I have greatly improved the impact of my work simply by taking time to tend to some details. It is not about improving the writing; it is about setting the post or newsletter up for success by handing the back end.
Fine-tuning will help you reach more people. Fine-tuning will help your work have greater impact.
1. Do the SEO work. Through my Rainmaker Platform I have access to Scribe which helps me create strong SEO statements for reach article. It also has an analysis tool in that program which I have yet to use but is high on my fine-tuning list.
2. Post in multiple places. Rather than rely on RSS feeds, I am emailing my posts to my entire community list. It turns out that Aweber can also send those posts to social media. Check each platform for word count limitation. Post to social media by hand, if it’s the only way, but post those articles! I’m finding Google+ and LinkedIn to be the most responsive for the people I seek to reach.
3. Full post or “Read more”? I have no research on this but I’m going for the full post. An extra click to read more is a decision to be made. Continuing to read takes no effort even if they scan.
4. Keep is short. This is my latest lesson. Break it up if you have to. Make one point and create a series that holds the next point. People are inundated by content. Make yours a filling snack.
5. Make it scanable. I write with a lot of subheads because it’s how my mind works. Bolded first sentences or actual subheads help a person quickly find the parts they want and need to know.
6. Put links in your articles. Try to add one hyperlink for every 120 words of body content spread out evenly down the page. Of course, the links must be relevant. I keep a list of relevant links for the areas I address on a separate document for easy access.
7. Use outline templates when you write. An outline of content steps helps me make certain I have stayed on track and offered the reader the stimulus they need to become engaged.
8. Notice what other people are doing. I got a fabulous idea for my newsletter from someone else’s newsletter. It is a weekly personal growth challenge with the invitation to email her what they discovered. What a great way to begin a person dialogue. Adding that feature helped me create the strongest newsletter I’ve done in years because it also helped me focus on one idea and that kept it short.
9. Be clear about your focus. I want every interaction to move us both forward – me while I write it and you as you read it. Sometimes an article is good only for my own clarity and needs to be totally rewritten to share. Review your work from the reader’s viewpoint – did you give them enough foundation information so they could fully absorb your idea.
10. Use the calendar in WordPress. I have a very good system for tracking articles in progress but I am changing it. I will still compose the original article in Word. By using the WordPress calendar, I will move it into an almost-final draft form sooner. That allows me to do the SEO work and set up the links so that when I return in three days to review it with a final fresh eye, it is ready to go. Scheduling your posts ahead helps you see and control the sequence and gives you some breathing room for other projects. I do have to schedule the follow up posting to my list and social media but scheduling a post for automatic delivery helps break the process down into smaller steps.
11. Read it out loud. You can hear the rhythm, the colloquialisms you need to take out, and the long sentences in which you can’t get your breath. If you listen while you read, you’ll also catch parts that need clarification. Now that you have lived with your idea and have some distance on it, how can you strengthen your headline?
12. Allow enough time to leave it and return in a few days with a beginner’s mind. This is a vital step. It allows you one fresh, final look before publishing it. This is not about perfection; it is about clarity and relevance.
Yes, this attention to detail mean you need to spend more time setting up your post or newsletter but I know I’m putting some wind beneath its wings when I take time to fine tune the backend of my offerings.