Ann Handley recently joined us on a webinar to teach us how to improve our writing.
Why would you want to improve your writing if you’re interested in marketing automation? Why is writing important to marketing? Well, if you think about it, writing is the heart of content marketing. And content is the heart of marketing automation. They two are deeply connected. It’s hard to make marketing automation work without great content.
How do you level up your writing?
There’s no magic to it, no great secret to discover. It’s more like a muscle, it’s something you can work on and develop. You can learn to be a better writer through practice. Embrace some practical tools. Develop, through practice, what good writing is and why it’s important.
My writing pyramid:
- not writing
- the ugly first draft
- screw & do
- first line
What’s not writing? It’s everything you do to get ready for and to perfect your writing. Things like research, and editing. These are, in fact, the most important part of writing – but they don’t look like writing. They look like preparation, research, drawing, thinking, daydreaming, taking a walk. It’s doing anything where such mental work takes place. You want to have a rich font of ideas upon which to draw. This is where being a “scatter-hoarder” is helpful.
A scatter-hoarder is much like a squirrel. Squirrels collect (hoard) food for winter, and then stash it for later. For a writer, the “food for winter” is ideas – we gather ideas for all over, and save them in a bunch of different places. I have a series of tools that I use to help me do this, in three stages:
- Gather: notebook(s), Pocket. (Evernote works, too, if you like it. Find a tool that works for you.)
- Sort: Trello (tracking and organizing the ideas)
- Commit: CoSchedule (commit to an editorial calendar)
Use these tools to find the question that you want to explore, then research the daylights out of it. Find as much information as possible. Start with your favorite search engines. Then add search terms like “research” or “data” to find more hard data if that’s what you’re looking to include. You can also look at tools like Buzzsumo to get an idea of what information is already out there.
To learn more about other tips I discussed, and my other favorite tools, watch the webinar replay!