Every writer has his/her own content writing process. What works for some writer may not work for the other. However, after interacting with a number of writers over the years, I have realized that good content writers share a similar approach to their writing process which not only makes their process efficient but also improves their output.
Here are 5 simple steps that will help you improve your Content Writing process and create good content.
1. Create an outline
If you have ever looked up ways to improve your writing, then you may have possibly come across this point. Some writers think creating an outline is a waste of time and instead jump directly into the writing process, only to create drafts after drafts and filtering through for hours. While it may look like an extra step, creating an outline is a vital step that not only helps you add structure to your content but also speeds up the overall process of writing.
Creating an outline for the first time does seem like a daunting task but once you make it a regular practice in your content writing process, you will notice the difference that it brings in structure and clarity.
Steps to create an effective outline-
i. Write down all your ideas about the topic and once done, sort them out in a logical format.
ii. Create headings and subheadings to divide content to structure your content.
Once you make a brief outline, start with the research and keep updating your outline. While researching, note down key ideas from each article that you find valuable and save them from reference.
Steps to research effectively-
i. Find existing articles on the topic you’re writing and check what they are missing.
ii. Conduct keyword research and optimize them in your blog post.
iii. Find the key concepts outlined in your competitor’s article and expand those concepts in your article.
3. Let your words flow
Now that you have created an outline and conducted a thorough research on your topic, it’s time to write. Before writing your first draft, understand that your first draft is not meant to be perfect. It is supposed to help you get a proper theme through your outline and research.
Steps to write better drafts-
i. Always write in a distraction free setting. Keep your phone away, use a clean editor, and immerse yourself in writing.
Listen to songs if that helps improve your focus.
ii. Write down all your ideas without worrying about the vocabulary and grammar. Once the first draft is complete, it’s time to have a closer look and edit.
4. Review and perform a rough edit
Once the initial draft is complete, review you article. Check grammar, sentence structure, redundant words, and consistency in the information.
Once the basic editing is done, read the article aloud and check if sounds like you would want it to.
Steps to review effectively-
i. Use an editing look like Grammarly or Hemmingway to edit your article.
ii. Ensure that the tone and voice in your article is consistent with the brand’s tone and voice.
5. Final edit
When you are working on the same topic for too long it becomes very difficult to edit your work objectively. Hence, once the basic review and editing is done, take a break from your article for some hours or days, and then check your article with a fresh perspective.
Taking a break helps you get off from your writing zone and you will be able to read your article like a reader would.
Edit the areas that needs changes.
You can follow this 5-step process in any type of content that you write. Your article may look good in the first draft itself or may need more edits before turning into the final piece, but the process will be similar. First create an outline, then research and note down key points, block off everything and let your words flow, edit mercilessly, and re-read your article after taking a break.