Your first article is stalking you. It’s a bit scary. It makes you lose sleep at night. You see a gray hair and you realize you should do it. No matter what happens though, it’s writing that first article that proves to be the most difficult when starting your career as a content developer. It’s time to snap those fears away!
When I first moved abroad, one of my first icebreaker questions was “Did you ever want to be a writer?” The majority of the time the answer was yes and the excuses for not doing it were all the same. Mostly they revolved around not having the time after working, studying, shopping, and the daily trappings that most of these people went abroad to avoid. I then casually mentioned that they had the time to be sitting in a bar talking with me so they must have time somewhere to do it. Therefore, get rid of your excuses. All you have to do is stop talking about writing and start doing it.
For the times you’re away from the computer and can’t write, you need to optimize that time. There’s a lot of power in noticing the world around you. If you notice when your emotions change or your ears perk up, that is a sign that you’re being affected by something or that you’re wanting to know more. Chances are that if you act in this way, there’s other people in the world acting in the same way. If you can notice what they can’t and tell them about it, you’re on your way to your first article.
It may not be this easy though. If you find yourself burdened by overwhelming daily frustrations, get coffee or have a drink with someone you want to know more about. Ask them what they’re interested in. But don’t stop there! Dig deeper. Why are they interested in it? How did they find out about this new interest? Ask them if there’s anything they can teach you about it. Enthusiasm is infectious- go catch some today.
It’s not enough to take notice. Next you have to turn that input into output. After finding out what catches your attention, scour the Internet to see if other people are having the same responses. For the most updated information, blogs and forums are your best bet. Your goal should be to identify what you already know, need to know, and want to know. Readers don’t need to be reminded of what they already know but you can make a lot of money helping them realize what they need to know and what they will want to know in the future. Get as much information as possible. It may be more than you need for your first article but you’ll be on the path for more articles in the future.
When you reach this stage, create an article format that resembles this Need to Know and Want to Know structure and you’ll be on your way to that first article that may just start your new career.
When writing an article, think of it as a table with many thick layers of dust. An inexperienced writer will get one layer of dust off and then walk away. An excellent writer will focus on one spot at a time and get it sparkling. Don’t try to do too much in one article. Your reader will get overwhelmed and click away. You got this far- don’t forget that getting people to read what you write is the ultimate goal. Help them get through the dust. Clear writing, a strong focus, and attention to detail make this even easier for your reader.