We don’t know about you, but we’re pretty excited that tomorrow is the first day of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. For 17 days, all eyes will be on Rio de Janeiro, watching more than 10,000 athletes from over 200 different countries participate in 306 different events. And, no matter whether it’s track and field, swimming, gymnastics, tennis, golf, or any other competition that’s got you fired up, you’ve got to admire the athleticism, work ethic, and sportsmanship that all of these great athletes bring to their respective events.
As we thought about that, we got to wondering what similarities there might be between going for a gold medal at the Olympics and trying to create amazing content. And, while training to become an elite athlete admittedly may require a bit more blood, sweat, and tears than creating successful content, we do think there are some definite overlaps.
Just consider these points as examples:
- Dedication is essential. Olympians spend many years and tens of thousands of hours preparing for the Games. They train relentlessly, constantly honing their abilities in an effort to be the very best. In fact, according to one study, the average British Olympian spends six hours a day, six days a week, twelve months a year practicing and getting ready for the Games. If you want to be a successful writer, you’ve got to be equally dedicated to your craft. The more you practice and the harder you work at it, the better the results that you’ll achieve.
- Accuracy matters. As an Olympic athlete, your success often hinges on your ability to do things accurately time and time again. Whether it’s hitting a bullseye with an arrow, positioning your body in just the right way when diving so that you don’t create a splash when you hit the water, or anything else, you’ve got to pay attention to the details and get every last one of them right. Of course, it’s no different with writing. Your content not only needs to be factually accurate, it’s got to be grammatically accurate as well. If it isn’t, you risk putting your credibility on the line.
- Consistency is critical. If you’re not able to perform consistently as an athlete, whether or not you win or lose might just be a matter of luck. That’s why you’ve got to be able to deliver no matter what the situation, even when you’re under extreme pressure. When it comes to writing, consistency is important for a different reason. If your content isn’t consistent, it can confuse your audience and even degrade your brand. That’s because inconsistent content can make it sound like your company isn’t aligned and like you’re not speaking with one voice, which — if you follow this blog — you’ll know is never a good thing.
- Coaching. Behind every great athlete stands a fantastic coach who is there to help that athlete achieve his or her true potential. Good coaches not only spot any errors that the athlete is making, but also provide the feedback that they need to improve. Writers often need coaches as well to help them meet their full potential. And sometimes the best coaches for writers aren’t people, but rather software such as Acrolinx that can guide them step by step on how to make amazing content. In fact, with Acrolinx working with you in your favorite authoring environment, it’s just like having a pro writer over your shoulder helping you create the best copy possible.
It will be interesting to see what the next two-and-a-half weeks bring. As you sit back and watch the Games, let yourself feel inspired by the athlete’s amazing achievements. And just remember: With some hard work and persistence (and maybe a little help from us), it won’t be long until your content is worthy of a gold medal, too.