The best way to write compelling content is to tell a story. While a blog post or web article seems far removed from a novel, they are at worst distant cousins and at best siblings. Those looking for great content can learn a lot from authors who have succeeded with novels. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at these great pieces of writing advice from Stephen King.

“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”- Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft


Every aspiring novelist hears the message starting early in their career. Good writing is re-writing. The first draft is supposed to stink. For Stephen King it really hit home with a simple equation from an editor; “2nd Draft = 1st Draft – 10%.”

With most people only skimming articles and blog posts it’s just as important for content writers to make every word count. Initially creating a killer article is only half of the work. The excess must be removed, leaving only valuable, actionable content in its wake. This is the creation of a second draft.

stephen king

“Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.” – Stephen King


Editors look at content with a different eye than writers. They are closer to the customer, providing a better understanding of what content will hit home. Content creators will only improve their copy by going through an editor. That said, the editor should never get a first draft; a second draft or later is required.

Often content creation contracts include a certain number of edits between the first submission and the last. The first copy written is not the first submission. The first self-edited copy is the first one that can be a first submission to an editor.

Giving an editor the cleanest copy possible not only makes their job easier, it makes your working relationship better. Learn from the feedback the editor provides and use it to create even cleaner copy for them next time.

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Stephen King


There is no end to the number of authors who espouse sitting down and writing as the best way to learn how to write. This is very similar to the 10,000-hour rule popularized by Malcolm Gladwell, recently explained in more nuanced detail for the New Yorker. Similarly, writing great content takes practice. Writing for an editor provides feedback for that practice, similar to how a coach can provide feedback for an athlete, and can result in getting better faster.

snooze alarm
OK, you can hit snooze once, but that’s it!

“I think the best stories always end up being about the people rather than the event … ” – Stephen King

In the end, great copy comes back to the story. Good copy needs to resonate with the reader just as a good story does. Copy can, and should, be about people. Writing to sell a product is about more than listing a set of features, it’s about showing the reader how the product makes their life better in some way. Tell a reader about a course on-line and they’ll be cautious. Show that same reader a person who changed their life by applying what they learned from an on-line course and they become intrigued.

Media Shower has a team of talented content creators waiting to tell your story. Request a free content marketing assessment from our wonderful editorial staff today!