Blogging seems like it should be the easiest thing in the world. It’s simple! You sit down and dump your thoughts on paper. Stick in a picture from Shutterstock. Maybe clean it up a little. Easy-peasy.
And then you sit down at and stare at that blinking cursor, facing the crushing fear that maybe you have nothing to say.
The whole thing can be pretty daunting. Especially if writing isn’t something you’re entirely comfortable with. But it doesn’t have to be. By embracing a simple writing tip, you can get through those blog posts quickly, and yes, easily, giving you the ability to blog regularly. And regular blogging is an extremely valuable activity you should be making a point of doing.
That simple writing tip? Planning.
Yeah, something you might not have ever done for a piece of writing since high school (if then) is something you need to get on board with and turn into a habit. Lucky for you, planning out a blog post is actually super easy.
First, just write up some section headers or big ideas. Then go in and expand those with bullet points. After that, all you have to do is flesh it out.
That’s it. That’s the whole thing.
I told you it was easy.
Why Structure Helps
It Gets You Working
Getting over the hump of I have no idea where to begin oh my God I am a fraud is probably the hardest part of writing. Once you start writing, it’s often difficult to stop; you find you just have more and more to say. A pre-composition outline gets you over that hump by giving you a starting point – and then giving you signposts along the way.
In short, it removes the intimidation factor, because you aren’t venturing into unknown territory. You know the points you need to hit and it’s just a matter of actually hitting them. And that means you can be productive. Generating content becomes less a matter of a mysterious alchemy possessed only by geniuses and more something anyone can do.
Because here’s the thing: you know your business. You know it better than anyone. And that means that nobody is better equipped to talk about it.
You can blog!
It Makes Your Blogs Better
Fun fact: most blogs suck.
There are millions of blogs out there, and the vast majority are populated by a few hastily written, desultory posts that go nowhere and say nothing. And I’m absolutely talking about company blogs in here, too. A company told an intern somewhere to sit down with some vague notes and write about risk management. Not to write anything in particular about risk management; just that, well, they guessed it was high time they had a post up about risk management or something.
But that’s low-value content that isn’t worth writing, let alone publishing. Planning lets you ensure that you’re putting out valuable content that’s worth reading, in a well-structured format that ensures important points are being communicated. Instead of a wandering, half-baked post that never really draws to a conclusion, you have an informative post that readers can easily follow and learn from.
And that encourages readers to share your content, turning your blog not just into a highly-focused indexable, keyword-oriented page, but a piece of content that drives social traffic.
Blog posts can and should be high-value activities because they are some of your longest-term content pieces, continually attracting visits, encouraging sharing, and generating business over years. You don’t want to slack off on this.
Blogging is a vital part of a digital marketing strategy. You can get help developing an effective marketing strategy by clicking below.