It was a rainy, cold night and the darkness outside seemed ominous, sinister even…so we decided to sit down in our favorite chair and write, and write. After we think we are finished, we ponder our work before us. However most, if not all of us, wonder about the piece of writing that we have typed. We ask ourselves if it’s good enough. Or, perhaps we think there may be more to do before we decide to publish it.
But then reality hits us, we’ve got a deadline! There is no time left for procrastination. We must push the button and send our concerns off into the ether. If we are fortunate we will have another piece of content to write, so we can put the last one out of our mind.
But writing good content starts before we even sit down to type our first letter into the keyboard.
An Organized Mess or a Minimalist Workspace
Although there are many of us who function well with a cluttered desk and books balanced precariously on a shelf above our head. For the rest of us, we prefer organization. We need to make sure our work area is organized and neat, or at least satisfactory, to work in. The key is to maintain a work space that performs well for you.
The next thing to do before we sit down is to get ourselves in a good frame of mind. If we are not able to then our writing and creativity suffers. A big part of being in the right mindset is to have the space we work in the way we want.
So It Begins
Once we are situated it is time to start typing. Our mind is focused and intent. We’ve already had our first cup of coffee. So we let ourselves write. That is the next most important thing, to free our mind as we type. It’s called ‘free writing’ and it can be wonderful if we embrace it fully. We can get in that zone. Our mind takes on a singular focus as we perform our craft. So when we sit down to write, that is exactly what we must do, simply let it flow.
Be Direct, or Not
Some will say that we should always be direct with our titles. I disagree. In certain types of writing styles and reasons, it can be more engaging if leave the writer wondering what the next part will be before they read ahead. On other occasions it makes perfect sense to be very clear and direct with our titles. In technical writing, How-to’s, or sales copy it is important to get straight to the point. Cut out all the fluff. But feel free to use explosive wording, to grab the attention of the reader.
I say, choose titles based upon the situation. Free yourself to use different personas when you write. As long as you can keep the reader interested and focused, and they have a clear understanding, then you did your job well.
Make it Scannable
What does that mean? Studies have found that roughly seventy percent of web readers just scan, with their eyes glancing over the words, as they look for something eye catching. For that reason, it is very important to provide your reader with eye candy. Catchy titles, images, or graphs, can entice the reader to stop and take notice. Use these things wisely and don’t group them all together. Instead, space them out every few inches of content. Allow that the reader may need to reread parts just so they understand it thoroughly.
Know Your Reader
In other words, know your audience, and your market. By knowing your audience you can appropriately choose the right style of writing, as well as the actual topic that you choose. It amounts to a waste of time for both the writer and the reader if they do not understand one another.
So the next time you sit down to write, try these suggestions. Feel free to let us know if they work for you.