It seems nowadays, everyone and their dog is writing a blog. 59.3 million blogs are posted per day! That's about 90% of France's population writing a blog, every, single, day, all year round!
So what sets yours apart? What is going to get those crucial reads in a world that seems to be completely overwhelmed with content & noise?
Writing from a quiet place.
For non-fiction writers and bloggers, it's the action of producing content while surrounded by complete noise and anarchy. You're trying to break through the same content that's been posted over a hundred-thousand times today. Fiction authors write in the quiet. They sit at a desk under a modest lamp and write from the quietest place possible. This is what you should be doing.
Your audience, the decision makers and continuity managers likely have other important tasks to focus on today. We're in a market where content is few and attention span even fewer. Those managers you're trying to get to read your blogs haven't got time for long-from whitepapers, they need quick, snappy content.
Cal Newport, author of Deep Work talks about his writing schedule when he produces weekly blogs.
"I don't multi-task, I single task for one. I got rid of RSS feeds, if I like a blog enough, I'll remember where it is and go back to it another time. I don't read a lot online anymore and I take a lot of time to think". Cal has allowed himself a time to review content and social that is very separate to that of his work and his writing. "It's a pretty standard set up when I work, review the content, eat dinner with my family, put them to bed and grab a wine and write on my corner recliner". Similar to the advice Tim Ferriss gives in Tools of Titans, scheduling time to be distracted is a productive way to achieve a high level of meaningful work.
This allows you to have a snappy, thoughtful and effective bit of content to promote the next day.
Terry Crews once said a fantastic quote that has become an example of our own values here at Fixinc. and what helps us focus on why we want to communicate, instead of how.
"The truth is that competition is the opposite of creativity. If I'm working hard to beat the competition, it actually prevents me from thinking creatively to make all concepts of competition obsolete".
Terry at his finest there. The spirit of that quote is similar to what we wrote about in our effectiveness blog. If you really want to achieve high-value readers and clients, you need to break through the noise by writing content that doesn't compete - because you'll never win.
Below are some quick-fire steps you can take to become a blogging pro and resonate with continuity and resilience managers.
STEP 1: You're always a writer
- Being deliberate in your writing will allow consistency.
- Practice this in your day to day life with emails, letters and texts. Never skip words and practice writing concisely, all the time.
- Give yourself more credit and promote your credibility at the start of the post (why is it you that I should learn from?).
- "What am I attempting to communicate or express?" - ask these questions before you start, then have them at the top of the article as a reference.
- Always carry a notepad or download Evernote to store ideas and experiences you go through in your job to then write about.
STEP 2: Fork vs Shovel
- Large, complicated words do not improve your readers experience or your credibility. If a 10c word works over a $10 word, then use it.
- Learn new words and understand them: pick one new word a day and test yourself to use it 12 times in the day until it's engraved. Use this in your content where applicable.
- Write your full article or blog and remove 30% of it, read again and delete another 10%.
- Does your blog explain what the audience needs to know in the first paragraph? Do you need the rest of it?
STEP 3: Resonate with him or her
- It's better to have a few people love you than loads like you; decide on the "person" you are writing to and make it extremely relevant to them.
- Avoid generic audiences, demographics and job titles - aim for a particular persona and address them.
- Ask for guidance or feedback from the person you are trying to attract, perhaps even use a quote from them.
- Do not use words like "you all need to..." or imply that this blog or statement is blanket across all industries.
STEP 4: Click bait
- Where possible, provide information that is valuable and enjoyable without trying to lead them on.
- "If you're not doing this...then you're not doing your job correctly" - avoid assumptions and offending your audience, teach them instead.
- Avoid generic and vague titles and get straight to the point; you're going to get this out of this blog in this amount of time.
STEP 5: Know the platforms
- Research when the audience from step 3 is most active and online.
- LinkedIn: B2B where their busiest period is in the morning and mid afternoon towards the start of the week.
- Use good, professional images as the header and promote this via the link when you post (research the dimensions!)
- Few BC professionals are found advertising their job titles on Facebook, it's more beneficial to keep your blogs on website that work.
- Always review the data: how long did they read the article, where is your biggest audience?
STEP 6: Content Schedules
- When you've run out of ideas, a writers block will be what turns your audience away, avoid this.
- Create a content schedule either from a template or on Excel to help yourself stay on top of content you know people are interested in.
- Have a blog every 2 weeks planned on this schedule.
- Note down the title, the body of the blog and the audience you are targeting.
These are but a few tips to get you going, but remember, you are your own worst enemy when it comes to content production. It requires time, lots of thought around what to promote and who to promote it to. However, if you let blogs become an interesting and valuable asset to your offering, you will see the results.
As always, contact us if you need any further advice on blogging in the resilience sector: email@example.com