Writing content has become increasingly essential to business owners as it allows them to spread the word about their business and communicate with prospective and existing customers, both in print and online. But this doesn’t mean writing is everyone’s fortè, so here are some tips for improving the confidence you have in your writing abilities.
Here are just some of the places where the written word is essential:
- Article marketing
- Press releases
- Public relations
- Email marketing
- Social media
And so on …
Faced with rising requirements for a continuous supply of good quality written content, what do you do if you own a business and do not have writing confidence?
1. Practice makes perfect
As with most things, you will become more confident with your writing the more you do it. Just start writing regularly – have a set time each day for writing and go from there. As you write regularly each day, your writing will improve, you’ll find you build in confidence and will soon be able to write with relative ease.
2. Hire a proof reader
If you consider yourself a reasonable writer but could do with some help for the final polish, a proofreader can take your written content and ensure it all reads well and without errors.
It’s easy and cost effective to hire a proofreader to check your content for you. Try sites like elance.com, Freelance.com, vworker.com and odesk.com. The best results come from hiring a proofreader whose first language matches your content.
3. Hire a writer
If you really don’t want to do much writing yourself, or don’t have confidence in your own ability to do so, it would be best to hire a writer who you can work with over the long-term. You can hire writers from the same sites mentioned above.
Over time, they will get to know your business, and their writing for you should improve over time as they become familiar with your requirements.
It can take a while to find a really good writer who you can trust. A good strategy is to hire five to ten writers for an initial writing piece. You then offer a second writing piece to two or three of those, and then finally pick the one you feel most comfortable with to work with longer term. It means a little more investment upfront, but the solid selection process is worth it longer term.
You can also try to negotiate a reduced rate for a longer term working relationship. However, it’s often worth paying them their requested rate, or even a little more, so they feel they are paid adequately for their work, remain loyal, and continue to find it worthwhile working with you.
In terms of delegating writing jobs to your writer, give them as much information as possible. For example:
- Make notes on what you want the content piece to be about.
- Provide guidance on the structure, eg. a rough outline of an article or blog post.
- Let them know about any keywords you want to be included, if you need content for search engine optimisation purposes.
- Point them to potential research sources.
- Let them know what kind of word count you’re looking for.
Some writing jobs are more specialised and you should expect to pay a lot more for them.
For example, writing emails for an email sequence (autoresponder series) for your website, or writing for advertising purposes, requires a professional copywriter, rather than a standard writer, and a lot more skills and experience are required.
4. Don’t write it, speak it
Often people who don’t class themselves as writers or have no confidence in their ability to write, have excellent verbal communication skills. Instead of writing, speak it into a dictaphone or similar, and send it to your writer to polish it up for you and turn it into a finished writing piece.