current writings on all things

Creating content when you have no time

Writers Block image   In a previous post, I wrote about the importance of constantly creating content for your company, product, or service’s website in order to stay relevant for Google’s search algorithms. If your website has been built on a content management platform such as WordPress, it is relatively easy to keep generating valuable content for your site in the form of blog posts or news articles.   Blog posts or content updates to your website should be anywhere from 350–500 words, and occur at least twice per month. While this may seem like a daunting task, or you can’t possibly imagine what to write about, there are a lot of interesting and relevant things that you could share with visitors to your site. The trick is getting it out of your mind.   How to Get Started Writing An easy way to get started (if you have never written a blog post or article for a newspaper or trade pub before) is to develop an editorial calendar of topical information that your customers or prospects would like to know. This is essentially a blueprint of the information you can write about throughout the year—one approach that I like to use is to think about the seasons of the year or each fiscal quarter, and the issues, concerns, or observations that occur during these timeframes.   Why use quarterly or seasonal increments for the development of an editorial calendar and content? First, it is easy to group topics this way: based on weather, sales trends, budgets, etc. Secondly, timeframes longer than 90 days can be overwhelming to many—in Gino Wickman’s book “Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business,” he refers to this type of thinking as a “90-Day World.”   Rather than be overwhelmed by the monumental task of accomplishing [everything], this allows you to break it down into bite-size chunks called Rocks and focus… Do less, accomplish more. Most organizations start out the year with a huge ball of priorities and get very little done by the end of the year.  Gino Wickman, Traction     Once an editorial calendar of possible topics is created, the next step updating your website with relevant content is to begin writing. Select a topic from your list and then create a Headline or summary statement about it. Develop an outline of subtopics or discussion points, and then fill in the gaps with verbiage that is clear, concise, and doesn’t require a PhD to comprehend it. This is the same process that I used to develop this blog post.   Even Hillary Clinton had Ghostwriters. Ghostwriters are professional authors and writers who work with famous people to create memoirs, biographies, or other stories in which that person’s notoriety and fame will help sell a lot of books. This same principle can be applied to writing content for your website.   Sometimes a blank sheet of paper or word processor screen is intimidating. Admittedly, not all of us are proficient writers, and we all face “creative block” from time to time. If you dread the idea of writing, or can’t possibly find the time to do so, then it is time to turn to the professionals.   For a small fee, you can hire your own ghostwriter who can write blog posts for you. Not only are copywriters trained in journalism (most of the time) and proficient with the English language and appropriate grammar, they can distill the complexities of your product or service into content that is easily understood, using a “voice” that will resonate with your audience.   The Benefits of Hiring a Copywriter Even though you could probably write your website’s content, the more important question is: should you? As mentioned above, the cost of hiring a copywriter might cost a few hundred dollars for a couple of blog posts per month. How much is your time worth? Chances are it will take you a lot longer to develop your own content, and it might not be as polished or as interesting as it could be. Hiring a copywriter results in engaging, thought-provoking content that is more likely to be read by prospects and customers.   What about subject matter knowledge, you might ask? A copywriter couldn’t possibly know all of the ins- and outs- of your business, you might say. While this is true, a copywriter will interview you about your topic, gather any research or information that might be needed, and then deliver to you a professionally crafted blog post or article for your website. Instead of creating something from scratch, all that is required on your part is to take the time to edit what has been written for you and make sure it is factually correct.   Updating your website’s content is not as hard as you think. While adding another “to-do” on a seemingly endless list of projects, if you want your brand’s website to be found online through Google search, then it must be done. Whether completed internally or outsourced to a copywriter, content creation is king.   By: Ryan Hembree, Principal | Brand & Creative Strategy