Recently I was sorting through the results of a reader survey. I asked the question, “What is your biggest marketing challenge?” The answer came back loud and clear: “I am overwhelmed by all the writing I have to do.”
The truth is, Internet marketing means writing.
And whether you’re writing a sales letter, web page, article or information product, you struggle to find time to write. When you finally get a few moments, the phone rings, the dog demands to go out or a friend shows up with a crisis.
Here are 5 steps to end overwhelm and accomplish your Internet marketing goals.
1. Choose a business model that fits your attitude toward writing.
My friend “Ken” absolutely hates to write. Ken shows up on time for every obligation – unless he has to write. He’s extreme: he won’t even write a one-paragraph e-mail message without experiencing pain and agony.
Clue: if you have room in your schedule for every aspect of Internet marketing except writing, you need a new business model.
Typically you can find a way to reach success without forcing yourself to do something you resent.
2. Lose the myth, “Good writing takes time.”
Think of each piece of writing as an email you are writing to a good friend. Combine two or three short emails to make up a single article. Combine a dozen emails and you’re well on the way to writing an ebook.
Here’s the system:
As you get time during the day, dash off an email to yourself. Don’t edit your words yet – just put ideas on paper.
When you’re in a good mood, arm yourself with your favorite beverage. A piece of chocolate is okay, too, if you’re not allergic. A cat in your lap will discourage frequent breaks. Turn on your favorite music.
Now you can begin to revise what you have written. You write first drafts fast, but turn rough ideas into copy while you feel relaxed
3. Lose the Felix and Oscar workstyles.
Remember the Odd Couple? Following their divorces, the excessively tidy Felix moves in with the proudly sloppy Oscar.
Most of us tend to relate to one or the other. If you are a Felix, you keep going over your work, line by line, even word by word. You’re afraid to send anything out till it’s perfect – and that might never happen.
Oscars (I’m one of them) tend to dash off a quick piece and send it off, saying, “Hey, it’s done and it’s out there.”
Felixes avoid writing because it never gets done. Oscars get burned when their mistakes come back to haunt them.
Both need to remember: Most first drafts need to be buried somewhere. Professional writers revise more than they write – and they meet deadlines.
4. Create a system to get into the flow (even when you don’t feel like writing).
Writers often procrastinate because they just can’t get going. They, “Do I know enough to be an authority?” Or “How could anyone care about this idea?”
Three techniques that work for me:
(a) Find one component of your topic – small or large – that gets your juices flowing. Can you get so, excited, angry or frustrated that you want to jump up and down? Use that energy to create a sense of urgency
(b) Create a “fill-in-the-blanks ” template. Write “How to…” five times on a blank sheet of paper. Then complete the phrase. You can do the same with myths, tips or reasons.
(c) Find your writing prop. I listen to certain types of music when I need motivation (George Strait, Vince Gill or Kacey Musgraves currently top my list – this isn’t the time to judge your tastes). Some writers have special hats, boots, or sweaters.
5. Set a daily writing quota.
Many writers admit they dread writing, even after they’ve sold best-sellers and won awards. Successful writers will set a time to write – and they honor this commitment, even when they would rather be digging ditches. Try a time quota (like 15 minutes or an hour) or a word quota (as low as 300 words a day). See what works best for you.
By writing even when you are not in the mood, your confidence grows. You trust yourself to produce writing that works for your purpose every time you sit down at the keyboard. And in my experience, the best web pages, sales letters, and books often emerge when you least feel like writing.
If you’d like my help with your writing, check out the Strategic Intensive Program. We cover a lot and you’ll get opportunities for me to review your content as well.
I also offer copy coaching in several formats. Here’s one option that’s especially helpful when you want ongoing support for getting your writing done while learning new techniques and strategies.
Send me a message if you’ve got questions or want to explore different options.