Writing doesn’t come easily to everyone. There are natural-born writers just as there are natural-born speakers. Just as many writers can’t imagine giving up the keyboard for a microphone to vocalize their thoughts, many speakers cringe at the idea of sitting in front of a computer to put their thoughts down on paper.
However, writing is an important tool, especially in business, so even if you’re not in love with writing, here’s an exercise that hopefully will encourage you to sit down and give your computer keyboard some love.
Outline the Body of Your Blog Post
I’m using a blog post as an example because that’s generally the shortest piece of content you’ll write on a regular basis. So, instead of being intimidated by a specific word count, think instead of bullet points and how to lay out the body of your article.
You don’t even have to start with the title. Leave that for last until you finish the blog post and know exactly what topics you’ll write about. Knowing the general topic right now is a fine place to start.
Just like a Table of Contents, write out your first main point, with supporting facts underneath. Let these be fragment sentences if that works best for you; the point is to get these bullet points onto paper quickly.
Now continue on down the paper until you have at least 3 main bullet points, each with two or three supporting facts. That’s the bulk of your blog post! Formulate this outline into a more comprehensive blog post, add the introduction and conclusion, then think of a catchy title. Done!
Why Does Outlining an Article Work?
This exercise is similar to the exercise of bullet journaling: Writing down simple bullets quickly in a logical fashion is less intimidating than writing 500 words. Chances are your blog posts will be longer than 500 words but focusing on your thoughts instead of piecing individual words together is easier and quicker for some people. If you have a virtual assistant on staff, consider giving her the article to compose the introduction and the conclusion. That makes publishing your blog post even quicker.
Don’t be Afraid to Give Outsourcing a Try
If you still get nauseous at the idea of writing after trying this exercise, start researching writers to add to your team. Take note that not every virtual assistant has writing skills, so don’t assume your current VA will be your writing savior. Likewise, the least expensive writer won’t necessarily be the best or the most experienced, so remember that you get what you pay for.
Ask business associates for their recommendations, search on social media, and be prepared to go through an interview process. You want a writer who cares about their craft and will take a firm interest in doing their best job since their work will be representing your business. Also, know in advance what kind of projects you will assign. Start with something small, like blog posts, before working up to a signature product. Take baby steps and be clear with your expectations.