I recently posted a couple of pointed questions to get to the heart of common content writing pitfalls. First, Do you know blogging improves traffic? Yes. (80/20%). And “Do you write a blog?” No (40% to 60%). Without analyzing too much data, the numbers show that people know they need the written word to improve their website traffic, but don’t have time to write.
I get it! I used to write between two and 12 stories a day when I worked in print journalism. And while it was technically my job to write, banging out an average of 2,000 words a day is no small feature no matter who you are — Stephen King excluded.
Honestly, writing doesn’t come second nature to most people. And even if it does, there are time restrictions like work, family obligations, and 24 hours in a day. Here is the short and sweet post that will max your content output without maxing out your time.
Before we get started please note that I’m not going to write about content batching or scheduling apps — though they are both great options — this is just about saving time actually producing content.
One planning tip that shouldn’t be overlooked is research. Completing your research before you start typing is one way to cut down on time wasted. Research first, write second. Never at the same time. Fact check after you have a draft.
Talk to Yourself
So you have no time to write, but you do have time to do the dishes or fold laundry. Great because those things have to get done, but so does your writing. When I have a thousand ideas and a thousand-mile-long to-do list, I opt for the talk-to-text.
You guys, it is not pretty. Your talk to text is never, ever doing to be your published work. You can always go back, transcribe or rewrite later. But at least you have it down; you’ll never stare at a blank screen again.
Start talking to yourself. But please be recording. And before you say, “Well, DUH,” I have seen this happen a million times. I’ve done it myself as well.
Download yourself a talk-to-text app. I use Transcribe, but there are others on the market that you may prefer. Bonus points if you also get a phone microphone, but it still works regardless. You just might have to spend some extra time deciphering what you said.
If you use Google Docs to write your content, you can also try the Voice Typing option located under the “Tools” dropdown menu.
Mind Your Ws
You know their name. The 5 Ws: Who, What, Where, When, Why. It’s journalism 101 and writing 101. That’s why it has been around before since Bernstein and Woodward. You should have a general idea of all these answers before you sit down at a keyboard. It will save you the most time, no matter what tip you ever read again.
If you want to monetize internet writing, then the modern-day formula is Who, Why, What, Where, When — in that order.
Who: Always the person you are speaking to in your blog.
Why: Your reader is here for a reason. They are not scrolling to paragraph three to figure out if you can help their problem.
What: You’re on paragraphs three to five. You can answer the question now.
Where: If your where is a physical location, tell me all about it right now. If you have an internet-based biz, then you’re going to tell me where I am going as far as the next link.
When: Now. If you’re an internet biz, then Now is when you want people to click on your link. If you’re brick and mortar, then invite people to come down for a specific sale or special.
Use a Template
Consistancy is critical in all things, and content creation is no exception. Getting yourself into a writing routine will streamline the processes for years to come. A go-to templated format ensures that everything you’re putting out into the world follows a style guide. Plus, it is essentially a checklist for making sure you didn’t miss anything that might hinder your SEO or readability.
If you’re turning out new blog posts every week, but you haven’t gotten the results you’ve been hoping for, then it is likely you haven’t embraced the power of Search Engine Optimization. SEO sounds mysterious! There are a lot of elements to do it successfully. Save yourself time with this handy template and watch the traffic flow.
Cyndi, Owner of Ascent StoryCraft