You’re a marketer. You’ve been tasked with writing digital content, whether it’s for a website, a blog post, or even a video script. Leadership has ambitious goals for digital marketing, and they want you to write content with real sizzle. You sit down in front of the computer with similarly ambitious goals — you’re going to write the best digital content ever!
You stare at the blank page. It stares back. Minutes tick along. You finally blink, losing the staring contest, and you’re pretty sure that the blank page has started whispering insults about your parentage.
Well, crap. What now?
1. Get up, walk away from the blank page, and find out who the audience is. Content should always be written for a specific person who has a specific need or problem. If you can’t describe who the reader is, how the reader is feeling, and what the reader’s motivations are, you aren’t ready to write. And, the vast majority of the time, no one tells a writer this critical information. When writing web content, it’s up to you to ask, “Who needs this?” Get as many details about the reader as possible. Job title, age, gender, frustrations, name of first pet — ask for whichever bits of information will give you the insights you require to speak directly to that person. Obviously your hope is that lots of people will read your content and enjoy it, but having a single person in mind can really help with tone, emphasis, and focus.
Great. Now you know the audience. So you sit back down in front of your computer, ready to write the best digital content ever!
The blank page is still there. It seems to have grown larger. It sucks you into the vast, deserted expanse of space where nothing exists other than a black, blinking line. The blinking line hypnotizes you, like a snake lulling a little bird into a helpless stupor.
2. Quick! Throw something at the blank page — and get violent about it. Most likely, someone sent you a message describing your task. Put that message on the blank page. Chances are also good that related information exists (maybe a statistic, a quote from someone, or already-written copy). Put any of that on the page. Did you take notes in a meeting about this project? Drop those in as well. Maybe you have several stray ideas that you like, but you’re uncertain about them. Write them all down.
Now that the page isn’t blank, you’re rolling away. Words upon words are falling out of your fingertips onto the page, and it’s starting to fill up. Eventually, you slow down because the ideas dry up. You have lots of copy written, which is great. However, something doesn’t feel right. This isn’t the best copy ever, not by a long shot. A sickening feeling of dread settles in your stomach.
What do you do with this mess?
3. Put the pieces of miscellaneous copy into a logical order. After a good, satisfying brainstorm, the next step is to organize the ideas you generated. Try to rearrange the elements into an outline that flows in the way the reader would expect it to go. Ask yourself, “what does the reader need first, second, and third?” Ditch anything that ends up not fitting the message or that doesn’t match the reader’s needs. Put similar ideas together, fill in gaps that become obvious, and add transitions to smooth everything out.
You’re done writing. You show it to your boss, who gives you some feedback and asks for changes. You thought you had the best digital content ever, but it obviously isn’t quite there yet. What’s your next move?
4. Don’t stop at just incorporating the boss’s feedback — get as MUCH feedback (and from varied sources) as you can. Feedback is a writer’s best friend. It’s how you can push your writing’s quality beyond the limitations of a single person’s abilities. Of course, not all feedback is created equal, so use good judgment about what suggestions you apply to your copy. Also, at some point, you’ll need to stop asking for more feedback so you can finish the piece and put it in the reader’s hands, of course. (Don’t forget that last polish before publishing.)
The copy is written. HUZZAH! But…is it ready to go on the website? How can you be certain that it’s the best digital content ever?
5. Remember: There is no such thing as the best digital content ever. Writing is subjective. You don’t have to write the best copy ever…because no one can do that. Focus on writing a clear message that meets the reader’s needs. Everything beyond that is merely dressing and decoration.
So, are you ready to click that Publish button?
I believe you are. Go ahead: Share your content with confidence, knowing that you’ve done your utmost for your business and your readers.
BitLoft can also provide assistance with digital content creation. Contact Us to get started.