Being a writer is more than just putting words on paper (or screen). Whether you are a food blogger sharing a new recipe you just tried or a lawyer informing readers of the steps to file a personal injury claim, be intentional with the way you deliver information.
What is writing with intention?
Being intentional is writing with a purpose. Make sure you know why you are writing, identify your audience’s reason for reading your content, and decide what you hope to accomplish.
How can I be intentional with my writing?
Why are you writing it?
The first thing you need to do is determine why exactly you’re writing something. What are your goals?
Pro-tip: Write out those goals for quick reference as you write so you can make sure you meet them.
How long do you plan to write? Have you managed your time?
Determine how long you plan to write. Are you only going to write for 30 minutes? Are you going to use all that time to write or do you still need to do research? Have you factored in the time it will take you to do your research?
Pro-tip: Separate your research and writing time. Research can take 20 minutes or it can take two hours. Give yourself enough time to do both so you aren’t rushing through your writing.
Who is your audience?
After determining how long you’ll write, consider your audience. Without considering who you want to read your content, you can’t possibly write with intention.
Figure out your audience(s) and then determine what they want to know. Why are they reading your content? Research some frequently asked questions and write down whatever questions audience members or clients have asked you in the past. Make sure you answer these questions in your content.
Pro-tip: Don’t tailor your audience to your message, e.g., if you are writing to a general audience, don’t use industry jargon and expect your audience to understand it. Ensure your content is accessible.
What is the plan for your content?
Once you consider your audience and write out your goals, create an outline.
Pro-tip: I find that writing the middle of my outline before writing out the beginning or end is easier. Once you plan the body of your content, finding a way to lead into it is much easier.
Does your content flow?
Do your sentences make sense and flow to the next one? Did you organize your content logically? Did you consider word choice? Do your paragraphs make sense?
Pro-tip: Take a break once you finish and come back to check. Make sure your audience will understand what you wrote. Ask yourself if there is another word you can choose, e.g., heart attack instead of myocardial infarction, that will improve clarity for your audience.
Did you meet your goals?
Once you write your content, see whether it meets your goals. Does it? Awesome, go take a break.
Does it not? Go take a break and then come back and revise.
Pro-tip: Check your content against your goals while you’re writing. This way you won’t have to dedicate too much of your time going back to revise.
Ready? Go write! And don’t forget to proofread!
Remember that good writing doesn’t happen overnight. Intentional practice makes perfect.
If you need help with content writing, give us a call: 888-521-3880.