by Susan Payton
When you start a company, you’re going 90 to nothing. You’re making sales. Hiring and firing. Coding. Even getting the coffee.
But I’m betting there’s one area you’re steering clear of: writing. A lot of times, startup founders have difficulty expressing themselves through content, or simply don’t have the time to do it. Here, one of two things happens:
- They don’t bother with content marketing
- They outsource it
Now, I’m all in favor of you outsourcing your writing. That’s how I make my living. But in the event that you want a few of my tried-and-true tricks for being a better writer, here they are.
1. Write More
Sounds dummy-simple, but the more you write, the better you get. So if the last thing you wrote was a college thesis that no one — including your professor — actually read, it’s time to get back to it. Actually, you might enjoy writing blog posts and ebooks. After all, you get to talk about what you love doing for a living!
2. Read More
Just like with the first tip, the more you read, the better the writer you become. When you’re reading, be it a blog post, magazine article, book, or Facebook update, notice what you like about the writing style. Is it casual? Does it talk directly to the reader? Does it provide actionable tips?
Once you figure out what you like about other people’s writing, you can start incorporating it in your own writing.
3. Learn More
I know you’re busy, so let me give you a few of the best writing resources guaranteed to make you a better writer:
Sign up for the free emails. Buy the ebooks. The more you learn about writing, the better you become.
4. Have Others Read Your Writing
Before you release your writing into the wild, run it by a coworker or friend who you can trust to be brutally honest with you. Better that she catch your grammatical errors or tell you it doesn’t make any sense than for a potential customer to come to the same conclusion.
5. Keep a List of Topics
I blog a lot about small business. And sometimes I get burned out. After all, there are only so many ways to write about using press releases to grow your business, right? That’s why I keep a spreadsheet of ideas. I might come up with one while doing something non-work related, like walking the dog or washing the dishes. In this case, I’m quick to type my idea in my spreadsheet so that when I need a topic to write about, there it is, waiting for me.
6. Write Different Things
The first stop on your writing journey will probably be blog posts for your startup. Diversify the kinds of content you write. Create how-to posts, news about your company, editorials from your point of view, and informative posts on your industry.
Then, once you’re confident, move on to larger things like ebooks and whitepapers. The more different types of writing you do, the more well-versed you’ll be.
7. Find a Writing Accountability Partner
This might be your startup founder or a coworker, or someone who works elsewhere that also has the goal of becoming a better writer. Whoever it is, check in regularly to discuss your writing, any obstacles you’re encountering, and to get advice on what you’re working on.
If you started a business, you’ve already done the hardest thing you’ll ever do. After that, writing will be a breeze!
Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts. She’s also the founder of How to Create a Press Release, a free resource for business owners. She’s written three books: DIY Press Releases: Your Guide to Becoming Your Own PR Consultant, 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and has blogged for several sites, including The Marketing Eggspert Blog, as well as CorpNet, Small Business Trends, Chamber of Commerce and BizLaunch. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.