Content marketing strategists encourage any professional with an online presence to keep an active blog. Regular posts can help you engage with your audience consistently, improve your search engine rating, and establish you as a thought leader in your industry. A few basic writing strategies and professional services can help you publish a quality blog.
Even professional bloggers find that getting started is usually the hardest part of the process. This is where prewriting techniques can help you. Before you put anything down to paper, choose a topic or a theme for your blog that’s consistent with your target audience’s expectations.
Create a purpose statement for your blog that expresses your intent in one or two sentences and write it at the top of your draft in the active voice. Most pros recommend as narrow a focus as possible; you may not reach as many readers, but the ones you do will be more likely to engage directly.
Draw up an outline by thinking of what questions your readers might have on your topic. Make sure that each question is relevant to your purpose statement. Order them logically and use them for your blog headings if you wish.
Stay On Track
After you’ve structured your outline, spend a little time researching to fill any gaps where your knowledge feels a little sparse. Now, set yourself a timer for 10-15 minutes and start writing without stopping. The goal is to convert your ideas into words, so don’t spend time organizing your thoughts as you write or parsing words; you can go back and refine it later. If you’re dead-ended in one section of your blog, move on to another one.
Minimizing distractions is crucial in all writing stages, but it’s probably more so during this one. Turn your cell phone to “Do Not Disturb,” shut off the TV, and lock the door if you can. If you find yourself distracted by the noise in or outside of your home, quiet music or a nature soundtrack may help.
Use Professional Services
It’s easy to get discouraged by activities that you’re not good at, but don’t get hung up on your perceived lack of skills with the pen. There are many technical aspects to effective writing, and even full-time copywriters struggle with grammar. Fortunately, you can find online services for anything from proofreading to copy editing to ghostwriting. Just so long as you have coherent thoughts down on paper, editors for hire can work miracles.
There are also plenty of physical and virtual tools that you can use, such as content planners and online blogging apps. If typing slows you down, go retro with a pencil and a notebook. You may also benefit from using dictation software; your word processing program may already have a spoken-word feature installed.
Take Pro Advice
Every writer has a process, and it won’t be too long before you fall into yours. Stay open to new techniques and take advice whenever you can get it. Your particular writing strategy will be unique, but most bloggers find value in the following tactics:
- Write for at least five minutes every day.
- Write at a time of day when you feel the most focused and creative.
- Once you start writing, don’t stop; however, don’t force the effort if you’re struggling.
- Jot your thoughts in a notebook as they come to you throughout the day.
- Keep a list of unused resources for later topic ideas.
- Write anytime you’re inspired by anything, whether it’s related to your blog or not.
All of these tips boil down to one overall theme: Practice makes perfect. Stay persistent — the more time you spend writing, the easier it will become.