An Elementary School Trick to Set You Apart

Hi, it’s Robert … and I’m back again to tell you more about the fun and exciting world of “content marketing.” Your ticket to the “writer’s life” while focusing on a field you love.

So far this week, I’ve helped you determine your “niche” and I’ve shown you a few ways to start researching.

Today, you’re in for a real treat. Pack your themed backpack (I’m partial to Power Rangers), sharpen those #2 pencils, and hop on the big yellow bus. Because, for your next step on the journey to becoming a “content marketing” superstar, you’re going back to school!

Now, now, don’t get too nervous. I promise it will be fun! (And you can totally pass notes when I’m not looking.)

Remember those articles I asked you to bookmark yesterday? Now’s the time to pick one or two that really stood out to you. Especially ones with attention-grabbing headlines and useful, actionable information.

Once you’ve chosen them, I want you to do a classic exercise: copy them down by hand.

I understand this may take you back to Miss Maude’s dreaded writing class, where you had to practice your cursive letters until your hand cramped up. But, taking the time to copy down great writing gets your brain thinking like a great writer. The flow and format works into your muscle memory, helping you develop your skills.

Understanding what makes an article great and why gives you an advantage when working with clients. The freelancer who can reliably create quality content gets the most work!

The good news is, blog posts aren’t too long, so it won’t be too difficult. If you’re feeling like a star student, copy them down a few times. If you have difficulties or suffer from pain or discomfort in your hands, at the very least read them out loud a few times.

When you’ve finished, you’re ready to take a stab at writing a blog post of your own. And guess what? You can type it up on a computer!

Think about the materials you’ve read this week. Was there any topic in there you’d like to share your thoughts on? Or perhaps something you would do differently?

You can either pick something brand-new or write a commentary on an article you read. (This is known as curation – directly using another author’s work as the foundation for a piece you write. But, you must ask for their permission before publishing!)

Anyway, because you’ve been copying great articles, you’ll have the proper flow in your body and be able to churn something out fairly quickly. Remember, this is a topic you already are in the know about, so you don’t have to do too much extra research.

It doesn’t have to be too long, either. There’s no set length for a blog article, but anywhere from around 300 words up works just fine. Just make sure you stick to one topic with useful and actionable information. For example, how to grow an herb garden in an urban environment.

Once you’ve finished your draft, put it aside for a few hours. Then take another look and see what you think. Your eye will more easily catch mistakes if you give it some time to focus on something else.

Try this out tonight, and keep a hold of it. You’re going to take a bold step with it tomorrow, making you “official” in the content marketing industry.

And please share in the comments the topic you decided to write about! I’m a big fan of class participation, and would love to see what you’ve come up with.

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Published: August 13, 2014

5 Responses to “An Elementary School Trick to Set You Apart”

  1. Hi Robert, I'm enjoying your articles this week. Great work! Hopefully, I'll see you at Bootcamp this year.

    Chris Allsop

  2. Who would have thought that copying great articles would get your brain to firing up cylinders?! That flow and format into your memory muscle is pretty cool too! Thanks.


  3. Hi Robert, You got me thinking this week on the many talents passed to me through family & our green thumb. With little sun in yard growing plants for food will be what I am going to write about. Looking forward to more.

    Country Girl

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