*Archive Post* This post was originally published on July 28th, 2016.
Due to recent travels and deadlines, I am feeling a little burnt out and struggling with creating my own content, so I thought a little #flashbackfriday was in order.
Writing content your audience will love can feel totally overwhelming. Recently on Instagram, somebody asked me this:
“How do you sit down and write?? I know that sounds silly, but I’ve wanted to start a blog for a while… I’ll come up with ideas and have a whole outline, then nothing….”
I think this is an issue that we all struggle with as bloggers or writers. Personally, when first starting out, I would have all the ideas, and then sit down to write, and nothing would come out because I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested in it. I had this mental block. Then I switched things up, tried to find things that I am currently going through. This allows me to feel more passionate about the topic as I write. It also makes it a whole heck of a lot easier to infuse my personality when I am excited about something.
A year ago I started blogging again after a multi-year hiatus, I really struggled to find my voice. I wrote everything very stiff and text book-y because that’s what I was taught to do in school. I worried about curse words or jokes people wouldn’t get. Ultimately I hated what I was producing and so did others. the page views and shares were low, and nobody was interested because I wasn’t saying anything interesting.
Now I am definitely not a fantastic writer. I have plenty of disclaimers throughout my site about typos and grammar. No matter how many times I proofread, there will always be a typo. I like to think they show my passion for the topic, I’m typing so fast and thinking so fast about sharing something with you all that I can’t contain the excitement and overlook those things. One thing people who know my IRL always tell me is they can hear me when I am writing. For those who don’t know what my voice sounds like in IRL, they give me the same feedback, they tell me it feels like we are in a conversation or hanging out. It’s engaging. *seriously my heart is melting even writing this, thanks for the feedback guys*
I am not telling you this to toot my own horn, I am telling you this because I feel like it was the key that nobody told me when I first launched my business online in 2015. The internet is full of content, very useful and relevant content, but if I am zoning out after the first paragraph, does it really matter how valuable or useful the content really is?
No, because nobody will remember it.
So how can you be engaging on-line? 3 Tips for creating content your audience will love:
1. Real Talk.
Talk about real issues or questions that you are experiencing n your life. Are you teaching yourself a new skill? Are you struggling to tackle a topic or experience in your life? Write about it! Chances are if you are feeling puzzled by it others are too!
2. Know Your Audience.
Check out the demographics section in your google analytics. It actually will tell you what your audience is interested in! people that read my blog are typically interested in home, career/business advice, travel tips, and entertainment (tv/movies), and finance. Which makes sense since that’s what I primarily write about. Since I have a lifestyle blog, it’s especially important to understand what my audience is interested in because there are so many possibilities of what I can write about!
4. Answer Questions.
Write about questions your audience frequently asks you about! If people are asking you questions, chances are they see you as an expert in that space or like what you have to say, so use this opportunity to reach a larger audience with your expertise or voice! *Don’t forget to drop me an e-mail or comment and ask me a question for “Ask Rachel“!*
5. Know Your Mission.
Get clear on your blog’s mission statement. The theme of my blog is providing valuable advice based off my real life experience or research. I want to help other confused millennials navigate this whole “adult” thing. Each of my posts go through a similar formula, where I talk about either a question or topic, my experience/struggle with it, and close with a valuable solution or life lesson. This makes it a lot easier for filtering information or ideas into “useful or not useful”.
[RELATED] Writing Your Life’s Mission Statement –> it’ll help your write your blog mission statement!
If you are still feeling stuck, grab this list of content creation ideas I put together. You can use these for social media or blog posts!