One of the most important traits you can have as a writer is curiosity.
Curiosity is what drives top-level writers to keep digging through the research for stories, facts, and studies that give their work a fresh angle and surprise and captivate their readers.
Curiosity is what leads to innovations in marketing approaches. When someone on the team thinks, “I wonder what would happen if…” and then dares to try something new.
Curiosity is a big factor in big dreams. When you find yourself thinking, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could…” there’s some curiosity at work.
Curiosity also plays a role in the quality of your work. Rather than rushing through a project, a curious writer will pause and ask, “What am I missing?” and “How can I make this stronger?”
Trying new things… researching deeper… daring to ask questions… looking for innovations… these all can help grow your writing career, and curiosity is their common thread.
Now, maybe you’re a naturally curious person, which is wonderful. But if you find yourself on the more pragmatic side where you tend to focus on getting things done and using proven systems, don’t worry. You can cultivate curiosity and then use it on demand when it will serve you best.
So, how do you build your curiosity muscle?
Try these three exercises to help you become a more curious person.
- When you read a blog post or an article, at the end, ask yourself a question. Something that wasn’t directly answered in what you just read. Then, either do some more research to answer the question or do a fast write to explore an answer of your own.
- Get immersed. Pick a person or topic you’re interested in but don’t know much about. Make it a project over the next quarter or even for the course of the year to learn everything you can on the subject. Read books. Read articles. Take free courses (universities offer a ton of free courses online). See how much of an expert you can become in the time frame you set for yourself.
- Ask why more often. Why do you do things the way you do? Why do you feel the way you feel? Why do things work the way they work? You have hundreds of opportunities during each day to ask why… so start asking.
These three exercises will help you shift into a more curious frame of mind. But there’s one more thing to know about curiosity. It takes time. If you’re always in a rush, always racing to meet a deadline, curiosity will feel like a luxury you can’t afford.
Plan some empty space into your schedule. A block or two of time where you have nothing on the docket and use that time to explore, to wonder, to be curious.
The benefit to your business and your writing will be worth the time.
New on the Site
In his latest Reality Blog, Andrew Murray shares a moving look at the power of writing, how much of a role it can play in a person’s identity, and what happens when the ability to write is taken away.
An increase of just one or two percent in the conversion rate on a sales page can translate into a lot of extra cash in your client’s bank account. And most of the time, there are three easy improvements you can make to deliver that result. Click here to find out what they are.
Make sure you check out our newest Practice Assignment. If you’re interested in offering social media services to your clients, you’ll definitely want to join in the fun. Details are here.
Mark Your Calendar
March 18: Next Monday, I’ll be interviewing Candice Lazar, former Reality Blogger and successful freelance writer. During this event, Candice and I will talk about what she’s been up to since being Wealthy Web Writer’s Reality Blogger, including how she’s landing clients, managing her time, and growing her business.
March 27: Building a list is one of the most important things you can do for your business. And if you master this skill, it’s one of the most valuable things you can do for your clients. List-building expert, Brian Edmondson, joins us to talk about list-building essentials any web writer can benefit from knowing.
Around the Web
Authoritative links pointing to your website are still very important to getting good search engine rankings. SEM Rush has a helpful report on how to cultivate good backlinks.
Here you’ll find a quick list of digital marketing basics you can use to help your small business clients get started.
If you’re interested in Instagram, Buffer has put together a case study on Nike’s Instagram success. You’ll find a ton of inspiration here.
I always love ideas for finding ideas, and this post from BuzzSumo doesn’t disappoint.
That’s all for now. Make it a great week!