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3 tools to write better copy for your business, faster

March 18, 2022

When I need to churn out quality content — fast — I use these three tools to make the process a little bit easier. (And one of the tools is a free gift!)

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If there’s one thing I learned while working as a journalist, it was how to write compelling and effective copy – fast

When I first started working at The Miami Herald as a stringer, I was only 19 or 20 years old. The first story that I ever had published (you can see it if you join my newsletter below) took me at least a week or two to write. 

I thought that was normal. (I hear you laughing out there!)  Then, when I became a part-time reporter, I had to churn out several stories a week. When I began working shifts on the metro desk, I would have mere hours to do an interview and churn out a reported obit or story. Our shift started at 3pm and the story had to be ready by 7 or 8pm. And, I had to answer the phones and handle other tasks in between. 

At first, the tight deadlines were torture and stressful. But, as with anything, the more you do something, the easier it gets. 

I learned some tips & tricks along the way to make the whole process a little bit easier. 

Now, I want to pass them along to you –
to make writing for your business just a little bit easier and less stressful. 

 


computer desk write copy for your business faster

 

Writer Better copy, Faster 

You may not have an editor breathing down your back, but you still have deadlines. You already know that one of the best ways to market your business is to create and publish interesting and compelling content on a consistent basis. In order to do that, you need your writing time to be efficient and effective so you can pay the bills and still have a life. (Amen to that!)

Efficiency is the name of the game. We don’t want to cut corners, reduce quality or churn out the same bland copy as everyone else. We want to hone our skills and focus so we can produce our best quality work, consistently, in the least amount of time. AND have it move the needle for our business.

Now, one tangent: We all write at a different pace. We’re not trying to win any world records here, but I want to help you make the most of your time and your words. 

If you’re new to creating content for your business, go easy on yourself. You probably won’t be able to do it as efficiently as someone who has been churning out consistent content  for a year or more. Keep your eyes on your own paper and business, resist the urge to compare yourself to others, and focus on how to improve your process and get better along the way. 

Remember, there is nothing wrong with being a slower writer. Just focus on making your process as efficient as possible. 

Second note: I’m a huge proponent of separating my brainstorming sessions from my actual writing sessions << – this is huge! Brainstorm content ideas, do research, and outline your copy & content at one time, and then set aside a second session to close out all the tabs on your computer (except one – keep reading to find out which one) and let your fingers fly across the keyboard as you do the actual writing. 

Here are 3 tried-and-true tools I’ve been using for years to create better content and copy in less time. 

  1. A Timer


Don’t panic. I promise we’re not going to turn writing or content creation into a timed test. But I have noticed, and you may have too, that when you have to get something written RIGHT NOW, it gets done. When you give yourself a day or two to write some blog posts, you find yourself meandering, drifting, losing focus and maybe come out with one or two almost done posts.

This is Parkinson’s Law at work. Parkinson’s Law is the old adage that work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion

For me, I notice that my mind is just a bit more unfocused when I give myself hours of time to write without clear checkpoints for breaks (which are crucial to maintain your energy during a writing session) and end time. 

I use online tools like Focus at Will, which has a timed feature but also really love my trusty old timer that sits on my desk. When I sit down to write (and do other tasks) I set my timer and commit to working completely focused on that task until the timer goes off. 

It’s amazing how my focus, productivity and creativity abounds when I use my timer. It’s so simple, seems a little silly, but is magical in a way. I swear. Trust me on this and give it a try. 

You can play around with different lengths of time – some use the Pomodoro Technique, others for 50 or 55 minutes of work and then 5-10 minutes of a screen-free break, and others use Cal Newport’s deep work sessions (which can range from an hour, 1.5 hours up to 3 hours. Of course, you need to work up to those longer sessions over time) 

I set aside 3 hours every morning just for focused writing time, and break that time up into 2 or 3 time sessions depending on the project and my energy level. Play around and figure out what works best for you. 

Now, does this mean that a whole blog post or email newsletter or client project is going to be completely finished within an hour session? NO! But my output and the quality of my work is definitely higher at the end of a timed writing sessions.

2. An Online Thesaurus

One aspect of creating compelling copy and content is finding just the right words to describe a feeling, thought, emotion, etc., in a factual and interesting way. You also need to make sure your copy and content is fresh, interesting and maintains the voice and cadence of your brand or business. 

A lot of this comes down to tone and word choice.

How often do you sit at your desk, fingertips poised over the keyboard, staring into space as you search your brain for just the right word. Probably more often than you’d like to admit. (Been there, done that.)  

Don’t waste time and brain power – use a thesaurus instead. I think thesaurus’ are one of the most underutilized resources available. Now, of course, as a book lover, I love real, tangible, hardcover books that I can hold and flip through. And I do have a hard copy thesaurus on my bookshelf in my office. But I find online versions are easier, faster and more helpful when writing on my computer.

In fact, while I close out my email and other distracting tabs and programs during a writing session, I will leave one tab open with Word Hippo. This way, I can search for words that perfectly describe what I’m trying to say AND search for new ways of saying things to keep my copy fresh or help me create a brand tone for a client that helps them stick out and be more unique. 

There are many options out there. I prefer Word Hippo, but check a few out to see which one you find the easiest and most helpful.

3. A Checklist

As a business owner, you want your copy and content to work for you. You’re creating it for a reason – usually to help garner attention from, connect with and sell to your ideal clients who could benefit from your services. 

The best way to ensure your copy and content is hitting the mark is to put it through a little test before you release it into the world. The test can be quick and simple and done using a checklist. 

A checklist is a great way to ensure your content is helpful, meets your brand standards, and is helping you achieve your goals. It can also help you spot mistakes and inconsistencies.

Don’t have a copy checklist? Don’t worry, I have you covered. Just tell me where to send it below.

 

Write effective copy, every time.

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    Alright your copy & content won’t write itself, so now it’s time to put these tips into action. 

    Get yourself a simple timer, open an online thesaurus and get writing. Snag your free writing checklist here so you’ll be ready to review your draft when it’s done and make sure you’re writing copy & content that will help move the needle closer to your goals. 

     Happy writing!  


     

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    I'm Kathleen,
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