My "Popcorn" Blogging Method
faster, fresher, better
This post is all about quickly creating blog copy that feels fresh, alive, and authentic to your personality. And because I’m hungry and waiting for dinner to finish in the slow cooker, I’m using a food analogy.
Picture this: You’re about to make popcorn. With gusto, you unfurl the crinkly tri-fold of popcorn and Frisbee-throw it into the microwave. Beep-beep-beep, you enter the time indicated on the box, and hit “START.” Then your delicate dance with fate begins.
The popping slowly begins, crescendos to a popping mania, and then dwindles back down to slow popping again....pop....pop.........pop....
You spring into action and hit the “STOP” button. With trepidation, you open the microwave and delicately drag the popcorn bag out of the microwave. It smells buttery and fresh. Unburnt… or so you hope.
You delicately open the bag, shake it a bit, and….
No burnt smell! Success!!!
Fresh, fluffy, unburnt popcorn, because you stopped it at JUST the right moment. Before the pops become too few and far between.
Okay, what the heck am I talking about?
I’m talking about…. writing blog posts.
That’s right. I see you over there, clutching your mouse, staring wild-eyed at your computer, navigating to that blog post again to see how it looks, just one more time. Just a quick check. Won’t be long. Maybe you’ll give it another read, just to be sure. And maybe just swap out one little word….
Oh wait. That’s me in the mirror.
But maybe this sounds like you, too.
Tough love time. Are you a little OCD? With perfectionistic tendencies? I know I am. But here’s the problem – we’re overcooking our copy. It’s getting burnt, losing its freshness and not shining with our unique, authentic personalities.
Your copy is one of the key ways you can connect with your audience and build your brand! So you don’t want it to be overdone – you want it to feel fresh, human, and alive (in like a relatable sort of way, not in like a zombie snacktime sort of way).
Not to mention, you’re losing time sitting there listening to every lonesome little pop. You could be handling project work, connecting with a client, or dreaming up new ways to serve your audience. Instead, you’re reading something for the 10th time and changing one word. And then changing it back.
Ahhh. I can SO relate.
Don’t worry. I’m going to share my popcorn/copy-cooking recipe with you.
“Popcorn” copywriting recipe
I know what you’re thinking – making popcorn is so easy, why the heck do I need a recipe.
Well, writing copy is exactly the same. The hardest part is just getting started. But start we must.
I keep a single document with all my blog topic ideas that occur to me throughout the month, so that when it's time to sit down and write, I don't have to brainstorm.
2. enter the zone.
Getting started is a slow process, but once you get going, you’re in the zone. You’re typing with a fury, lighting up the keyboard, having epiphanies left and right. You pour out your soul onto the page, and the universe hums with praise for your singular genius. You’re just sure this new sales page is going to win a Pulitzer, it’s so rich with insight about the depths and complexities of the human experience. It’s going to be sweet walking on stage to accept your award in front of millions of your adoring fans.
It’s popcorn MANIA.
3. listen carefully.
Things are looking pretty good at this point. You’ve written a masterpiece, and you know it’s coming together. You’re still working though – big chunks are moving around. Sentences are getting finessed and rewritten.
Now you’re just tweaking a word here or there. Maybe you even publish the page to see how it looks in “live” view. And you start reading, making a few final adjustments.
The pops are becoming more spaced apart. You are nearing the moment of truth.
The pops are spaced far apart at this point. Hit STOP!
Shake the bag – you’ll hear that there are a few unpopped kernels. That’s okay! Resist the urge to throw it back in the microwave. If you want the fresh, lively content that feels authentic, captures your personality, and is ready to be savored by your website visitors, then you need to write it, edit it, and then let it be!
Now you can go move on to whatever else you need to do. Don’t come back to this post later today – just move on!
Remember that age-old saying, “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good”? I totally understand your perfectionistic inclinations, wanting everything to be just right. You’re an A-lister, of course you want everything you release out into the world to be perfect.
But for the sake of your blog, your readers, and your own sanity, it pays to prioritize and stay focused on the big picture!
Wouldn’t your readers rather you be spending time writing a new post or creating new content or products that can help them, than obsessing over minor word choice in a single blog post? There’s valuable expertise rattling around up in that noggin of yours, and it needs to be shared with the world!
So let’s pop some popcorn, let kernels stay kernels, and embrace the human imperfections that go along with fresh, living copy!
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