A healing letter to Sunny, addressing his blog content woes!

Medha BN,

Queen’s Quill,

21-01-15

Dear Sunny,

Boy! I got to hear your problem and I so wished I could personally be there and help you!

Never the less, I know how you must be feeling after putting all those efforts for such long time and not seeing any significant results with your blog.

I have gone through the same phase and trust me it has only made me strong. It was my self-motivation and the zeal to learn and excel that has earned me some knowledge, which I am going to share with you today.

You are not the only one in this blogging world who suffers from loss of inspiration to write compelling blog content. Even the so-called A-list bloggers and thought leaders face the same problem at times.

So just stop worrying and get going.

Sunny, I want to you to read this letter with a clear mind without any despair.

Okay, that’s like my boy!

Let us try and understand your problem from the roots-

You must have observed that lately the World Wide Web is all gushed with topics on ‘idea drought’. But I guess the problem might be much more than that.

Sunny, I want you to tell me if your real problem lies in lack of ideas or is it the lack of expertise in elaborating the idea and effectively conveying it your audience.

So as I see it, your problem may be:

  1. Idea drought- not getting enough ideas for content writing.
  2. Writing blog post- can’t turn idea into convincing post with powerful words.
  3. Or both

In any case, I want to explain the solution with a simple diagram or the blueprint I made for you. This will help ignite ideas as well as get you going with writing in-depth content quickly and easily.

Here it is, take a look for a moment before I start to explain it.

Blog Content Woes

Sunny, let us see blog content writing as an architectural marvel.

A good building construction would have a strong foundation and a building that is well constructed with pillars for strength further beautified by intricacies of architectural elevations.

Your blog content would essentially have a foundation, pillars and the building.

1. The foundation for your blog content-

The following are the building blocks for your blog:

  • Blog Niche
  • Blog audience
  • Business Model
  • Marketing strategy
  • Finally your expertise in the subject

It’s time to dig and dissect your problem.

Let us quickly make it a question-answer session and understand each one of the foundation elements a little more.

Q1. Is there a problem with your niche?

A1. Audit and analyze your blog Sunny.  No problem if you are running a multi-niche blog but the thing is it is unorganized!

I also see that you might not be all that strong in some of the categories you are writing at present.

Give a second thoughton your chosen categories and your level of expertise in the subject. What I suggest is consider the ones, which you can really take forward. Categorize your niches and organize the posts accordingly.

Resources-

Q2. Do you understand your blog audience?

A2. If not research your target audience for whom you plan to write. Start by looking at your niche.

Get information on everything about your blog readers, their average age, their education level, their interests, their problems, etc.

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Q3. Do you have the right business model?

Q3. Get it now. Having an effective business model that is realistic makes a big difference.

I know you want to make money out of your blog and that is possible only by having a business model that tells you ways to make money based on your capabilities and investment.

Figure it out! Is it just selling the advertisements or are you planning to sell some products like e-books, e-courses, etc. or provide services like consulting, mentoring, etc.

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Q4.Do you have a marketing strategy?

A4. Marketing strategy is not only required for content planning but also to successfully make it available to your target audience.

Your a-one post will go in vein if it doesn’t reach the right audience. Promoting in wrong places will only cost you time.

Look for places where your target audiences are concentrated more. Apart from the very obvious places like Facebook, twitter, Google+ and Pinterest find out more places where your readers hangout the most.

Tribes, forms, communities, social media groups, etc are just a few to mention. Based on your research come up with a competitive marketing strategy.

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Q5. Do you have what it takes to write on your chosen niche?

A5. I know you are passionate about your subject but how knowledgeable are you in your chosen niche.

But, how long can you sustain with that knowledge?

Keep yourself updated; acquire more knowledge. Start reading morein your niche if you are not already.

Analyze the type of content that is working for your competitors, closely study the writing style of successful article writers (may not be from your niche alone), look at the kind of social media responses the posts are getting and keep your brain stimulated all the times!

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2. The pillar for your blog content-

You see Sunny; your idea is the pillar of your blog content, which is constructed on the strong foundation. Your ideas for the posts just cannot go out of focus and should always resonate your basics.

It is about your niche and it is about your audiences’ interests. It must imbibe the essentials of your commercial motive you want to accomplish through your blog and at the same time it must show your expertise and help your audience. Your topic idea is like meeting point of your foundation and your building.

Your topic ought to benefit you by meeting your fundamentals and it ought to benefit your readers and meet their expectations.Now that you have understood the true essence of a great blog post idea, here is one quick fix for your ‘idea drought’ problem.Get yourself a system that captures all your ideas in one place as and when they strike you.

As a content developer for your blog you will be hit by ideas anytime-anywhere. So having a system makes it possible to quickly jot it down for reference and keeps your ‘idea well’away from drying.

Use a free/paid tool that is accessible on all your devices like mobile phone, tablet, laptop and desktop. I use Evernote, this helps sink the updates with all my devices and is accessible on the go.

Resources-

3) The building of your blog post- 

Sunny, you already know a strong building can be constructed if its architecture is good and it is in accordance with the architectural technicalities.

Let us look at the architecture of a blog post-

a. Theme

b. Title/Headline

c. Body

a. Theme-

So what I mean when I say a theme?

Sunny, look at the way I am taking to you.

I have associated the essential components of blog post to foundation, building, and architecture and even the blueprint i.e. the diagram to explain things to you.

Here the chosen theme is, may I say “Construction”.

We are trying to construct your blog post, with the foundation and building according to our blueprint i.e. the diagram!

P.S- I mean, I am also writing a letter to Sunny guys, remember? It’s a theme and it can glue anybody!

Theme makes story telling much more easy even if the subject we are talking about is something very technical!

Try and associate your idea with a theme and make it interesting. It’s easier said than done but practicing it can gear you up.

Choosing a theme for your post idea is no kids’ job! You have to have a clear vision of what you are going to talk in your post and then carefully craft it with your theme. Do it only when it can actually make sense.

The bottom line is- be innovative and choose the theme wisely.

b. Title/Headline

This is your real challenge!

Coming up with a headline that keeps the interest of your idea, theme, audience and SEO (keywords, position of the keywords, long tail keywords, length of the headline,…)together really needs some brain teasing.

A headline must also increase click-through-rates by triggering emotions; it must be simple and also must convey the real message of what is in store for the audience.

OMG!

No, I am not scaring you away Sunny, but I am just trying to help you! Don’t be afraid of all those clauses. It is easier than you think.

[P.S. Let us consider the headline of this article-

“A healing letter to Sunny addressing his blog content woes!”

Letter- that’s the theme

Healing- implies solution

Blog content-the real ‘idea of this post’ that also satisfies SEO to some extent with keyword but not the position of the keyword though

Woes-indicates his problem with blog writing/content creation

Sunny-common name to address that could mean anybody!

Here the length of the title is long enough to keep the readers interested. And from SEO perspective as well it hasreasonably good length(though I do go for longer headlines sometimes). Here it is straightforward and simple. ]

Rule number 1- you don’t have to satisfy all the things in one headline. It is good to come up with a promising headline that meets all the elements but you don’t have to do it all the time.

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c. Body

Sunny can you imagine staying in a building with just one big hall with four walls that has no rooms constructed?

I can’t! Similarly, the body of a post should and must have logical separations serving different purposes and which allows easy navigation.

A well-structured body is the core of any blog post and should have the following elements (just like bedrooms, kitchen, living room, etc.)-

  1. Opening
  2. Introduction
  3. Content
  4. Conclusion
  5. Call-to-action

Sunny before we begin and start discussing on each of those elements I would like to remind you something i.e. to start writing your blog posts by outlining.

I know you have heard of it before but I still want to emphasize on it. Outlining before starting to write the blog post has many advantages and I just can’t stress enough on it. Okay, let’s dive in and start with 5 essential elements of blog post.

1. Opening-

Keeping up the interests of online audience is not an easy task. If you fail with your opening line you are almost done with keeping them away from closing your blog.

Here are few things you can do to kick-start your blog post.

Empathize, elevate, give a shock (!), show some stats, ask a question, surprise your reader, use quotes, start with a story, make a claim or disagreeing statement and even make controversial statement or you can even be more creative in your own way.

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2. Introduction-

The next big thing after the opening line is the introduction that will lead your readers further while keeping their interest alive to read till the end.

Use one of the styles below to write an introduction or come up with your own unique style.

  • Give them a glimpse of what your article is above to offer them
  • Tell them why the article is so important and why they need to read till the end
  • Address their problem while promising them possible solution(s)
  • Give them the results first and then tell them how to accomplish it
  • And don’t forget to experiment with more options

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3. Content-

Write for the audience who are short of time, impatient and who skim your posts. Remember you already have outlined (!) and that comes handy.

  • Subheadings- They are the heart and soul of the body of your article. They make your articles skim-able for impatient readers. They are the elevators of your building which will take your readers on ride till the last line smoothly without tiring them.
  • Bullet points- They make it more readable and keep your readers engaged.Writing long paragraphs turn them off because nobody wants to take stairs anyways!
  • CTAs- Including call-to-actions in more than one place is not only profitable for you but also triggers decision-making abilities of the readers. It could be as simple as ‘tweet this line’ or ‘click this post’ for more information connecting related articles or something, which bring in monetary benefits (taking them to your lead pages, sales page, service page, etc.) depending on the on going discussion.
  • Media- This could be anything that’s adds-up to visual appeal. An image, slide show, infographic, flow charts, diagrams, etc. which offers change in mode of communication and also makes it easy to absorb the content.

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4. Conclusion-

Conclude your blog post with some value.

  • Take away points works well with lengthy articles (like this one) when readers might loose track after reading till the end. So refreshing the points discussed will help refresh their memories.
  • For short posts it is a better idea to instigate your readers to take action (for their betterment according to your suggestions) based on the topic of your post (this is not a call to action).

5. Call-to-action-

On the commercial side of it, you can offer them to buy some products or take classes/course by making it blend with the post idea.

You can include another type of call-to-actions very creatively asking them to share your posts, comment, or routing them to other resource page of yours.

Note that, depending on the length of the post and topic you are discussing, including both a conclusion first and a line of call-to-action becomes vital bringing more value. But for much shorter posts either of them works well.

Resources-

Come up with an idea for blog post that reflects your blogging motives while keeps up to your audiences’ expectations. Make your promise through an engaging headline and further write a post that keeps it up gaining the trust of your readers.

Key takeaways-

  • Identify the cause of your problem- Idea drought or post elaboration.
  • Get your blog foundation right- Blog Niche, Blog audience, Business Model, Marketing strategy, Editorial calendar and finally your expertise in the subject.
  • Idea of the blog post must bind the foundation and the building by offering strength just like the pillars.
  • Building of your blog post becomes strong if you get its architecture right- Theme, Title/Headline and Body

Sunny, take action today to gain confidence and don’t forget to write back (in comments).

Yours Sincerely,

Medha BN

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About Medha BN

Medha+ is a Freelance Blogger at Queensquill who help blog owners ‘checkmate their blog content problem’. QueensQuill.com is the blog where she uses her power of words to connect with bloggers by helping them with actionable tips and guides. Catch this social media buff on twitter @QueensQuill

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