Estimated reading time: 7 minute(s)
Whether you’re a guest blogger or staff content writer, you’re bound to encounter the occasional topic that lies there flatter than a pancake. Airplane steel, electric fuses, rising interest rates, migrating data to the cloud. How do you make these valuable and viable—while ensuring they pack a punch?
Dread enters, doom descends, and you do the only reasonable thing. Procrastinate.
The good news? Any topic is poised to be a gripping read—and equally absorbing to write.
Prime the Pump
Pick a time and shut off. Ignore your email and silence the phone. Creating a space for unfettered focus allows the work to be done now—and quickly. Let that be your incentive! If it helps, put on an old Jackson 5 tune, pull on your favorite sweater, pour yourself a sweet cup of joe. There. If you do this enough times, you’ll condition yourself to look forward to the joe, the sweater, the music, the isolation, and… finally, the writing. Ahhh.
Find a Way In
Still, your topic lurks. When I taught 7th grade, my students were petulant about coming to class. They “hated” being there—much like you might when facing down that snooze-fest of a blog post. I told them I could relate: there were parts of my job that I didn’t like either. But these didn’t dampen my mood: that would have been like a double punishment. Instead, I look hard at the topic, find something intriguing about it, and then let my curiosity pull me to learn more. By the way, did you know that without electric fuses, the electricity flowing through your wires might surge and burst into flames?
Write it So You Want to Read It
You’ve stoked the fire and now it’s time to start hitting the keys. It’s much easier to write because you’ve found an angle that excites you—and because of that, it can be a zip to read, too. It helps if you remember that you’re building bridges to your audience. So ditch the jargon (or explain it), keep things clear and snappy, and have fun. Copywriting is for humans—and we’re darned if that means injecting dread and doom in the mind of your audience. Use words and imagery that will connect and motivate.
I promise: this method works with every topic in any business. How do I know? I’m a former blog procrastinator—and I’m now happily reformed. Try it—and post a comment to let me know how it goes.
Written by Meehna Goldsmith