After understanding the audience and getting the tone of your writing sorted, there’s one more stage before the actual writing can start – researching the subject. This can cover a lot of different things depending on the client. If your client is a retailer, then you’ll need to do research on the products available, or you might be writing for a service provider and this means the service is going to be your focus. No matter who or what it is, you need to be as knowledgeable as possible.
Getting the facts right
People want facts – they want to know what it is, what it does, why it’s better than something or someone else and why they should spend their money on it. It sounds like a simple formula to get right but it’s never that easy.
Getting those key points in the writing, making read naturally, comply with best SEO practises and get the conversions is very difficult to do, and unfortunately, for any writing to be considered a success, it has to do all of that (although for offline purposes, the SEO is not important but chances are, it will be used both online and offline so it should still factor in your plan).
Being as knowledge as possible on the topic means you should be able to answer any questions about the service, product or topic as best you can – yes, you won’t have the specialist knowledge of your client, but you should be able to encourage people enough to seek out that knowledge or advice if needed. Once you have the facts, and an idea of how it all might fit together in your head, you’re on the right track but there’s more.
Overcoming horror stories and highlighting success
With any product or service, there will be horror stories and successful results, and you need to know how to deal with both. All writing should be aimed at a person; it’s more relatable that way and will engage better, so imagine that you are writing to a specific person instead of a larger audience.
As such, there is no point in trying to hide away the horror stories – it won’t work and people will find them. In the end, you can’t erase people’s experiences, whether they’re good or bad, and addressing them will give your audience more faith in your topic and the client you’re writing for. Take issues raised and deal with them, even if it means some people won’t convert at the end, the people who do will be more satisfied and those success stories will outweigh any negative press.
The other side of it is, don’t just point to success stories and expect them to work. These focus on other people, and while they can be useful, you want to relate directly to potential users of the service and people who might buy the product. They’re good to have but you need to take key points of the topic and combine them with key points of successful reviews to get a really compelling piece of writing.
Reporting back to the client
As with every stage so far, keeping in contact with the client is still important – they will want to know what you’re doing and the results you’ve had so far. Remember, they are paying you to do this work and dragging it on and on to get as much money as possible is the wrong attitude to take. You won’t get any recommendations from them and other writers and services that do things as quickly as possible, but still properly, will take your business. By showing them you are learning all the time, they’ll have more faith in you to complete the project well and get the best results for both you and their business.
Having done all of this, it’s time to get ready to do the writing. It may seem like a long road, but skipping any of these steps will cause you problems when it comes to the final stage. The writing and editing, which many people feel is the bulk of the work, is the easiest and most enjoyable part for any writer, but the likelihood of making mistakes is a lot lower having done all the preparation first!