So, you’re staring at a blank screen, trying to get your reluctant brain to come up with good content for your next blog entry/social media post/website content. Does this sound familiar?
When it comes to writing content, everybody has their own coping mechanism for dealing with the dreaded writer’s block. Mine are, in no particular order: look out of the window, have a cup of coffee/tea, talk to the cat and ransack the kitchen looking for biscuits.
If none of the above works, I can, as a last resort, dip into my list of topics that I’ve collected over time, every time I’ve come across something interesting – articles, blog posts, or simply ideas that weren’t on-topic when I had them but might come in handy later.
Seeing that ideas and inspirations can pop up at any moment, here are five apps that might help:
Why is it so difficult to write good content? Probably because whenever we write, we expose ourselves to the judgement of our readers. Self-doubt kicks in. Is our content interesting enough? Is it well-written? Will it be ranked high on Google? And so on.
There’s no cure as such for this, but I myself follow these five rules for writing good content:
1 – be original
Even if the topic I want to write about has been covered elsewhere, I still try to bring my own experience to the subject. Sharing personal experiences can resonate with many readers, and also provides a different point of view from that of others who have already covered the same subject.
An important aspect of writing content is delivered value. If your content isn’t useful to your reader, it won’t be useful to your brand.
2 – create your own unique voice
One thing I try to bear in mind when writing content is how it ‘sounds’, and if it correctly delivers the personality of my graphic design company – friendly, welcoming and on-target.
It’s important that the tone of your writing is appropriate for your target audience, business goals and brand persona.
If you’d like to know more about how to create your brand voice, you can read about it in my other blog post here.
3 – grab the reader’s attention
How many times have we skipped an article simply because the opening sentence didn’t engage our attention? It doesn’t matter what I’m writing about, cracking that first paragraph is always the most difficult. On the other hand, if I linger too long over the first two lines, trying to come up with something interesting, that’s when the writer’s block kicks in.
I find that writing the whole article and then returning to the first paragraph is the best strategy. Here’s some interesting and useful tips
4 – do your research
This is the most important part of writing good content. I spend a lot of time researching the topic I want to write about. Where possible I add data, graphs and links to other, similar articles. And I always double-check my sources to make sure they’re credible and well-established.
5 – improve your digital content
An important aspect of writing content in a digital environment is how the information is delivered. Short paragraphs and bullet points are an easy and clear way to share information in a compact format. The content in digital format should also be optimised for search engines. Here’s an interesting article about how to use SEO in copywriting.