How to unleash your inner content? I was asked to write a piece of content as part of a project for one of our sister companies. Me, a self-described natural wordsmith, responded with an agreement of getting more than one piece of content across in 3 days. I was swamped at work, had a lot of people visiting me here in New York (which is fantastic, don’t get me wrong), and generally had a lot of other stuff going on. But no, writing a 400-word piece of content? Piece of cake.
It’s now day 12. I have roughly six incomplete articles sitting on my desktop staring at me the moment my laptop powers up. This was definitely not going as planned. I have written about everything – my move to the United States, my one year in San Francisco followed by a shift to New York and even about my job. Now it’s not as though none of those stories aren’t interesting enough to write about – I could write up a storm about any of those four; but this just wasn’t working out.
The issue is when I have to write something with a particular objective, I start flailing and spluttering for ideas. So this got me thinking, why not write something about how to write? Marketers, business development teams (that’s what we do, by the way), entrepreneurs and even those unemployed often search deep into their soul to get ideas on what to write about.
Content marketing, social media and blogs offer a peek into the writer’s soul, but how do you provide readers a peek into your business AND make sure everyone’s awake at the end of the sentence? Here’s my take:
Note it Down
When you’re creating content with a specific objective, write down whatever comes to mind – topics, words, sentences – anything that has words in it. Perfectionists like myself will often want Booker Prize content flowing out onto their screen, but no – pen it all down. Random ideas can more often than not be the links between a large piece of content or even a series of content pieces. You never know what you might be missing if you don’t write it down.
Writing in first person can be easier than writing in third person. When creating content, no matter what it’s for, it’s important to create a personal link with the readers. Being yourself and using a conversational style does exactly that. Allowing readers to relate to what you’re writing about will definitely keep them hooked.
Don’t Force It
Now this is completely subjective, but if the literary lightning bolt hasn’t hit, wait for it. Forcing ideas out in the written word goes against the point above – everyone will know that there is a certain amount of genuineness lacking. Taking a break and clearing your head definitely helps – the more you distract yourself, you increase the chance of getting that brilliant literary idea. Look around for inspiration and you will find it.
When you’re writing posts from a professional perspective, it’s important to keep up with what’s happening around you. It’s far easier to write about a topic you’re familiar with it and have a significant amount of knowledge about. Another added bonus is that when you’re writing about an area you know something about, your content comes across more natural, making it far more readable.
Keep it Simple
We all might wish we could write like we memorized the entire Oxford dictionary, and often the Word thesaurus to make ourselves sound smarter, but its perhaps better left simple. Write as you think and it might make it your content a lot more readable and definitely a lot more memorable.
So those are my 5 tips on how to unleash your inner content and create content that is entertaining, useful and hopefully memorable. Hopefully this won’t be my last piece of content and I can soon write about what I do at Fulton Waters and the interesting people I’ve along my journey from India to San Francisco to New York.