Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of writing your next business blog post?
You know how important it is to update your blog consistently, but in between fielding emails, phone calls, company meetings, and marketing decisions, you are juggling one too many tasks, and the blog on your website is yet another line item on your to-do list.
But simple changes to the way you brainstorm and write blog posts can have dramatic effects on your productivity.
I’m not talking about yet another productivity app. Those take time to learn how to use, and I haven’t found any that stick.
I’m not talking about hiring out your blog posts to a content writer (though I’m here if you need me).
This post is for you if you need to get the blogging stuff done because you’ve got a business to run. You realize you’re not a full-time writer with tricks up your sleeve to help you write a quick blog post that is grammatically correct, interesting to your audience, and visually pleasing.
But you’ve decided to give the business blog you’re best shot, so I’m going to help you by sharing my tools for writing better blog posts:
Did you think blog writers brainstormed until coming up with the perfect article idea? They don’t. Most read about 20 different industry sources before coming up with an idea they can use. While that sounds time-consuming, articles you’d read for your business regardless count.
My 3-point strategy for coming up with blog post ideas:
- Search Buzzsumo to find what’s trending in the industry I’m covering. I’ll take a look at the top five headlines, and if they look interesting, I’ll read them.
- If I can write about the same topic from a different perspective, I’ve got a winning blog post.
- Come up with a list of steps for my audience to add to my (or my expert source’s) perspective.
Try it: If you sell a natural sleep remedy, you can search for other articles that are performing well using Buzzsumo. One of the first items that come up is the “Top 5 Tips to Sleep Better.” You notice it doesn’t mention herbal teas or eliminating blue light from devices an hour before sleep. You can use either of those tips as “Why Your Device is Ruining Your Sleep,” or “Natural Sleep Remedies: 5 Herbs That Help You Sleep Better.”
Now that you know what you’re going to write about, you can use HubSpot’s blog topic generator to come up with headlines for your post.
I added “herbal tea” and “sleep” to the generator and it came up with ideas I hadn’t thought of, like “7 Things About Herbal Tea You Should Know,” and “10 Quick Tips About Herbal Sleep Remedies.”
Grammarly is one of my favorite tools for keeping my writing concise and accurate. The free version is worth trying, but the premium version is worth every penny. Grammarly helps me make better word choices, avoid prepositional phrases and squinting modifiers, and even lets me know if I’ve overused words in the article (apparently, I’m overly fond of the word “effective”).
If you’re getting burned out on the same cliched stock photos circulating the internet like I am, try Pexels. They offer free photos sources from around the web, including Flickr, all in one place. I save loads of time finding images by visiting Pexels first.
5. Notes App on Your Phone
I know writers who love Evernote. I’ve tried using it, but it just doesn’t compare to a notebook and pen, or my Notes app for those times when ideas come to me when I least expect them.
Like Ann Handley says, “Everybody Writes”, and now that you’re a writer too, you can use your Notes app on your devices to quickly jot down ideas as they come while walking your dog, driving, or taking a shower, like me.
I review my ideas on my Notes app before checking Buzzsumo. It’s that helpful for capturing ideas and connections from the day.
Writing when you don’t feel like it can be just another chore to get through.
Especially when you have to do it every week.
But simple tools can help you write amazing blog posts that target your customers and clients without spending hours hunched over your keyboard, trying to come up with excellent content from scratch.
Just imagine leaving work without facing hours of research and writing time when you get home.
Imagine meeting your family for dinner instead, knowing that tomorrow morning, you have one less thing to do because the weekly blog post is already up.
Try a new tool each day. You might find yourself writing two blog posts each week.