Blogging is right at the center of online marketing. While you may succeed and earn some attention from online sources without a blog – the real success just calls for a blog or another form of a content hub. If you want to go for online marketing success, you should start a blog.
But you say – “I am not a writer…”
I hear you. And I hear this objection more often that I want to. Because who is a writer? Do you really think all those bloggers out there who write millions of blog post every week have started writing when they were still a child out of the pure urge to write? Or that all those fitness, food or mom bloggers would have counted as storytellers and writers a couple of years ago?
Let me tell you a secret: most bloggers did not start out as professional writers. We all have written some posts in the past that we would not even publish today. Plus, blogging does not call for professional writing. Blogging calls for writing that speaks to an audience and that provides some information our target audience wants or needs to have. And most of the time some imperfections on your blog make you all the more real. I love to read stories from humans for humans – and I am not alone with this. A personal blog post with flaws often will resonate much better with a blog audience than a perfectly well-polished but boringly smooth post.
Sure, if we are talking about a company blog, you may want to go for an editor who will smooth things over. That is what we did when we started creating blog posts. We had a wonderful young American woman who helped with our writing. She wrote some inspiring articles – and she gave me feedback on my first attempts at writing in English (you may know that we are German by birth.) She had my back and taught me a lot about writing in a language that is not my mother tongue.
But most of the time, for a blog that is just starting out a tool like Grammarly can help you avoid the worst spelling and grammar mistakes – and make sure your text is readable.
The big discrepancy with blogging for marketing and business purposes is that at the time when you need to produce the most content (when you are starting out) you simply are not a trained and experienced writer. Writing will often take much longer when you are starting out than when you already have a few years of experience. Plus you will not have the experience to rely upon that you know what your audience likes and what will not speak to them.
But there are some types of content that can help you fill the need for fresh content for your blog – even when you are not the most polished writer and still have to come up with awesome content that your audience will love:
Interviews are a great way to get expert advice on your blog even though you do not have the information. You can choose a topic and research some experts, influencers or fellow bloggers who you know have knowledge about the topic. Get in touch and ask them if they would be willing to answer a couple of questions. Most of the time people are honored to be asked for an interview and at least some of the people you ask will be more than happy to participate.
The advantage for you is that you only have to come up with a couple of interesting questions – and once you have the answers write a short introduction, possibly introducing the interviewee and your interview topic.
With interviews, you can bring expert advice to your blog even on topics where you are not the expert!
In addition, Interviews often earn you addition social media and SEO exposure, as the interviewed person most of the time will be happy to share the interview on their social channels
2. Expert Roundups
Expert roundups are a little like mini interviews. You ask one question and get a couple of people to answer the question. The benefit for your blog is similar to the interview approach: you get expert opinions on a topic that you can choose – and the experts do most of the content creation.
Your writing will have to include a small introduction to the question. But that is about it.
You can create a ton of value by curating information from other blogs. For instance, you can check information recently published by a couple of other blogs on a chosen topic and present it on your blog. There are various forms of content curation.
You can make a weekly news aggregation: What’s new in my niche this week. Social Media Examiner did something like this in their category “This Week In Social Media.”
Or you can make a weekly: What I loved reading this week. Mari Smith does this with her “Social Scoop.”
And there is nothing wrong with this kind of content – a ton of experts do it and their audiences love it. You know why? Because it provides value!
I find writing lists often much easier than free text. Especially if you have a long list of items, you don’t have to come up with witty sentences for each of the items on the list. One or two sentences per item with a list of 20 items can easily provide you with a useful list on one topic.
For social media marketers and bloggers, an easy list is often a long list of their favorite blogging or social media tools. But there are other easy to create lists for any niche.
And the extra benefit that is not bad either is that list posts usually run exceptionally well on social media!
5. Use More Images
If you don’t feel like the most creative and entertaining writer, you can easily spice up your blog posts with images. You can create meme images, or research some quotes on your chosen topic and put these on an image you create with tools like Canva.
Or you write a summary of research someone else did – and use some of the statistics or graphs – with proper reference!
Images can upgrade your blog posts. People love images. Texts with images are easier to read and help you keep the attention of your audience. With a little creativity.
According to Buzzsumo, posts with an image every 75 – 100 words get the most social shares. That is about 2-3 sentences per image. That sounds not like so much writing, does it?
This can be a variant of the above tip to use images. But it goes one step further. If you don’t feel comfortable with writing a lot of text, you can put the facts on slides.You can upload the slides to Slideshare and embed them into your blog posts. Or you can use the slides as images to tell your story and directly show all the slides as images in your post with just a couple of sentences in between.
Slideshare has the advantage that it has the power to give you an extra audience.
In both cases, you will only need a limited amount of text. An introductory paragraph and some sentences to glue the slides together should be enough to make a great blog post.
What I am trying to explain with this article is: You don’t have to be afraid of blogging. You do not need to be a proficient storyteller to provide value on your blog.
Plus: Expertise comes with practice. Most bloggers start with simpler blog posts and work their way up – and they still provide value right from their first post.
My experience from the past is: Try to figure out a structure for your post first and then fill the structure step by step. If you are not used to writing the structure will help you keep to the story and make your post easy to understand.
And you can use other forms of content if you are not overly comfortable with writing to make your posts more appealing. And the tools and resources are out there for you to find them and use them.