there is no end to quality marketing resources – make use of them!

As you begin, spend twice as much time reading as you do creating.

The resources listed below are your ticket on the “marketing guru express”.

  • Seth Godin – Both his blog and books are excellent! Begin with his books All Marketers Tell Stories, Permission Marketing, and Purple Cow . His blog posts are short, so go ahead and subscribe to those as well, and read his old posts. You will not regret any time you spend reading content from Seth Godin.
  • The Boron Letters– These letters are a compilation of marketing brilliance passed down from marketing guru Gary Halbart to his son Bond. While Halbart specifically addresses the marketing medium of the day – direct mail – his golden principles still apply to today’s inbound marketing system. Pour over all 25 letters and revel in the marketing gold. Print them, write on them, and memorize them as your standard for content creation.
  • Kopywriting KourseFound on YouTube, this course takes you from the basics of “Advice for newbies” to covering how to craft excellent copy in various formats, this course is a must for all writers.
  • Blogs – there are a plethora of excellent blogs on the market, covering everything from basic writing skills, to SEO, Marketing Copy, and developing a content strategy. Must-follow blogs include:
    • Jeff Goins, Writer– A writer with a passion for helping other authors succeed, Jeff Goins offers practical, down to earth advice for writers of all stages.
    • CopyBlogger – With a focus on crafting business content, CopyBlogger offers a wellspring of advice in the form of blog posts and ebooks.
    • QuickSprout – Filled with marketing tidbits from Neil Patel’s personal success, QuickSprout covers topics from content creation to social media marketing.

2. Just start.

Don’t wait for the mythical moment you “feel like a writer.” As a professional writer, I can assure you, that moment will never come.

Inspiration will only come as you sit down to your keyboard and type away. Even if the copy doesn’t feel inspired at the time, that’s ok. That’s what edits and revisions are for! The best content comes after many, many revisions.

Begin by crafting an outline. Think of what you want to say, then craft 3-4 main points for your copy.

Set a timer. Give your writing your full attention for 45 minutes, write your heart out, then stop. Writing is best done in uninterrupted blocks. Pour a cup of joe from your French Press, set your phone ringer to silent, turn up that easy listening station, and write.

One more thing to know about this process – as you write turn off your internal editor. Don’t stop to check for grammatical or spelling errors. Do NOT pause to be sure “everything makes sense”. Even if you think the entire thing is as appealing as the chicken carcass discarded from last night’s dinner, do not review or edit while you write.

Allow yourself to get into “writing flow” and just write. Once you’ve finished your writing session, edit to your heart’s content. But, nothing kills writing productivity like your inner editor.

3. Ask for help.

No matter how much you enjoy the process of writing, there will come a time when you’re stuck, you run out of ideas, or, you’re burnt out and all everything you create is pure swill.

This is the time, to quote John Lennon, to “get by with a little help from your friends.”

  • Ask friends and colleagues for fresh ideas
  • Offer to trade product reviews with another company
  • Find a professional copywriter
  • Seek a guest blogger/ask employees to contribute

Often, seeking someone else to proof and review your work can revitalize your writing. A great copy editor is indispensable. They will not only let grammatical errors slip through the cracks, but they will also take your writing from decent to delightful.

Even professional writers use editors, and their masterpieces are chopped many, many times before they go to print. There is no shame in having “extra eyes” on your work!

You can’t expect to become a content cranking machine overnight. But, with a bit of research, bottomless refills at your regular coffee shop, and good ‘ole fashioned “elbow grease” you can develop a knack for crafting copy that packs a punch.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to crafting quality copy? Share below!

About Rachel Novotny (11 Posts)

I’m a Paleo foodie, coffee connoisseur, and writer who is passionate about helping people achieve their potential. I divide my time between crafting written word, making memories with friends, adventuring with my husband Dave, pretending I know what I’m doing in yoga class, and exploring San Antonio with my Husky mix, Jackie. Follow me on Linkedin or Twitter!

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