Coming up with new, interesting, and useful things to write can be difficult to accomplish every day, especially if you are writing about similar topics and industries all day long. If you are searching for a few professional writing tips that will make your job a little easier, check out these three ideas.
Content writing often involves a lot of research on the web. While you are searching for information about the piece you are writing, have you ever come across an article or page that you know would be useful in the future? Pocket is a great way to save and organize links so you can hang on to those useful pages.
There are plenty of apps that have similar features, but Pocket is nice because you can add tags to your links to make them more searchable. You can also save Facebook updates, Tweets, and Pins from your phone with an app that stays synced to your desktop browser app. You can use basic features for free, or upgrade for advanced searching capabilities and automatic backups.
Are you having a hard time coming up with something to write about? Or do you need to find a way to connect a topic to something current? Google trends is a great way to discover what people are searching for and to learn about related topics. You can start by getting a look at the top trending topics overall or sort by categories such as Business, Entertainment, and Health to get those top stories.
You can also pop in your keyword into the "Explore Topics" bar and see if Google can make some connections for you that might get your mind moving in the right direction. For example, if you type in "furnace repair," you can see that people are also looking for "furnace repair service" and "gas furnace repair." This might help you find a focus for your article or blog post.
We all know how to type in a few words to perform a search, but did you know that this seemingly simple search engine has a bunch of built-in features to make your searches more accurate? For example, you can use a minus or hyphen to exclude words from your search. If you are trying to learn more about bears, but everything you find keeps returning a football team, try typing in "bears -Chicago," and see if you get better results. Here are a few more:
- site: This helpful addition to your search term lets you define a particular site for Google to search. Or, if you are looking for authoritative sources and all you seem to find are blogs or competitor sites, try using "site:.gov" or "site:.edu" to find only government or educational institutions.
- related: If you have a go-to source for interesting topics or helpful facts, but you are starting to feel like you've used up everything it has to offer, this search tool will help you find websites that are similar. For example, The Family Handyman website offers up tons of information on furnace repair. A search of "related:familyhandyman.com" returns This Old House, The Home Handyman Magazine, and other useful sites.
- define: Use this to quickly find the meaning of words. It is also a fast way to find synonyms and other information about a particular word instead of jumping over to another site like Dictionary.com or Thesaurus.com.
Many people may not be aware of all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into writing professional content. There are topics to be discovered, facts to verify, and ideas to try not to forget. Use these professional writing tips to work smarter so you can focus more of your time on the writing, not the legwork.