Creating content – business blogging tip 2
However if you’ve done your homework creating content shouldn’t be an issue. As we said in Tip 1, a well thought out plan will help you survive the slings and arrows of blog post creation.
So what do you do if you don’t know where to start? Here are 8 tips to help you get in the mood for blogging
1. Start writing even if it feels like it’s rubbish!
The only way through the resistance is to start and keep the voice in your head quiet. You know the one that says, this is awful, you can’t write for toffee etc, etc. This is mostly just old conditioning coming through and can be safely ignored. Be tough on your internal voice and you’ll break through the barrier of content creation.
2. Write when in the mood.
Sometimes the muse hits you and you get on a roll or you’re inspired by reading someone else’s blog post. I watched a funny video on Facebook this morning about a German beer which is made fizzy using helium. (skip the first 4 minutes to get to the funniest bit and it doesn’t matter if you don’t speak German). The results were hilarious. Sometimes a good laugh can shake you into a good state for writing. (There is now a shorter version with English subtitles here)
3. Tell stories.
Telling people stories about your experience is a great way to draw people into reading. It’s an ancestral hook as stories have been used throughout history to teach and entertain people. Or reference a story you hear on the radio or television. TED talks are a good place for stories that you will find useful.
The structure of your content is very important. It’s often good to have a ‘house’ look and feel when creating content. With a shorter post my content will have an image to the left at the top and then I’ll break down the post into short paragraphs. No more than 5 lines per paragraph. If it’s a longer piece I may have sub-headings and extra images to break the content up more.
If your structure is too dense people will click away. Small chunks help people to read all of the post and skim read it more easily.
5. Do an outline first then fill in the gaps.
It’s much quicker than winging it! With this post I used the notes from my talk which were just a few short sentences about each aspect of creating content I was going to introduce. Then I built on the main points. As you work through the post new ideas will often jump into your mind.
6. Emergency content.
If you’re busy and don’t have time for creating content you can sometimes share a video, quote, image and make a few comments about it. Very often what you throw out there without much thought can get more engagement than posts you’ve spent ages perfecting.
7. Word count in content.
300 words is a minimum for SEO purposes usually. Now 1000+ words is the norm. There is no hard and fast rule about this. I would say that if you are writing about your core business then this ‘pillar’ content needs to have greater density than other related content. Aim for the 1000 to 1400 mark for this type of business blog content.
Mix it up a little. Too many shorter ones will look like you don’t have enough depth of knowledge. Too heavy and people won’t be able to digest your material.
8. Leave it to simmer!
I will often leave the content on the back burner for a day and then come back with fresh eyes. Often you’ll tweak things or come up with some extra content. This tip came to me having gone through my post with my resident editor ‘J’. She is ruthless with my ‘darlings’ and eagle eyed for spelling and grammatical mistakes. It’s always good to have someone else to proof read your content.
In writing, you must kill your darlings. -William Faulkner.
So that’s my second tip for business bloggers about creating content. As always I’m interested in your experience and how you deal with creating content for your blog.
I look forward to hearing your views. The next tip will be about the importance of headlines.