Updated: May 23
My LinkedIn chat box kept on pinging with writers asking my writing process for the cannabis niche. In an effort to give back, I diligently tried answering all of them. Three active chat heads is fine but add more five, and it becomes a headache.
Don't get me wrong. I love helping co-writers because as cheesy as it sounds, kindness goes a long way. However, to make our lives easier, I summarized my writing process in two chunks. And here's the first part.
1. Choose your topics well if your client doesn't give you one
If your client or editor doesn't give you a cannabis topic to work on, it's your job to suggest the best topic that you could think of. The best topic to suggest would depend on the tone of the website and their target audience.
For publications that are heavy on news:
⦁ Get the latest and relevant topic right NOW;
⦁ If possible, look for a piece of news that's relevant to the business' target audience.
For websites with lifestyle, medical, or consumer-centric tone, you can either:
⦁ Go for the most talked about topic and compete with more prominent websites or;
⦁ Go for unique topics but with dire research materials.
2. Draft your headings
This process applies to any cannabis topics but not necessarily. According to the topic you chose to work on, jot down possible subheadings for your content's body. You can either apply a deductive or inductive structure.
For deductive style, start with your article's essence or main point and end with supplementary subheadings. For the inductive style, slowly build up your article starting from the supplementary headings. To keep up with short-attention spanned readers, present the direct points of your topic in the body of your article.
3. Get your research materials on credible websites
Once you have your subheadings, you will now research for each of them. You want your article to be credible, so use credible sources like:
⦁ University websites like Harvard.
⦁ Research-based websites like the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
⦁ News websites like the New York Times.
4. Write on and avoid stating medical claims
Avoid stating medical claims such as "Cannabis cures pimples in just one day." This is unethical especially if you don't include clinical-based literature to back your statement. Writers are chronically careful around the cannabis niche because even now, cannabis is still within the grey area of science.
Countries have their laws on science and health misinformation dissemination. For example, in the UK, there is MHRA or Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency that monitors published information about science and health.
In America, you have the FDA or the Food and Drug Administration, which enforces the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act under Title 18, Health Care Fraud, False Claims Act, and more.
5. Proofread your work
Skim your article. If you like what you see, use auto-correcting tools like Grammarly to correct basic grammar mistakes. After that, read your work thoroughly. Tweak as you go through the whole article.
If you don't want to do the dirty work, hire a writer.