This is a guest post from Niki Tibble. Niki is a content writer, copywriter, and all-around wordsmith at Away With Words and Blogon. When she’s not writing about eCommerce, rum, or recruitment, she can be found eating Ben & Jerrys, never running a marathon ever again, and drinking tea.
No day is the same as a multi-purpose content writer. One moment I could be writing about the best fulfillment strategies for Amazon or maximizing your recruitment ROI – the next I could be writing about the up-and-coming trend for craft rum.
But, one thing is for sure: how I approach writing about different topics. And with these top tips, I can help you to do the same. So put down the rum, pick up a pen, and let’s get going.
Writing about different topics – why is it so hard?
When you were younger, you’d switch between tasks at the sound of a bell. One moment you’re drawing your family dog, then you’re learning your A, B, Cs, and next up you’re running around chasing your friends. But, as an adult, routine kicks in and monotony becomes standard – making writing about different topics unfamiliar, difficult, and daunting. Not only do you need to understand new information, but you also need to adapt to:
- A new style;
- A new tone; and
- A new audience.
So how does someone who writes about new topics day in and day out do it?
How to write about different topics – tips from an expert
Whether you’re jumping from deep-dive research to the employee newsletter, or from your company’s latest blog to an award application – successfully jumping between topics requires:
1. Maintaining consistency
Consistency might not be the first word you picture when talking about various topics, but the more consistent you are in your approach, the more consistent you are in the quality you deliver.
Achieve consistency with:
A plan – knowing what you’re going to write about and when you need to switch your attention, makes doing so easier. Start each day with a plan dedicating set time and focus to each topic.
Research – writing about different topics requires knowing about different topics. Always carry out enough research to understand the topic, communicate clearly, and deliver the goal of your content.
Writing – although the sentences you craft will be vastly different, the key principles of good, clear, and engaging copy remain the same. Don’t let your writing suffer.
2. Switching focus
Humans don’t normally like change. It’s why we shop in the same places, eat the same brand of ice cream, and stop for that 3 pm cookie every day. But, when writing about varied subjects, change is inevitable. Embrace it by using:
Mindfulness – the art of being present goes beyond appreciating the trees when talking a walk. Mindfulness trains your mind to let go of the thoughts surrounding your previous topic and fully embrace the thoughts about your new topic. Try a ten-minute exercise between tasks.
Outlines – writing a brief outline has many benefits, including keeping your mind focused on your current topic and where you’re going next with it. Prevent your brain from wandering by starting your work with an outline of the key heading and subheadings, your audience, the tone, and your overall goal.
Journals – journaling is excellent for letting off steam, being appreciative, and getting creative – it’s also great for mind-dumping. If you’re half-way through your new topic and a thought about your last piece pops up, use your journal to jot it down, let it go, regain your focus, and come back to it later.
3. Enjoying it
One of the biggest challenges of writing about different topics is enjoyment – what if you have to write about a topic you don’t enjoy? Overcome this by:
Getting interested – do you not like a specific topic, or just not know enough about that topic to like it? Become engrossed in the topic at hand by delving into your research to find shocking facts, intriguing details, and interesting accounts. Failing that, become passionate about your audience’s passion for the topic (it’s how I wrote about carp fishing!)
Overcoming writer’s block – there’s nothing less enjoyable or more painful than writer’s block. Overcome it by taking a break, writing badly (you can come back to it later), or building up your creative juices by writing non-stop for two-minutes about a topic you do enjoy.
Passing the buck – and, if you’re really not enjoying it – get someone involved who does. Whether that’s outsourcing the entire piece to a content writer, or simply seeking advice (like this blog) – you don’t have struggle alone!
Writing about different topics
Writing about different topics isn’t easy – especially when you need to change your tone, style, audience, and goal. But, that’s what makes it fun. Follow these simple steps and get practicing – it’s what makes you perfect.