Got a blog and social media accounts? If you have, you’re cleverly using content marketing to promote your business.
Content marketing helps your business by stretching your marketing dollars. However, it has an unfortunate drawback: someone has to create all that content… and that means writing.
Perhaps you’ve discounted content marketing because you hate writing.
If so, these five easy tips will help you to get it done.
1. Batch-create: “a thousand forests …”
Emerson said: “The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn,” so when you think “content”, think BATCHES. Every piece of content you create can grow, and grow again. For example, I could use each of these five tips to grow additional articles.
Batch-creation is fun. You can:
- Write two or three or more articles if you’re writing anyway. (I wrote this article while I was writing this one.)
- Write a collection of tweets while you’re writing an article. (Use a spreadsheet to keep track of when you posted your tweets, and an URL shortener.)
- Compile a collection of articles into an ebook, or a Pinterest pinboard, while you’re writing an article.
- Add article ideas to your content calendar. I added a couple of ideas to my content calendar, while I was writing this article.
2. Trash into treasure: use what you already have
You’ve got a treasure trove of content you’re ignoring:
- Responses to customer questions. Check your email – within five minutes, you’ll have a mass of content you can repurpose into blog and social media posts.
- Business photos. Every phone’s a camera now. Click away! Chances are you’ve got hundreds, if not thousand of images you can use. Image poor? If you snap two images a day, at the end of the week you’ll have ten images you can post wherever you choose. (Don’t forget the caturday hashtag on Google+, if you’ve got a cat.)
- Marketing collateral. White papers, polls, questionnaires, and more. Shake the dust off these materials, and use them as seeds for fresh content.
Browse your computer and your company’s library. Turn that trash into treasure.
3. Take the drama out of writing: it’s just talking
Can’t write? If you can talk, you can write. Instead of sitting down to “write”, pretend you’re writing an email message to a buddy. Chat away. When you’re done, delete the “dear Fred”, or whatever salutation you used, and you’ve got content.
Alternatively, use a voice recognition app.
4. Prepare, then write. Like cooking, writing’s all in the prep
Imagine you’re cooking a meal. What do you do? You get a recipe, shop for the ingredients, prepare the ingredients (peel the potatoes etc), and then you start cooking. If you’re cooking a stir fry, getting the ingredients ready takes longer than cooking.
Consider your content calendar as being like your shopping list. Then prepare the ingredients: I prepare the coming week’s content on Sunday afternoons by writing drafts. I use Trello to organize the research and graphics for blog posts.
By the time I’m ready to write (cook), it’s easy, because all the prep is done. If you combine batch-creation with prep, you’ll double the amount of content you create.
5. Take time to think: court your Muse
When did you last sit down to think? On my freelance writing blog, I talked about the value of musing in writing more and more easily:
At least once each day, allow yourself to sit in a quiet place, and think. This is not worry time. Choose something pleasant to think about. You can think about a current project, or about your goals — or about anything else.
The word “muse” comes from the nine Muses, Greek goddesses of inspiration.
The nine Muses
When you muse, you reflect on something: musing has a lot in common with daydreaming. Bring your subject to mind, and allow your Muse to inspire you.
So there you have it. Five tips to help you to get your business writing DONE.
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