Fun fact: nobody likes writing. Not even writers. Writing is summoning an ocean of unending creative motivation. More often than not, you reach for the ocean and find a muddy puddle.
But the good news is that you can fake it till you make it. Here are 5 content writing hacks that will guide you how to write a blog post when the motivation simply isn’t there.
1. Have a Clear Topic
You don’t have to spend hours planning out a blog topic, but having one clear topic will help guide your writing and keep it on track. If you need help brainstorming how to write a blog post, start with a broad topic and slowly narrow in on specifics. You can use the five question technique of repeatedly asking yourself “why” readers should care if you’re struggling to find a topic. For example, my brainstorming for this blog went something like this:
- Broad Topic: Content
- Narrower Focus: Blog content
- Narrower Focus: How to write content for blogs
- Narrower Focus: How to write content for blogs for people who aren’t writers
- Final Topic: How to write content for blogs quickly for people who aren’t writers
Once you have your focus, keep it in the back of your mind while writing. This will help give you direction and steer you away from writing rambling paragraphs. If it’s not immediately relevant to your topic, shelve it for later to use in another blog post.
2. Curate Content
This content writing hack will save you hours of time in the long run. Curating content is the process of leveraging existing content pieces to create something new. The BuzzFeed and clickbait articles that circulate Facebook are common examples of curated content. Start by finding some content that resonates with your topic – this could be blog posts, an infographic or even videos. Then use those as a jumping-off point to create your own unique blog post.
The easiest way to curate content is in a roundup-style post, where you create a list and share content pieces (e.g., “Top 10 Indie Bands in Minneapolis” or “5 Examples of High-Performing Sales Scripts”). The key to curating and what sets it apart from a no-no like plagiarism is that you clearly state where you got content pieces and link back to the original source. Check out our 20 Writing Prompts for Quick and Creative Emails for an example of a curated blog post.
3. Write For Your Audience
It’s true that your blog is an excellent way to boost your SEO and rankings in search engines, but the primary goal of your blog should always be to provide useful information to your audience. The most optimized post in the world doesn’t amount to squat if people aren’t interested in it and leave your site immediately. Do you know who your customers are? What are they interested in? Is this information useful to them? Worry less about optimization and more about whether or not your post is useful. You can always go back later and make your content more search-engine friendly. Which brings us to…
4. Don’t Overthink Your First Draft
I know it sounds counter-intuitive to make multiple drafts when you want to save time writing a blog post, but hear me out. Trying for perfection the first time around actually takes more time because you’re constantly worrying over time-wasters like word choice and formatting. The best method is to simply just write and keep writing, then go back and clean it up. Pausing to find the perfect phrasing only jolts you out of the flow of writing.
5. Know When to Take a Break
It’s tempting to want to keep pushing through, but sometimes when writer’s block hits it’s better to just leave and come back later. If you find yourself staring at a blank page, unsure of how to continue, set a timer for 15 minutes. If you’re still stuck when the timer goes off, it’s time to move on to another activity and pick back up later. The mental break of doing another activity will help you write more fluidly later on. Forcing yourself to write when you’re struggling will just waste more time in the end. Eat a cookie, watch some Netflix and give your brain a rest.
Want even more blog content writing hacks? Don’t miss our Content Marketing: What to Say and How to Say It BizzyWebinar on July 19. Can’t make it? Catch it anytime after broadcast on our YouTube channel.
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