Today I am excited to share this space with my friend Jeff Goins. I asked him to write about something that I struggle with…writing. Jeff has greatly excelled in the area of writing. He has written for Catalyst Space, Relevant Magazine and the place that I dig the most his blog Goinswriter.com. I think you are really going to be able to walk away with some very practical tips on writing. Be sure to show him some love and I think he has a question at the end for you to check out.
I know a lot of people who blog, but don’t necessarily consider themselves writers. They blog, because they know they’re supposed to do it. They blog to build a platform or gain an audience.
Maybe they’re blogging because some SEO expert told them to do it or because their high-profile status requires them to have a blog.
But in all honesty, they don’t like it very much. It’s hard to blog every day, finding something new to say in a brand new way. They’re busy, and the idea of sitting down in front of the computer to blog for 20 or 30 minutes hurts their brains.
“Trying harder” isn’t a viable option. Especially if they’re “creatives” (i.e. designers, photographers, videographers, etc.)
This presents a problem, doesn’t it? Because content is still king. And text is still the dominant medium.
So, what do you do? Here are a few tips that I often give non-writer folks to help them continue to blog:
1) Keep it short.
Don’t try to be more eloquent than you really are, and stop yourself once you start rambling. The longer you write, the more your non-writer-ness comes out.
2) Get creative.
Do a photo blogs. Write a bulleted lists. Do a quick step-to-step guide to something you’re an expert at. There are some really successful nontraditional bloggers out there (like Gary Vaynerchuk) who are sharing content in unique ways.
3) Ask someone else.
Get another blogger (especially the writing type) to do a guest post for you. Interview someone on Twitter and turn that conversation into a blog post (if the interviewee consents to it). With their permission, share short excerpts of other people’s content (Guy Kawasaki does this all the time).
4) Don’t force yourself.
For writers, sometimes this is necessary, but for non-writers, this could just make you more frustrated. Write naturally. Do something that inspires you, and then let the words come.
5) Create conversations.
Ask really good questions that provoke people to respond. If you’re a great provocateur, you can get away with short, thought-compelling posts. The commenters will carry it the rest of the way.
6) Ask for help.
Have a friend proof your blog or help you with your writing. It’s always good to do a quick proof of a blog post before publishing.
7) Keep at it.
Writing can be cultivated just like any other skill. If you want to get better, keep showing up. It just takes discipline and maybe some coaching.