Writing Tips for Beginners

09 Jul 2018

I have helped over 250 businesses to develop their websites and there are maybe only 1 or 2 who have committed to blog writing in a serious manner and on a regular basis.

The main reason for those who fail to write content on their website is purely down to reticence. "It takes too long for me to write content", "I'm too busy", "I've got customers to serve". All valid responses and at the end of the day business owners need to do what they do best which is to service their customers and deliver products.

However, having recently written and published a book, whilst keeping my own business going and raising a young baby, I had to find a means of getting my 50,000 or so words down on paper in the most efficient manner possible.

The Evolution of my #1 Writing Tip

The tip is simple; dictate your content.

I don't know many people who can type as fast (or faster) than they speak, and I've found when typing content its structure is different to when you dictate content as well. Therefore to get the most authentic content dictate it.

Interview Yourself

Prepare what you want to say ahead of your recording. Mentally make a note of your main topic, and prepare several questions to ask yourself whilst you are speaking. This helps to keep the content fresh and flowing.

The Numbers

The numbers are also simple. Most people talk at around about 90-100 words per minute, therefore 1 minute of dictation equates to approx 100 words of content. If your average blog post is 400-500 words then you need to dictate 4-5 minutes of material. I try to prepare one question per minute or two of talking time, beyond this most people start to waffle.

Practice

It took me a dozen or so attempts to get confident dictating my content so that it sounded natural, without hesitation and void of waffle. So, don't be too hard on yourself if you find the first few recordings hard. It gets easier very quickly.

Transcribing Your Content

There are two options here:

  1. Pay someone to transcribe your content and edit it for you. There are some fantastic outsourced editors out there whose charges vary. Try out a few, and choose the most reliable source. If you are creating a lot of content, then it won't hurt to have several editors to hand.
  2. Transcribe the content yourself. There are several advantages to this over paying someone else. I find that it kills two birds with one stone because you can transcribe and post-edit at the same time. Which saves a task of editing once your copy is returned to you. Primarily though, you should know your content better than anyone, so you will have a deeper understanding of the message you are trying to convey.

Find Simple Images

Get a subscription to iStockPhoto or DepositPhotos and always try to publish an image alongside your content.

The Video Content Ecosystem

Better still, start the process by videoing your content. That way you have another piece of media to publish alongside your blog post. You can transcribe it in a similar fashion, and also use the content to publish Slidedecks, Podcasts, Blogs, Books and Social Media Posts.

Robin Waite is the author of #1 best seller Online Business Startup. He is the co-founder of a leading digital agency in the UK specialising in Business, Online and Social Strategy for established SMEs turning over £500k+ and is a regular speaker at events locally and nationally. See also: @RobinMWaite and https://robinwaite.com and Robin Waite's author page on Amazon.

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