Deciding what to write about on your blog or website is only half the problem. The other half is actually turning those topic ideas into written content. These six writing tips can help.
Writing content for a blog or website can seem difficult, particularly if writing is something you don’t do often. You wonder, “What should I write about on the blog?” “What should I say about the topic?” and “How do I make it sound professional?” If you’re writing sales copy, then you ponder over what you can say to encourage people to make a purchase or call for an appointment. While you’re stressing out over those questions, you also have a lot of other business issues to deal with. The result? You wind up doing everything else except writing that blog entry or web page copy.
So, how can you get the job done? First, reduce your stress level by realizing that fear of writing is common. It’s called writer’s block, and it happens to professional writers, too. Then, use these writing tips to make writing content for your website – or anything else – easier.
Tip #1 – Make a list of problems your readers struggle with
Every every website visitor and every potential client or customer has a problem or need they want solved. When they come to your site, they hope that you have a solution they can use. A list of your readers’ struggles will give you a great source of potential articles and blog posts.
You can start by creating a spreadsheet. Or, if you prefer, take a blank piece of paper. Start writing down questions your customers or site visitors have asked you. The answers to these questions will make good blog topics. They are also good key phrases to include in your web content to help with search engine optimization.
Once you’ve thought through the questions people ask, then add any other topics that will help your readers. Don’t judge any idea that comes to you. Even if something feels irrelevant, it may spark a better idea. Review your competitors’ websites and blogs, too, to see what topics they write about. Chances are some of those topics will be of interest to your audience too. You can keep adding to the list over time. Then, any time you’re not sure what to write, just pick a topic to write about from your list.
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Tip #2 – Create rough outlines for your content
Once you’ve decided on a topic, it is very tempting to start writing right away. But, that could actually make it harder for you. A common problem when starting to write is thinking of a catchy lead, but after you write the lead, it doesn’t quite say what you want, so you add in something else, or you start over again. And then you start over again a second or third time, trying to get things just right. Avoid the problem by starting with a rough outline of what will go into that piece of content.
Don’t worry too much about the order of things in the beginning. Just put down the key points you want to cover. Keep it simple. After you’ve listed the key points, arrange them in a logical order. This will give you a concise overview of what you want to say, making it much easier to write a good piece of content.
Here’s what the outline for the article you’re reading now looked like:
Creating a simple article outline like this makes writing the completed blog entry is as simple as filling in the details of each point in your rough draft. As was done in the article you’re reading, each of the key points can be turned into a subheadline to help the reader move through the article and to help with SEO for the article or blog post.
Tip #3 – Imagine having your reader in front of you
Imagine that the person you’re writing to is sitting right in front of you. They’re open to having a conversation with you. They’ve told you their problem. Now, it’s your turn to tell them what you think. Again, don’t be too hard on yourself. Bring out your thoughts as they come. It’s a simple conversation between two people.
Write down whatever comes to your head. You could also record yourself speaking. Later on, you can pick out any ideas that you think are good. If you have an outline, look at it and put down any idea that comes up.
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Tip # 4 – Don’t edit yourself as you write
The secret to writing is all about getting your ideas out of your head first, then editing later. If you try to judge what you write, it will stop you from creating. Let your thoughts flow. You’ll surely come up with something you readers will enjoy. You can – in fact, you should – edit the final document later on. Waiting a day to edit what you wrote will help you see typos and other mistakes you may have made, or other things that you should change.
Tip # 5 – Use word processing software to write your blog entry.
Don’t try to write your blog entry or website material directly into WordPress or any other content management system. You can’t move back and forth through the text as easily as you can with a word processing program. Save your work as you go along so you don’t accidentally delete it. When you have finished writing and editing the content, then it’s just a matter of copying and pasting it into your blog or website pages.
Tip # 6 – Get to work
Stop procrastinating and get started on your writing project by using the tips above.
Each little task you do will get you one step closer to completing your writing. Get one piece of content written, and then schedule a time to write the next one. Before you know it, writing will be easier and more enjoyable for you to do.