My 3 Secrets For Churning Out Copy Quickly—No Tears
I used to visit the peanut M&M jar about 7 times on the days I had to write blog or email copy for a tech start up (where I was the Director of Marketing). It would take me freakin’ EONS to figure out what to write, what the title and headlines and subheads should be, how many keywords (this was when keyword stuffing was a real thing), and why our audience should care. The M&M’s were a habitual distraction-that I totally deserved because of the pain cave I had put myself into with copy writing.
Do you ever feel that way? Like you just want to bury your task of copywriting under a myriad of other yummier things (like red vines) because it just feels soooo hard? I was so there, it sucked me dry, but I knew there had to be a better way.
So, armed with a journalism background (I wrote for magazines like Outside, Skiing, National Geographic Adventure, Shape, MSNBC, and many more), I landed on a system that allowed me to generate large amounts of meaningful and high-converting content-and quickly.
This system also allowed me to book several back-to-back clients (Twitter, NBC, Olympic Games, MapQuest, several trade organizations, etc) where we created mind-blowing amounts of branded content-like, in the thousands, in a matter of months.
I’m assuming you’re not aiming for thousands of posts this quarter, but if you want to create 1–3 posts or emails per week, here are my 3 secretes to help you churn out copy quickly, without sobbing into your keyboard on a Sunday night.
Secret #1 | Space planning: Batch tasks to stay focused
I cover this topic in our Goal Setting series as well, but the key here is that you need to plan plan plan, and batch tasks in small amounts of time so you’re not overwhelmed by doing all things copywriting for hours on end. To do this, you need to create a content calendar with every moving part (link to downloadable content calendar coming soon), dates, and who’s responsible. Once the spreadsheet is filled out, you need to put your tasks in your calendar, add a date, time and location. Batch the same tasks each week so you’re clear on what you’re doing that day. It will allow you to stay focused without the overwhelm. Here’s an example:
1st Monday of the month, 10:30–11am: Create 4 blog post ideas (1 per week, or more if you’re wanting to put out more content), name end goal of each blog post (how it will help customers)
Tuesdays, 10:30–11am: Brainstorm blog titles (need 10–15 potential titles per post, then choose the one that feels right), research keywords
Wednesdays, 10:30–11am: Create blog outlines with top 3 priorities in each post (which will likely become the headlines)
Thursdays, 10:30–11:30: Write blog post
Fridays, 10:30–11: Upload post, add photo, SEO, etc, add to email provider (I love Flodesk), schedule for Tuesday mid-morning of the following week.
Secret #2 | Finish first: Start with your customer’s transformation
In Secret #1, I mentioned that you need to name the goal of each post. This is CRITICAL. To write content quickly, you want to have a clear goal for every piece of content, and you must help your customer with something tangible that relates to their challenge or their business. For each blog post/email that goes out, ask yourself:
- Who, exactly, am I writing this for and what is their pain point?
- What will my audience get out of this?
- How is their life going to get better?
- How can they use this to save time or money?
- Am I teaching them a new skill quickly?
- Am I inspiring them toward action?
- Are the steps clear and concise?
By stating your goal in your content calendar, and keeping that in mind as you write, you will have know exactly WHY you’re writing this, WHO you’re writing it for, and HOW it will change their lives, all of which will save you mad amounts of time and brain damage.
Secret #3 | Write like you talk
I’ve written about this in our 3 Keys To A Powerful About Us Page, but for your copy to really land with your audience, you have to write like you speak, and you have to speak like they think. Write your blogs and emails like you’re explaining it to a friend on the street, not to some super whiz in your industry. You may think using fancy terms makes you look smart, but the risk is that you’ll confuse your audience. And if you confuse, you lose. So, once you’re done with your copy, do this:
- Read it out loud to BE yourself. Change anything that doesn’t sound like you. Once you have created enough content, you’ll start to recognize patterns in your voice that will distinguish you from others. So, don’t try too hard to sound different. You are unique, and your voice is unique, promise.
- Write it for your mom. If you have endemic jargon, come up with a layperson’s version that your mom would understand. Be clear, be simple. Nobody knows as much as you do about your topic, especially your mom.
- Have a POV. When you’re with good friends, you trust they’ll listen to your point of view. Trust your audience in the same way and don’t be so neutral that they question what you stand for, what you care about, and how you’re going to change their lives for the better. Have a point of view that people can get behind and become advocates for. If you trust them, they’ll trust you.
Originally published at https://www.rawstrategy.net on May 17, 2021.