I’m pulling this article from the archives! It was really well received last year AND has a lot of great information for you.
Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? It stands for National Novel Writing Month and every November, participants from around the world begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30. The “rules” state that you can plan, outline, think, and research as much as you want in October, but on November 1, you start a brand-new novel with no words already written.
Writing a book is a great exercise in discipline, refining your thought processes, and creativity. Even if you have no desire to write a novel, November is a great month to do the writing you are interested in. Or the writing that you know you’ve been needing to do for your business but just haven’t had time for.
Here are five steps to get you going:
1. Have a “plan”
You most likely have an idea about what book you want to write for your business. Start there! Unlike a novel which needs characters, plot, setting, mood, theme, etc. the book you need for your business has basic sections that are unique to the information you specialize in.
As you create this plan, jot down all your ideas for chapters, topics, and sub-topics. After you have a page of ideas, you’ll organize them into sections. Don’t think too much! Just get all your ideas down. This will become the “plan” for your book.
(This isn’t an outline! It’s a writing plan. I’ll explain more in step 4.)
And a great resource for you is the Book Idea Workbook.
2. Get it all out
My writing instructors used to call this “writing to silence the critic.” It’s when you just keep writing even if you know that you’re not making sense, contradicting yourself, missing steps, and most importantly, writing like crap!
NaNoWriMo isn’t a slow and steady marathon! It’s a sprint to write an insane amount of words in just thirty days.
I recently got asked to submit a guest article for a blog. My first thought was “Yay! Awesome! Of course!” Then when I actually WROTE it on my To Do list, I realized that just WRITING the article was only part of what I needed to do.
Here are 4 steps when you’ve been asked to submit a guest post:
(This is when SHE is asking YOU – not you pitching an idea!)
1. Review their website and blog
Since you were invited to write, it’s probably a safe bet to say that HER audience is a good fit for you. But you still want to spend some time checking out her website and blog.
- What’s the tone? Is it formal or conversational?
- Is there anything there that doesn’t align with your business or personal vision? Your name will be forever associated with this other person so before you send them your article, be sure there’s nothing there that you’re uncomfortable with or regret.
- How long are the articles?
- Is the target audience beginning or advanced?
- Have there been any guest experts in your field or industry? It’s okay if there are, you just want to make sure you’re saying something different.
2. Make sure you’re crystal clear on the requirements and deadline
Guest posting are only a win-win when BOTH of you are clear! That includes:
There are a variety of reasons to have someone write a guest post for your blog ranging from highlighting an expert to taking a much-needed break from the weekly requirement to provide an article.
When you feature a guest article on your blog, you’ll usually get a boost in traffic from the guest author’s social media efforts.
Here are some things to keep in mind when posting a guest article:
Make your requirements crystal clear. That’s your deadlines, links to their site, how you expect them to promote the post, and when/if they can use the article on their own website, and when the post will appear. I would also suggest a length – word count is universal whereas page count can vary a lot.
Request a topic. This makes it easier for the guest blogger so she gets an idea of what topics will resonate with your readership. Understand that you may end up with an article that doesn’t share your views on a topic. Most of the time, a guest blogger will not use your blog for THEIR personal platform, but it does happen.
It happens to the best of us, myself included. You go to get a drink at the Idea Fountain only to find somebody didn’t pay the water bill!
Or the fountain is still running but instead of clean, crisp water brimming with wonderful ideas it’s a stagnant trickle filled with bug legs and only provides mediocre ideas.
BOTH happened to me recently.
The second happened in the title of my teleseminar. Everything else was clear and easy: all the benefits, snappy sales copy, email strings, pain points that had ME shivering.
But the title: uninspiring at best. NOT awesome for somebody who is teaching an entire module about how to craft killer titles. I didn’t have any choice except to run with what I had but, ewww, it was bad.
Enter a mentor:
I was on a VIP coaching call and mentioned the launch. It was going well, I was ecstatic with the signups but… There was something missing. She asked what I was calling it – and started to laugh.
“That’s a TERRIBLE title, Kim!” she said between giggles. “Who helped you?”
Pause. The line crackled.
“I came up with it myself,” I muttered.