Everything we've talked about up until this point has been focused towards getting you up to speed and teaching you how to write efficiently while maintaining a certain level of quality. All the same, sometimes even the best-laid plans go awry and you don't exactly get the results you were looking for. That's because, like everything, the techniques, tools, and strategies have to be practiced to become habitual. Once they are habitual, they can make you faster. So, here's a plan to get you in the habit of becoming the smartest speed writer you can be.
Practice Makes Perfect
Unless you're a freelance writer you may not have a huge amount of time or opportunity to practice your writing skills. You will need to set aside time every week, at least 3 or 4 times a week, for however long you want to at the start. The key is to develop a habit of writing, so that when you aren't doing it, you actually feel like something is missing.
At first you can just have a goal to do one 400 to 600 word article every 3 to 4 weeks. However, like any art that you are practicing, the more that you do it, the better that you get. It's like flexing a muscle. You want to start building up some endurance to do more and more writing, even if you don't have a particular subject in mind. You can free associate to get started just by writing whatever comes to your mind. By spending even just 15 minutes a day free associating, you can really open up vast areas of untapped creativity.
Try to get to the point where you are writing things every day, whether it's just note taking, free associating, or actual article writing. The trick is to engage that part of your brain on a regular basis and that works to promote your creativity and inspiration.
Time Sessions Carefully
If your intent is to increase your speed, then you need to have some way to measure that speed. Keep a clock or watch handy when you sit down to write. You should time yourself from the start of this program to the end, as you begin to implement and learn the techniques in this book. At first, while you are learning, it may actually take you a bit more time because of the learning curve. But, once you don't have to go back and forth to look things up as you go along, you should begin to see an increase in the speed and the quality of your articles.
This slow-down is especially true if you are implementing new software or learning a new way to do things using new tools. You have to take into account that although they will eventually speed up the process, to learn them takes a bit of time. So, if that's the case, don't start timing your sessions until after you have a good handle on the tools, so as not to discourage yourself.
Otherwise, do start to time yourself at each session. The way you will measure your success is by noting the number of words that you can write in a set period of time. You can start with one half hour as a baseline, as that seems a short enough time for most people to handle. However, if you think that's too much to start, you can try 15 minute segments of time until you build up to one half hour.
To check the number of words that you've written, you can use the word count facility under the Tools menu in Microsoft Word. You may find that within one half hour, you are able to write 400 to 500 words. That's okay, but you should have a goal set for the number of words you want to write within the time period that you choose. So, if you want to increase it to 600 words and then try to beat your time every time you sit down to write, it can be a way to not only measure your progress, but also a fun game that can help spur you to write faster.
What's nice about this approach is that sometimes you will beat your time and other times you'll find yourself getting stuck in the process. Either way, you learn something from the experience. When you get stuck, you can go back to the areas that stumped you to see how you could have gotten through them faster. This will help you to refine your writing system so that it is customized for your particular writing issues.
Keep it Interesting
Not every assignment you get is going to curl your toes, but that doesn't mean that the boring ones can't be made more interesting. It's just a fact of life that there are times when the topics you need to write about are dull or not in your area of excitement and fun. That's when you can really use this system to liven things up and keep your brain motor humming.
The first thing you want to do when you get a topic that doesn't light your fire is to do a frequency word list, as described in Chapter 5. This will help you start to brainstorm not only profitable areas of research and writing, but also some that may be more interesting to you personally too. If you find some that immediately pop out at you as having some interest, use those to help you jump start the writing process.
With those words in hand, you will go to the Google search engine and start to research for interesting facts and stories that can help you get engaged with the subject. Just remember to add the topic in quotes to get an exact match there and use the frequency word list in combination with that to expand your search results.
Stick to Your Schedule
Writing is one of the most flexible professions out there. Whether you are a mother of three, already have a day-time job, or work the night shift, you can still spend time writing any time of day or night around that schedule. So, while on the plus side the flexibility makes it a very attractive job, it can also hamper people who don't know how to set and keep a tight schedule for themselves.
One of the things you want to do as you develop a schedule to write, is to keep in mind when you are most creative. That differs for everyone. Some people write best when they first wake up, and others are night owls. Even if you have other work that has to be scheduled during certain times, you will find that the creative juices tend to flow at particular times for you and you might have to rearrange the schedule to suit that muse. That just goes along with this type of profession. You will find it has a natural rhythm of its own and you are the one chasing the muse, not it coming to you.
But, once you've figure out the best times to write for you, you should keep to it and have a schedule so as to get in the habit and practice of writing, whether you feel like it or not. That might be a four hour block of time in the morning when all the kids are in school. Or, it might be late at night because that's the time when you best write. Either, way, try to schedule a set number of hours to work, if you intend to take this profession seriously. If you are just trying to start to write, you can start with smaller chunks of time, maybe even during a lunch break so that you get started just doing it.
And, that's the other thing that should be mentioned. Almost always, the biggest hump to actually writing is just getting started. That's why the free association exercise can work to stir the creative juices without building any pressure on you to produce a meaningful piece of work. It's just a matter of sitting down and starting to get words on paper that can often be the biggest stumbling block.
Hopefully, by using the strategies and tools in this eBook, you can at least know how to get started with word lists, research, and or even mind mapping to get started and spend less time looking at a blank sheet of paper.
If you do get writer's block, don't let it freak you out. Try the word lists, the mind maps, spend time reading instead of writing, or simply get up and have a cup of coffee or take a short walk. These types of activities tend to reduce the stress of performance anxiety and also help you to get the right frame of mind to use the part of your brain involved in creative acts.
Take Tons of Notes!
Finally, to increase the speed of your writing sessions, you should use note taking during other times to brainstorm and collect interesting facts or quotes that can help you later on. So, if you find a moment when you're not doing anything in particular, then why not use that time to take a few extra notes on things you might be reading, browsing on the Internet, or just brainstorming? You may end up finding lots of fruitful thoughts that can help you when you might be stuck later on for a good idea.
To be prepared when the mood strikes you, keep a some note pads, journals, or just sheets of paper with pens available to be able to jot notes down anywhere you are. Some great places to put these are by the side of your bed, when you might wake up in the middle of the night with some good ideas, or have some as you're waking up or going to bed. It's also a very restful time, which is why ideas that may not have had space in your brain earlier, may now feel free to come forward.
Don't just stick to words, though, you can also include photographs, drawings, clipped news stories, and even mind map diagrams in your noteBook. It can be a multimedia form of note-taking.
And, what are the sort of notes you might want to take?
- Website URLS - You can either keep a separate area for these (its own special noteBook) or you can put them in with your all-purpose multimedia noteBook. Remember to put a slight description of the website as well as the URL so that you can get back to it. This is the shortened version of what you do with your research document, where you include the entire online article. That's so that if later you do find a use for that article, you can go to that noteBook and find the URL very quickly.
- Photographs - A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well, modern technology has made it really easy to get photographs anywhere using your cell phone or digital camera and then downloading them to your computer. After that, you can even print them out on your printer. Now, it becomes almost an instant process to collect photographs in a few minutes when it used to take days to get them developed.
- Infoproduct titles - Once you start writing articles, you may come up with great ideas for topics that aren't really what your customer wants, but you think would be great to sell on your own. Don't hesitate to keep a separate journal to capture those infoproduct titles that pop into your head as you go about your day, or even when in you are in the middle of a different project. If you don't jot them down at that moment, the mind has a funny way of burying that title deep somewhere where only a deep sea diver can end up finding it someday.
- Quotes - Maybe you hear a great quote on the radio, or a friend says it. Or, maybe you're reading a book for pleasure or an article and you find a fabulous quote. It doesn't matter if you don't have an article that suits it at this very moment, but you don't want to let that quote leave without first recording it in your noteBook. That way, when that opportunity does arise, you will know that you have some great inspiration to start several articles just waiting for you in your noteBooks.
- High-performance queries - Maybe you found a certain way to locate research that you want to use again. Record the search query in your noteBook. Maybe it's a search result that yielded gold in the form of valuable articles that can later be mined for some topics. Record the search query in your noteBook. Next time you are at a loss as to what to write about or how to perform a particular search query, you can look back on your notes and get started very quickly.
- Clipped stories - Whether they are from a local newspaper, a popular magazine, just an interesting flyer, you can clip these stories and add them to your noteBook. Later, they provide a great way to find topics or quotes buried in them that can help you during dry spells or even when they match a particular topic a client wants.
- Mind maps - Just because you're not on a computer, it doesn't mean you can't do manual mind maps. It's a great way to free associate and generate brainstorming in a more relaxed and intuitive way.
Expanding Your Opportunities
Besides the extra time you will have to think up clever Internet marketing strategies, Speed Writing expands your writing opportunities. Content is very important on the Internet, and whether you are freelancing or writing for your own website, you can learn how to attract audiences and generate money from your writing much quicker.
If you are interested in freelance writing, there are numerous websites that allow you to bid on potential projects that others post. Two very good websites are Elance.com and Ifreelance.com. And, if you are writing in English, you will find that this is one job that is not easily outsourced. It takes a native speaker, native writer, to be able to generate content that the audience respects and admires.
What kind of money can you make as a freelance writer? It all depends on how fast and how good you are. If you learn how to write 800 words per half hour, or 1600 words per hour, and the pay is a medium $10 per 400 word article, you've just made $40/hour. That's pretty good pay for something you love to do! But, $10 per 400 words is not that great a pay, in actuality you can get anywhere from $25 to $50 per article in higher quality markets. Now, consider that you could end up making $100/hr. if you became very fast and very good at the same time!
As you can see, by this example, you can make a good living freelance writing, but only if you increase your speed while not sacrificing the quality of your articles.
Internet Marketing With Articles
Now that you know the types of rates you might end up paying to have quality writers do your articles, aren't you glad you bought this eBook? Instead of paying someone else to do the writing, you now have the tools in front of you to do it yourself and save quite a bit of money.
Speed Writing , as we've described it here, isn't just about speed, it's also about getting articles that rank well and attract a large audience. For that, you can use the Google keyword and phrases that you develop and research to help your Internet marketing efforts. In addition, you now have some valuable ideas on how to use the resource box when you submit articles to article directories. You know that you want people to click into that area and come back to your site. To do that, you need to tease them into clicking your links.
In addition, you've been taught how to develop articles that pleasing to the eye so that people will not shy away from reading them. That's more than most Internet marketers bother with because they generally focus on keyword density.
Become A Professional Blogger
On top of this, you have other opportunities that can come up just from learning Speed Writing . You might decide to start your own blog at Wordpress. If you end up hosting it on your own domain, you can add advertising and get sponsors, if you attract a large enough audience.
Blogs are easy to maintain and develop these days. You only have to write one short article every day. Of course, you can do longer articles, but most people like to read short articles that they don't have to work too hard to digest.
If you get really good at developing and writing your blog, you can even hire yourself out to other people who need bloggers. In the world of freelance writing, blogging jobs are one of the steadiest ones you can get. It provides a source of income that appears weekly, year after year, until the blog owner decides to quit.
Although some professional bloggers manage to make a great income, above $3,000 per month, the majority of bloggers to earn that much unless they have a pro blogging job that pays them on a decent basis.
If you want places to find professional blogging jobs, go to the resource section at the back of this eBook.
Build Your Own Content-Rich Website
This is one way Internet marketers can get really rich. If you build a content-rich site that shows off your expertise in a particular marketing niche, you can end up attracting just the sort of people interested in buying your products. A content-rich website serves as a foil for different ways to earn income: advertising, selling products, memberships, and affiliate referrals.
If you develop enough great content so that your site becomes recognized as an authority site, you have hit the jackpot! People will want to pay you to promote their products on your site. They may even beg you to allow them to write guest posts for you. You can make money by writing reviews, another very profitable area of content development.
The easiest way to make money on authority sites is to have paid ads that people pay you to put up on your site. If your site gets huge tons of traffic or has a large number of backlinks, you will get noticed by advertisers. You can basically pick and choose which advertisers will show up on your website. For that courtesy, you make an easy residual income that is generated month after month.
There are even places online that will show you just how to go about doing that! Check out the resource section at the end of this eBook for some great links on how to build authority sites.
EBooks are a great market to mine for additional Internet revenue. They sell well and they are exceedingly easy to deliver. With the system we've provided you should be able to spin out a 100 page eBook in three to five weeks, two to three if you're really fast.
Once you write an eBook, you can sell it for $20.00 or more. Imagine selling 100 copies of a $20 eBook, that's $2,000. Of course, you might sell less than that, but the point is that once it is written, you can sell as many copies as you want, since they are electronic. Every copy is basically pure profit because you don't have to pay shipping and handling fees to ship a paper copy of the eBook.
Internet marketers like to sell eBooks on a sales page that highlights all the benefits found within the eBook. They may even give away a copy of a free report to entice people into buying the eBook. Within the free report, they will provide a teaser that gets people interested in the full product. Don't forget that if you do create an eBook, that you can still use it to market other products. It doesn't matter that someone paid for an eBook and they get advertising within it, as long as it is not the entire eBook. You should provide a good value for your customer so that they don't feel like they've been cheated. However, that doesn't mean you can't put in a few promotional paragraphs for other products you sell or even some affiliate links in various places. This way, even after they buy the eBook, you are still marketing the customer for further sales.
What's fun about eBooks is that you can write about your favorite topics and still generate some income. You can even ghostwrite eBooks for other Internet marketers. Once you have the skill to write an eBook, you will find there is a huge market for people to do just this sort of thing. eBook ghostwriting can pay many hundreds of dollars for just one book, and some freelance writers specialize in this area because it is so profitable.