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
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).
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:
- Choose your topic (as above) – 5 mins
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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