Ever feel like this? You really want to produce great content, consistently write fantastic blog posts that will have people flooding to your website, but … writers block – you just don’t know what to write!
Well, we all experience it! I’ve only just started my blog and pre launch I thought to myself, right I’m going to be really prepared, have my weeks blog posts ready to go so unless there is some breaking news I can just press publish and not stress everyday!
Yeah right, here I am this morning, with nothing prepared thinking, what shall I write about today! Oh and I haven’t got 2 hours to review, research or do something fancy, so it’s actually what shall I write about today that I can publish in 20 mins flat!
Which got me thinking, you know loads of people have this very issue, what do they write about to keep the audience coming back and engaged, so here’s my Top 10 Tips for Producing Great Content!
1. When writing, think results – will people really be able to use the information I’m providing? The more you can help people make positive changes in their lives, the more they will become an advocate of you / your business. Try not to produce content just for the sake of producing content, but publish something that can really help people move forward in their lives and produce results.
2. Write as if you’re talking to a buddy. Imagine you’re having a coffee or talking over dinner, you don’t use lots of fancy phrases and big words do you (well some of you might), but on the whole people want something quick and easy to read in plain English, so keep it simple and write as you would talk.
3. What challenges are people facing? Are you solving their problems? People will love you if you have the answers to their problems. Every time I produce a video that shows someone how to do something, you can bet your bottom dollar I get comments from people saying, ‘thanks so much Jo I’ve been struggling with this for ages!’ So to create avid fans of your blog, solve lots of problems!
4. 5 Steps to … / 10 Steps to… Recently I watched a great interview with Nick O’Neill the founder of allfacebook.com on www.mixergy.com, See Interview Here, (Great site by the way!). He talks about Lists & Guides being the content that really made his blog fly. He’s right of course, there’s something very Step by Step about a 5 Steps to, or 10 Steps to… Guide. People like Step by Step.
My 5 year old said to me the other day, ‘Mummy, there are 3 steps to creating orange juice; Step 1 – Get a cup, Step 2 – Get an orange, Step 3 – Squeeze the juice out of the orange. This technique starts early! (Maybe she’ll start a blog!)
5. Don’t over think your content, just write from your heart. We all tend to over think things and sure if you’re writing a white paper or a big ‘How to’ guide, then a lot of thought and preparation needs to go into it. But for your daily blog posts, people will love your content if it’s simply fresh, personable and easy to read!
6. Keep it short, we’re all pushed for time. Again the caveat is downloadable ‘How to’ guides, or white papers etc (even then though I would keep the chapters / segments short and easy to read). If you’re reading this, then you’re most likely interested in Social Media and will be following my guidance to distribute your blog posts across the Social Media networks. With Facebook, G+, Twitter etc, information is coming at people so thick and fast the shorter, punchier and easier to read your post is, the more it will get consumed. That’s why infographics are so popular, they’re simply a photo of information well designed to be consumed quickly!
7. Variety is the Spice of Life! Keep your blog posts varied. Make some posts text, some video, some audio, some image based. People learn in very different ways, some like to listen, some like to read, some like to watch, so the more varied you can make your posts the more people will come back!
8. Use Google Reader to find out the latest in your industry and curate or summarise. If you’re not sure what I mean by google reader please have a look at my welcome post, I made a quick video showing you how to use it (fast forward to about 2 minutes to see) – Learn How to Use Google Reader Here. By curate / summarise, I mean either copy and paste parts of the blog with your own opinions / thoughts – always ensure you link back to the blog and credit the author, or simply summarise what they said with your own opinion, once again linking back and crediting the author.
9. Everytime you learn something new or do something you think is noteworthy write it down. This is a great one, as in this game we’re always learning new things. The other day I learned how to add fonts to my font files so I could create more interesting powerpoint presentations etc. I made a note of how to do it and I guarantee that will be a short blog post one day! (Maybe tomorrow!) So as you’re going about your daily business if you’re wondering how to so something and you crack it you can guarantee someone else is wondering how to do the very same thing. Another idea is to carry a content folder, so when you’re sitting in the waiting room at the dentist or hairdressers or waiting for the kids you can jot down some interesting thoughts that you can share on your blog! Remember people love human!
10. If you absolutely can’t think of anything to say but want to get something out, ask a question! The idea behind successful blogging isn’t just throwing out loads of content, its engaging with your audience. What better way to engage than to ask questions. So if you’re really struggling with what to write, simply ask your audience a question with a quick reason as to why you’re asking that question and then work to ensure you respond to your audience and discuss their replies.
One last bonus tip. Don’t stress! If your goal is to publish a post a day but you just can’t think of anything for a couple of days, don’t worry! Better to publish one post a week full of really interesting and useful information than to release a load of unfocused ramblings just because you think that’s the right thing to do. Remember the main reason for a blog is very similar to a fan page. It’s to attract people to you, engage, build relationships, add value and solve problems!
If you’re someone who sometimes struggles with what to write, I’d love to hear from you? What niche are you in? What is that you’re finding difficult when it comes to producing content? Let me know in the comments box below.
If you’ve enjoyed todays post and you think it can help or add value to friends / fans please pass along!