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Brand YOU and more
Dr Amit Nagpal
8 Simple Steps to Write Professionally to Express Yourself 09 November, 2011
The author gives 8 simple steps to write professionally for blogs and ezines. Writing is, in fact, the core of personal branding and to communicate oneself in a professional manner, one needs excellent writing skills.

HERE ARE eight steps to become a professional writer/blogger and express yourself to the world.

Step 1

Getting ideas to write

Internet in general and Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and Google + in particular are good sources for getting ideas on the topics you cover, but it can be difficult to separate the grain from the chaff. You can also get inspiration from nature and people.

Step 2

Write the first draft

Always write the first draft without any restrictions (political correctness, etc.). The first draft must be true expression of yourself or your soul. Be completely truthful. Our writing must come from the 'I' or in other words it should communicate our thoughts and feelings. Do not worry about making errors at this stage, as any kind of thinking may create a distraction and disturb the flow of thoughts. Just be and express your innermost self.

Step 3

Read it from readers' perspective

We must remember that the most important issue is - our audience must understand our message. If we try to show off our English/language and the audience does not understand the message, we are only making fools of ourselves. We must keep out target audience in mind in terms of their knowledge and exposure. For example, if you are writing for a computer magazine targeting at computer professionals, using IT jargon is very much fine but not for average readers.

Step 4

Check for bias

The bias can be of two types viz. bias for and bias against. As human beings we all have biases (sometimes we are aware of our biases and sometimes not). Sometimes, our biases are so deep-rooted that we may refuse to accept them as bias and consider them as truth. The biases can be relating to gender, caste, religion, political party, state, country, culture and so on. The important point is to remember that when things are put into black and white, it becomes a record, and we need to be more cautious in our choice of words. Whatever we are writing is contributing to our long term brand.

Step 5

Check for errors

The errors can be in following areas: Grammar, punctuation, spelling, sequencing of thoughts, verification of facts, and source credibiltiy.

Step 6

Take honest feedback from someone

Ideally, feedback should be taken from a person who is honest and yet provides constructive criticism. A person who has a tendency of only appreciating or only criticizing should be avoided. If the person only appreciates every time, you shall not get ideas for improvement. If the person is only critical, he/she may demoralize you forever.

Step 7

Read it again

Check the following points:

One paragraph should discuss one idea only and as one shifts to another point, the paragraph should be changed symbolizing the shift of thought. Are you talking to the audience or talking down to the audience? I am reminded of an interesting episode at Doordarshan (Public Broadcasting service of India). A team from BBC came to train their staff and the trainee feedback was quite poor. After some time a team from CNN came to deliver training and the feedback was very good. The management was surprised and undertook an in-depth analysis of what was the difference in the training. They found only one small issue which made all the difference. While British trainers talked down to the audience (you need to improve this), the American trainers talked to the trainees by addressing them as "We neeed to improve" - and hence did not alienate them.

Step 8

Read the final draft to crosscheck

The final draft should be read once again, as some small errors may become visible at this stage also. Note-Remember, these steps cannot be followed for all your writings. You need to keep two points in mind. One when you are a beginner, it is good to follow as many steps as possible. Two, it is crucial to keep in mind the standard of the media - for example if the article is for your blog, few errors may be fine but if it is for an international publication, it may be good to follow all the steps.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
About The Author
Dr Amit Nagpal is a Personal Branding Consultant and Social Media Trainer. He is based in New Delhi, India. His philosophy is, "Enlarge as a Human Being, Excel as a Social Media Being, Evolve into a Personal Brand". He writes a blog, Global Personal Branding 3E.
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