Matt knows a thing or two about effective writing. Creating content professionally for more than 20 years, Matt’s proven that a dedication to high standards, and efficient production can go hand in hand. To date, Matt’s had over 350 articles published through Content BLVD, more than any other writer so far. Part of Matt’s success lies in knowing how to write from his areas of strength, and maintaining very high standards– something that our clients and bloggers appreciate very much!
How long have you been writing and what got you started?
Since high school mostly. After completing college, I ended up penning a newsletter at one job and then three newsletters at a subsequent job. For 10 years I was a technical writer, putting out aviation instruction manuals for pilots, maintenance technicians and flight attendants. When I lost that job in 2002, I started my freelance business, transitioning from a website creator to content producer within three years. I credit a personal “pent up demand” or desire with unleashing the writer within.
What in your background/daily life/interests helps to inform your writing and make you good at what you do?
I like to focus on a few specialities and keep chiefly to these. Things like automotive, business and career seem to work best for me. The automotive angle is something I like to concentrate on most and will attend a major auto show or event once or twice each year at my own expense. Staying on top of the industry through subscriptions to corporate sites and hanging with my peers keeps me on my toes. I don’t like to settle for anything lower than my best, something I carry over with my writings for ContentBlvd.
What do you do to get your creative juices flowing?
I get enough sleep each night. When I’m tired, I struggle to write. When I’m rested, the writing comes naturally. There are times when I need a break, so I’ll stop everything and go for a walk. I’ll also set aside time to attend a conference, make contact with an industry leader or just do something different to take my mind off of what I do. All I need are small breaks and then I’m ready to write again. I wake up each morning looking forward to writing — if that anticipation wasn’t there, then I would find something else to do.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
Honestly, I do not believe in writer’s block. I think that this is an excuse some people use to not get moving. That does not mean that ideas might not come easily, but if you have a niche down pat, there are always so many ways you can go and variations you can take to get your writing done.
What do you think makes a really good article?
Articles that are considered “good” may not be good enough. Strive for “great” and you will reach that. The best articles come about because of the writer’s passion first. Creativity is important too. Add in a dash of cleverness, especially when it comes to writing your title certainly helps. Write a piece that is interesting with a kick butt lede or introductory paragraph. The meat, or the body of the article, must flow from point to point. Cut out the fluff, give the readers something that adds value and is still interesting. Be tough on yourself — people are not stupid, oftentimes they are simply misinformed. Teach, but do not preach. Conclude with a concise and coherent final paragraph. Proofread, edit and send off your polished work knowing that you have done your best.
Matt has contributed content for us on the Content BLVD blog, and you can also find him on his own site, Matt’s Musings
, and on Google +