The challenge is writing content for our marketing is that we’re not writers. If we are, fine – we’ll excel at it. But most of us aren’t, and yet written content is still king. Sure, video is crazy powerful for content marketing, but how would you find a video without a text-based search? So you need a way to write without writing, and without faking. Faking makes it pointless, because our content will sound just as wooden and false as if we sit down and try to compose. So how do we keep it real and still not have to become a writer? Here are 4 ways you can generate written content immediately:
Write an E-mail To Your Audience, But Don’t Send It
Use your e-mail software to compose your blog posts. When most of us write blog posts, we treat it like a homework assignment – a term paper. We start sounding academic. That’s because most of us quit writing anything but e-mail after college. In e-mail, by contrast, we’ve learned to sound human. We’ve made ourselves demonstrate empathy, and we have casual conversations, taking turns. E-mail will get you out of composing and put you back into communicating. When writing the e-mail, think of just one person, but address it to yourself, so you can quickly send if something goes wrong and not lose your draft.
Open Quicktime (on a Mac) or Windows Movie Maker (on a PC) and Talk
You’re recording to video, but no one will ever see it. If you’re primarily a verbal communicator (or think you are), talk to your audience and transcribe it later. You can’t drop into composition mode, though. You’re not talking for video production. Make yourself picture one individual person and just talk to that person. Keep them in the front of your mind the whole time. Don’t let up and let them vanish. If you hit the record button, and you were being real with them and yourself about how you imagine them, you’ve got a very authentic recording to transcribe. You can hand it to your admin to transcribe and clean up the uh’s and broken sentences.
Get Interviewed and Capture to Text or Video
A professional copywriter can interview you weekly to extract the core stuff needed for a blog post, or you can get someone in your office to do it. Just don’t be fake. The moment you start to ‘adjust’ the outcome so it says what you want it to say, you’re back to composing, and it will fail. The person interviewing you should ask you things you aren’t expecting. You should not see a list of questions in advance. And they shouldn’t be canned questions that you both know the answers to – you should have to think, or they’re not good enough. They should be questions the asker actually wants to learn more about and, ideally, is channeling from your audience. So have good audience research.
Use a Q&A Network to Answer Questions – Combine for a Post
With sites like Quora or StackExchange, you can answer questions in your area of expertise. The use the questions as headlines and the answers as your copy. The beauty of this method is these are real questions from a real audience. The main thing is don’t think about the blog post that will come of it. Just answer questions honestly and authentically. Once in a while, when you have enough answered questions built up, combine them into a post. Then edit. Keep the authentic voice, but just tighten the material up a bit for your blog. Be sure to give the Q&A site credit, which you can do by linking out to your profile.
Get a Copywriter Who Can Sound Like You at Your Best
No clunky, awkward writing style – if you sound like that when you talk, get a speaking coach. No “SEO” copy that no one wants to read, about canned topics that no wants to read about – this is going to be a special role. Find a copywriter that presents you – as you – in your best light. It’s called ghost blogging, and it can be done on an interview basis, or by research, or both. This is the “nope, I’m going to bale, because I know I won’t do any of it” way to go. It’s fine, if the writer can be your other voice. That’s a great skill set to come by, so choose carefully.
You don’t have to be a writer to create written content – you just have to know *how* to write, and find a way to get your head in a different place than “I have to write something”. Sit down and write one person an e-mail you don’t send, or knock out a quick face to face with an imaginary person, get someone to ask you surprise *real* questions, or go answer someone else’s questions. Any or all of these can result in a steady stream of written content for your blog, e-mail, and social. For more digital strategy insights, engage MadPipe as your external marketing director.