Have you got writer’s block?
You know, staring at a blank screen…for longer than you’d like to admit?
I’ve got a solution…
It’s free, easy to use and still allows the Hemmingway in you to come out.
It’s a template.
In this article I’m going to share the exact 5-step process I use for writing, plus walk you through the 7 parts of my writing template.
Let’s start with the obvious question…
Why a process for writing?
I get writer’s block everytime I sit down to tackle a new blog post or create a new keynote.
I know the topic, have loads of ideas and my temptation is to start pounding away at the keyboard expecting brilliant prose to flow from my fingertips.
It happened every time I started to write.
I was wasting time, getting frustrated and the results weren’t great.
That’s why I developed a process.
I needed a process that would keep the energy flowing but also organize my thoughts.
My process led to the template.
5-steps to overcoming writer’s block
Following a process every time you write helps overcome writer’s block. This is the 5-step process I follow EVERY TIME I sit down to write.
It’s a huge time saver!
15-minute research – Once I choose my topic I try to keep my research down to 15 minutes.
In 15 minutes you can get inspired by what other bloggers have written, get ideas for new subheadings and maybe discover some statistics, quotes, or facts you can include.If you spend more than 15 minutes to research your next blog post you’re procrastinating. Click To Tweet
Write, don’t edit – When you stop to edit you not only slow down the writing process, you switch from a creative level of thinking about this topic and the solutions to a detailed level that’s all about commas and semicolons.
When it’s time to write, write, but don’t stop to edit.
Edit, don’t write – Now that you have your draft article it’s time to quickly edit and get ready for the final steps of headline, images, and publishing.
Headlines and images last – Finally, it’s time for your headline and images.
In this article, I give you 5 ways to find great headlines – my favourite trick is to use #4 – Google’s Auto Suggest to refine the focus of your headline.
Now that we have a process for writing, let’s look at a template to organize your thoughts.
What is a template?
A template is a framework, or structure for your writing.
You still need to go through the process of research, writing, and editing, but with a template, you know what’s needed and in what order.
For example, I know my opening has to be followed with the problem I’m writing about. It sounds simple, but following this formula is a huge time saver.
It’s sort of like a Bento Box – you can change the ingredients, but the framework doesn’t change.
Let’s jump into the 7-step writing template.
The 7-step writing template
This writing template is versatile! It can be used for:
- Blog posts
- Keynote speeches
- Webinar outlines
- Lead magnets (opt-in product offers)
- YouTube videos
- Wedding speeches (I’m kidding, but maybe….)
The first job of the opening is to stop the reader from clicking away.
Start with a story, a bold claim, a question, or a statistic or fact.
The second job of the opening is to make them want to read the next sentence.
Here are some great opening sentences:
- “Today I want to tell you how to hit 1,000,000 visitors in a year of blogging.” How to hit 1,000,000 visitors in a year of blogging (Becky Mansfield)
- “The doctor cleared his throat. “I’m sorry I have bad news.” – On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting for your Ideas.” (Jon Morrow)
- “Be honest. How often do you sabotage yourself?” 106 Excuses That Prevent You From Ever Becoming Great (Chris Brogan)
Make the problem you are solving obvious. Remember, you need to hook the reader with a problem you know they have.
It could be to save time, rescue a marriage, or delegate better – whatever it is, make it clear you understand their problem.
Here are good examples of clearly stating the problem at the start of the blog post:
- “But when you look at your email stats, you notice that the opens aren’t as good as you’d hoped, and the click-throughs are disappointing. It’s depressing.” 37 Tips for Writing Emails that Get Opened, Read, and Clicked (Henneke)
- “If you haven’t explored short video for your business, you may be missing out on an opportunity for more reach and shares.” 6 Ways to Use Short Video for Social Marketing (Donna Moritz)
- “Managers tend to blame their turnover problems on everything under the sun, while ignoring the crux of the matter: people don’t leave jobs; they leave managers.” 9 Things Managers Do That Make Good Employees Quit (Tim Bradberry)
Do you want to be able to write blogs quicker and faster? Click the button to download our Ultimate Writing Template!
You’ve grabbed the reader’s attention, now you need to establish why you are writing this article.
What’s your personal experience with this problem. Or, how have you helped a client overcome this issue?
This is especially important if you are building a personal brand—your followers want to know you have gone through what they are struggling with.
For example, in this article, I admitted that I get writer’s block.
Before you get to the solution, let your reader know what to expect.
For example, in this article, I told you: “In this article, I’m going to share the exact 5-step process I use for writing, plus walk you through the 7 parts of my writing template.”
Keep them reading by building anticipation!
Now we get to the meat of the article – the solution.
This is what the reader came for and your job is to make it interesting enough for them to get to the end. Here’s a few tricks:
- Use bullets – bullets (or numbering) summarize the information and force you the writer to be more succinct.
- Creative subheadings – good subheadings pull the reader down the article and promise good stuff to come!
- Summarize with an image – we all love pictures. If your reader skips parts of the solution, at least they can get a summary.
- Give examples – I gave examples of the opening and problem sentences because they are so important for your article.
- Ask questions – when we read a question we immediately wonder about the answer. Are you enjoying this article? 🙂
6. THE OFFER
Why can talented keynote speakers sell so much product just before their close?
It’s because they’ve established the need, their authority, and created urgency.
This is the point you make an offer:
- Review your new course.
- See your products.
- Contact you.
- Watch a video.
- Read a related article.
- Join your list.
7. NEXT STEPS
The reader has gotten this far, now they need a little push to get started. You can finish with a motivational message, call-to-action, or challenge.
Enjoyed this article? Here are 3 more all about writing your next blog:
This article was originally published in 2016, but has been updated in 2020 just for you!