How to Master Blogging Even If You Suck at Writing

lukesummerfielddec4If you’re like the majority of people, writing probably does not come naturally. Writing is a skill and just like any other skill it takes a great deal of time and energy to get good at it.

But if this is the case, how can we as marketers — already juggling a full plate — learn how to write effectively?

In this article, we will cover a number of ideas that you can use to help create amazing content even if you’re not the world’s best writer.

Voice Dictation

The world of voice dictation has come a long way and is now very accurate when you speak slow and clear. This is perfect for the writing-challenged.

Spend time preparing a detailed bullet pointed overview of the blog post, to help limit stumbling and keep you on track. Then simply go through each bullet point and talk about the topic. Be sure to stop every few paragraphs and save it to ensure there aren’t any glitches.

Once transferred, this can be submitted to an editor to clean up and format into a great blog post. Think about translating into a collaborative platform like Google Docs so your editors can have easy access.

Think Video and Audio!

Blogging is nothing more than transmitting useful information to another human. There are many different ways to transmit information other than writing. Here are two great options:

1. Video blogs – Video blogs are an awesome medium for creating great content and many, myself included, prefer video content.

Video is no longer an expensive and time-consuming medium. With a dedicated studio, you can pretty quickly hop in and record video-based blogs that require little to no editing.

Remember, they don’t need the best video production in the world. As long as they are fairly professional and have great content, your audience will love it.

I recommend transcribing the video content (we use Speechpad) and including the transcription under your video blog. This is good for both SEO and for those who prefer written content.

Wistia is a great example of a video-based blog. I would check out their blog setup to get some good ideas for your video blogs. They even have a video blog about how to easily & cheaply create an in-office studio

2. Podcasts – If you are a bit camera shy, podcasts offer another great way to create quality content. Many people (again myself included) prefer audio content to written content.

I suggest you start off by keeping your podcasts short and sweet, around 15-30 minutes. Again, having a dedicated area in the office that is always setup to record makes it easier to create this content quickly.

A great way to get the ball rolling is to start with interview-based podcasts. These are less time consuming and are easier to create the content.

Repurpose Content

One trait of a skilled inbound marketer is that they find ways to maximize the content created by repurposing it.

For those of us who are writing impaired, here is a flow you can follow for creating and repurposing your content.

  • Create a 30-40 minute webinar (little writing involved) to offer as a download on your site.
  • Add the deck to SlideShare with a link to the download.
  • Get the webinar transcribed. 
  • Take the transcription and break it up by the various topics covered.
  • Take each of those topics and expand on them to create a blog post series.
  • Add CTAs to those blogs for the original webinar download.
  • Use the most popular blog from that series and expand on it to create an ebook you can offer for download.
  • Use a portion of this ebook to develop content for your newsletter. Include CTAs to download the ebook for more information.

In this flow, we took one audio/video piece of content and created a ton of great written pieces of content with little extra writing effort.

Easy to Write Content

There are a few styles of blog posts that don’t require a high level of writing skill but offer great value to your audience. Here are a few:

Interviews – Interviews are a great way to create great quality content that doesn’t require a great deal of writing skill. Simply create 10 questions and send it to someone else within your company or at a complement company.

Guest Blog Posts – Invite others within your industry who work for complementary businesses to come in and write guest content. You get free content, they get free exposure — It’s a win, win!

Curate Lists – Create a blog that highlights some of the other amazing content out on the web with links to it. For example, “The Best Marketing Blog Posts of November.” Curating great quality lists will save your audience time and we could all use a bit of that.

Photo-Based Walk Through – Create a step-by-step guide on how to complete some task and simply use photos/screen captures to show each of the steps. Then simply add a short bit of text for each image.

Hire an Editor

Many companies are quick to hire freelance writers to ghost write for them. I’m not a big fan of this. It’s hard to have deep industry knowledge to write good blogs and it’s an inauthentic way to portray yourself.

Instead, hire an editor. You will create the “meat and potatoes” of the content in the form of a first draft or detailed bullet points, but someone else will go through the effort of developing it into a blog post.

With the state of the journalism industry, it’s pretty easy to find a good freelance editor to help you with any of your editing needs from blogs, ebooks to even newsletters.

These are just a few of the many different ways to create great content for your blog without being the best writer in the world.

Keep in mind, I’m not suggesting that you should not work on becoming a better writer. Writing is an incredibly important skill and will be a requirement for marketers in the future. However, the ideas we talked about can be intermingled your content strategy to help take some of the writing weight off your shoulders.

If you have any other ideas or have questions, please comment below. I’d be happy to hear your thoughts.

Title image credit: Flickr

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