Traffic. The boon or bane of your online marketing strategy. Without it, your web content collects dust.
With it, your website gets the attention it deserves and you connect with more customers, open yourself to an array of opportunities and of course, better position your business to get more sales.
Always Quality Over Quantity
If you’re just starting to discover the joy of blogging for your business, then one of the first questions you probably needed answers to was: how often should you blog for your business?
Is more content better?
Only if it’s quality content.
Don’t add to the internet noise by writing more mediocre content. I’ve had this conversation with myself many times over—while I want to write more frequently for SWC, I just don’t have the bandwidth to develop more than one solid blog post a week. I have to be okay with that, for now.
I’d rather share one high-quality post per week with my readers than spit out a few sucky ones just for the sake of creating more content. That would just drive readers away and I’ve lost my authority even before I began to build it.
When You’re Not a Natural Writer
Online writing can be daunting, especially if you don’t consider yourself to be a writer. But if you’re a business of one, then writing for your business is on you and at some point, you’ll have to face the keyboard.
So, if you’re an entrepreneur who hasn’t the slightest clue how to start writing wicked web content, here’s how you can build the online presence you really want to build.
Reuse and Recycle
Who said you have to spend hours of crawling the web to figure out what your first batch of blog posts should be?
Chances are, you probably have a few slide decks created for customer presentations. Repurposing existing content within the business is a simple (so simple that we often overlook it!) way to producing original, quality content that your audience will naturally gravitate to.
Incorporate any presentation notes or questions asked by those you’ve presented to already—if the question has been asked more than once, your readers will probably want to know the answers too.
(Don’t) Recreate the Wheel
Templates are a non-writer’s best friend. I’m telling you—there’s no shame in using templates for content creation.
Some of the best bloggers online today habitually write their content in the same style. It’s why, even with their hectic schedules, they can continually produce great content week in and week out.
Some basic blog post templates are:
- List/listicle template (hello Buzzfeed!)
- How-To template
- Profile/Interview template
- Curated Collection template
- Newsjacking template
Once you’ve found a post-style you enjoy writing, create your own templates. Belle Beth Cooper wrote a great post about how you can write better content with pre-made outlines—don’t forget to grab the templates!
Understand Creation Workflow
Writing a blog post is much more than opening up a Word doc and staring at white space until a topic comes to you.
Knowing the content creation workflow, just like using a blog post template, will help you write content more efficiently and at a much higher quality.
My content creation workflow looks like this:
- Ideation – I keep a running list of article ideas, as well as maintain a monthly content calendar. Of course, the schedule isn’t set in stone but it’s been a good guideline for me so far.
- Outline – Once I know what I’m going to write, I create a skeleton draft. Headlines, Intro, Subheads and Conclusion.
- Research – This can be the most distracting step for me. Sometimes I spend a little too much time researching. Read: clicking on too many “Related” posts.
- Draft – Once the outline and research is complete, the draft is usually written with ease.
- Revise and Proof – I go through a couple rounds of self-editing to make sure there are few to no errors.
Understanding the workflow also allows you to group like tasks together. If you can’t sit down to write a blog post in one session, then breaking out each step is much easier to do when you know what needs to be done.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
Web content doesn’t always mean blogging.
If writing each week is something you just can’t see yourself doing, or you’ve been doing it for a while and it’s just not the right fit for you right now, then consider alternative kinds of web content.
Your blog isn’t necessarily your digital home—your website is.
Add a FAQ page. Update your About page. Tweak your product pages. More than likely, there are a few pages that could use some rework. You’d be surprised at what a few copy tweaks to your website can do for traffic.
Email marketing, social media, videos and podcasts are some great alternatives to blogging.
If You Don’t Have Anything Useful To Say, Don’t Say Anything At All
Remember what I said earlier about not adding more noise to the internet?
I’m all for using personal stories to make your content relatable but it’s unlikely that those who come across your business blog will give a crap about your cat’s antics or want to read about the time you got a bad case of the stomach flu (ugh, TMI).
Your readers are looking for answers and if they’ve stumbled on your web content, then they’re expecting to read something that resolves the question they took the time to Google.
The end goal for any piece of your content is to answer any questions your customers, existing or potential, have.
What to Do Next
- Take inventory of the content you already have at your disposal.
- Set up documents and processes for your content creation workflow
- Experiment with blog post styles to find the ones that suits you best—then template it
- Consider creating alternative forms of web content like audio or video, or revamp your website content
- Make sure that every piece of content you decide to create answers a question your customer has
Let me know: if you’re having trouble writing web content, how do you push through to get the piece done?