Insights into this content writer's process
My process: Creating client content in 5 steps
In a previous post, I talked about items that I would request from a client as we began to work together. Today, I’d like to follow up because I think it’s important for people to understand what goes into this work, and how much time and energy is required. Of course, I can’t speak for other content writers, but I can explain how I work and what you can expect if you choose to work with me.
Step 1: Assess structure and research needs.
After I receive your notes and guidance on what you’re looking for in terms of the final product, I settle in and print it all out. Then, I grab a pen and a highlighter. I go through your notes and mark the passages that are fantastic as they are communicating what you want people to know. I make notes to rearrange where I think it might be needed for flow, and notes on where I feel a little extra research could make your content even stronger.
Wherever and whenever possible, I use your own words. I take them from the notes and add to them where needed, or build around them, using them verbatim, where it is appropriate. Your voice is the highlight here, not mine, and using your words is the best way I know to showcase that. Once I have an idea of structure and research that might be needed, it’s usually been about an hour, maybe two – that’s for most, but not all of the work I do. Some take less, some take more. But at that point, I take a break.
Step 2: Dive into the research.
Sometimes this isn’t absolutely necessary, but I try to spend at least half an hour in research mode, to make sure that I have an idea of what could be added to the conversation about the topic of the blog. Often, the clients who come to me present strong information, but I feel it’s my job to make sure that what I give my clients is more than just a reiteration of what’s already in the public discourse. As a reporter, I learned to look for different angles, and research helps me to ensure that I’ve found the best angle for each blog post. This can take up to two hours, depending on my familiarity with the topic. Again, I take a break once I have an idea of angles.
Step 3: Get a snack and other supplies, and start writing.
I move from the computer screen to the printed/marked up notes and back. If typing doesn’t bring inspiration, I will put the computer aside and hand write content until the words are flowing. The actual writing can take about two hours, but more if I’m struggling with the content, or to focus in general. At some point in the process, I go back to the computer and type it all up. Occasionally here, I may do some editing and restructuring at this point, but that usually comes later.
Step 4: Let it rest, then come back for editing.
This resting period isn’t a long chunk of time. Probably 45 minutes, usually. After a bit of time where I’ve allowed my brain a break or worked on a completely different project, I give it another read and get to spell checking and editing where necessary. I re-read and polish it up, and then it’s on to the final step.
Step 5: Back to the client.
The final step is to turn my finished piece in to my clients and prep for the next project in the package. I currently offer blog posts in sets of 4, 8 and 12. I allow for single rewrites of each blog post, and if something does come back, I take the client’s notes and tackle it then.
The whole process for a single blog post can take up to six hours, but that’s for the more labor-intensive projects.
I try to give myself a cushion of about a week’s time for each set of projects, because I work with a variety of clients. But I prefer (and aim for) a 2-3 day turnaround, max.
How long does it take you to complete your blog posts? What would you do with all that extra time?
If you need an extra brain in your biz and more time to do what needs to be done, Writing Unfiltered can help. Book a free discovery call with me here to start the process!
April Bamburg, Content Writer
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My business is Writing Unfiltered. Writing is what I do. Unfiltered is the type of life I aspire to have.
I’m a little different from most people I know, partly because I find research delightful. I love learning about new topics in order to write about them.
Anyone you ask will tell you I drink too much coffee. They might also say I’m out of touch when it comes to pop culture. I definitely don’t jump into trendy topics until the buzz has died down. I like music people have never heard of, or is no longer popular. (Seriously. I just binge-watched Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters, and Parenthood this year. Don’t expect me to get into Game of Thrones.) But, I stick with what I like (New Kids on the Block will ALWAYS be on my playlist.)