Content is king, but what do you do when you don’t have time to create it? And, if you’re like most solopreners, you don’t have a lot of time to spend on this process.
There are countless articles out there on how to create content for your blog, but if you want to make your life easier, this guide will show you how to create content quickly and efficiently that gives great value to your reader and will position yourself as an expert
Set Yourself Up for Success
Here are a few tips to help you before you start writing:
- The best blogs are written by people who love to write about a topic they know about. When you write, your passion shows. Make a list of things you want to be known for. This will help you choose your topic in the next section.
- Set up your workspace for distraction-free writing. Turn off your phone, tell your family that you need 1 hour of alone time and get a promise of co-operation.
- If you like to play music in the background, do so only if this helps.
- My pre-writing routine is:
- give Mia a bone to chew on
- completely clean off my desk so nothing can distract me
- listen to binaural beats through noise cancelling headphones
- have a tea ready
- turn off my phone
- and tell Joe I’m on do-not-disturb for the next hour – I use a timer for this
Choose the Topic You Want to Write About
Giving value to your reader is done well when your blog content is educational. You’re giving advice, teaching readers a skill, or sharing how-to information.
Keeping in mind the “things you want to be known for“, think of a scenario: your ideal reader is on Google and is looking how to solve her problem. What would she type?
This could be as easy as:
- quick dinner ideas
- how to get stains out of a white blouse without using bleach
- what foundation should I use if I have sensitive skin
- how to make my dog stop barking
You could also choose a topic about something you do really well and enjoy talking about. This will ensure you write high quality blog posts and reach your intended audience. Also, choose a topic that matches what you want to be known for as an expert. If you’re new to blogging for your business, you may want to learn about creating content categories before going any further.
- You’re a dog trainer that has had great success training a dog to stop barking by using one special word.
- You’re a chef that specializes in menus for fussy kids and you’ve had great success with fun ways to get kids to eat brussel sprouts.
- You’re a capsule wardrobe consultant and have a real knack for coming up with modern combinations for casual work outfits that look upscale on an amazingly low budget.
Whichever way you prefer in choosing your topic, always think of a problem or question your reader has and how you can help solve that problem or answer that question.
If you’re stuck at this point, I wrote an article on Overcoming Writer’s Block Using the PAS Method and that focuses on the problems or questions your audience is asking.
Brain Dump: Write Down Every Question You Need to Answer About That Topic
Now that you have a list of potential topics, start brainstorming questions that could be answered on each topic. For example, if you’re interested in writing about travel tips, questions that could be explored is:
- How do I get the most out of my travel experiences?
- What’s the best way to experience a new city?
- How to find kid friendly places to visit?
- What are rules of the road in X. This was a shocker when I went to Freeport, Bahamas for the first time. Driving was done on the left side of the road, very few traffic lights on the whole island and a ton of roundabouts.
- What’s the best way to travel with my dog?
Create Your Outline: Arrange the Major Themes as Sections of Your Blog Post
When it comes to creating blog content, it is important to have an outline in place. This will help you to organize your thoughts and keep your blog post on track. One way to create an outline is by arranging the major themes as sections of your blog post outline. You could look at this as the main talking points of your topic.
Below are some tips for arranging the major themes and sections of your blog post outline:
- Start with the main topic or question that you want to address in your post.
- Write about one or two key points that support this main topic or question.
- Research and use supporting examples if necessary.
- Be sure to wrap up your main points with a conclusion that ties everything together.
Creating an outline for your blog post can help you stay organized and ensure that your blog post is well-organized. By following an outline, you can avoid writing without a plan and ensuring that your blog post flows logically from beginning to end. Additionally, outlines can help you focus on key points and make sure that all of your important points are covered.
Write the Blog Post Introduction
When you are starting out writing a blog post, it can be daunting to know where to begin. The introduction is one of the most important parts of your post, so it is important to get it right. Here are a few tips for writing an effective introduction:
- Start with a hook. The first thing you need to do is create interest in your readers by introducing them to the topic at hand. This can be done by asking a question that will get readers thinking.
- Be clear and concise. When writing an introduction, it is important to be as clear as possible so that readers understand what the rest of your post will contain. Make sure to use language they understand. No industry jargon unless that’s what they expect.
- Be creative. While it is important to stick to the basics, don’t be afraid to experiment with your introduction. Try different hooks, introduce new concepts, and think outside the box.
Write the Body of Your Blog Post
The body of the blog post is where you expand on each section of your outline.
If you’re teaching a “how to”, this is where your provide the steps and outcomes. Each section could be a step (similar to the post you’re reading).
If you’re writing a “list” post such as 19 Tips to the Perfect Vacation, each tip is it’s own section and you’ll expand on each one.
Think of each section as the sub-headlines – the reader could follow the post just by reading these (ideal for scanners), but in each section, that’s where the substance is. If you look at the blog post your reading, you can get the gist of the post just by reading each of the sub-headlines. But to learn the detailed steps, that’s where you read the body of each section.
Tip: if you have other content on your blog that is relevant, add a link to that blog post and vice versa. For example, in the post you’re reading, I could link out to other blog posts I’ve written already and in those posts, link to this one – as long as the information is relevant. The only exception, is I tend not to link to my very early blog posts (I started out as a really crappy blog post writer), but to re-written versions of those posts.
Don’t Edit During While Writing the First Draft
If you’re like most solopreneurs who are not professional copywriters, you might be tempted to edit your copy as you’re writing. However, editing comes in the next step.
Just write and keep writing. You’ll call this your “crappy first draft”.
- Keep your focus on the purpose of your blog post.
- Be concise and to the point.
- Use effective language that will resonate with your readers.
How to Write a Conclusion to the Blog Post
When writing a blog post, it is important to provide a conclusion to your readers. This will help them understand the main points of your article, and leave them with a sense of satisfaction.
To conclude your blog post, take some time to summarize the key points you made. Be sure to tie everything back together in a cohesive manner. Finally, make sure that your conclusion is persuasive and convincing. If done correctly, your readers will be eager to read more of your work in the future!
End the Blog Post with a Call to Action
When you’re finished writing your blog post, it’s important to provide a call to action. This will help encourage readers to take some kind of action as a result of reading your post. Here are some tips for ending your blog post with a call to action:
- Use clear, concise language when writing your call to action.
- Make sure the wording is easy for readers to understand and follow.
- Provide specific instructions on how readers can take the desired action.
- Make sure the call to action is relevant to the topic of your blog post.
- Download This Checklist to Help You Get Started
- Download a Free Recipe
- Get a Free Guide to Learn More About X
- or it could be as simple a simple “next step” that they should take.
Read, Edit, Revise Your Blog Post
If you want to write a blog post that will be read and shared, it’s important to take the time to read, edit, and revise it before you publish. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Read your post aloud. This will help you identify any awkward phrasing or awkward word choices.
- Dictate your post into your smartphone and play it back. Does it make sense?
- Be specific when describing what you’re talking about. This will help readers understand your points better.
- Unless your reader expects it, remove any industry jargon and use the words your reader understands. A doctor wouldn’t use complicated medical terms when writing a post on how to lose weight, but would use medical terms if the target audice were other doctors. If your reader doesn’t understand what the words are, you’ve lost them.
- Use strong verbs and adjectives when painting a picture for the reader so they can see themselves in the story. This will make your writing stand out from the rest.
- Use active voice when writing. This makes your post more reader-friendly and easier to follow. For a cheetsheet on active vs passive voice, take a look at this explanation with examples YourDictionary. https://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-active-and-passive-voice.html
- You can have someone else read your blog post that doesn’t know anything about the topic you’re writing about. Just to make sure that the post is easy to understand. A good way to find industry jargon that you may have missed.
Find Images to Support the Content in the Blog Post
When writing a blog post, it is important that you have images to support the content. Images can help to make the blog post more interesting and engaging for readers. You can also include video and inforgraphics to help supplement your text and add visual interest.
You’ll need one main image for your feature image, plus additional images to break up the text or to emphasise copy in your blog (optional)
There are many ways to find images to support your blog post. Note: links for stock photo sites open in a new window
If I can’t take any of my own photographs, my go-to for premium stock photography is:
Break Up the Content
Take one last check on your blog post from a visual point of view. Is it easy to read?
- Lots of white space (space around objects) to break up copy.
- Headlines to make your post scannable.
- Images to support important points.
- Can your reader get the gist of your post just by reading the headlines?
- Use bullet points to break up heavy copy to make it easier to read.
- Use headings and subheadings to break up your text into more manageable chunks and make it easier for readers to follow. H2 for the main sections and H3 for sub-headlines inside those sections.
- Bold any important text so they stand out, just don’t go overboard.
Publish the Blog Post
Now it’s time to publish the post to whatever platform you’re using. Assign your post to a category, add keywords or tags to the post, add your meta information for Google (usually found in an SEO section)
Once you’ve written your blog post, the next step is to re-purpose your blog post into micro-pieces of content for other platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram and other social platforms.
Speeding up your content creation process can make a big difference in the amount of time it takes to produce high quality content.
Follow this workflow on a regular basis and you will be on your way to creating effective content that resonates with your audience faster!