Are you fed up with writer’s block?
Does it take you forever to write a single blog post?
If you answered ‘yes’ to those questions, you should consider using the 3×3 writing process.
If you desire a proven blog writing process that will help you become a more organized and productive writer, then you’re reading the right article. This article strictly focuses on the general writing process and not the specific nuts and bolts of blogging. Now get ready to unlock your inner blogging beast and write more amazing blog posts like the pros with the 3×3 writing process.
The 3×3 Writing Process
Jumping right into your blog writing task without a plan is a dangerous idea. It’s like going into war without a battle strategy (ok…well maybe not THAT serious, but you get the idea).
Mastering the 3×3 writing process will help you:
- Drill down on the purpose of your blog post.
- Determine your ideal reader/audience profile.
- Organize your thoughts and research.
- Write a final blog post draft that your readers will enjoy.
The 3×3 writing process is comprised of three major groups of three tasks. The major groups for the process and its supporting steps are:
The three key steps under each writing process group will be broken down with more detail below. So grab a notepad and a warm drink and get ready to learn and apply the 3×3 writing process.
WARNING: Fight the urge to jump headfirst into writing a blog post without doing all the necessary brain work and planning.
I’ve made the mistake of blogging without a plan and it was like trying to walk against a 100 mph wind. Thinking thoroughly about your blog post’s purpose and the intended reader will motivate you to write with the reader’s benefit in mind. And this motivation will help the blog writing process go smoothly for future writing tasks.
Prewriting is the first group of tasks for the 3×3 writing process. Prewriting includes three sub tasks which are Analyze, Anticipate and Adapt. Doing the brain work in this prewriting phase will help turn your blog articles from mundane to meaningful.
What is your big WHY or purpose for the particular blog article that you’re planning to write? Starting with why is an excellent to gain perspective and direction for your blog article. In fact, you should have a list of common questions that you plan to answer from various angles on your blog. With this in mind, your first step must be to ANALYZE your purpose for writing your blog article.
Also, think about how your blog post will inspire or motivate your readers. What action do you want your reader to take after reading your blog post? Don’t think about how to drive your reader to a buying or conversion decision at this step of the 3×3 writing process. Focus on how you want your receiver to take action for their benefit as a result of being inspired and motivated by your content. Focus on providing value!
Next, you need to decide on the best blog article format for your post. What is the best way to communicate your message? Here is a list of blog post types for you to consider at this stage:
- List (or “listicle”)
- How-to / Tutorial
- Versus review (product / service comparison)
- Expert round-up / Resource
- Interview / Q&A
- Feature / Spotlight
- Podcast recap
- Editorial / Opinion post
Knowing who you’re writing to and for gives you even more direction for writing amazing blog posts. The next step is to ANTICIPATE your audience and their specific profile. You can do a deep reader profile exercise with specific information like age, occupation and gender or you can keep it simple. For example, I anticipate that I’m writing to/for other bloggers, online marketers and internet entrepreneurs.
Consider your audience’s knowledge and experience level on the particular subject. You want to write slightly above the anticipated audience knowledge level so that you can exhibit expertise on the subject and help your reader grow.
Next, anticipate the type of emotional response that you want your reader to have. Do you want them to be inspired, relieved, motivated or thankful? Keep your anticipated reader response in mind while you write. Analyze your readers’ responses to your blog post via emails, comments and/or social media messages to see if they align with your anticipated response(s).
Now it’s time to think about the language that you’ll use to elicit the emotional response that you want. Prepare to ADAPT your language to accomplish this goal. I’m a big fan of brainstorming and brain dumping. Make a list of words that you will consider using within your blog article that will produce the reader response that you desire.
You must decide on the writing style that you plan to employ at this stage of the 3×3 writing process. Decide whether your blog copy will be professional, conversational, whimsical, academic or some useful combination.
I know you’re ready to get to the writing already…but hold your horses! We’re almost there.
Writing is the second group of tasks for the 3×3 writing process. Writing includes three sub tasks which are Research, Organize and Compose. This is when you’ll get all the ingredients you need to execute your blog writing strategy for the article at hand.
Now it’s time to gather information for your blog post like it’s nobody’s business — well…it’s YOUR business so… Google search is a blogger’s best friend for doing high quality blogging research. RESEARCH the top three or four blog articles that you’ll be competing against for Google ranking. Study what these articles do well and how you can improve upon them.
IMPORTANT NOTE #1: I’m not covering keyword research here (but I do have an SEMrush keyword research tutorial that you should read). The 3×3 writing process should come after you have conducted thorough keyword research for your blog. Keyword research is the process of finding long tail keywords (three to four-word keyword phrases) for which you will base your blog articles. Keyword research is what separates the pro bloggers from the amateurs.
IMPORTANT NOTE #2: Research does not mean finding articles to copy from or scrape. This is unethical and it’ll get you in some big trouble with Google and possibly the offended party’s lawyers.
Your research should inspire your outline and challenge you to write amazing blog posts. Add the URL and word count for each of the articles you found to a blog post plan document. Word count is important because you’d want to try your best to write more than the top competing articles on Google.
POWER TIP: Search YouTube and Vimeo for videos that you can embed into your blog post.
Your research should also include your own content. Go through your older blog posts to find articles to link to inside your new blog post. Google loves internal linking.
Outlining your articles before writing them is the secret to efficient and productive blog writing. ORGANIZE all of the major points and their sub points into a blog post outline.
Go through all your research and leverage your domain knowledge on the subject. You will find that your major points and sub points will likely end up being your headings and subheadings in your blog post’s final draft.
Please don’t skip this step. It’s vital to writing with confidence and achieving flow.
Oh joy! It’s time to start writing.
COMPOSE your blog post’s zero draft at this step of the 3×3 writing process. Open a separate browser window with Google Docs and only a few other necessary tabs. This will help reduce distraction. The other tabs that you should have open are your blog post planner, outline and maybe one or two of the articles that you found during your research.
Do you remember all the good work that you did during the Prewriting stage? Now it’s time to put all of that good stuff to use. Keep your blog post’s purpose, desired emotional response, blog post type, anticipated audience and your emotional words list top-of-mind at this step.
POWER TIP: Just let the words flow in your zero draft. It’s your zero draft (for your eyes only), not the final draft of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, so don’t stress yourself by trying to write perfect copy. And don’t worry about perfect spelling or grammar. You’ll clean it all up at the revision step, which is up next.
You’re almost ready to present your hard work to your readers. But there’s some cleaning up that you need to do first.
Revising is the third and final group of tasks for the 3×3 writing process. Executing this group of tasks will take your blog articles from good to great. Revising includes three sub tasks which are Revise, Proofread and Evaluate.
With being helpful by providing value understood, readability is the main goal for any kind of writing. Nothing else matters if your audience can’t understand what they are reading! REVISE your article for conciseness and readability during this crucial step.
The revision process should remedy the following issues in your blog article:
- Run-on sentences
- Wordy phrases
- Superfluous modifiers
- Long lead-ins for sentences (they usually end with “that” or “because”)
- Paragraphs that are too long (longer than 6 or 7 sentences)
- Adverb overuse
- Compound prepositions
- Filler words and fluff
Concise language is easier to read than fluff. Also, readers are more prone to share blog posts that they can understand.
Use parallelism for more concise writing. Parallelism is two or more phrases or clauses in a sentence that have the same grammatical construction. Parallelism makes your sentences balanced. Parallelism makes your descriptors stand out. Parallelism makes your statements direct.
Use subheadings (H2 or H3) to break up your copy into organized sections. This will help your blog post’s readability.
Lastly, use numbered lists and bulleted lists to communicate information in a form that’s easy to digest.
Make a good impression on your readers with error-free copy. PROOFREAD your blog post and clean up spelling and grammar issues at this step. Correct errors in names, numbers, subject and verb agreement and other grammatical issues.
Don’t fully depend on your word processor’s spelling and grammar check function. Software tools are useful, but they can’t replace a keen human proofreader’s eye. But if I were to recommend any grammar-checking service, it would be Grammarly. Grammarly is affordable, fast and easy to use.
Get a fresh set of eyes on your blog post if possible. Other people can see errors and offer feedback because of their outside perspective.
Go back through the 3×3 writing process to see if you completed the tasks at every step.
Consider the following questions after you’ve completed the first eight steps of the 3×3 writing process:
- Did you write your blog post with a clear purpose in mind?
- Did you write for the right audience and use the kind of language that will connect with them?
- Did your research efforts produce the right information for your blog post and did you disclose the sources for any statistics that you provided?
- Will your blog post inspire, motivate and/or educate the reader and drive them to take action?
- Did you choose the best article format for communicating the information?
Keyword Research Is Necessary
I touched on this earlier, but it must be reinforced. You must conduct thorough keyword research BEFORE you sit down and spend hours planning and writing a blog post with the 3×3 writing process. Writing for the optimum keywords based on your topic and website’s domain authority will help your blog content get found through organic search. If you haven’t done proper keyword research, get started by reading our SEMrush keyword research tutorial and Quora keyword research article after you finish this article.
Are you ready? Put the 3×3 writing process (along with doing thorough keyword research) to work in your long-form blogging efforts today. I promise that it will 10x your blogging productivity.
Download our Go Long eBook for great tips on how to do long-form content writing.
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” – Colossians 3:23 NASB
Like anything that’s truly worthwhile, this process requires hard work and focus on the details. If you’re willing to commit to the hard work, the process will reward you.
I hope that you will embrace the 3×3 writing process so that you can write more amazing blog posts!