Are you putting off your content creation work because you dread writing? An understandable problem. Having a blog maybe a strategically good idea for your business, but that will not automatically make you love writing.
Fortunately, writing, especially for blog posts, is not as hard as one might think. You can have average writing skills and still pull it off if your content is valuable and well-targeted.
Here are some content writing tips that make a non-writer’s life easy!
1. Start with a road map/strategy
You should first know what you want to get out of or who should read your content to be able to give it value.
The first step, then, is to figure out your audience and the type of content that they will be interested in. Understand how your content pieces can add value to their lives. This will allow you to define what type of content you are going to target.
After you have that down, start by creating a content strategy. This is important because it will give you a roadmap for tackling the content creation and the writing process. It will help you set goals like:
- How often do you want to create content?
- How do you want to use your content? To create brand awareness, to increase signups, to get people to attend a webinar? Etc.
- The types of subjects that your customers will be most interested in.
- What is your content presentation style going to be? Formal and sophisticated or creative and informal etc.
If you don’t have at least a broad roadmap, you will just be walking in blind.
2. Get help from technology
Writing is hard, but the good news is you don’t have to be helpless! There are a number of amazing tools out there that can help you edit, polish, and refine your content. Not only that but over time, the inputs from these tools will help you develop your writing skills.
Here are a few good ones:
As the name suggests, it scans your content for grammatical and punctuation mistakes. This tool is a gift to people who haven’t exactly studied the art of writing formally.
This tool is free and checks if your writing is readable enough. You can paste your content and the tool will tell how many sentences are readable, and whether or not your content is easy to comprehend and so much more.
These are just a couple of popular ones; there are so many other tools you might want to explore before picking your toolkit.
3. Actively seek feedback
When you are creating content, the true value of it lies in how well it will connect with the audience. If it doesn’t connect well, then it really doesn’t matter how sophisticated or erudite your writing is.
Even seasoned writers take the time to get feedback from others before they publish their work; if they deem it necessary, then non-writers too, must do the same.
So, actively bounce your pieces off others and see what they think. Look to see if your writing is conveying your thought or intention as is. If your writing is distorting your intended message or is hard to comprehend, then you definitely need to rethink your writing style/approach.
Dealing with feedback at first can be quite hard, especially when you are already not too confident about your skills. It may even tempt you to quit the idea entirely. Don’t.
It is important to develop a thick skin if you want to truly get better; there is no other way. Also, seek people who give constructive criticism, so that they tell you not only what is wrong, but also how to correct it.
4. Develop your own content style
Writing is undeniably an important part of the content presentation, but if writing is not your key strength, then you might want to mix it up a little and use other ways to present your content.
Definitely, writing is a huge part of blogging, but depending on the level of your writing skill and the effort you are having to put into it, you should make use of other forms of content presentation in order to lighten up the pressure on yourself.
Mixing up different styles will also keep your audience guessing and engaged. For instance, if you want to do long-form posts or detail-oriented posts, instead of forcing yourself to write chunky 3000-word articles, use other styles such as:
- To-do lists
- Webinars/slide presentations/eBooks
- Roundups or series posts etc
Pick the formats that work best with your writing style and take advantage of it.
5. Reduce the stress involved in writing
You can always make writing an enjoyable process, by eliminating the taxing aspects such as editing, proofreading etc. In fact, delegating these aspects of content creation to your team members can be helpful. By simplifying the blogging process, you actually get more time to focus on the content creation part and less on the other nitty-gritty aspects.
Here are some thoughts:
Set up a system: The best way to deal with the task of content writing is to have well-set systems in place and to condition yourself to religiously follow these systems.
Have a set and scheduled time for when you are going to write and what you are going to write on a particular day. In short, have a writing routine and a calendar set up in advance. This way you don’t have to decide when and what to write every day.
Focus on writing for non-readers: Don’t get too fixated on writing itself. Remember that most of your audience will be non-readers. They are not reading the blog post because they love reading, but because they want the advice/tips you are offering. So, go easy on yourself on the writing part and focus on making the content easily scannable by including sub-headings, bullet points, pictures etc.
Get help for proofreading and editing (maybe even delegate it entirely): While writing is just half of the battle, proofreading/editing is another half. Simplify your life by hiring someone (maybe a freelancer) or by delegating the task to another team member, to take this load off your shoulders.
The only way you will get better at this is by inculcating self-discipline and consistently creating content. Additionally, it is important to take the time to figure out the mistakes you are making today and consciously make an effort to not make them tomorrow. You don’t have to be a gifted and prolific writer to make it. Hard work, smart strategy, and consistency will take you all the way.