Article marketing can work wonders for your business, but many people suffer from a huge waste of time when they initially sit down to write.
They stare at their blank screen or, even worse, they check their email incessantly or play games on Facebook. In fact, they do everything except what they set out to do: Write an article.
Today, I received a great question from a reader of one of my blog posts regarding how to write high-quality articles quickly.
Q: “How do you centre yourself and clear your mind prior to writing? I have a difficult time clearing my mind and letting my ideas flow. I do enjoy writing. However, it just seems that the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost, simply in trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints? Thanks!”
A: That’s a great question!
Are you sure you actually need to clear your mind? If you have too much going on in your mind, maybe it’s because of a lack of focus?
One way of clearing your mind and deciding where to start, is to jot down all the random thoughts that appear.
Do you have a clear idea about your topic when this happens? Or do you just sit down and think: “I’ve heard that article marketing is a great strategy. So, I’ll write an article. Now, what should I write about?”
If this is the case, you have some preparation to do, before you even start thinking about writing.
So, before you start, close down all applications you don’t need and which only serve to distract you: Facebook, browsers, email clients, Twitter… If you want to write on the computer, only keep Notepad (or whatever programme you plan to use) open for your writing.
First of all, you should decide on your niche, or several niches. Brainstorm all the things you would like to write about, and choose one of them with which to start. Decide that THIS is the one you’re going to write about, and put the others aside.
Then write down, on paper, everything you later plan to use regarding that particular niche. You can always later add or remove some of the items you’ve just chosen. Don’t worry. Just write whatever comes to mind, and don’t judge yourself, or your ideas, as being either good or bad.
When you have finalised your list, (“Yes, you guessed it!”) choose one of the topics and decide that this is the one about which you’re going to write at this time. Put the others aside for later.
Now you have one topic written on a piece of virtual paper on your computer. Next, write 3-5 related sub-topics relating to your main topic. Let these then form the segments for your article.
As an example, let’s say that you initially found many things about which to write, such as Rift; WordPress; chess; holidays; dog training; golf; getting your ex back and knitting.
You choose one with which you wish to start; let’s say you choose WordPress.
What aspects would you like to write about WordPress? Again, you jot down some ideas:
Toolbars on the dashboard; plug-ins; SEO; comment moderating; themes; menus; widgets…
When you’ve exhausted this secondary list, choose a topic about which you’re both familiar and passionate.
Have you found your topic?
Great! Again, let’s pretend that you chose SEO.
Now, what would be the purpose of your article?
In other words: What action do you want people to take after they’ve read your article? Do you want them to click on your AdSense ads, buy one of your products, or check the sales page for a product for which you’re an affiliate.
With this in mind, find three related items about WordPress SEO.
They could be:
H1-tags; no-follow links; keyword density.
You might want to sell a useful plugin that will assist people in checking how SEO is done, or a Premium Theme that has H1-tags around the headlines.
All this work shouldn’t take you very long. Half an hour? Maybe an hour.
Now it’s time to write, and you’ll probably work best when you’re under pressure, such as meeting a tight deadline.
Using a simple timer can assist you in this regard.
Allow yourself a specific amount of writing time, and then take a break.
According to the Pomodoro Technique, you should work for 20 minutes and then take 5 minutes break.
During your working time, you’re not allowed to do anything else but write. If you don’t know what to write at any stage, simply write anything that comes to mind, no matter how stupid it may seem. It doesn’t matter, as long as you don’t interrupt the writing sequence.
However, you already have the sub-topics for your article, so this really shouldn’t be necessary.
Now, just write!
If there’s something you don’t immediately know and need to research, jot it down to do at a later stage. If you do research whilst writing your article, you risk spending unnecessary time on something that may not even end up being in your article.
When your 20 minutes writing time is up, take a break and stretch your legs. Get a cup of tea – and then start writing again intermediately afterwards.
If you cannot work for 20 minutes at a stretch, start out with shorter periods. It’s okay to do this.
I had to when I first started writing, because I couldn’t focus for that length of time. After practice,
I now manage without any problems.
Let me know if this helps you.
This is, more or less, how I apply myself when I need to focus, prior to writing a high quality article. And a high quality article is a must in article marketing.