Grab Your Copy of Everybody Writes Here >> Now a WSJ Bestseller!

A Writing GPS: The Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Next Piece of Content [Infographic]

The writer Andre Dubus (House of Sand and Fog) has described writing as inching your way along a very dark, very long tunnel: you can make out the next few feet in front of you, but you’re not quite certain where you’ll end up or when you’ll get there.

What helps with the uncertainty and enormity of the task is to start with some kind of process to guide the way.

Process? Ew. I know.

Process is one of those things that in many parts of life I consider hopelessly boring and mind-numbing. Like alphabetizing canned goods. Or peeling beets.

But in writing, process is necessary, because you need a kind of road map to get you to where you need to be.

So here’s an infographic based on the 12-step writing GPS I outline in more detail in Everybody Writes. This GPS gets you from one place to another: from discombobulated thoughts to a coherent, cogent piece of writing that others can grok (and maybe love).

My friends at Visual.ly created this for me—or, I suppose, they created it for you (technically).

If you don’t know it, Visual.ly is like a Netflix for creative services: Its designers, journalists, writers, editors, animators and developers collaborate virtually with you to create the awesome, on demand.

Feel free to print, download, embed, chew on, wrap yourself in, or otherwise use this infographic—in whatever way you’d find most useful.

(Objects on this page can be larger than they appear. Just click the image to see a larger version. Or visit the Visual.ly page.)

Ann Handley's Content GPS

 

 

Want to embed this infographic on your own site or blog?

Grab the WordPress code:

<div class=’visually_embed’><iframe width=’1′ height=’1′ style=’width: 1px !important; height: 1px !important; position: absolute;left: -100px !important;’ src=’http://visual.ly/track.php?q=http://visual.ly/ann-handleys-writing-gps&slug=ann-handleys-writing-gps’></iframe><a href=”http://visual.ly/ann-handleys-writing-gps/?utm_source=visually_embed”><img class=’visually_embed_infographic’ src=’http://visual.ly/node/image/221223′ alt=’Ann Handley’s Writing GPS’ /></a><div class=’visually_embed_cycle’><span>by </span><a target=’_blank’ href=’http://www.virtual-hub.net?utm_source=visually_embed’>taniacreative</a>. <br/></div></div>

Or grab the non-Wordpress code:

<div class=’visually_embed’><img class=’visually_embed_infographic’ src=” alt=’Ann Handley’s Writing GPS’ /><div class=’visually_embed_cycle’><span>by </span><a target=’_blank’ href=’http://www.virtual-hub.net?utm_source=visually_embed’>taniacreative</a>. <br/></div><script type=’text/javascript’ src=’http://a.visual.ly/api/embed/221223?width=540′ class=’visually_embed_script’ id=’visually_embed_script_221223′></script></div>

 

Total Annarchy

Join at least a handful of your peers and all of Ann's relatives. Get new posts by email.

OR Subscribe via RSS Reader

59 Responses to A Writing GPS: The Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Next Piece of Content [Infographic]

  1. Pingback: Watchword Brand 12 Step Guide to Writing Useful Content

  2. Pingback: Marketing Day: Yahoo Updates Gemini, YouTube Brings Cards To TrueView & 10% Of Twitter Is Spam

  3. Awesome infographic. I particularly like the idea of writing to one person. It really helps you speak to your target audience, and like you said, helps make your writing more personal (you vs. them/they). Tweeting this post out RIGHT NOW!

  4. Pingback: Marketing Day: Yahoo Updates Gemini, YouTube Brings Cards To TrueView & 10% Of Twitter Is Spam | CABizNews.com

  5. tom upton says:

    OK. Easy on the beets. If you boil them for an hour an a half they peel themselves. Love your writing tho!
    T

  6. I love this so much I posted it on my own website :) Thanks for taking the time to craft such a thoughtful, concise summary of content marketing. Gives me a great, visually-pleasing, easy way to help clients understand what I’m actually doing for them!

  7. Ann – Thanks for sharing the infographic. So many times I get passionate about a blog post but find out later that it could have been so much better if I produced TUFD and then walked away…even if just for ten minutes or so…before returning and re-reading, editing and coming up with an even better post.

    As Antoine de Saint-Exupery once said, “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”

  8. Pingback: 12 easy steps to writing great content - Marketing Blog

  9. this is awesome thanks

  10. Pingback: What Exactly Does a Content Writer Do Each Day? | Titan Web Marketing Solutions

  11. Tahir says:

    Hi Ann,

    Great post – really like the idea of writing to one person.

    To make embed code look better you can add this div around the code

    code</

    Tahir

  12. Jack Vincent says:

    Great roadmap! I was laughing at Points 6 – 8, because earlier today I just posted, “Write drunk. Edit sober.” – Ernest Hemingway.

    While that’s another perspective of describing these points, it’s also a bit like group brainstorming, to get everyone’s ideas down without shunning them, then come back later to create links and prioritize.

    Your roadmap adds a bit of process to what are already chaotic phases. Creative types need that, thank you! :-)

  13. Pingback: Weekly Wrap-Up: How To Create Successful Viral Campaigns | Come Recommended

  14. Pingback: Easy Ways To Write Great Content | mycontentwriter

  15. Pingback: 12 Easy Steps To Writing Great Content | digital u:th

  16. Pingback: A WRITING GPS: THE STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO CREATING YOUR NEXT PIECE OF CONTENT - Evolved Agency

  17. Pingback: #Infographic: A Guide to Creating Your Next Piece of Content | Study,Fun and Information

  18. Pingback: #SocialSkim: Emoji Hashtags, How Buzzfeed Stays Sticky, Plus 11 More Stories in This Week's Roundup! | Articulous.net

  19. Pingback: Content Catchup: Updates and tips to increase website traffic

  20. Pingback: #SocialSkim: Emoji Hashtags, How Buzzfeed Stays Sticky, Plus 11 More Stories in This Week’s Roundup! | Spotlight Marketing Solutions

  21. Super – so glad to have reconnected with your savvy, Ann. The new book looks like a must have – just ordered it. Thanks for the framework. Your words and the infographic make it all clear.

  22. Pingback: Writing Technique - Focus Your Writing

  23. Pingback: 8 Writing Tools I Use Every Day

  24. Pingback: 12 habits to writing awesome content | creative/chump

  25. Pingback: Getting Unstuck from Writers Block | jannwattdrake's Blog

  26. Samantha Stauf says:

    The data and examples is a crucial. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve stumbled upon otherwise great infographics with really low quality resources. Huge waste of everyone’s time to create sub-par content.

  27. Lucas says:

    Great article indeed! It’s interesting to see how we all have our own ways to go about creating content for an article. I often walk away too. Ideas need fresh air :) Thanks Ann for your words of wisdom!

  28. Pingback: 12 Easy Steps To Writing Great Content (Infographic | Digilab Studios)

  29. Pingback: Growing Your Audience With Influencer Marketing

  30. Julie says:

    Very nice infographic! Numbers 6 and 7 are really important. I learned this from a prolific TV writer, who said “just write something. You’re going to change it anyway”. But good idea to walk away from it and come back with a fresh perspective.

  31. Pingback: Step-by-Step Directions for Writing Your Next Piece of Content [Infographic] SociallyStacked

  32. Bettina says:

    Dear Ann,

    thank you for your great offer and content. I is very helpful for me to get more focussed on what I want and how to do it! The order of the steps is just great to follow exactly how it is described.

    Best wishes from Berlin, Germany
    Bettina

  33. Steve Peck says:

    Love this, as was missing this process and now have it stuck on my wall a foot in front of my face.

    One question as it relates to longer form content. Do you recommend ever having peers review the content prior to a final draft being created for feedback outside of the grammar and spelling corrections you mentioned?

    Always wonder if the content is too long, or certain parts are not as interesting to others as they are to me, in which case a little ‘market research’ might help.

    Or in your experience, will soliciting outsider perspectives put too many cooks in the kitchen, where it might be better to just trust your own instincts and push it live for your readers to decide?

  34. Pingback: Affordable Papers | Write-Right.net

  35. Pingback: [Infographic] & [Useful Reminder] – How to Write & Create Content for Publication | Born Social – A Millennial's Development in Digital Communications

  36. Pingback: 7 essential tips for better headlines | The Inspired Strategist

  37. Pingback: How to Create Useful Content: 12 Steps to Follow Every Time [Infographic] | GoHubSpot

  38. Pingback: How to Create Useful Content: 12 Steps to Follow Every Time [Infographic] | Marketing Automations

  39. Pingback: How to Create Useful Content: 12 Steps to Follow Every Time [Infographic] | Online Digital Profits

  40. Pingback: How to Create Useful Content: 12 Steps to Follow Every Time [Infographic]

  41. Pingback: How to Create Useful Content: 12 Steps to Follow Every Time [Infographic] | Daily Business Bargains

  42. Pingback: How to Create Useful Content: 12 Steps to Follow Every Time [Infographic] | That's JUST CRAZY

  43. Pingback: How to Create Useful Content: 12 Steps to Follow Every Time [Infographic] | doracfletcher

  44. Pingback: How to Create Useful Content: 12 Steps to Follow Every Time [Infographic] - Webnesday

  45. Pingback: How to Create Useful Content: 12 Steps to Follow Every Time [Infographic] | JM Life and Business

  46. Pingback: How to Create Useful Content: 12 Steps to Follow Every Time [Infographic] | anthonydavismt1

  47. Pingback: How to Create Useful Content: 12 Steps to Follow Every Time [Infographic] - Online Marketing Blog

  48. Pingback: Come creare contenuti di qualità: una guida in 12 passi [Infografica] | Piano D

  49. Pingback: Glass Digital Media » How to create useful content: 12 steps to follow every time

  50. Pingback: Improve Reader Experience at Your Blog in 3 Simple Steps - Xfive

  51. Pingback: The Best Digital Marketing Content of 2015 - Only Way Online

  52. Jordan says:

    Hi, I’ve been reading your book and so far I been liking it a lot. But I have a question related to this infographic and I was hoping you could reply to it.

    Do you ask the, “so what?” question when you’re doing your first ugly draft? Or, you simply put all your thoughts in paper (well, probably on computer) and in your second review you start asking line by line and editing stuff. Thanks Ann Handley.

  53. Pingback: What Exactly Does a Content Writer Do Each Day? - Titan Web Marketing SolutionsTitan Web Marketing Solutions

  54. Olga says:

    I realize I’m one year late to comment, but I love the infographic! It really sums it all up so well.

    I’ve read your book and I highly recommend it to everybody (I even wrote a blog post on the topic http://www.olgatsubiks.com/#!How-to-develop-effective-writing-and-public-speaking-skills/rxo20/56f1f0d00cf213d90db37652). Thank you so much for what you do.

  55. Pingback: How to Create Useful Content: 12 Steps to Follow Every Time – Tabletop Product Marketing

  56. Pingback: How to Create Useful Content: 12 Steps to Follow Every Time |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *