Have you ever started to write and got stuck part way through?
You had a persuasive headline and the opening was strong. The words were flowing but then – everything stopped. You’d lost your way and couldn’t work out what to write next.
Getting stuck is more common than writer’s block.
It happens because we’ve lost sight of why we’re writing – or we didn’t know the why when we started. There’s no clear intention.
It’s like being lost in the woods. But we have to keep moving because there’s a deadline. So we plough on, following random ideas that don’t add true value.
Lack of clarity about intention is a massive sticking point.
And if we think it’s frustrating, imagine what it’s like for our readers.
We’ve finished writing and hit publish. The voilà, our headline attracts attention and people are reading. But they’re getting lost, just like us, because what we’ve written isn’t living up to their expectations. Unlike us, they’re not going to stick around to the end.
So how do we keep our readers happy?
We need a trail of crumbs back to our intention. We need to be clear, direct and singular about Purpose and Promise.
What’s your Purpose?
Writing is hard work and takes time so if we’re going to do it, it has to be for a good reason. We’re more effective when we know what we want our business to get out of it. When we know our purpose.
Are you writing to a) Attract attention, b) Convert people to prospects, c) Close a sale or d) Turn buyers into advocates?
Once you’ve identified the stage you’re writing for, it helps to focus on what people need from your writing.
Capture: People could be interested in what you sell but they don’t know about you. This writing is to capture their attention.
Perform: You’ve earned their attention and need to keep it by delivering information or inspiration they will value.
Produce: They like and trust you so now you are offering something they’ll want to buy, in a way that makes it hard to refuse.
Nurture: They’ve bought from you and now you’re giving them useful content so they’ll recommend you to others.
What’s your Promise?
Your promise is what you offer to get a reader’s attention. The headline is your promise, and the opening paragraphs too. The promise is what you want people to know, feel or be able to do after reading.
When you’re clear about the promise you’re making, it’s easier to know what to include and what to leave out. It’s the secret to successful writing.
I must admit I have trouble sticking to my promise at times because I try to include too much. But cluttering up my writing doesn’t help people – it just makes it less likely that they’ll finish reading.
To stay on track, I put my promise in the header of everything I write. And I keep asking, am I doing what I set out to do?
Spelling out your purpose and promise:
Saves time by focusing your writing and research.
Sidesteps confidence sapping times when you don’t know what to write.
Helps you write for your reader as well as your business.
Makes the finished piece clearer and more direct.
Leaves you feeling better because you know why you’re writing.
If you’re struggling with writing, I can help.
There’s no need to struggle on your own – the best writing is collaborative.
Get in touch if you’d like to know more about
Organising your thoughts before you start so writing flows more quickly and easily
Writing and getting to the point quickly so your readers stick with you
Conveying ideas clearly and concisely
Connecting with the right audience for your business.