Content has been king for a very long time, and that doesn’t look like it will be changing anytime soon. And that’s all well and good if you’re an A+ writer, but what happens if you want to pack your business blog full of great content when you think you suck at writing?
Plenty of business owners find themselves feeling frustrated with their writing abilities – either because they think the quality of their writing is poor or they simply hate the thought of sitting down and writing.
Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to create great content – even if you think you’re a terrible writer. Here are four of them to get you started:
Tell a Story
Great written content isn’t so much about volume, amazing grammar, or technical expertise. It’s about connecting with the reader. So, sit back and try to tell a story that will engage one of your customers. Pretend it was just you and your ideal customer at a table. What story would you tell to draw them in?
Once you have your story, start writing. Don’t worry about editing, grammar, layout, or any of that fancy stuff. Great content is all about the heart of the writing. If you tell a great story about a time your product or service helped someone, or about why your product or service is important to your consumers, you’ll be creating great content without even knowing it.
If you struggle with editing, spelling, or grammar, have an administrative person clean up your writing for you. The real meat of it, the story itself, is what will engage people and help them connect with your company. Anybody with a red pen can do the clean-up you need, but it’s the real meat of the story you’re creating that’s important.
“Content” doesn’t have to mean dozens of blog posts. If the thought of writing article after article leaves you wishing for something less torturous, try producing a video series for your blog or YouTube channel instead. According to Forrester Research, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. That’s a lot of writing you can make up by making the switch to video.
In addition,when used in email marketing, video vastly improves your click-through rates. Video also tends to rank higher in Google’s search results than text content, and people who view product videos are 85% more likely to buy the product than those who don’t. Those are some pretty powerful benefits you can take advantage of – all without the stress of writing.
If you’re looking for video ideas, consider a “top tips” video series for customers of your industry, or a walk through video series of the products you sell. You can also do behind-the-scene videos of your company office, introducing viewers to the real people who create the products or services you sell. All of these types of videos are engaging and will help create relationships between your brand and your followers – and that’s the goal of great content, no matter what form it takes.
Create a Podcast
Podcasting is a great outlet for leaders who want to share their ideas but don’t enjoy writing. A verbal medium, podcasting allows you to put out content on a regular basis without having to worry about spelling or Oxford commas. That said, just like a blog or other written content, this should be a consistent outlet for you and your team – you can’t abandon it after three episodes unless you want to hurt your brand.
Podcasts can be as long or short as you want, but they generally aren’t the best medium for long-form reports or presentations. The best podcast episodes are either short pieces where you share some specific information, or interviews that help people gain insight into your industry and product offerings. You can also use podcasts to highlight customer testimonials (as long as you do it in a manner that’s informative – not overly self-promotional).
Creating a podcast can be as simple or as complex as you’d like. Recording the audio is easily accomplished on most computer mics, but you can then dress it up with a custom introduction, podcast artwork, and other features. If your series is successful enough, you may even attract sponsors who pay to have their brand names mentioned in your episodes.
However far you decide to take things, though, the key to remember is that podcasting not only allows you to connect with audience members on a personal level, it’s a great way to create engaging, informative content without writing a single word.
Outsource or Hire
If you feel that your writing skills aren’t up to par, remember you don’t have to be the one doing the writing in the first place! You can always enlist other people within your company to do the writing for you. In fact, if you’re a business owner, that might be the best use of your time. That way, your writers can focus on their areas of expertise, and you can focus on yours – making your company the best it can be.
If hiring internally doesn’t make sense for you or your organization, consider outsourcing. Quality freelancers will dig into your industry, your business model, your products and your services – learning everything they need to know in order to deliver relevant content.
You may even be able to find a writer that’s specialized in your field before, which will enable him or her to provide in-depth content that readers will think comes directly from you. Searching Google or LinkedIn for writers who fit the bill can be a great way to start, but if nothing comes up, job boards such as ProBlogger, Media Bistro, or Online Writing Jobs are also great places to post opportunities.
When you hire someone to write content for you, make sure you communicate all of your expectations clearly – especially about deadlines, pay rates, and communication if work is delayed. Having these conversations ahead of time will prevent future challenges down the road and will ensure the content you receives meets your expectations (or, alternatively, that you have an option for revising content that doesn’t).
Being a terrible writer is no excuse for not creating content. In today’s crowded digital environment, it’s an absolute must, so consider storytelling, videos, podcasts, or outsourcing as viable options for your content creation needs. However you create it, your content is the story your brand shares with the world. Tell it!
How do you create great content that doesn’t rely on great writing skills? Share your favorite tips and tricks in the comments below!
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