For the love of writing; that’s why I do what I do. From copywriting to poetry, words have the vastness to tell immersive stories but yet have the precision to focus on valuable lessons. Some people are great with pictures, others design – words chose me.
While conducting research for a client one day, I stumbled on AskWonder by happenstance. What I found was a treasure-trove of information packaged in an easy to navigate package. It made me reconsider my current process.
So as I began muddling over what tools I use, I decided to list them out. I didn’t even realize it at the time but I only consistently use 5 tools and each fall into one of four stages of writing:
IDEATION | RESEARCH | WRITING | EDITING
(click on stage to jump to section)
Note: this is a guide to writing and getting your words onto the page, not SEO best practices – check out this article for some free, easy tips!
Your Own Head
If you’re itching to write but have no idea what subject, think about the stuff that you gravitate towards. Think about the compelling stories that interest you, the impactful YouTube video you stayed up late watching, or the album that you’ve been listening to on repeat.
You’ll find common threads that can help lead you. Plus, if it’s at the top of mind, it’ll be easier to write about.
PS. I didn’t count this as one of my 5 tools – just stop scrolling Instagram and think.
Answer The Public
How about you have a great idea but have a tough time framing it? Check out Answer the Public to find popular enquiries.
Use these question statements and then think to yourself, “How can I help people find the answer?”
As mentioned, this new addition to my literary arsenal is a data-driven goldmine. Ask Wonder is a research firm that conducts market research for some of the biggest names: KPMG, Anheuser-Busch, Staples, etc.
Ask Wonder’s team creates white papers based on the latest news and academic research. They do all the big picture reporting; if you need to look deeper, they reference throughout.
Being hired guns, they don’t have information on everything but past research seems to be public domain. Simply Google “Ask Wonder [your specific topic]”.
Speaking of Google…
You can’t mention research without mentioning Google. They’re the #1 search engine worldwide but aside from this, you can also see what is trending in the subject at hand.
Sure, it’s skewed to your preferences but the top search results are still popular webpages – read: “include this information”.
There’s no getting around this. Make sure you know your source material and let the words fly.
To write authentically is to write without inhibition. Immerse your would-be readers and worry about the details later.
“I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.”
– George Orwell –
The details I mentioned? Worry about them now.
If you haven’t read “Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell, I suggest you get yourself acquainted with the 20-page essay.
I love Hemingway, Ernest or otherwise; drunk on words, life, and a lot of whiskey.
Hemingway (the web app) tells you where to shorten and simplify to increase comprehension. No one likes to be confused – be nice to your readers and they’ll unconsciously thank you.
If you’re writing for a specific platform or for a length-restricted submission, wordcounter.io is a great tool to stay within your word count. It also ensures that you stay focussed on your central theme – use the keyword tool on the right hand.
Regardless of if you’re looking to write for a professional blog or a personal one, staying organized can help make the process of doing easier. We all get blank page anxiety from time to time but hopefully these tools can help you out!
If you’d like to chat more about the creative process, feel free to email me or connect on LinkedIn.
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