Guest post by Georgina Walls
Let’s get one thing clear, I’m not encouraging you to place yourself on an invisible scale from bad to good. The real question is: do you feel confident about creating content? More often than not, being a ‘better’ writer means you feel less vulnerable about putting your words together. You feel encouraged to take more risks, and are influenced by your own independent thoughts rather than anyone else’s.
Being a confident writer is essential to getting your voice heard. Just imagine that you are in a meeting or giving a presentation. How would your audience react if you were speaking without clarity and conviction? Your content is a vessel that allows you to champion your business’s values, culture and opportunities. It deserves the same respect, if not more, as any other form of communication.
But, as any accomplished writer would tell you, getting to that blissful point of self-assurance isn’t easy on your own. So if you are feeling a little lacklustre, seek advice and writing tools to help you strengthen your existing skills. Fortunately, we live in an age where such tools are plentiful.
We call these writing tools apps; they are digital wonders that can provide a fantastic antidote for your writing ailments. I want to share with you how they can cushion you into feeling better about developing your ideas. From there, you’re going learn how to be more efficient at writing inspirational, emphatic, customer centric copy. So, let’s get started.
Apps for Generating Ideas
Help Me Write
This app should be your first point of call when you’re not feeling confident about your ideas.
Perhaps you’ve decided to do your own content marketing, but you aren’t sure if your topics are relevant or relatable to your audiences. Using Help Me Write, you can publish your ideas to an active audience. Other users will click on ‘I’d like to read this’ as a clear indication of whether your topics carry the kind of weight and readability you want to deliver; the perfect tool to feel better about writing for your business.
If you’re anything like me, ideas rarely appear when you ask them to. Instead, eureka moments are spontaneous and difficult to remember. This is where Writer Plus can be your lifeline.
Add it to your phone, and this nifty app will give you the ability to record your ideas on the go – and in fancy folders too. It’s an ideal security blanket for your unexpected genius. Now, you can walk your dog, travel to a meeting, and enjoy time away from your desk without letting those light bulb moments go to waste.
Believe it or not, Pinterest can be used for more than looking at cute puppy pictures or yummy birthday cakes. Become best friends with the search bar, and you could find yourself truly inspired.
When your enthusiasm for creativity is running on empty, this app is a treasure trove of motivational quotes, writing tips, and grammar dos and donts. And okay, if looking at baby animal pictures makes you a happier writer, I’ll let you indulge a little.
Apps for Creating Content
There aren’t enough adjectives in the English dictionary to describe how awesome Hemingway is. This is because it gives you the best advice you can get as a content writer – for free! Basically, if your work demonstrates that you’re more of a storyteller than a listener, you’ve failed the readability test.
Those special adverbs and clever structures might make you the next Shakespeare, but is it what your audience wants to read? Are your sentences too convoluted? Are you abusing the thesaurus to sound smart? Am I asking too many questions? Probably. Be that as it may, whether you think you’re guilty or you’re just not sure, Hemingway’s correctional features are well worth experimenting with. Repenting for your writing sins doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience.
I’ll start by saying that the Pocket Thesaurus is great, but you shouldn’t use it as a band-aid. If you look at a synonym or antonym and wonder, ‘Will this word make sense?’ then you put the value of your content at risk. Your content should be a reliable source of information, and using words that don’t fit into context could damage this.
Don’t assume that because spell checker likes a word, it’s safe. Imagine if you told your readers that your software was sensitive rather than intuitive. They might think it likes to cry. Synonyms have subtle differences, so to benefit from this app, you need to combine your experimentation with careful research.
Ask a friend you trust, and get comfortable with sentences your synonyms work well in. When used properly and in moderation, the Pocket Thesaurus can be a wonderful tool to expand your knowledge of new words, build your confidence, and breathe life into unimaginative content.
Here’s a fun fact: it’s totally possible to be a great writer while being bad at spelling and grammar. As much as a Grammar Nazi would tell you otherwise, making mistakes is okay, and definitely not something to hold you back from giving voice to your amazing ideas.
What’s important is that your final draft looks sharp and professional, and having mistake-free content is the key to achieving this. This is where Grammarly can help. This app intelligently analyses your work, highlights pesky errors, and opens these for multiple corrections. The latter feature is priceless because it also coerces you into recognising your most common mistakes, giving you the ability to not just spruce up your content but to learn from it too.
A writer’s mind is a labyrinth of thoughts that must be unravelled to create meaningful content. This is a process that requires your full attention, but it’s not always easy to achieve this. Internet distractions are as abundant as they are irresistible: Facebook, Twitter; Instagram, Buzzfeed, that cute post about how a dog became a squirrel’s best friend. Don’t deny it. We all have those days where staring at mindless posts seems much more attractive than writing.
If this sounds like you, I’m not judging you (much), but I will recommend that you give FocusWriter a try. This app eliminates aforementioned distractions, giving you a clear and peaceful space away from things like social media and other notifications, allowing you to give your content the attention it deserves.
Your content will inspire.
Isn’t this a beautiful technological age we live in? Now you can pick and choose the writing tools most useful to you, and transform your thoughts from ‘this isn’t good enough’ into positive affirmations about your content.
Getting to that point, or building on the confidence you already have will help you push your content to be more engaging. Your voice needs to be distinct and powerful. There’s nothing better than knowing that you helped your readers solve their problems because your content was meaningful to them. Get better at writing words that matter, and improve your chances that they will remember this experience, and return to the ideas you are endorsing again and again.
Georgina is a copywriter who inspires through style and engages with substance. She uses her skills and experience to turn ideas into business opportunities; streamlining traffic by guiding content into the spotlight. To find out more about Georgina, click here.