For inbound marketing to do your business any good, you’ve got to write, and you’ve got to write frequently. Unfortunately, this isn’t a skill you’ve spent most of your career honing.
Most business blogging projects fail for the same reasons most exercise programs fail:
- People get frustrated by a lack of rapid progress.
- It’s not as easy and takes more time than expected.
- The results just aren’t that impressive—not at first, anyway.
Faced with these disappointments, co-workers and clients often ask me if I can provide a few quick tips to help them improve their writing skills, become more efficient bloggers, and in general, drastically cut down the amount of time and effort they have to put in to knock out their dreaded blogging assignments.
I have just one. It’s a tip, but I’m sorry to say, it’s not a quick one.
How to Become a Better Writer (In a Lifetime or Less)
The only way that I know of to become a better writer is the only way to become a better anything. It’s the same way you go from couch potato to marathon runner. You’ve got to put in the time. You’ve got to work at it. You’ve got to stick with it even when it gets painful.
I know; this isn’t the answer you were hoping for. The last thing you want is to spend any more time writing. Who would want to do something as painful as writing when there are spreadsheets to build, invoices to file? (Yes, this is what I think real businesspeople do all day.)
Learning to write really well takes time and lots of practice. All good writers—from novelists to inbound bloggers—got that way from doing it over and over, learning what works for them and what doesn’t.
If you decide to commit to blogging, the same thing will happen to you. The pain you feel now from forcing yourself to pound out word after agonizing word will, over time, dissipate. As you gain experience, the time you “waste” blogging will lessen.
It might even become fun. Stranger things have happened.
So that’s all there is to it. If you want to become a better writer, stop looking for shortcuts and get cracking. As Stephen King wrote in his great memoir/how-to manual On Writing (the inspiration for the title of this blog series), “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”