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10 Professional Content-Writing Secrets

The Biggest Secrets for Writing Content - kitchen table ceos - by tracy smith - blog post

February 1, 2021

What if I shared secrets with you that could make writing content for your business way easier?

Would you be down for that?

What if I told you that I could make content creation less stressful (no hair pulling) and something that you could actually finish for periods of time and actually have a break from the onslaught of new content coming from all directions?

Well, I can.

Let me provide you with 10 Professional Secrets for making content writing easier, more manageable and a final copy that you’re proud of.

I’ve been writing for quite a long time. For myself, non-profits, big corporations, magazines, and small businesses, just like you. And along the way, I have picked up a lot of tips, tricks and methods to make things SO MUCH easier.

I want to share a few secrets to writing content with you.

Would that be okay?

As a professional writer and content creator, I hear from my clients all the time that:

  • they just don’t know where to start when it comes to writing content
  • when they do start, they get sidetracked by a billion other things
  • they complete a draft of something and then become like a deer in headlights, paralyzed and unable to hit the ‘publish/send/post’ button because the pursuit of perfection begins to creep in.

I’ve got you covered. It wasn’t too long ago that I myself had to get over a huge confidence hurdle when it came to writing.

The Hurdle I Overcame:

I didn’t feel comfortable calling myself a professional writer or content expert because I didn’t have a degree in journalism or English. Even though I had published 50 magazine and newspaper articles across the country and spent 15 years honing my skills, I still had that nagging voice in the back of my head trying to keep me down and not believing in myself. 

So whether it’s social content, your about me page, your email sequence, or website content, let’s stick our chests out, put our shoulders back, show our confidence in our abilities and learn from my 10 professional secrets for making content writing easier, more manageable and a final copy that you’re proud of.

10 Professional Content-Writing Secrets

1. Practice

For some reason, people approach writing like they should sit down with a pen and piece of paper and just know how to automatically and naturally know how to write anything and everything?

What? Why would we think that?

Would you sit down to an instrument you have never played and just expect to know all the parts, notes, positions, and magically create dreamy music after a few buttons or keypresses?  Remind yourself of this. Practice is what makes us better at almost everything. Cut yourself some slack and put in a bit more time, learn a little bit more, and practice writing like you would anything else in your life.

2. Set aside time and quiet

I think most people find it hard to write new things in a busy, loud, and fast-paced environment. And I know, a quiet space is sometimes hard to find, but carving out a period of time that you know your workplace or home is quiet and the distractions will be a minimum is a good time to create your content. This way if you get on a roll, you won’t be distracted and can continue to work, and if you run into some writer’s block, you are not in a rush and can take the time needed to do a bit of research or circle back.

Maybe your content creation time is outside of a typical workday … maybe you bring a notebook to your 3-hour hair colouring, or while you’re waiting for your kids to finish sports lessons? Doesn’t really matter where or when, but DO create some quiet time to dig into your content creation.

3. Bring a notebook everywhere

Following up on #2, I like to bring a notebook and pen with me wherever I go so I can write down ideas. Listening to a podcast while driving, I’ll pull over and jot down a few ideas. Start to have an idea (they often come when the pressure is not on) and voila, you can break out your pen and paper. Or your ‘notes’ section on your smartphone.

4. Take a break

When you are sitting down and trying to create content – whether it’s your website wording, your about me page or social content – remember to take breaks. ESPECIALLY if you are getting frustrated or your brain is getting mushy.  Taking a break often allows you the necessary reset to let your juices and ideas begin flowing again and when you sit back down again, you’ll be bursting with ideas.

5. Have a friend editor

It always helps to have a friend or two that you can send items to for an opinion. I remember when I first began writing freelance for a Regional magazine and I would send my draft articles to a couple of my friends (Thanks Jane!) to get their thoughts. I wanted to know it sounded okay and if there was anything missing or if anything sounded weird. Remind your friends that you are looking for constructive feedback, not just a pat on the back, and for them to tell you what they like and any helpful suggestions they may have.

6. Grammarly & Thesaurus

Grammarly is an app that I installed on my laptop and it automatically checks my writing for spelling and grammar on most applications that I use. The reason this app is so extremely helpful is because when you are looking at your own work, sometimes it’s easy to skim over and miss obvious errors. Thesaurus.com is a site I often have open. It helps to further your vocabulary and come up with word alternatives if there are certain words you find yourself using over and over again.

7. 85%, not perfect

My Mantra is: Get to 85% and hit send. If you hold out for perfect or you’re waiting for that feeling of complete confidence to press ‘publish’ DON’T! It will never come. Too often, especially as women, we doubt ourselves, we are scared to put ourselves out there and we seem to wait for some magical checkmark that never appears. Get to 85% and then go for it. This is not an excuse to make errors or be unprofessional, but get what you’re working on to a great spot and then get it done! You can always come back around and fix or tweak something later on.

8. Research

Similar to #1, you shouldn’t expect to automatically know how to write an ‘About Me’ page or ‘Call-to-Action’ statements. How are you supposed to know what ‘sales copy’ is or how exactly to create a blog? You aren’t. So do a little bit of research and learn a bit before you sit down to write Moby Dick. There are so many resources (many free) out there with helpful tips, dos, and don’ts as well as templates to follow so make your life WAY easier and do a bit of pre-work to make your results faster and more effective. To check out all of my freebies, click here.

9. Multiple Drafts

You will NEVER get your final copy on your first go. I remind my kids of this all of the time when they are doing their homework and want to finish their book report on the first attempt.  Write a draft, then take a break. Come back to it and make some edits, change some things, add some missing stuff and take another break (maybe a day or two), and then come back again and see how things read. Once you have it in good shape, send it off to your friend editor for some feedback. Once you hear back, make some final changes, incorporating their suggestions and then you’re likely good to go.  But don’t put the pressure on yourself that you have to paint the Mona Lisa on the first draft. Nobody needs that stress. Writing is a process …. a continuum … not a single dot.

10. Find an example for Inspo

Sometimes creating content can be a lot easier if you have an example to pull inspiration from. Now I’m not talking about copying someone else, but there is nothing wrong with finding an example of the content you are creating online to look at for ideas, topics, and layout options.

When I was creating my website, I scoured websites looking for layouts and pieces that I liked so that I could fit various ones together to make my unique site. Who do you enjoy reading about? What websites do you love visiting? Ask yourself why? You might be surprised by what you discover. Do they share pieces of themself? Are they funny? Is there a lot of colour? Do they provide useful tips? Build in some of what you love and enjoy into your own content.

I hope you will embrace and try out some of these professional secrets to make writing your content easier. If you are looking for more writing tips and tricks, check out my 20+ Awesome Button Prompts or my Sales Copy Cheat Sheet.

And if you are ready to go all-in and get ALL of your content completed and in good copy form, check out my brand new course – Content Unleashed – tailor-made for the female entrepreneur looking to finally learn how to tell her story, sell her products and effortlessly talk about her business in an authentic and captivating way.

From my kitchen table to yours,

Tracy Smith signature - kitchen table ceos

I am a professional copywriter, brand strategist and the Founder of Kitchen Table CEOs. Through tips, writing templates and one-on-one consulting services, I help women entrepreneurs create the content, brand and online presence they need to launch and grow their business. For more information on my services and how to work with me, please click HERE.

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