Creating good content is the key to having a fantastic content marketing strategy. Obviously, writing is a crucial aspect of this – form blog posts, to social media posts. Being able to articulate what you’re saying is undoubtedly a skill many wish they had.
However, we can’t all be that lucky. Writing doesn’t come naturally to many people – and that’s fine. It is still possible to create good content, even if you suck at writing.
Here’s how to create good content without being a professional writer. Yes, it’s totally possible.
Are you really a bad writer?
We’re always so critical of ourselves. For this reason, I challenge you to ask yourself – “Am I really that bad?” Chances are, you’re not as terrible as you believe.
Also, many writers once sucked (or believed they did) at writing. It takes practice and hard work, but everybody can become a decent writer. Though, we know better than anyone – writing is not easy. Creating long articles, researching, and proofreading every day can be difficult.
That’s why we want to help. We know first-hand how hard it is, and we want to provide insights into how to help.
Writing is at the forefront of content marketing. It revolves around words. Such as blogs, articles, press releases, and captions. Of course, there are aspects of content that don’t require professional writing abilities, but for the most part, long-form blog content is the most significant impact.
It’s important. Nobody denies that. So, you need to stop being so critical of yourself. Take a stroll through popular blogger’s earliest work. You’ll find that they weren’t the best, too.
There’s a high chance that you have an inferiority complex with your writing. Making you believe that you’re awful when you’re really not.
Importantly, every single writer out there has room to improve. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are.
This means, this article could prove useful to those that believe they can’t write, and those that love their writing. Content marketing is too powerful for you to ignore it.
Here’s how to write good content, even if you’re writing isn’t making you happy.
What are your reader’s interests?
The opinions that really matter when it comes to content marketing is the reader. It’s cruel and harsh, but it doesn’t really matter what you think.
However, this works in both ways. Just as you might believe your content writing isn’t excellent – it isn’t up for you to decide. If your reader thinks it’s excellent, then it probably is.
As humans and content creators, we often overthink what we’re publishing out into the world.
We obsess over the little details, the quality, the lengths, and the SEO that we can forget about the most essential aspect. Do the readers actually like it?
Finding out what your readers want and like to read – a fantastic first step to creating content.
You can find this out using polls, surveys, and, of course, analytics. This brings us very nicely onto our next point.
How do analytics play any part in writing? Well, it all falls with finding what your readers like.
Analytics are great ways to see what works best for you or your company. Things from your basic numbers, to your most visited pages. You can discover a lot from analytics, and they should never be underestimated.
If your blog is followed by many already, use your analytics to discover your demographic of readers.
Free resources online will give you insights into where your readers are coming from. You can also find tools that give you age and gender as analytics. This could be beneficial for your content strategy.
Knowing the country that your readers come from is important. It can help with picking relevant topics and also change various spellings.
Another aspect of analytics that is important to consider – your traffic. What are your readers entering your site for, and why? What blogs are they clicking on, and what are the engagement rates for these?
Engagement metrics tell a story, that is as important as other stories. Many readers are actually “bouncing,” which means they’re not reading anything. They’re just bouncing from blog to blog. In other words, they’re just scanning.
You can check how often the average user is entering your page, how long they’re staying on, and how they engage with the posts.
It could also be worth seeing how your followers engage with the content you post on social media.
With this array of analytics and statistics, you can really discover what works best for your blog. You can find why people are entering, what they do while there, and if they will return.
Make the most of your analytics, it could be the best thing that you do.
The thing with writing is, if you keep reading, you’ll get better. For this reason, checking out your competitor’s blogs is a mutually beneficial thing.
Find websites and blogs that are similar to you, and find what they’re doing differently. Also, find what they’re doing better – this could help with your strategy.
Paying close attention to your competitors gives you a chance to improve and evolve. It could give you valuable ideas and inspire you to think outside of the box.
It’s a great opportunity – and really helps with your overall content strategy. You’ll already know that marketing professionals keep a close eye on their competitors.
A great way to find competitors is by using Alexa. Type in the name of your site, and scroll your way down to “similar websites by audience overlap.”
Ask yourself – why does your audience like and read their blogs? Take a look at how they structure their blogs, the titles, and analyze their engagement.
If they have more people liking and commenting, be critical, and ask yourself why.
It’s okay to be critical sometimes, just ensure you’re not demotivating and pulling yourself down. All research should stimulate and inspire you.
Now that we’ve got some of the technical parts out of the way, it’s time to consider the actual writing. You have to pick the topics that you’re going to write about.
It could be worth setting up a Trello board, filled with different ideas – sorted through categories.
For instance, your boards could be “fashion,” “beauty,” and “health.” With cards underneath with specific titles. Like, say, “The fashion trends this year” or “Alcohol-free beauty products.” It just helps to keep you organized.
Really, this depends on the type of site that you have. However, finding relevant topics for your website can be difficult, especially if you have a niche market.
With cases like this, look at what’s trending in the world. For example, sustainability, women’s rights, or veganism. How can you develop content that will relate to this?
If you have a solar panel company, for example, you could provide tonnes of content regarding climate change and sustainability. Your blogs don’t have to revolve around solar panels all the time.
Likewise, if you own a coffee company, your blog could have topics on sustainability, health, and paying workers a fair wage. These are really topical pieces of content, that might bring in traffic.
Try something new – find what’s trending in the world, and try to make it a part of your content strategy.
Don’t be overly controversial. There is such a thing as negative press.
Unless you’re a professional writer, finding the right structure might seem difficult. How do you write a blog post, that flows well, and informs correctly?
Following a structure is one of the most important aspects of writing. It could be the difference between you writing “well” and not-so-much. In fact, you could be beautifully eloquent with your words – but if your structure doesn’t work, your efforts may be overshadowed.
Don’t take an unfocused approach to blogging. Develop a formula for your own content that spans way past intro, body conclusion.
Here’s an example structure that was suggested to us by Jenna Wilson from popular writing service:
- The title or topic.
- How is it relevant? What’s made you want to write this.
- Explain how to do something or elaborate on your point.
- How can your readers achieve a goal, what should?
- Make your blog useful or topical. What’s the point of your readers actually reading it?
- Call to action.
Your structure should also include word counts. For instance, an introduction should be about 100-150 words.
You also should put together a style guide. Will you be writing in the first person? What’s your tone? Casual, formal, funny?
Remember to always use headers too. Not only does this help with SEO purposes (which we’ll mention later), but it helps to structure the article, improving the readability.
A specific structure, that’s unique to your blog, will help you develop your brand. Your readers know precisely what they’ll be entering your site for. Consistency is key.
Don’t worry, having a structure doesn’t stifle creativity. In fact, it gives you a clear focus – providing you with a focus to let your creative juices flow.
Of course, you can break the rules every now and then.
5) Be genuine
If you really think you’re terrible at writing, don’t worry too much about it. On the internet, it’s filled with fake news, plagiarism, and copies. People will appreciate authenticity and honesty – even if you’re not a professional writer.
It might be hard to believe, especially when you see negativity around all the time. However, posting something genuine will be sure to be appreciated.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t proofread or put a lot of effort in. Make sure your blog is to the highest possible quality, and always publish content that means something to you.
When people enter your blog – they’re not looking for the next Shakespeare (though, that could be you), they’re looking for a helpful piece of advice or opinion.
Blogs are conversational – they work best when they feel like you’re talking to somebody over coffee. Sure, this might mean it’s not perfect, but perfection is extremely subjective, anyway.
Learn to become a better writer
Just because you’re a bad writer now, doesn’t mean you have to remain a bad writer. Like with any skill, you can learn to become better.
We talked about this point briefly – reading your competitors blogs helps with your writing. However, this is a slightly different point.
We want you to read anything – novels, poetry, magazines, columns. Opt to read a blog rather than emails on your commute. Slowly but surely, your skill will improve.
Reading blogs and writing blogs will make you build that skill up. They’re not precisely the most tedious of tasks, either. If you read enough, you’ll eventually pick up great tips and pointers.
Of course, you can also take classes on how to write better. This could be reading a book on how to write better (a double whammy), watching YouTube videos, or attending a workshop. Whatever works best for you.
As you read around and learn how to be a better writer, make sure that you don’t lose your brand voice in the process.
Don’t let the focus of being a good writer, diminish the authentic parts of you.
Any skill that you do pick up make sure to make it your own.
a) Use visuals
Make sure to use images and graphics in your blogs. Even great writers need this buffer – we don’t like reading long-form blog posts, without there being a tiny break.
If a user enters your site and sees a blog post filled with a thousand words and no images – they’ll be likely to exit off your website or blog. It just isn’t appealing – you’ll know this from personal experience.
Make sure the images you use are copyright-free or your own. You can find copyright free images on Pixabay, Flikr, and other sites.
You could also use GIFs, which is a great way to add “reactions” into your blog – making it more relatable.
Titles are another crucial part of great content. You could actually write a killer blog, but the title doesn’t attract people – it needs to be eye-catching and exciting.
As with everything, make sure the title will attract your reader. It needs to be something that you know will interest them and make them actually want to click on your page.
In general, titles that will provide your user with something are the most beneficial. Think “Top 30 tools you can’t live without”, and “how to make the most of your Amazon subscription.”
Don’t steer too close to clickbait, though. You don’t want people losing trust in your blog.
c) Listicle articles
If you’re really just not into writing, no matter how much you try, listicles are a great way to make content.
A listicle article presents information as a list. Buzzfeed is really popular for these types of articles, and they obviously get a lot of shares.
It’s easy to build up words with this technique, and also create relatable, engaging content.
You could also incorporate your listicle articles into a quiz – another engaging way to get more email subscribers.
If you are aiming for people to click onto your blog, it has to be SEO optimized. For this, you need to dive into keyword research.
Keyword research isn’t a difficult task. There are free tools online to help with keywords.
All you have to do is simply find them and insert them into the text. Obviously, make it seem natural and inconspicuous.
Also, keep on the lookout for keyword phrases. What do people search into Google?
You can also find what keywords are sending traffic to your site. For instance, it could be “weekly planner template” or “how to make soap.”
e) Utilize tools
If you’re not a great writer (or at least don’t think you are), you can make the most of tools that are available on the internet. Both free and paid.
Resources like keyword finders, Grammarly, and topic finders all come in handy when creating content.
With Grammarly, you can ensure that you’ve picked up on any spelling mistakes, as well as grammar and consistency issues
You can also download plugins for your blog – including readability and SEO testers. This ensures that your blog posts are reaching the maximum number of people.
A tool called Alltop is also handy. It helps to find the best topics from blogs all around the web, regarding your niche.
What you should take away from this is that you’re not as bad of a writer as you believe.
If you can’t build your confidence up, try your hardest to build up your skill. You can do this from reading and writing. There are also tools online that help with writing – make the most out of them.
With keywords, titles, visuals, and a genuine interest in what you’re writing. You’ll gain loyal readers.