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Articles on Freelance Writing Success
- Bob Bly
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Regardless whether you’re writing to inform, inspire, motivate, or persuade, your profitability ultimately depends on how much you can write in a given amount of time. This is as true for authors writing books, self-employed professionals writing promotional articles, as it is for copywriters and proposal writers.
The following are some of the writing techniques I use to keep my writing productivity at peak efficiency. I’ve found that the below tips are scalable: the process works equally well whether you’re writing an article, writing a book or e-book, preparing newsletter, proposals, or speeches, or—even—planning workshops.
Step 1: Focus on desired change
Start by identifying the desired change that your reader, or your client, wants to take place. The clearer you can state the desired goal, the easier it will be to select a plan and complete your writing project.
In most cases, change involves either helping readers solve a problem or achieve a goal. What is the concern, frustration, or problem that is holding your reader back? What keeps them awake at night? What are the symptoms of the change?
What are the consequences of not addressing the change?
Or, your writing project can help readers achieve a desired goal, which usually involves either “more” or “less” of something—more income, better health, less stress, etc.
In either case, in your introduction, begin by identifying the change that the advice you’re offering will help your readers enjoy. Make it obvious who can benefit from following words. And, briefly describe some of the symptoms that indicate your advice is needed. The more your readers can identify with the change you are going to help them achieve, the more likely they will continue reading.
Step 2: Describe the benefits of change
Next, describe the benefits of taking the step you are advocating, or following the advice that you are providing. Be as specific as possible in your description of how your advice will help your readers solve their problems, or achieve their goals.
Specify the benefits as concretely as possible, describing benefits in terms of:
* Time saved
* Reduced expenses
* Additional revenues
* More clients
* Lost weight
Step 3: Identify the necessary steps
Change seldom occurs all at once. Typically, change takes place step-by-step.
Organizing the main points of your project using a step-by-step approach helps both you and your reader.
Organizing your writing project as a series of steps makes your project easier to write. Breaking your writing project into a series of steps creates a roadmap for you to follow, reducing writing to a series of simple, 2 or 3 paragraph tasks, or chunks. Using numbered steps to organize your project also helps your readers;
the numbered steps guide them through your piece, improving retention of your message and helping them track their progress.
Start by entering each of the steps, in your project as a numbered subhead into your word processing file. Then, “fill in the blanks” between the subheads with the information necessary to explain each of the steps. As you fill in the blanks, write as quickly as you can. The important thing is to get your ideas down as quickly as possible. Later, you can return to your project for review and fine-tuning.
Step 4: Provide a summary
After you’ve explained each of the steps necessary for your readers to achieve the desired change, provide a brief summary, or conclusion, that reminds readers of the relevance of the information you have provided, and the benefits they will enjoy by taking your active.
Provide a call to action if you want your readers to take another step, like visiting your website, taking a quiz, or requesting a free report.
Review and edit
The last step involves putting your project aside, perhaps overnight, and editing it from a fresh perspective the next day.
Beyond the simple spelling errors your word processing software program can help you locate, look for problems like missing words, long, complicated, sentences, long words that can be replaced by short words, or passive verbs constructions. (I.e., replace, “The cat was bitten by the dog,” with “The dog bit the cat,” etc.
Using the above 4-step process, you’ll find it easy to write all types of projects:
articles, books, e-books, newsletters, presentations, speeches, and white papers.
NOTE: Roger C. Parker’s Content Catalyst contains over 400 ideas and examples to jumpstart your next writing project.
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The demand for print and direct mail copywriters is static, to say the least. The real demand right now is for copywriters who have the skills to write effective copy for the web. This is a professional-grade course that will make you a specialist in online copywriting. This is where the future for copywriters lies! More about this online copywriting course...
I was sent a review copy of the entire course and read through it from cover to cover. It is excellent. Perfect for offline copywriters. Also an excellent writer resource for online copywriters who want to write in a way that drives RESULTS. Read my review of Michael Masterson's course
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