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"Tom Clifford is by trade a filmmaker. For most of his life, he rarely wrote anything longer than a brief comment in the margin of a script. 

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« Content Expert Interviews: A Time-Saving Writing System for Busy B2B Marketers (Part 3) | Main | Content Expert Interviews: A Time-Saving Writing System for Busy B2B Marketers (Part 1) »

Content Expert Interviews: A Time-Saving Writing System for Busy B2B Marketers (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this series, we covered the importance of developing an interviewing/writing system to capture your marketing copy from content experts.

In Part 2, you’ll learn how to create a dependable, repeatable interviewing/writing system.

What do I mean by a “dependable system”?

By system, I mean having a step-by-step structure or method to accurately and consistently capture the content you need from content experts.

Let’s get started.

Step 1: Write an outline
The first step in creating your system is to write an outline (or summary) of your finished piece of content.

Start by asking a few “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why,” and “how” questions.

Here’s an outlining tip
Pretend you’re a reporter and you’ve been assigned to interview an expert in a particular subject. Think of the questions you would ask that expert. What does the audience want to know? What objections or problems would the audience have after hearing some ideas from the expert? What’s the next step the audience should take?

For instance:

  • What is . . . ?
  • Why does . . . matter?
  • Who can benefit from . . . the most?
  • What makes . . . so unique?
  • Where can we learn more?

You get the idea.

The goal is to create a list of questions that reflect the structure of your finished piece. Writing a blog post? You need about eight questions. An e-book? You’ll need several more questions.

Remember to include a few persuasive copywriting ingredients many B2B marketers overlook.

Step 2: Make an audio recording of the interview
Recording your interview is important, because it will create an accurate record of the conversation.

Recording the conversation also captures the emotions often missing in business writing.

A side benefit of recording the content interview is that it eliminates having to write notes while listening, allowing you to carefully listen to your guest.

Step 3: Transcribe the interview
Once the recording is finished, it’s time to transcribe the audio into text.

You can transcribe the interview yourself, or you can outsource it to a transcription service. Either way, you want a transcript to work with; it will save you tons of writing time later on.

Step 4: Write/edit
Once your interview is transcribed, it’s time to write your blog post.

Use the transcription as a rough draft to polish into final copy. Some of the responses can be left intact; others will need editing. Move the copy around until it flows smoothly from beginning to end.

Since the transcript reflects the order of the content to be written, it’s just a matter of polishing up the copy so it shines.

Step 5: Proofread
The final step is to have someone (besides yourself) proofread your copy.

Many professional proofreading services offer more than just correcting typos and grammar mistakes so be sure to find one that meets your needs.

But what if you’re not interviewing anyone?
What if you’re writing the copy yourself?
Can this process still work?

Yes, it can.

Write the outline and speak the answers into an audio recorder. Or simply write the answers (that’s what I do). Either way, make sure to always use an outline.

Having a simple, reliable system will not only speed up your content creation but it will also create interesting, relevant advice your audience will love.

Now that a system is in place, it’s time to plan the interview with your content expert. We’ll see how that’s done in Part 3.

In Part 4, we’ll cover how to fix a common mistake interviewers make when directing the interview, so stay tuned.

Do you know someone who would like this article?
If so, feel free to share it with them.

P.S. I'd love to hear from you on this content writing system idea.

Drop a note in the comments and let me know what you think.

What did I miss?
What questions do you have?
What do you want to know more about?
What feedback do you have to make this idea better or more useful?

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5 (Ridiculously Simple) Ways to Write Faster, Better, Easier

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