How to Write Great Content Fast

By Victoria Greene

Are you a content writer who’d like to be able to work a little faster? No matter how good you are, there are always little ways to grease those cognitive wheels and work a little faster. Next time you’ve got an article you need to get out the door as quickly as possible, these tips could make the job a little easier. Have you ever thought about content curation? And did you know that there is software you can use to limit distractions? It’s true. Here are even more ways to write great content fast.

content marketing

Borrow Ideas

Are you struggling to come up with a plan for your next article? Well, the chances are that somebody will have already written something very similar to you in the past. The internet is a big place, after all. Why not find a similar article and use it for inspiration?

This can be a good way to fuel the creative fire. However, there is a difference between borrowing ideas and stealing them. Here are a few things to avoid:

  • Copy-pasting: Never ever. This is theft and will be spotted as duplicate content. Do not copy and paste any part of an article.
  • Rewriting a single article: If you find a good article on the same subject, don’t just rewrite that one article. Cherry pick the best ideas from a range of other posts and allow them to springboard your own ideas, otherwise, you’re just copying someone else’s work.
  • Borrowing images: Borrow and recycle ideas that you find in other articles, yes, but do not do the same with images. Images can have all kinds of copyrights attached to them and if you borrow an idea and an image from another source, the fact that you gleaned inspiration from them will be quite obvious.

Use Editing Software

When you’re in a hurry, you might have less time for editing. In these situations, it can be beneficial to have editing software installed on your computer. Here are a few examples of the more popular editing software options:

  • Grammarly: This is very comprehensive. Not only does it check your spelling, but also (as the name implies) your grammar. It can be installed in your browser, meaning it will work with all CMSs too. What makes this even more appealing is that it can be used for free.
  • After the Deadline: This will not only highlight any typos, spelling mistakes, and grammar issues but will also make suggestions about how you can make your writing more readable. It also considers different contexts in which certain things might be erroneous.
  • Hemingway: If you’re after something that will actually edit your work (as opposed to just spotting typos and grammar issues) then Hemingway is what you’re after. It helps you to avoid using a passive voice and highlights words that could be removed (among other things).

 

Small Things Make All the Difference

If you’re looking for further advice for speeding up the writing process, the following tips might be useful:

  • Disconnect the internet: This only applies once you’ve finished your research. With so many fun and exciting things to see online, it’s easy to get distracted. It might be worth disconnecting and doing your writing on Word.
  • Turn off your phone: Even with the internet switched off, your phone can still receive messages or reminders to play whatever app you’re currently addicted to.
  • Find the right environment: Maybe the reason you’re finding it hard to write is that you’re on the sofa in your pajamas and you’ve got the TV on. You’ve got to have a proper work environment. Go to a library or set up a proper desk in your apartment.
  • Eat some food: If you’re struggling to write or to think of ideas, perhaps it’s because you didn’t have any breakfast? Coming up with ideas and writing them down coherently takes up a lot of brainpower, which requires a lot of energy. Fuel your thoughts with healthy meals.

 

Motivate Yourself to Achieve Great Things

If all else fails, one thing I find to be a powerful motivator is imagining my project once it’s complete. Whether it’s that Mailchimp email shot, the product descriptions for your online storefront, the first few blog posts for a new WordPress site or anything else – imagine it all finished. Imagine the pride and happiness. It could all be yours – all you have to do is start writing.

If you want to get your writing speed up, this should help you to do so. Another option you might like to consider is hiring a virtual assistant – they can help you with a lot of the smaller tasks associated with blogging and content writing. If you’re keen on VAs, you might like to consider supporting Always Write in helping to provide VAs with the training they need. Whatever you do, whether it’s just making sure you eat properly or going all out on a piece of editing software, you’ll find there are lots of ways to speed up the writing process.

What do you find helps you write faster?

Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer.

Victoria Greene is an e-commerce marketing consultant and freelance writer, working with large brands to help them blossom. She loves nothing more than sharing her knowledge with the world and encouraging entrepreneurial dialogue.

Not What I Wrote – What’s Opposite Plagiarism?

This article by my friend Denzil Walton was frighteningly humorous, my worst nightmare about writing. He allowed me to reprint it for you. Enjoy.

Opposite Plagiarism
What’s the Opposite of Plagiarism?

That’s NOT what I wrote!

by Denzil Walton

When I saw my very first article in print, I immediately went in search of a big hole to jump into and disappear. Forever.

It was an article that I had submitted to my local daily newspaper, the Coventry Evening Telegraph. It was a mild nature article concerning the wildlife one could see along the local canals and rivers. It did have a bit of an edge: it gave a gentle reminder to fishermen not to leave their rubbish behind. Some of it, in particular, fishing lines, could be dangerous to wildlife if they got entangled in it.

The article was scheduled to appear on Friday 24th March – many, many years ago.

Friday evening: WHAT?

I remember rushing out early that evening to my local newsagent, buying a copy and feverishly scanning through it while standing outside.

I could not find my article.

I searched through the newspaper again, desperately looking for my headline. I think it was “The Wildlife of Coventry Canal” or something similar. Still no joy.

On my third scan, I did come across an article about fishermen that someone had written. The headline screamed “First Blasts in Rod War.”

What an antagonistic headline, I thought.

The subhead was no less hostile: “Fishermen? They’re enemies of the countryside, says battling student.”

What an aggressive writer. Who would write such a provocative article?

My eyes flicked down to the first sentence. And almost fainted with the shock.

“The noble art of angling holds no joys for Denzil Walton. He believes that when it comes to keeping the countryside clean, anglers are at the bottom of the league.”

I couldn’t believe what I was reading. And it got worse.

“Denzil is launching a one-man campaign against devotees of the rod and line.”

That’s NOT what I wrote! I NEVER wrote anything about war, enemies or campaigns!

I read through the whole article. I couldn’t recognize it from what I had submitted – or the me it described. In fact, it wasn’t me at all. I was a peace-loving, conscientious young man who liked walking along the riverbanks looking at birds and simply wanted to give anglers a friendly reminder to pick up their old fishing lines. I had been transformed into some kind of tough, aggressive, Rambo-like canal-side vigilante.

But it was about to get worse.

Monday morning: NO!

It just so happened that at that time I had a temporary job at my father’s workplace, Rolls-Royce Aero Engines near Coventry. I was replacing a clerk in the Planning Department who had suffered a heart attack and was off work for three months. I’d only been there for a week.

I arrived in the office at 8.25 on Monday morning and was just getting a coffee from the machine when the manager of the Planning Department breezed past.

“You. In my office. Now!”

I decided the coffee could wait and followed him to his office.

To my horror, he pulled out Friday’s Coventry Evening Telegraph from his briefcase, slammed it on his desk, opened it to my article and stabbed a finger at the headline.

“You wrote this crap?” he shouted.

Please God, if you could just open up the ground underneath my feet, I will be a lifelong disciple of yours.

“Er, well, I did submit an article but the editor …” I began.

I had clearly not been called in for a discussion. He read the sub-head out loud, in what I can only describe as an “extremely aggressive and sneering” tone of voice.

“Fishermen? They’re enemies of the countryside says battling student.”

He lent over the desk.

“This is crap, completely bloody crap. I’ve been an angler for over forty years and I’ve never left a scrap of litter behind. I’m a member of an angling club and we have very – VERY – strict regulations about litter.”

He paused to wipe a bit of his spittle off his chin. I decided it was wise not to follow his lead and so didn’t touch the spittle that had flown onto my cheek.

“We would never – NEVER – leave lines or hooks behind. We always – ALWAYS – clear up after ourselves. This article is a total – TOTAL – disgrace.”

It was at that point that I realized that his office door was open, and there was complete silence throughout the whole department behind me.

“We are PROPER anglers. It’s the bloody GYPSIES you should be after. It’s them who leave their litter behind, whose dogs shit everywhere along the canal bank, who chuck their garbage into the cut. Instead, you point your finger at us, respectable anglers!”

His face was reminding me of the beetroot I had cut up to put in my lunchtime sandwiches.

“And another thing. We are not ‘fishermen’; we are ‘anglers’. There’s a difference. Anglers take angling very seriously, it’s our life, we are not your amateur fisherman who only goes out once a year, we are there every week, in all kinds of weather.”

I was beginning to wonder whether another member of the Planning Department was about to have a heart attack.

“You clearly don’t know anything about angling, and if you think you’re going to make it as a writer, forget it, because you clearly don’t know a thing about writing either.”

He slumped into his leather swivel chair and spun it round to look out the window. I thought he had finished, but he hadn’t. With his back to me, he cast his final line.

“I’d fire you right now if it weren’t for the bloody Union on my back. Get out of my office and get back to work.”

I turned round and left his office to find about 30 office staff transfixed by the Monday morning excitement. The Rolls-Royce Planning Department had probably never seen such drama before.

After that, I had absolutely no contact with the man at all over the next three months. He never greeted me, never acknowledged me, never asked me anything or said anything to me. If he needed me to do anything he would always ask the Head Clerk into his office who would then relay the information to me.

However, after 34 years as a professional writer, he was wrong about one thing.

Reprinted with permission from Denzil Walton. Original story found here.

Biography

Opposite Plagiarism
Denzil Walton

Denzil Walton works as a freelance technical copywriter from his home in Herent, Belgium near Leuven. He also writes for Flanders Today; you can see a bit of his portfolio here. He’s married to Liz, who is a clarinet teacher, and they have four adult children.

denzil@discoveringbelgium.com

Related Posts