Sometimes the hardest part of writing is figuring out what to say first. If you dump everything you want to say into one web page or one article or one blog post, you are likely to end up with a mess that no one understands. And yet, how can you let those great ideas slip away?
The first rule of organizing any writing is that there is always another sentence, paragraph, and page. You do not need to cram everything into one opportunity. What you need is focus.
A Basic Structure for Organizing Ideas
Let’s say you run a car repair shop and want to draw in customers by performing annual car inspections.
- First write a “thesis“–a central idea–that takes this form: You (the customer) should (do this) to get (that). In this example, the thesis states, “You should have your car inspected every year to make sure it is running properly.”
- Next write the reasons why this thesis is true: “The inspection checks for problems with safety equipment, such as brake lights, and for violations of regulations, such as emission standards.”
- Next write a conclusion based on the information you have given. “If your car passes inspection, you will know it is safe to operate for another year.”
- Finally, call the readers to action. “Sign up for a car inspection today and we will give you a 20% discount.”
When you are finished, look through the content to make sure your opening sentence is as strong as it can be. Sometimes opening turns out to be buried in the conclusion–by then, you’re thought out exactly what you want to say. But this structure keeps your thoughts on track–in this case, you stay focused on car inspections.
Other Ways to Organize Content
Here are a few other ways to organize your ideas:
- Write about three benefits/features of your product or service (Our car inspection service covers three safety concerns…). Three is usually the optimum number.
- Create a list (10 ways to keep your car safe).
- Set up a Q&A. Create a question (“I’m afraid to have my car inspected. What should I do?”), building up a scene that might have prompted a real customer to ask that question. Then answer it.
- Tell a true story (“One of our customers wanted to buy a car that had no record of inspections. We suggested…”).
Get Help from TWP Marketing & Technical Communications
You have lots of great ideas for marketing content. If you find your writing wandering all over the universe and back, contact me. I’ll make sure your marketing content is always organized to show off your best ideas.