"Gary, how do you write? What's your process?"

Step 1: GOAL. I get a clear focus on what the client wants. Including which keyword/s you're targeting.

Step 2: KEYWORDS. I search for your primary keyword phrase in Google, and open the top 10 web pages.

Step 3: RESEARCH. Next I take a note of what's on those top 10 web pages. Including related keywords, other terminology, and the content. Now I know what Google ranks as page one content, which is why this stage is sometimes called Competitor Review.

Step 4: OUTLINE. By now, I've done a lot of research so I play with that mass of material to come up with a preliminary outline. Then refine it, again and again, until I'm happy with the journey I'm taking your readers on.

Step 5: WRITING. Concepts and ideas are not generally copyrighted, but the way they're worded is. So I'll rewrite from what I found during the research. As needed, I do further info-gathering to fill in any blanks and/or fact-check. I run what I've written through Copyscape to be sure there's no inadvertent plagiarism. Word count is something else I keep an eye on here, although to be honest I hardly ever have trouble reaching the target length - usually I over-deliver on word count. Why? Because I write to cover the topic, not to meet a numerical target.

Step 6: EDITING. I edit for flow (is it logical?), for clarity (is the meaning crystal clear?), and for anything else that strikes me as sub-standard. I do another Copyscape check (you can't be too careful!) and rewrite if needed.

Step 7: PROOFREADING. Before delivering your content, I'll leave it alone for a few hours or a day or two, then come back to it with fresh eyes for a final read-through or two. Once I'm happy, I'll send it to you. If there's something amiss, you'll alert me and I'll fix it, pronto. Happily that's rather rare!

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