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Tag Archives: writing content

How to just do it!

stop procrastinating with writing

Writing – whether it’s blogs, newsletters or longer pieces of content – is the smartest way to spread the word about what you do.

However, getting down to the act of writing is difficult if you’re running your own business. It’s impossible to just drop everything and focus on writing alone – there’s so much else that needs your attention. And even when you do get the time, suddenly other things seem more pressing. Should I check my email? Tidy my desk? Have a cup of coffee?

Here are some things that help get writing done:

1. Think of the bigger picture.
The words you are writing are part of your big marketing plan. An easy small step in the right direction, not a huge unsurmountable hurdle. Get it into proportion and it won’t feel as hard.

2. Stop wasting time shivering on the edge, just leap in!
Open your computer, don’t turn on Twitter, don’t look at Facebook, don’t open email, just start writing. Once you start, you’ll get into the flow.

3. The sooner you start the sooner you finish.
Anticipate the end. Once you’ve done it, it’s done, and it won’t have to be done again. Get on with it!

4. Promise yourself a treat.
It works for small children and for grown ups too. 400 words and I can go for a walk/have a cake/make that phone call.

5. Remove yourself.
Write somewhere different, away from the distractions of your usual working day. A quiet meeting room, a café, a library, even a different desk. 

6. Make a commitment.
Deadlines work, (it’s the only way we ever get our writing done!)

7. Carve out some real time, and protect it from other demands.
Five minutes a day to record your ideas in a blog diary, half an hour to plan a blog (and write one too, once you’re really up and running), an hour and a half to write something that addresses the question that keeps coming up, and get it up on your website.

Writing really will make all the difference to your business, so set aside the time, and keep to it. What works for you? We’d love to know.

How to find stuff to write about

pebbles on a beach

Creating the kind of content that your clients want is the best way of raising your profile and winning more business, but knowing exactly what to write about can feel like a hurdle. How can your make your valuable content hit the mark?

Five ways to get your content on target

1) Listen What kind of questions do clients ask you? This blog post was prompted like that. People are always asking us ‘but what can I write about?’ so we’re confident this post is going to find a readership of people who are thinking about their marketing, who may want help from us at some time, or who would be happy to refer us people who know useful stuff about content.

Keep a notebook. Jot down the questions you’re asked. Answer them with 5 bullet points. Each question will form the basis of a short blog post.

2) Research What are the big questions in your market? A quick jaunt around the relevant LinkedIn groups, or the liveliest forum in your industry will show you the issues that are raising a stir. Look at upcoming conferences – what are the speaker topics?

Pick the topic that catches your eye. Draft a simple Q and A blog post that deals with the topic from the point of view of your customers. Don’t worry about being a ‘thought leader’ (you don’t have to give the lecture!) Write about the subject as if you were explaining its relevance to a favourite client. What would they want to know about it?

3) Interview Uncover your inner journalist and interview a client, an expert from your team, or someone in your industry that you admire. Ask them the questions your clients would ask you.

Use the interview as a podcast on your website, or the edited transcript as the basis for a blog post. Or two.

4) Survey 92% of people believe everything they read in surveys. Okay, so we made that up, but there’s nothing like some interesting data to grab headlines, and make an interesting read.

Try LinkedIn or Surveymonkey. There are plenty of web tools that will let you do this for free. Frame the questions in terms your target market cares about. Use what you find for a blog post, or as fuel for an email marketing campaign.

5) Repurpose What content are you sitting on? Most companies, if they do a quick audit, will realise they’re sitting on valuable nuggets of content gold e.g presentations, research created for a different context, information your wrote for sales proposals – even printed guides lying around.

With a bit of reworking you can get these online and make them available to a wide audience. Make the most of what you’ve already got!

Quick tips to keep ideas coming your way

1. Ask your clients and prospects – there’s nothing better than a direct, face-to-face chat.
2. Listen in to the top commentators or bloggers in your field – they have their ear to the ground.
3.Set up Google Alerts on key terms to find out what’s being talked about on the web.
4. Twitter Search tools (e.g.Twilert) are useful – see what’s trending on Twitter.
5. Which of your blog posts get the most comment? Write more on that subject.
6. What questions do you get frequently asked by clients in sales meetings? Answer them with a blog.
7. Guest blog. Ask a related expert to write on your blog, and return the favour next month.
8. Share an infographic that explains things clearly from a different angle- look at Pinterest for inspiration.