Below is an excerpt from my newest Kindle, The Ultimate Guide to Blogging – Content.
It’s funny. When I started writing this section of the book, my mind went all wonky. This sort of thing almost never happens to me. I’ve always got something to say.
Ask my wife.
But I digress.
I truly was at a loss for words. Because for me, writing comes quite easily. There was a time when I’d write 20 posts a day. These weren’t small posts either. They were bona fide full-length, content-rich pages. They flowed like a river.
Then there was this other time where I wanted to improve my writing speed (and keep my quality and accuracy), so I put up an ad on Fiverr. (It’s a site where vendors put up “gigs” for $5 and people buy your gigs.) My gig was that I’d write a 500-word (or more but never less) post on any topic you chose. For $5, I figured I could have somebody else pay me to improve my writing speed, such that as the faster I got, the more money I’d make. I wound up writing, on average, 3000 words an hour, or 6 gigs.
Let me tell you – that got old really quick. But the idea was sound and my writing speed improved. Plus, I learned a whole lot about stuff I knew nothing about (I had to do really quick research before I wrote each article, and Wikipedia became my new BFF).
But when I came to this section in the book, I just didn’t know where to start, what my message was, or how I’d solve it.
And then it struck me: Writing comes so easy to me that I forgot how to do it. Instead, after all these years, I just wrote.
That right there is the key. You have to write a lot. Not everything you write will pass your high standards and make it to a published page or post on your blog. But some will. And those that make the cut will have some distinguishing characteristics.
Make each of your articles stand above all else out there. You can do it. This is why I was so adamant that you were passionate about your subject – because it’s really hard to write a lot of super high-quality content when you really don’t care about the topic.
Trust me, I know – I confirmed that with the Fiverr gig I talked about before.
Speaking of which, did you see how I started off this section? I told a story. People like stories. Readers are actually conditioned, almost from birth, to enjoy stories and take the lessons taught in them to heart.
Use images at the beginning of every post or page, and sprinkle more in when it’s appropriate to do so. Images keep readers engaged in the conversation you are having. And yes, blogging is conversation. It may be one-sided, but treat it as if you are talking directly to your audience, just like you would in a live presentation.
Shorter sentences usually trump longer sentences. But remember to always write for your ideal audience. If they’re nuclear physicists, you may get away with drier content that is written at a much higher grade level, compared to an audience comprised of teenage boys or girls or internet marketers (“Hey, look, a squirrel!”)
Don’t use big fancy words when more common words work. Nobody cares how smart you are or how grammatically correct you can be.
They care about the information you are sharing. Can they follow what you are saying? Do they get some benefit from your information? Can they put whatever guidance you gave into immediate action?
Does your content give them what they are looking for?
If so, then awesome! If not, go back to the drawing board. (By the way, I had most of this section written out but I didn’t like it so I scrapped it, in its entirety. Sometimes, you have to do stuff like that.)
I’ll get into creating other forms of content when we get to the “Casting Content” section. For now, your content creation is all about blogging in text format. After all, that’s kind of where it all starts, anyways. Remember, though, that you can—and should—produce content on your Announcement Networks (refer to Part 2 for that).
If you want to read it all, get it here.