Friday 1 March 2013

How to Write an Article in Four Hours

A key element of my marketing plan is to place articles into paper and on-line business publications. The goal is to inspire readers to view my bi-line credit and either visit my website or a bookseller to buy Change with Confidence. There are many benefits to this approach:

- placement where my target market goes for information
- builds change leader and writing credentials
- easily customizable through topic selection
- provides flexibility to comment on current events
- highly scanable content
- leverages my publicist team's network

I don't have much experience writing articles. Just a few for corporate newsletters a few years ago. I was starting from scratch. 

My time line was short so I went for a "learn by doing" approach:

1. Select a good topic
2. Check with publicist team to make sure it was good
3. Research my topic
4. Define my position - what's my central point?
5. Write first draft
6. Self-edit
7. Write second draft
8. Ask Barb to edit
9. Send to publicist team for review and final edit

I have written three articles in the last week: change advice for the publishing industry, views on the American Airlines-US Airways merger and the importance of confidence in leading change.

It takes me four hours to complete an article; about two hours on research and positioning and two on writing and editing. I use the EBSCO research database to source articles on my chosen topics, which speeds up the process. For the airline merger article, I scanned seventy-seven articles and read ten of them. The process reminded me of the research I did for my case studies. You know almost immediately when you have a hot topic.

Writing articles is enjoyable. The topics are interesting and it's liberating to articulate your views in short editorials. It will be gratifying to see the first one published. I am not the fastest writer, but that's not my goal. My goal is to spread the word about Change with Confidence, something that is more fun that I thought it would be.


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