How One Guest Post Changed the Way I Write

How One Guest Post Changed the Way I Write

I always thought I was a good writer. I would get compliments on my style and lots of social shares. Praise makes a person feel good, right?

However that all changed when I got the awesome opportunity to write a blog post for Mark Schaefer and his {grow} blog.

Here’s what happened…

Mark keeps a high content standard for his blog. He has worked hard to build his community by consistently providing quality content.  Completely stoked when he told me in our consulting session I was welcome to submit an article, I went to work.

I picked a topic that is being buzzed about – being human in your business. I thought, easy peasy! WRONG.

The first draft submitted was sent back.

The second draft was also sent back along with a note to not be discouraged.

When the second draft was sent back, Mark was gracious to give me some pointers on how I could write it better. So I took a while between drafts two and three. Meeting such a high standard by someone who I have the utmost respect for was honestly a challenge. It made me question my writing ability. It made me question if I was truly writing fluff.  I was thisclose to just giving up on the whole thing. I then emailed a friend and colleague for some advice and she gave me some great feedback that I’m very grateful to have gotten.

I circled my wagons, re-read the emails Mark sent me and started over.

Third time was a charm. Talk about a sigh of relief! And to top it off, Ragan published it as well (with permission from {grow}).

So what did this experience teach me?

  • Cut the fluffy openings and get to the point. I tended to ramble in my article openings. That doesn’t provide value to the article. So cut it and get the point.
  • There should be more meat than vegetables in your articles. People are reading articles for value and expertise, not fluffy philosophical thoughts.
  • Don’t drag on with your points. Make the point rather taking a whole paragraph to explain it, unless 100% necessary.
  • An actual visual is sometimes better than an explanation of it. Use video or infographics to explain your point. Sometimes these are more entertaining.

The biggest lesson of all?

—–>Get to the point.<—–

Going back and reading some of my earlier articles I realized I took too long to get to the point. I am now making a concerted effort to cut the bull and get to it in my articles and holding myself to a higher standard of content.

I will be forever grateful to Mark for challenging me to do better. We should always challenge ourselves to do better. It is the only way we are going to grow in our business.

That being said, I am going to challenge you now – find a major blog you admire and make it a goal to have your article published on it. You will become a better writer because of it.

Click here to read the article I wrote for Mark 🙂

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