How to create effective content

Effective content should be every writer’s aim. Following are some questions, thoughts, and suggestions to make that a reality.

What’s your goal?

What are you trying to accomplish by writing? How will this fit in with your other personal, career, or business goals? You shouldn’t be writing “because everyone else is”. You should be writing because you have something to share—and you feel passionate about it.

What’s in it for the reader?

Why should the reader click on or pick up and read your work? You should be able to answer this question with a single simple statement. It’s like an “elevator speech”—if you can’t tell someone clearly in 30 seconds, you need to work on it, and maybe re-think your goal.

Do your research and homework

What sources are available for background information? What kind of data will you need to support your thesis or story? What kind of experience(s) do you bring to this work?

Develop a detailed outline

What kind of structure will your work take? What would be the best way to communicate your points? Are you thinking of something as short as a blog post? Longer, like an article or paper? Or are you shooting for a book?

Who are you writing for?

There’s a huge difference between speaking to one person and addressing an audience. Writing is no different. Will you write your work by “talking ” to one person, addressing that person as you? Or will you address a larger group (they, them, people)? Will you be talking, as the narrator, using I and me? Or will someone in the work be talking?

Create original content

Create content that you would like to read. That means developing ideas that haven’t been done dozens of times before. Even if you work on an existing theme, put your own spin on it. When it comes to internet searching, original content will often get better reviews and rank higher in search results. And write the first draft without editing. It’s important to get all your thoughts out of your head so you can see an actual first draft. There’ll be time to edit and re-write later on.

Take a break

Put that first draft aside for anywhere from several days to several weeks. Let it rest. And you should rest. Do something other than working on this project.

Next draft

It’s now time to pick up your first draft and read it like an editor or critic—or an actual reader. Start at a high level. Does the work fulfill your original thoughts? Does it flow from beginning to end? What needs to be added? deleted? re-written? Sometimes it’s easier to do this step by printing a copy and using a red pen or pencil. Having two screens works well. In Microsoft Word©, you can use a split screen option. All these are designed to help you add, delete, move, or change the content.

That title

If you haven’t already chosen a title, now’s the time to do so. Remember, either the title or the cover will be the first thing to attract a potential reader—so, it needs to be a great hook. It should draw someone in to your content. That means spending some meaningful time working on this—maybe even bouncing ideas off family, friends, colleagues, coworkers, etc. And a “zinger” is more important than length. Also, don’t forget a goo sub-title, if that’s appropriate.

Time to edit

There’s a saying that “No author should be without an editor”. There are good reasons for that. An experienced independent editor will review your work dispassionately and provide constructive suggestions. These can range from the mechanics (spelling, grammar, etc.) to ideas for improving structure, formatting, and flow.

Time to publish

There are so many questions here. Do you want to want to go with a traditional publisher? Will you need an agent? (Usually, yes.) Do you want to self-publish? Will you print your work? Or, will you publish it electronically (an eBook)? Will you need help or support making all these decisions and implementing them?

Conclusion

Writing can be fun. It can be a useful sideline of a career or business. It can be a full-time profession. If you’re just getting started, it’s important to step out on the right foot. The above ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. Doing lots of personal research and working with experienced professionals can be useful.

Copyright © 2019 by Affordable Editing Services

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