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5 basic steps of the writing process (plus the 2 extra steps you should use when publishing online)

Updated on March 8, 2012

Writing Process

5 Steps in the Writing Process

Writing can be an enjoyable hobby, but when you are writing for an audience, and not just your journal, it is a good idea to develop your own writing process. The following 5 basic steps is a great template to get started, but please feel free to take liberties or add your own steps where needed.

5 basic steps of the writing process:

Step 1: Prewriting.

Prewriting is all the planning and thinking you do about a subject before you acutally sit down to write out your first draft. In this step you will want to gather all your information and resource material, decide who your audience will be, choose the format of the writing (letter, novel, report, etc...), and internally define the purpose of the writing (what do you want people to take away from the writing after they read it?).

Step 2: Writing the First Draft

Writing a first draft is just getting all your idea down on paper. Don't be too worried about grammar, punctuation, or the flow of your writing in this step. Also, don't be afraid to paint in broad strokes. Writing out generalized or broad information in the first draft allows you to expand on it during the second or third revision. The important part of this step is merely to lay out the groundwork and get your thoughts out there in black and white.

Step 3: Revision

Revising your writing is just making changes and improvements that you notice after reading your first draft. You should constantly be revising, if you notice areas that may not flow naturally, or that could be more effective in a different part of the writing. Revision allows you to think about your writing and make the necessary changes to bring it from good to great. The revision process can also be a good time to have friends or family look over your writings (as sometimes, after reading something over and over again can make it easy to overlook a simple error or mistake.

Step 4: Proofreading and Editing

Proofreading and Editing are the final changes you make to your paper. In this process, you will find and correct any spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors that may have happened during the first draft or revision stages. Read each sentence carefully, line by line. It's also a good idea to run your work through a spellcheck system and even have someone else look it over if they are willing.

Step 5: Publishing

Publishing your writing is just deciding which form you are going to deliver this to your audience. With the huge popularity of the internet, there are many different choices available to publish your writing, or you could even choose to go old-school and try to have it published in a journal, magazine, newspaper, or other types of print media. if you haven't tried Hubpages, I would strongly suggest trying out this site. It's free and easy and you can make money submitting your own writings. Click Here to start making money writing for Hubpages!

The 2 extra steps in the writing process if you are publishing online

If you are publishing your material online, either through your own blog or through a website such as hubpages, you will want to add two more basic steps.

2 extra steps for people publishing online

Extra Step #1 (or step 6, if you keep counting form the original 5...): Updates.

Updates are very necessary if you are publishing directly online. As time changes the world, and subsequently the topics you have written about, you will want to make the changes to make sure your readers are getting the most up to date information. In addition, when you do make updates to your prior work, this is recognized by the search spiders, and is thus more likely to boost your google score and get you a higher page rank for more people to see your work. Which can be very important, especially if you are writing online to earn money.

Extra Step #2 (or 7...): Creating backlinks.

Backlinking should not take up the majority of the time you have designated for writing, but it does play an important step. Backlinking your own relevant work allows people the chance to see your other writings and it also helps to improve your google score (nobody knows exactly how the algorithm works, but having people link your site is a commonly known way to improve which page on google your article shows up on. So, if you write two similar articles make sure you are linking them together (example: Roth Ira and Early Retirement)


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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Wonderful tips!

    • Appsthatpayyou profile image

      Appsthatpayyou 4 years ago from London

      I'm definately going to use these in my hubs! Awesome.

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 6 years ago from United States

      That great steps ,voted up..Thanks for the nice info

    • viking305 profile image

      L M Reid 6 years ago from Ireland

      Very useful steps to get those articles written and published. All you have said is important but proof reading and updating are twice important to keep up the quality of your writing.

      Thanks for SHARING. Up and useful

    • profile image

      yoginijoy 6 years ago

      Dear MeanGreen, Great hub! As a newbie, I have a question about how to link the hubs together. I have written two hubs so far and they are related but I don't know how to link them. Any suggestions? I am most grateful for your advice.

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      A very interesting hub - useful for new hubbers and more experienced ones. I have to admit that the most difficult part for me is always the first draft. However, if I do stage one, the planning, really well, it certainly helps me to make the 'draft' stage less of a chore.

      Great hub + voted up!

    • MeanGreen profile image

      MeanGreen 6 years ago

      Thanks, Dmop!

    • dmop profile image

      dmop 6 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

      You have included good advise and delivered it in a straight forward fashion, that is easy to comprehend. Voted up and useful.

    • MeanGreen profile image

      MeanGreen 6 years ago

      Thanks, Crazy Mags!

    • Crazy Mags profile image

      Crazy Mags 6 years ago

      Thanks. I am new to hubpages and this is a concise article laying out a simple template.