Tag Archive | "Draft"

12 Methods to Get from Blank Page to First Draft

If you’re like me, after taking some time off from writing, you’re refreshed and champing at the bit to translate…

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3 Resources to Help You Draft Winning Content Ideas

Copyblogger Collection - content ideas to win the day

As writers, we don’t really take breaks.

Even when we aren’t working, the creative lens through which we view the world keeps our minds active with possibilities.

And then you have to ask yourself: Should I be the one to bring a new idea to life?

To help you pursue smart content ideas, this week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that will show you:

  • How to write content that attracts customers and clients
  • How to stand out with content that makes an impact
  • How to hook your audience through the magnetic force of fascination

As you work your way through the material below, think of the following lessons as a mini content creation course.


5 Ways to Get More of the Online Attention You Crave

Flickr Creative Commons image via Kevin Dooley. Image has been cropped.

Flickr Creative Commons image via Kevin Dooley. Image has been cropped.

While getting attention is not the same as getting business, Sonia Simone understands that it’s hard to tell if you’re on the right track if you only get attention and feedback from a small group.

You want a larger group of people to know about what you offer.

Sonia walks you through time-tested tactics that help you get traction and grow your audience in 5 Ways to Get More of the Online Attention You Crave.


Conquer Content Shock with Illegitimate Ideas

conquer-content-shock

Content shock may discourage many content creators. There is so much information online, what will make people slow down and pay attention to your content?

In Conquer Content Shock with Illegitimate Ideas, Demian Farnworth explains:

An illegitimate idea is one that is unnatural — a mongrel. We don’t know its origins. It comes out of left field and is so surprising and disruptive that we halt and pay attention to it.

Check out Demian’s three tips that reveal how to present your own ideas in ways that no one else does.


7 Steps That Will Hook Your Audience through the Magnetic Force of Fascination

fascinating-content

How do you keep readers glued to their screens?

You must make consuming your content an activity that readers are eager to do — rather than an activity they casually put off until a later time.

Follow Andrew McDermott’s 7 Steps That Will Hook Your Audience through the Magnetic Force of Fascination to create content that is emotionally engaging.

Draft winning content ideas

Use this post (and save it for future reference!) to evaluate your content ideas, and proceed with the ones that help you build an audience that builds your business.

We’ll see you back here on Monday with a fresh article to kick off the week!

About the author

Stefanie Flaxman

Stefanie Flaxman is Rainmaker Digital’s Editor-in-Chief.

The post 3 Resources to Help You Draft Winning Content Ideas appeared first on Copyblogger.


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5 1/2 Reasons You Should Kill a Draft Blog Post

Image of a Butcher Knife

“Forget the schedule. This post sucks.”

That’s the refrain I repeat to myself at least once a week. Whether it’s working on a piece for Copyblogger, my own blog, or our Google+ account … something’s not clicking and I need to throw in the towel.

Ever been in that position before? Perhaps you struggle to know which ideas to kill.

If that’s you, then this post should fix that.

1. The idea sounds bad to you days later

We preach the rules of writing first drafts. And there is a reason for number nine: “Once finished with your first draft, leave it alone for days — if not weeks.”

See, a delay between your first draft and your first revision allows you to examine an article with a fresh set of eyes. Even if you walk away from it for only a few hours, you need that break to objectively evaluate your idea.

If it still seems like a good idea, keep it. Bad idea, kill it.

And if a deadline demands you turn around a blog post in a few hours, then get someone else to look at your first draft. And make sure they will be brutally honest with you.

2. It’s likely to create controversy you don’t want

Friend and colleague Beth Hayden has some great advice about writing and publishing content that scares you.

Her argument is that that very fear could be an indication you are on to something. Something big. Something that will resonate with your audience — so much so you just might get the silent majority to come out of their closets to comment.

Do that and you’ve won.

Then again, you might find yourself defending a hill you don’t want to be on.

I’m an advocate of the occasional post that catches hell … but before you publish you need to examine your motives carefully. Consider these questions:

  • Are you absolutely sure that your article is important enough to bother all these people?
  • Are you sure you’ve cooled off long enough?
  • Are you sure you know the full story?
  • Is it possible that you wrote faster than you can think?

3. It looks like something you wrote last year

A daily blogging schedule can take a toll on a blogger. Burnout is not uncommon, but a more mundane result of over-blogging is redundant copy. In other words, you start repeating yourself.

After closer examination those eleven tips look too much like something you published last year … or perhaps you’re telling that marketing disaster story once again.

What you write may not be duplicate content, but it is redundant, and remember, one of the cores behind blog posts that Google loves is fresh and original copy.

3.5 It looks like stolen content

It’s interesting … this business of writing content … since everyone is doing it, it’s hard to come up with totally unique article ideas.

For example, search “content google loves” and you’ll get a lot of look-a-likes.

People aren’t stealing content. In this case, it’s really the second half to point 3: when you can pursue a line of thought (or particular keyword phrase) that has been glutted by others … the similarities in content, sources, and ideas will be close.

Maybe too close.

So, if after closer examination you feel like your article looks something that’s been overdone … kill it.

Besides, to avoid such a fate in the future, dive into some keyword research to get ideas that are ignored … and be the first there (which is what I did with the Art of Writing Great Google+ Posts).

4. It looks shallow

This is not about short posts, necessarily. This is about content without teeth. Without original research. Without seductive metaphors … thoughtful, complex lines of reasoning … and opinions based upon solid, convincing facts.

You won’t find shallow on Blind Five Year Old, Plus Your Business, or Boost Blog Traffic.

Instead, think substantial.

Fortunately shallow posts are salvageable. You might just need to add quotes, scientific findings, and anecdotes.

5. It looks like a lunatic wrote it

Here’s what happens: you’ve wandered away from your original premise … and after repeated revisions the dots simply don’t connect. No matter how hard you try.

Your article is not a conceptual whole, but rather a fragmented body of unrelated concepts. What do you do?

This type of post, too, is salvageable. What you once thought was one post is actually three.

But if that doesn’t work, then save the fragments and use them down the road. They could be perfect for a completely different article.

Your turn

Can you think of any other signs that indicate that you should kill a blog post and move on to another one?

Share it in the comments …

About the author

Demian Farnworth

Demian Farnworth is Chief Copywriter for Copyblogger Media. Follow him on Twitter or Google+.

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