You are staring at the blank page, or screen rather, wondering what to write. You have a blog due and your content arsenal is out. Writing is hard, but what’s even worse is when you take the time to crank out the content and then no one notices. Your SEO numbers don’t budge. You get little to no likes or shares. You think there must be an easier way to create great marketing content.
How do you break the mold and actually develop content that not only meets the deadlines but engages your target audience? As a writer, I’m always looking for ideas that lead directly to more creativity. Keeping these six key things in mind may help you get started.
1. Create Consistently
Developing great marketing content doesn’t happen by accident. It takes persistence and hard work. It helps to have a plan of approach; a method for creating new content on a regular basis. Whether you have so many thoughts you don’t know where to begin, or you feel as if the blank screen is mocking your efforts, it all begins with focusing in on an idea. As with any type of writing, the hardest part of blogging is often simply getting started. These ideas will help with the process of creating consistent content. You’ve often read about writers who forced themselves to write even one page every day to finish a novel. That’s the discipline it takes.
2. Connect in a real way
When you write a blog post, you’re writing it to connect. You want people to read and identify with your story, theme, or advice. As a person who blogs, you should be a big believer in communication, and understand that blogging is one of the quickest ways to reach an audience ever created. If you’re deeply interested in a topic, it’ll come across. When you continue to connect your readers with useful and informative content, they’ll return to discover what else you have to say. While your end goal may to sell more widgets or download your mobile app, you first have to establish a real human connection with your audience and then try getting them to respond to a call to action.
3. Be helpful
Turning a few minutes of a person’s day into a memorable takeaway isn’t easy in a world of excessive digital noise, but words have the power to change minds and deliver ideas in a way nothing else can. After a reader finishes your article and passes along your advice or insights, congratulations are due. You’ve reached your readers in the way you meant to. Maybe you’ve made a point about how to save time, try out an app that will improve their business, or suggested a new way of viewing a problem. In the same way writing down your thoughts sticks in your mind, content that resonates with a reader sticks with them. Think about the challenges your target reader faces every day and what you can do to help him or her.
4. Convey your passion
Be excited about what you’re writing. The best way to do that is to write about topics that you’re passionate about. Dig deeper and find out why you’re saying what you’re saying. Be your own best audience. Keep yourself entertained and interested. Surprise yourself, and you’ll be more likely to surprise your readers. Know that it’ll be worth it when readers connect with your piece. You view the world in a way no one else does. Your writing voice DNA is unlike anyone else’s writing voice DNA. Create content made to be read, bookmarked, passed along, and talked about.
5. Use a conversational tone
Writing in an engaged, conversational tone is how you connect with readers. Look at the best stories and blog posts, and you’ll see examples of a writer using the conversational tone. Your particular voice is how people hear themselves in your writing. Just like you’ll be more successful writing about topics that you’re passionate about, the same is true for writing in your own voice. The more personal a story is the more universal it is. Every person, company, community…has a story to tell. None of them are the same. All of them can be told in a way meant to reach the widest possible audience. How people talk leads directly to a voice people can identify with. You might have a gift for writing in a humorous voice, creating content humanizing technology, or showing the inner workings of organizations with a minimalist approach. Whatever it is, be you.
6. Show empathy
Readers want to feel something and know you understand their pain. They want to experience a connection between themselves and the writer on the other end of an online conversation. Whether you are talking about disruptive technology or a disturbing weather pattern, people respond to an empathetic tone. One day, robots might write effectively in a human voice, but until then, writers will reach out to fellow human beings and let them know, it’s OK. We’re all in this together. And we’ve all got something vital to say. Sometimes it might be a little rough around the edges, but often, that’s the thing that sets great content apart from good content.
Want to Create Great Marketing Content? Start at the Beginning
Sitting down and beginning is how all forms of writing happen. Even in this age of digital content, this hasn’t changed. Connecting with readers is what makes every form of writing come alive. Turning your thoughts into helpful, fun, interesting blog posts that will make a difference is the reason for writing online content.
How you jump start your writing is up to you.