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:'( how do I write content?

Help! Writing Content Makes Me :'( - What Do I Do?!

Posted in Inbound Marketing by Holly Edwards on 06-Sep-2016 12:30:00

Content can be a pretty fickle beast. Some days the words come, some days they don’t, and the rest of the days are spent artfully crafting that perfect Spotify playlist guaranteed to transform you into the next William Shakespeare. Because that’s definitely how it works. Yep. 

The thing is, you already know that great content is a great idea for your digital marketing strategy. You know that building an excellent content strategy can inform your business plan as a whole; you know that the right content puts you in front of the right audience and increases sales; you know it’s great for SEO. Basically, you don’t need us to tell you that content’s important – you’re already convinced. So well done you! You’re halfway there.

isgood.gifWhen you've created your snazzy content calendar.

Thing is, the next part is the tricky bit. When you’ve had a couple of exciting brainstorms, created a content calendar and built yourself a shiny new blog, the prospect of writing all this tasty, tasty content feels super exciting. The veil has been lifted, the leads are going to roll in, the townspeople rejoice! Huzzah!

Initially, we’d encourage you to capitalise on this momentum as much as possible. Write when you’re excited about writing; even if it’s just scribbles on a post-it or a note in your phone. One or two starter sentences during a moment of inspiration can be a lifesaver when you’re back in the office on Monday morning, scratching your head about how to possibly start a blog on – oh, I don’t know – how to write content when content is making you :’(.

But when that momentum just ain’t coming, and that content still needs to be written, it can be really bloody depressing. So how d’you get over it?

hardestthing.gifWe feel you, Lisa.

Luckily, it’s pretty easy. You get to know your audience.

Now – we’re not gonna patronise you. We know that you didn’t pull all your sparkly content ideas out of nowhere. You’ve probably done a bit of Search Team Research, nosed around your competitor’s blogs and had a bit of a think about what your audience are interested in. Right? Right.

Let’s focus on that final point for a sec.

Really knowing your audience, and building successful buyer personas as a result, is the key to writing content. You might think you already know your audience, but unless you’ve gone to the effort of creating actual personas, can you really be sure? It’s worth finding out. Not only will they inform your strategy, your social scheduling and your whole tone of voice, buyer personas will also keep you motivated when the inevitable content malaise sets in.

Picture the scene. It’s Monday morning, and you spent all weekend on a glorious mountain or in a ridiculous club or spending dat dolla like it’s going out of style; basically, you spent all weekend doing the things you really like to do. Which is why you go to work. Duh. But now you’re back in your real life, and a few weeks ago you had a great idea for a blog about 49 Different Puppies Who Look Like Old Men but now, all of a sudden, you’ve got to write it and have no idea where to begin. You stare at the screen. You stare at the keyboard. You check Facebook. Repeat ad infinitum.

giiiifff.gifThis technique may/may not work.

This is the point where you need to go back to your buyer personas. You probably thought of that blog title with a specific persona in mind, right? If you didn’t, now’s the time to think about which persona this blog will suit. Is this blog intended for your New Visitor Naomi or Former Client Fiona? And will it need tweaking to make it more Naomi-nice or Fiona-friendly?

Once you’ve decided that, spend some time with that Persona. No, I don’t mean taping their Persona Face over an old teddy bear and taking them to the park (though no judgement, guys, this is a safe space) – I just mean having a good old brain dump. Grab a notebook and pen and do some scribbling. What are they up to?  How can this post help them? What are they gonna like about this blog post? What won’t they like? Why would they click on it? How should you talk to them? 

As you do this, a clearer picture should start to form in your mind about how to approach your elusive Puppies Who Look Like Old Men blog. If you’ve decided Naomi loves a clickbait friendly headline, then maybe it becomes 49 Adorable Puppies Who Look So Much Like Old Men You’ll Be Shocked. Or, if you’ve decided Fiona will be looking through this on her lunch break, then you’ve got time to write actual paragraphs rather than just bullet points.

The simple act of thinking purposefully and seriously about your audience can be very motivating. As you start to envision their reactions and responses, the blog will start to feel more real – and therefore more like something you could actually write. And oh look! All of a sudden, you're writing it.

kermit.gifYou after you've created your buyer personas, you clever thing!

Of course, we’re not knocking the Spotify strategy (have you checked out our NLM Playlist?), but imagine if you combined the two. Get those ambient focus-friendly choonz in your ears and those buyer personas under your belt, and watch as your content strategy becomes an exciting endeavour – instead of a slog.

So – think it might be time to get started with personas? We think so too. Download our free buyer persona template to get started now.

Converse, Convert & Crush Targets - Free Persona Guide

Tags: Inbound Marketing

Holly Edwards

Holly Edwards

Holly is the long form content specialist at Noisy Little Monkey. She blogs about content marketing and cats. And gifs.