Transcript from the "Write Content for the Report" Lesson
>> Okay, so let's break down how to actually write the report, cuz I know this is the most intimidating part for most people, neither the designers I speak to or the developers are particularly writey people. And as someone that's written six books, I can make it sounds really easy, but I know it's not for many people.
[00:00:24] So let's just really run through how I write and and how you stop yourself getting into that, it's not good enough or I'm gonna have to start again, no, and going around around in circles, right? You got to be really regimented, cuz we don't wanna waste time on this.
[00:00:40] We're busy people, we wanna be earning money, we do wanna be marketing. So you stick with this, and this approach to writing applies with your writing a report, an email, a blog post, anything, right? First, you create an outline, okay? So in the case of our report, we're gonna divide our report into six to eight topics relating to a problem area or trend that we have observed through the survey or if we did the review, right, the audit.
[00:01:13] So, and then what you wanna do is think of each section as a short blog post, okay? It makes it suddenly a lot more manageable, you're writing six to eight short blog posts, not one massive report, okay? So at the beginning, before all of those six to eight topics, we're gonna introduce a summary section, which is gonna outline the topics that are gonna be covered in the key findings.
[00:01:41] You're gonna write that last, okay? We're gonna add a before our topics a short section on the methodology that we used, where we're gonna talk about the survey, the site audits, the interviews, if you carried out any interviews, etc. And then we're gonna end the whole thing with the benefits of signing up for ongoing advice, and that will become more obvious as to what that is later.
[00:02:11] So, then you're going to write the initial draft. This is the bit, you're gonna write it one section at a time over many days, right? Don't sit down in one go, yeah, you'll go nuts. Write one topic of all six to eight topics a day, maybe, or a week for all I care, but spread it out.
[00:02:32] And then this is the most important piece of advice that I can give about writing your initial draft. Write drunk, edit sober, right? This is Ernest Hemingway that said this, and I am not suggesting that you will become alcoholics, but what I am suggesting is that the thought behind it is right.
[00:02:56] When you first write, write with gay abandon, right? Write as if no one's reading, write as if it doesn't matter, okay? Write as if you were drunk. Because you can pass back through it and tidy up later. The biggest mistake people make when trying to write things like this is they agonize over every word, they try and edit as they go along, and it just doesn't work.
[00:03:20] Just write as if you were talking to a friend, okay? I've just finished a massive report and I got to the end of it, right, in the first draft and I thought that is a pile of steaming manure, it felt awful, rqight? But when I went back through it, I found out it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it was, you know?
[00:03:40] So for each section, right, aim for between 500 and 800 words for a short blog post for each of our topic areas. Outline any findings that you found from the survey and audit. Use your survey results so you can actually reference some figures from the survey if relevant.
[00:04:01] Show some examples from your audit that backup whatever it is that you found. Quote anybody who's spoken about that thing, right, that happen to mention whatever that topic is. And make some basic recommendations based on best practice. That's it, right? That is all you need to do for each of those topic areas.
[00:04:23] So most of it is just regurgitating what was in the survey or what other people have said to you. Then once you've done that, then once you've written all of those, you've done the initial draft, then we're gonna do one, what? No, we're gonna do two pass-throughs to edit it, right?
[00:04:42] Pass-through number one is we are going to take it through Grammarly, okay? I don't know whether you own Grammarly, if you don't own Grammarly, get Grammarly, it's amazing, it will do all the thinking for you. You won't need to worry about typos, you won't need to worry about bad grammar, it'll fix it all for you, right?
[00:05:02] Absolutely invaluable, right? So you take your drunk copy and run it through Grammarly and it'll identify all of those kinda things for you. Then what you're gonna do is read it back, okay? Now, the way I read it back is I get the computer to read it back to me.
[00:05:23] Because a computer will read what's there, not what I think I wrote, [LAUGH] right? So get it to read it back to it and listen to it once. So that's what you do, Grammarly, read it back. Now the third step is by far the most important, stop, don't read through it again.
[00:05:46] Don't agonize over it again, walk away from it. Even if you think it's shit, even if you think it's a failure, I don't care, it's ready to go. Cuz the truth is, you don't have the time to go over it again, and again, and again, right? And if you get into that mindset of picking over everything that you have done, then you will never do any marketing, you'll never blog, you'll never do anything because it'll never be good enough, right?
[00:06:15] So you have to stick to that. Then you can design it up, make it look pretty, make sure it's easy to scan by adding images, pull out quotes, bullets, that kinds of stuff. If you're not a designer, you might wanna consider using fiverr.com to find yourself a designer just to make it look pretty.
[00:06:34] It's not gonna cost you very much because as we've already said, there are worksheet there. Don't forget to end your report with a strong call to action, which is to sign up to your mailing list. And we'll come on to why that's got to be in there later.
[00:06:48] And that's it, so that's how you're gonna get your audience's attention. You've got all the assets, you've got all the emails, you're ready to go, let's just briefly recap. Make contact to ask for some initial feedback and thoughts, that's your initial get on their radar. Then you're gonna prepare the survey and associated landing page.
[00:07:07] Then you're going to ask people to complete the survey and that's your second contact. You're gonna review some sites, you're gonna create some scorecards, you're gonna carry out some interviews, if anybody's willing to be interviewed. Then you're gonna write your final report and you all done on the hard work.