January 11, 2017 by greatcontent
Resolutions? We’ve got a few. Why 2017 is the year to do it your way
Add muscle to your content with our writers’ resolutions. It’s cheaper and easier than going to the gym and this work-out will last all year.
Add muscle, get on the treadmill. Gym owners love the start of a new year. All those new members, signing up with the best of intentions. Intentions that last a few months at best. What if you could add muscle to your writing with minimum effort and no subscription? We’d humbly suggest taking a look at our writers’ resolutions for 2017. They’re cheaper and a lot easier than going to the gym.
If you’re not writing, read everything. Yes, everything
There’s no such thing, the gurus tell us, as perfection. Just the road to perfection. That’s why we’re such fans of putting your nose into every piece of writing that you come across. It doesn’t matter if it’s a sports report, that supermarket flyer that’s just come through the door or yet another exhortation to apply for a PPI refund before it’s too late.Every single piece of writing teaches something. If it’s bad, why is it bad? If that account from London Fashion Week is brilliant, witty and clichée free, how has the writer achieved that? If a magazine profile has you cursing, what has its author done to deserve your annoyance?It does no harm to remind yourself – just like rethinking an exercise at the gym – of some of the basics for web writing:
- Bullet points
- Short paragraphs
- Keeping up with the web’s constant evolution
- Yet more bullet points
No piece of writing is an accident. Graham Greene, the celebrated author of ‘Brighton Rock’, wrote 500 words a day. To read his work is to experience a kind of perfection. We can but aspire to that.
Take on the tricky jobs
Too often we do what’s easy. In writing, as in life. And yet it’s the unseen turnings that can bring the finest experiences.When you next look at your greatcontent dashboard, take a moment to consider an unlikely-looking order. Perhaps it’s a topic that you don’t know much about, or maybe the client has written what seems at first glance to be a daunting, over-long brief.Then accept the order. Go on. Push yourself a little. You’d be surprised at the rewards that going off your personal beaten track can bring.
Web writing doesn’t matter? Rubbish!
There’s been a lot around about “fake news” recently. Let’s counter that with accurate, truthful content.The rewards will be there not only in personal satisfaction (and the eternal gratitude of all at greatcontent HQ) but in a top rating from the client – and the potential of group or direct orders.Always look to upping your skill set. If you need to know more about HTML coding, for instance, then take a look at the guidance here on greatcontent, or ask us. We’re here to help, remember. Another easy tip is to keep an online dictionary, thesaurus, punctuation guide or (best of all) all three open as tabs on your browser for quick reference.Accuracy is critical. One mistake with a new client and they might not trust you again.
Stop, have a banana
Confession: there’s a real writer typing away at a laptop to create this blog. And since starting it, this same writer has stopped, poured an espresso and gone and looked out of the window. Indeed, that’s what happened just before this paragraph sprung itself into life.A short break always helps. Perhaps you’re stuck. In which case doing something else can easily free your mind.There’s another break you could be taking. That’s one between finishing the text and hitting the “Preview & submit” button. Get up, walk around, have a glass of water. Then return, re-read and cross-check with the client’s briefing, read your text out loud.Those few minutes may just bring big dividends when you find that mistake you’d overlooked.
Why routine isn’t a boring word
Remember Graham Greene and his 500 words a day? Routine can bring greatness, so here’s a few ideas.First off: if you’re working from home, use a dedicated place for the content writing part of your day. Sit comfortably, too. If your body’s happy, your brain has more room to think. Secondly: plan out the day. When are you going to write? For how long? Use a timer if that helps. If you’re worried about – horror of horrors! – missing a deadline try an online organiser like todoist or Trello to help.Thirdly: put distractions in their place. Social media can eat up valuable minutes. If you have emails to answer/delete/savour then allot specific time to do that, too.And lastly: take a break regularly. Yes, we’ve already said that and we can’t emphasise it enough. A tired mind is a weary mind. This writer’s just stopped to have a sneaky banana, for instance.
Think like a client
Forget you’re a writer for a moment. Now think like a client who’s just placed the order. What do you – the client – want?Easy: great content, quickly and effortlessly delivered with no fuss or bother.And more than that: open and honest communication. Would you trust or take on a writer who is a bit sloppy in their personal message to you? Or one who misses a deadline without explanation?Use every piece of interaction with a client to show just how good you are at what you do. You are your own shop window, so dress that window as well as you can.
Do a bit of spring cleaning
As we’ve just been saying, appearance matters.In this time of renewal, take a long hard look at your profile. Remember it’s the first encounter any client will have with you and the skills they’re paying for. Perhaps it’s time to replace that snap of yourself, or maybe a little rewording is due. A little tinkering can go a long way. If you haven’t written well about yourself, why should clients trust you with their copy?
We’re communicators. So let’s communicate
If you’ve enjoyed writing for a client, why not send a message saying so? Pick yourself out from the crowd and remember to always – always – thank them for the work. Yes, we’re repeating ourselves again. It’s just that so often when a piece of work is finished, we forget that there’s a real person ready to read it.A little love and respect goes a long way. Everybody likes being thanked.
Thank you for reading this. We love you
See? That got your attention. Adding muscle to your writing isn’t hard. Like a good session at the gym, it’s all about adding a little every day. Share your thoughts and resolutions with us below!
Written by greatcontent writer Stephen