By Mariano Oreamuno on writing a good post.
As a person who has an affinity for writing and enjoys making some money on the side, freelance writing work seemed to be the perfect solution. I’m a parent and I have a full-time job, so the brevity and concise nature of blogging really appeals to me. And the work is always interesting: I often get to learn about new subjects, and I like the challenge to write well about them.
Here’s one writer’s process for how to write a good post that customers will love.
Develop A Writing Process That Works
When I first started, I would crank out an occasional post here and there because each one took a long time to write. These days, I set goals for myself, aim to break them, and make deposits into my bank account when I submit my invoice (did you hear that ca-ching sound?).
The secret? I developed a personal research and writing process that allowed me to write better posts in my own voice—and more quickly. But it didn’t happen immediately. It was a skill I had to learn. Here are my own personal tips for developing a better writing and research process:
- Invest in research time. If I see that there are a lot of customers who need posts in an industry I’m not an expert in, I’ll invest in research time on those topics. If I spend an hour or two researching a new industry, I can parlay that knowledge to write for many new customers. Even though it’s a big initial time investment, good research can yield a lot of work output and widen your list of customers.
- Make a quick outline. It doesn’t have to be an exhaustive outline that details every piece of minutiae, but sometimes it helps to know where you’re going and the major points you’re going to hit. It can make the actual writing go much faster.
- Take chances. Write to your strengths, but don’t be afraid to branch out and write for a customer who needs posts. Sometimes I’ve taken a chance, and even though I wasn’t an expert in their field, my writing was a good fit. Every customer appreciates good writing that’s well-researched and takes their preferences into consideration.
These are the strategies that have worked for me, but once you write a few posts, you’ll see what works for you to optimize your output. A strong writing and research process is the foundation for doing well at writing a good psot for Verblio (formerly BlogMutt).
How to Write a Good Post: A Step-By-Step Guide
Developing a writing and research process that works for you will take some trial and error, but using the Verblio system is pretty easy. Here’s my process for using the Verblio system and for writing good posts quickly
1. Select A Customer
Personally, I like to begin by dropping down the “Research” tab and selecting “Search”. From the search page, I can review the customers who are currently in the most need of posts. I look to see if any of those customers are ones I have written for before, or whose industry I know something about.
I also look at the customers whose industries aren’t really up my alley. Sometimes I find topics that I never thought I’d be interested in writing on, or even qualified to write about. Yet, through my blog writing I’ve come to surprise myself time and again.
This dovetails right into the most vital part of my process: Review each and every keyword! That’s right: consider every keyword for a good post!
When I approach a Verblio customer’s account page to craft a post, the first thing I am doing is scanning their keywords. I do this for all customers. The challenge of writing for me is finding an interesting angle that will be worth reading, and better yet, worthy of being posted!
When I’ve selected a customer with a keyword that I feel confident I can write about, I do my research. Ideally, I have time to do research that I can parlay into many posts. Otherwise, I try to invest the right amount of study time on a given subject, if it’s just for one post.
While reading other people’s writing on the subject can always help to inspire ideas, it is important to remain clear that plagiarism is definitely not OK. Make sure that you know the difference between research and using someone else’s work.
Personally, I do my research using many sources, and then close those windows while I write. That way I’m only relying on what I’ve learned.
A blog is best when bolstered by accurate facts, news items, and original ideas. This creative process is about my writing and what I want to say, but I do my best to remain focused on my central thesis, and back it up with citations.
3. Meet The Customer’s Needs
Before writing the bulk of the post, I like to peruse previous blogs that the customer has purchased. This helps to give me a feel for the voice the customer is looking for.
Another way to achieve a good tone is to take note of the customer’s chosen parameters. Should the blog be topical or promotional? If I write a great post, but it’s promotional when the customer wanted a topical post, it won’t do much good. By getting to know what the customer is looking for, you will be able to more effectively fit the criteria they have in mind.
The writing is the fun part. So just dive in and do it! Here is where I get to apply my skills and take on the mission of creating a piece of writing that accomplishes the needs of the customer.
I always have a dictionary handy. I also use the nifty writing tools that Verblio has so thoughtfully included for writers, such as the blue magnifying glass next to keywords, which helps by quickly pulling up recent related news articles on the topics.
When I’m finished writing, I read the piece out loud to myself. This is the best way to find errors or any clunky writing that needs to be cleaned up.
In the review process, I check my spelling and eliminate redundancies or grammar errors that I may not have been aware of. When I am fully confident that the piece is polished, that it meets the necessary word count, that it has an interesting title that’s not too wordy, I send a good post to the customer.
6. Repeat It All Again
After that, I like to review my dashboard to see how my other blogs are doing. If customers have asked for edits, I like to attend to those right away.
Finally, I like to use the Magic Eight-Ball feature to identify other customers that might be of interest to me to write a good post. With the satisfaction that another good blog has been delivered, I repeat the process and begin to tackle my next mission. The best part is knowing that I am getting a lot of practice at writing, which is something I love to do.
In the end, the money is nice and all, but I must confess that I’ve grown more interested in the personal challenge to write and to please perfect strangers with a blog that fits their criteria. It’s like being a code breaker, or being on a mission. You are given few instructions and you have a mission to complete with your own resources. Every time I sell a blog I feel I have accomplished my mission. There’s an instant payoff there that makes me ready for more.