Good morning, you epic article writer, you.
That’s right, I’m talking to you. You wield your WordPress editor as a valuable tool. You use it to attract new prospects, to build trust with them — word-by-word — so you can get down to business.
And you do it in your slippers. Because shoes are optional in our world, right?
Your shoes might be fuzzy, but your words need to be consistently remarkable.
Consistently good content creation is the backbone of online business.
But how can you make that happen? Well, one option is to drink lots of coffee and stay up late the night before you publish your post, stifling yawns and squinting to see your screen.
But the better option is to spread the writing and editing process over a few leisurely days, and write your post in stages without ever getting out of your slippers. Sound good?
Quality over quantity
If you believe Jon Morrow (and who doesn’t?), you know that writing one epic post per week is a better long-term strategy than writing mediocre content every day.
That’s what you’re aiming for in your start here: one weekly post that will attract attention, establish your authority, and encourage people to share your information.
And keep in mind, Brian Clark built Copyblogger.com by writing two posts per week in the beginning.
It all starts on morning one.
Morning 1: Start with a mind mapping tool
Slippers on? Favorite beverage at your side? It’s time to begin.
Start by thinking about your topic, and what angle you’ll approach it from. Fire up a mind mapping program — or a piece of paper and your favorite pen — and get ready to start writing.
Your headline is the most important group of words in your post, so spend plenty of time crafting one that will get your post the attention you’re looking for. Put that at the center of your mind map.
Your subheads can branch out from there. Subheads form the backbone of your content: get these right, and everything else will flow.
Your subheads should be informative enough that someone scanning your post will understand the gist of it.
They should be intriguing enough that your scanner is left wanting to dig deeper and learn more.
And that’s enough for day one.
The first step is the most difficult, and you’re off to a good start. Move on to the rest of your day, and prepare for tomorrow — it’s going to be a heavy one.
Morning 2: Time to fill in the details
You might need an extra helping of your favorite beverage for today’s task. You’re going to be fleshing out the details of the outline you created yesterday, and writing the rest of your post.
Still, keep those slippers on. You need to be comfortable so you can get the job done.
The first thing to tackle today is to look over the headline and subheads you wrote yesterday. Do they still make sense? Are they still intriguing? Are you looking forward to filling in what’s missing?
If not, take some time to tweak. Reinforce the basic structure of your post so you’ve got something to hang the rest of your words on.
Once you’re satisfied, it’s time to fill in the details. Ready? Set? Go!
I know what you’re saying right now. “It’s not a race.” Actually at this stage, it is.
The fastest way to get the rest of your post written is to write it as fast as you can. Write your first paragraph. Write the rest of your introduction. Fill in the details under your subheads. Wrap it up at the end, and include some kind of call to action.
As. Fast. As. You. Can.
Why so fast?
Because at this stage, you shouldn’t be sweating every word. You need to register your thoughts, not edit. Editing is for tomorrow.
Finally, before you wrap up working on your post for the day, look for an image. There are lots of resources for finding good images: spend some time finding one that will complement your words and draw attention to your concepts.
Then, walk away. Focus on something else, get a good night’s sleep, and plan to take a last look at your post with fresh eyes in the morning.
Morning 3: Edit, massage and tweak
On day three, you’ll wake up refreshed, slip on your slippers, and pour one more cup of that favorite beverage. Sidle up to your keyboard, and fire up that draft post one more time.
Do a read-through to see how it looks today. Better yet, read it out loud in a monotone voice to be sure it still makes sense and sounds good, even with no inflection.
Edit, re-write and move copy around as needed. Keep reading and tweaking until it’s just right.
Next, spend some time formatting your post for readability. Add bulleted lists where you can. Add excerpts using block quotes. Break up long paragraphs into smaller chunks to make them easier to read on screen.
Before you queue it up for publishing, go down this checklist and make sure you can answer “yes” to everything:
- Does the headline stop them in their tracks?
- Is the image intriguing on its own?
- Do the subheads tell your story all by themselves?
- Have you asked an engaging question at the end to encourage comments and conversation?
- Did you add a call to action for a product, service, or your email list?
Morning 4: Publication and Promotion day
Back in your slippers on morning four, you can enjoy the fruits of your labors. But your work isn’t over, so don’t relax just yet.
Publication day is promotion day. This post you spent three days crafting deserves attention, and it’s your job to ensure it gets it. How can you do that? Try:
- Making yourself available to respond to comments, answer questions and converse with your readers
- Promoting your post across the social media channels you use
- Sharing it on sites like Digg, Reddit and StumbleUpon
Did you write an especially epic post? If so, add this one task:
- Email other blog owners and tell them about it. Ask them to share it with their followers.
It’s not easy to write epic posts week after week, but dividing the work up over several days will make it manageable.
Building time into your schedule to get away from your post will make you a better editor.
And doing it all in your slippers will make you feel like the king of your world.
What’s your writing schedule?
This is one way to write epic posts, but there are many others.
Do you have a favorite technique?
Let’s talk about it in the comments.