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How I Write Long-form Content

A step by step guide to writing a blog post or essay

When I write for myself, I start with an idea.

An idea than comes from audience research, brainstorming or maybe just a random thought that pops up unexpectedly.

Workflow

I start with SEO research for which I use Brandoverflow (no affiliate) and Google Search.

The next step is topic research. This means I will read the top 3–5 search results for the main keyword and do a quick search in my own notes in Evernote (no affiliate).

I copy/paste the best information into a document.

Then two things happen simultaneously:

  • It sparks more curiosity for specific questions.
  • I start organising the outline of the essay.

Now, I do a second round of research with more specific search queries.

When I feel I have 90% of the best information, I stop my research. Any research beyond this point won’t be time-efficient.

It’s time to go through the information and organise it in the correct section (intro, conclusion, below subtitle 1, below subtitle 2 … ) What doesn’t fit, goes in to the “recycling bin” for future use in other blog posts.

Once everything is organised, I start refining the text.

  • I reorganise the ideas per section.
  • I rewrite what I copy-pasted.
  • I mix ideas.
  • I add a bit of personal flavour.

Voilà. I’m done writing a blog post for the day. The first draft is finished.

I come back later to edit and review.

Photo by Olena Sergienko on Unsplash.

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