You’ve heard of writer’s block, I’m sure.
You’ve probably even experienced it.
One of the reasons writer’s block happens is uncertainty. You aren’t sure where or how to start … so you don’t start.
And you don’t start …
And you don’t start …
Next thing you know, you’ve got a deadline bearing down like the proverbial freight train, and in a panic, you finally get started. But you’re stressed out and worried about not doing your best work.
It’s not the ideal way to handle a project for your clients.
But it happens. A lot.
One way to avoid this trap is to keep project templates handy. And that’s not the only thing project templates are good for.
But first …
What Is a Project Template?
There are two types of templates.
The most common is a document that contains formatting and wording for a specific situation, like a contract. You customize some of the language and design in these types of templates, but much of it, you use over and over again.
Obviously, that kind of template won’t fly for client work.
For that you need a project template.
Essentially, a project template is an outline of the key components you need to include in a specific project type. You might also add reminders and notes about what to keep in mind for each component.
You can create a project template using a visual approach, arranging textboxes to create an easy-to-see outline of the project type. Or you can use a bulleted list. Or even a story format.
If you’re making your own project templates, the style is up to you.
How to Use a Project Template
Once you have a project template, it can save you loads of time whenever you’re working on that project type.
As an example, let’s say you’re writing a homepage for a client. The typical components include
- A masthead
- The navigation menu
- A headline
- A benefit statement
- The main body copy
- Extra elements like downloads, videos, and credibility boosters
With just a glance at your project template, you know the elements you need to create a successful page for your client.
That alone can help you get started … and to do your work faster and better.
But there’s more. Your template also contains notes about best practices for each component.
So, you know that in your masthead, you need to include the site name and possibly a tagline. You know that you need to include contact information (name, address, and phone number), and maybe something extra like a sign-up form, motivating offer, or a testimonial.
In short, your project template lets you focus on your client, their customer, and the product you’re writing about, rather than second-guessing how to approach the project.
But Wait, There’s More …
In addition to helping you start your projects faster, these types of templates can help you grow your earning power in three ways.
First, if you have templates for the most common types of projects clients need, you can say yes to any project a client asks you to do … even if you haven’t done that project type before. With a project template, you have a strong starting point, even if the work you’re doing is unfamiliar.
Being able to say yes more often means more projects … and that means more income.
Second, using project templates even on projects you’re familiar with can help you do the work faster. If you’re charging a flat fee for the project — a good idea — working faster without compromising quality will mean you earn more per hour.
Earning more per hour means more income.
Third, using a project template means you won’t overlook anything important. That means you’ll deliver a polished product your client loves. More importantly, your work will be more likely to deliver a great result for your client. Great results mean repeat work and referrals.
And repeat work and referrals are the fastest way to grow your writing business into a stable income producer.
How to Build Your Own Project Template
Building your own project template can feel a little daunting if you aren’t super familiar with the project type. But it’s worth the effort because having that project template can feel like a lifeline when you land that type of project.
To build your own template, start with a simple google search. “Great examples of [project type]” will do the trick.
Study a half dozen to a dozen of the examples you find, looking for commonalities. Any commonalities you find, include in your project template.
Next do a search for “How to write a great [project type].” Read through the top 10 or so articles and make notes, again about the commonalities. Separate your notes into those that are about the entire project and those that are about specific components of the project. Add them to your template.
Finally, whenever you work on a project from one of your templates, spend some time afterwards making updates to your template.
Over time, you’ll refine your templates into well-oiled machines that get you off on the right foot and help you stick the landing every time you use them to do a project.
If you’re thinking about building your own project templates, here are a few of the most common project types you’ll encounter as a web writer …
- Website homepages
- Email autoresponders
- Landing pages
- Pay-Per-Click ads
- Case studies
- White papers
- Email newsletters
- Social media
- Blog posts
- Video scripts
- Email promotions
- Search Engine Optimized content
Using project templates is a great way to open yourself up to new opportunities as a web writer. By knowing you have the tools to get started, do great work, and deliver a result your client is happy with, you’ll be confident about saying yes to more projects, more often.
And you’ll eliminate that “Where do I start?” writer’s block for good!
Templates make your writing so … much … easier.
They give you a clear structure and show you exactly what needs to go where …
So, you never have to wonder if you’re doing it right!
A Shortcut for Building Useful Project Templates
For a shortcut to creating your own, you could grab AWAI’s bundle of 12 writing templates for the most popular, in-demand projects.
Templates are included for emails … landing pages … SEO copy … video scripts … social media campaigns … and more …
You’ll save time and quickly write project after project, over and over again — earning hundreds or even thousands of dollars every time.
These templates will give you a clear structure to follow so you can write with confidence … And help you earn more money as a writer by helping you write faster.
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Published: August 6, 2021