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How to Be a Better Content Marketing Writer, Taylor Swift Style

Vogue runs this somewhat ridiculous video series called “73 Questions,” where they follow celebrities around their homes with a video camera while asking 73 rapid-fire questions. I suppose this gives the fans insight into both the celebrity’s decorating style as well as their inner lives.

But don’t let my scorn fool you, because obviously I’ve watched it. During Taylor Swift’s “73 Questions,” the interviewer asked her, “What does creativity mean to you?” She answered, “Creativity is getting inspiration and having that lightning bolt moment and then having the hard work ethic to sit down at the desk and write it down.”

Ah, the work ethic. The forgotten flip side of inspiration. All writers are struck with a flash of insight at some point. But that lightning bolt fades fast – and when it does, it means sitting down to a blank space and translating ideas into words people actually want to read.

Writing is a practice. And like any practice, it has shortcuts, tips and best practices that can make your writing crisp and your creative process sharp. Let’s look at five tips that can avoid any bad blood between you and your writing:

  1. Read your content out loud: I cannot stress this enough. Reading your words out loud lets you listen to their rhythm and flow. You’ll be able to hear, not see, where grammatical notations should fall. And your brain will use an entirely different region to determine if your content makes sense.
  2. Use the Rule of 24: Marinating does the same thing to content as it does to meat; it tenderizes it to bring out the full flavor. So write something. Fiddle with it. Then put it away for at least 24 hours and look at it again. Words you may have thought were brilliant may get axed, and you can shake, shake, shake them off. Other constructions you didn’t like as much will appear fixable. You will bring a fresh set of eyes that always results in an improved piece.
  3. Use the end as the beginning: We waste way too much time getting to the lede. Stop! People don’t have time, patience or inclination to listen to you go on and on about Taylor Swift. So write your piece. Let it sit for 24 hours. I promise you’ll find that the best stuff you wrote is at the end. So delete your intro, slide in that ending, and you’re golden. Promise.
  4. Use proper nouns and concrete phrases: People can’t picture a “rational method” and “abstract amount.” But when you say “white house” or “red door,” an image just popped into your mind. So avoid abstract ideas and concretize them for people. Marinating content like steak – see? It’s a concrete idea that you can hold onto.
  5. Layer in voice on the second draft: Ann Handley taught me this, and I’m annoyed I didn’t know this technique till this year: It’s too big a job to convey information while also trying to sound like ourselves, or our brand. So write what you’re trying to say first. Leave it for a while. When you come back to the second draft, then you can layer in all those inside jokes (like song titles) and brand voice differentiators that make the content sing.
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Lightning bolt or no, writing words that people want to read is hard. But don’t make it harder. Use these 5 tips to become a fearless writer, and I guarantee you it’ll be easier to sit down and construct a piece of content that enchants your audience. Your reputation depends on it.

Aside from writing,  there are many other things you can do to boost your content marketing career. For more on this check out our Ultimate Guide to a Content Career in the link below.

Ahava Leibtag

Ahava is passionate about content and prides herself on tackling the toughest content projects—from healthcare to higher education to hip-hop (seriously). She has more than 15 years of experience in writing, messaging, and marketing, and is a well-recognized content expert. Her first book, The Digital Crown: Winning at Content on the Web was published by Morgan Kaufmann in November 2013.

Ahava is the president and owner of Aha Media Group, LLC, a content strategy and content marketing consultancy founded in October 2005.


    Hello Ahava Leibtag,

    Thank you for give a very informative information.
    Please keep writting amazing blogs.

  • Mohsin Kamal

    It is really nice. But I would request you to go in more details in next article on this topic. I tried your rules on my latest post at and I sense some improvment. Would love if you have a look on it and give your valuable feedback.
    Thanks for your post.

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  • Deana Johnson

    Hi there Ahava Leibtag, that was perfect! I really liked the tips that each paragraph provides a sense of success – will integrate that into my effort as a content writer at UK Essays Writing firm! Great job and thanks a lot for it.

  • Hey Ahava excellent piece of information. Thanks for sharing
    I myself being a Digital Marketing Analyst would love to incorporate your tips in my content marketing strategy.
    Once again thanks for posting.

  • Worthy, Ahava!
    These 5 points really convey the competent content of the letter.
    I used to write rap texts and used these items, not knowing that this is a competent approach to writing!

  • Thank you for sharing these great ideas. Tips are very useful for any king of writing. I have personally seen, I do not get agree with my own thought that I depicted few days back. Sometimes the second reading create a doubt: Is it me who have written such bad content. I can relate with the second Ideas of the blog. Mr. Wank Sung, who is a content marketer with BestOnlineAssignmentHelp has written an article about: What to write in your first paragraph when writing an article. I’ll start practicing that.

  • wasiq naeem

    Thank you Ahava for sharing your precious thoughts with us. There are some really great pointer to take from this piece. The technique i use is that i search and read articles similar to the topic i am going to write and make a table of content.

    I go on and fill the sections with my genuine ideas. One tool that i relly on for searching relevant content on the web is ContentStudio gives you the ability to discover topic-relevant content filtered by social shares, different media types and virality. Select posts individually from your topic feeds or setup an automation campaign with your own rules to publish content automatically to your selected channels.

  • Sanjay Sharma

    I’m gonna be a great fan of this blog site. Really appreciated with your writing and nice topics. Please keep this good work UP

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  • James Benson

    Thanks for these tips! Great writing. I’m some kind of writer myself. Currently helping kids with papers here at the , but my dream is to write novels.

  • jim joe

    I try this and it work. For Dell support call dell support number.

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    thank you for sharing these awesome information
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  • Techcronus Business Solutions

    Hii Ahava,
    Thank you for sharing this fantastic blog. For any content writer the very important thing is how to write better content related their business. This post is very useful to me in content writing. Keep Sharing.

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