How to write super engaging content in under 30 minutes

5 min read
Laura Cooper
A person working on a mobile

Content writing is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your website. If you’re lucky, people might even make a purchase or sign up to your goodies off the back of your fabulous content.

Not convinced yet? Let’s hit you with a stat – content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. Pretty good, huh?

(Source: Demand Metric)

But what do you write about AND how do you find time to write it?! If you’re a marketer with 17398 other things on your to-do-list, content writing often falls to the back of the queue.

Fear not, for I have the answers.

Let’s start with WHAT to write about.

Think of some content ideas

A person writing content Ideas down on a pad
It’s about answering the most pressing questions your audience have and most importantly, adding value.

Put your thinking cap on and grab your pen or paper (or jump over to one of my favourite free mind mapping tools, Coggle.it).

Write “Problems and Challenges my Customers Face” in the middle.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about the issues they face. How can your product or service make your customer’s life easier, how are you going to solve a problem they have? My perfect example is that lots of my clients want to be able to write more content, so here I am writing this blog post!

And this can be applied to whatever industry you’re working in, and includes any and all FAQs you have heard from customers. It’s well worth looking back at customer feedback for some ideas.

So let’s look at another example:

Ice cream maker? Here are a few content topics I just thought of which your customers might like to read.

  • Ice Cream – Why Dairy Free Can Still Be Super Tasty! (Some people love ice cream but are dairy intolerant or vegan!)
  • The Ultimate List of Ice Cream Toppings (What toppings can I have with my ice cream?)
  • How to Eat Ice Cream with Every Meal (This is a fun article’ eh? I am happy to research it)
  • Healthy Ice Cream. Yes really. Healthy! (Can ice cream be healthy?)

I think you’ll agree that ice-cream related articles are the most important pieces of advice you could ever possibly receive, right?

Ok, so some of those articles might need jazzing up. Make them visually appealing too. You can whack your camera out and do a bit of photography (or borrow other people’s photography, with permission of course).

Ice Cream cone with two scoops
Can ice cream be healthy?

But you get the idea. It’s about answering the most pressing questions your audience have and most importantly, adding value.

Next, how to write a blog post quickly?

First up, I want to plug freelance copywriters.

In fact, a lot of websites, brands and bloggers don’t even write their own content, but you’d never be able to tell. For the ultimate time saving tip, ask a freelancer to write an article for you.

They’re pros at writing good copy and will write something which is engaging, action based and you don’t usually have to come up with anything apart from a title, a few keywords and the tone of voice you’re after.

It helps you to free up your time and spend it on other important stuff.

I’d recommend seeking out slick copywriters (Laura Cooper ;P) with a quick Google search in your area. Hopefully they’ve got a website and you can check out their portfolio. I wouldn’t recommend dodgy content mills or people charging pittance, because the quality of the articles probably won’t be great.

If you don’t use a freelancer, then stick to these basic rules:

  1. Choose your topic (as above) – 5 mins
  2. Brainstorm around that topic and make a super-rough draft, writing as many points as you can think of. Stick to bullet points for now – 10 mins
  3. Research – Look online for other resources, data, quotes, imagery, or anything else that could add value to your article. Equally, streamline any bullet points you have which are more of a distraction, than helpful to a reader – 5 mins
  4. Add the research to your article and revise it to make the final draft – 10 mins

This is super useful if you’re looking for quick content to promote something new or react to a current trend.

Obviously, if you’re looking at long-form content or something a bit more complex then you’ll need longer, but you can stick to the same structure.

Here are a few more tips which will cut down your time requirement.

  • Keep a list of blog ideas and come back to it regularly to add and take away titles from it.
  • Don’t sweat over an article you’re writing. If you find yourself stuck for ideas, having a mind blank or you’re simply in a CBA mood, save it for another day.
  • Articles can take forms such as “Top 10 Tips for ___”, “5 reasons to ____”, “How to ____”, “Top 10 myths about ____”, “The Ultimate Guide to ____”
  • We recommend getting someone else to have quick proof read of the article. Other people are typically better at spotting your own mistakes when it comes to content.
  • Get the article online, everywhere you can think of. Put it on your website, on Medium, or on LinkedIn.
  • Rewrite and update old articles if they need updating. Repurposing content should be a part of your overall content strategy.
  • Still stuck for content ideas? Check out Google Keyword Planner to get some ideas on trends and buzzwords floating about at the moment.
  • If you know of any really good websites that consistently churn out great content then have a look at their sites for inspiration. You should never plagiarize but you can still have a look at other perspectives etc.

There you have it. 30 minutes or less… bish, bash bosh. Right, now we’ll time you, 3, 2, 1…GO.

Content writing is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your website. If you’re lucky, people might even make a purchase or sign up to your goodies off the back of your fabulous content.

Social Media Management Software

In order to promote your business and reach consumers that spend an entire 24 hours a week online, you need to make sure that you have a viable social media strategy in place.

By posting unique and interesting content on your social media platforms, and by actively engaging with followers, you can start to turn this into a funnel for generating leads.

In order to stay on top of your social media strategy, it’s important to have some form of social media management software to do some of the heavy lifting. Software such as this is imperative for scheduling, tracking and monitoring social media content.

At its best, social media management software can help you not only plan your content months in advance, but also remain reactive by letting you tune into ongoing news stories or trending topics.

Screenshot of Hootsuite's homepage

We recommend: Hootsuite

There are a whole bunch of social media management companies out there and all of them offer roughly the same sort of package but Hootsuite is the only one that offers an actually free service (as opposed to just a free trial period).

They do try to hide it on their website though so make sure you follow this link in order to get to the right page.

The free version of this software lets you:

  • Manage up to three social media profiles from a choice of channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn
  • Schedule up to 30 posts in advance at any point in time
  • Track follower growth, likes and comments
  • Integrate two RSS feeds in order to find and share compelling content
  • Access Hootsuite’s online help center and community forum

Of course, there’s also a number of paid-for packages that you can buy from Hootsuite that give you access to a great number of services including higher ad spend budgets, automated post scheduling and custom analytics.

But if you’re a small business looking to get started, the free version of the software should be comprehensive enough to allow you to get your social media strategy in motion.

Website Tracking Software

We’ve said before that the secret to a successful lead generation strategy is to keep analysing and refining your methods. Well, website tracking software is the best way to conduct this analysis.

By digging into the analytics of your visitors’ actions, you can start to gain a better picture of why people come to your site, what they want from it, what they dislike about it and how you can improve upon their experience next time.

There are a wide variety of services that can fall into the category of website tracking software, including heatmaps, funnels, user polls, surveys, visitor recordings and more.

Basically, any kind of software that collects data about the ways in which your visitors interact with your site can be considered website tracking software.

Screenshot of Hotjar's homepage

We recommend: Hotjar

Whereas there are a multitude of smaller software companies that focus in on just one website tracking service, Hotjar offers an array of useful tools.

Hotjar tools include:

  • Click, move, scroll, download and share heatmaps that can also be split by device type
  • Visitor recordings that allow you to replay sessions of real site visitors
  • Conversion funnels that identify on which page and at which step the most visitors are leaving your site
  • Form analysis that can help you to discover which fields take too long to fill, which are left blank and why your visitors abandon your form and page
  • A customizable widget that allows you to create pop-up feedback polls
  • Responsive surveys that can be distributed through web links and emails, or featured your site just before your visitors abandon the page in order to discover what their concerns are
  • The ability to recruit test users in order to get instant feedback on your site

Hotjar’s free service is able to collect data from 2000 page views a day and will give you access to up to 300 visitor recordings and 3 heatmaps, forms, funnels, polls and surveys. Unlimited users can be added to your account and Hotjar will also store your data for a full year.

While we’d normally recommend free services when possible, it’s probably worth paying for Hotjar’s Plus plan to begin with.

For just under £25 a month you can collect data from 10,000 page views a day and have unlimited services and reports. Plus there’s even a 15-day free trial for you to test out whether you like their software or not.

Remember

Lead generation doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavour.

What’s important is that you put real effort into all of your interactions with potential leads - whether that’s through educational and informative blog posts, social media interactions or even just a chat on the phone.

If you believe in your business’ ability to help its customers then all you have to do is let that shine through.

Ultimately, these tools are just there to help you meet potential leads on their level. The rest is up to you.

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