When I take a blog coaching client on the first few sessions involve the telephone (usually Skype) and a pen and paper.
Research has shown when you make notes the information is retained for longer. I record the calls to send to my clients so they don’t actually miss out on anything as they jot down the notes, although sometimes the tech gods prevent a recording from actually happening…
I coach Monday through Wednesdays and today’s blog coaching call was really interesting. My client thought there was a secret formula that I wasn’t sharing in order to write blog posts faster. I assured her that wasn’t the case, that I started my content in exactly the same way she did… What I use to create posts faster is the faster and better blogging kit also known as FABB.
If you are one of my coaching clients you’ll already have this, and if you don’t have a copy then ring me and I’ll send you the link. If you cannot afford me as a coach, then go ahead and grab a copy for 9.99, it’s not quite as good as talking to me in real life but it’s the next best thing.
Anyway, back to my client, it turns out that although she knew who her idea reader is what she didn’t know was the answers to a few more questions. So, I quickly pinged her across another copy of the faster and better blogging kit and we started working on answering some of the questions.
- Who are you writing to? I like to think of my blog posts as long love letters to my ideal readers but without the hugs and kisses at the bottom of the post
- What’s the general niche
- Is there a sub-niche?
- What’s bugging this reader?
- What’s she questioning?
- Why does this reader visit your blog? (it’s not the tenuous link between tropical fish and Hawaiian shirts that’s for sure. And you’ll know what I’m referring to here if you listen to the audio)
- How does your targeted reader write?
- What devices does she consume your content on?
- What are the other blogs that she loves?
- Are the other places she hangs out all in the same niche?
- What topics get this reader most actively engaged? What pushes her buttons?
Now this information doesn’t change that often, you should review the information quarterly, to make sure you are still talking the same language as your ideal reader. I guess that means I really should pronounce the word niche as nitch after all.
When you have the answers to the questions written down the next step is to read them out loud every time you write a blog post. I have mine pinned to the wall by my desk, within handy reach.
Of course if you write for more than one reader then you should answer the questions for each of those readers and give them a name. That will require multiple answering of questions and pinning to walls.
The next step in writing a faster and better blog post is to outline the post.
Outlining is how I get the majority of my content created.
I start with a vague headline, then three bullet points and then a conclusion. If it looks interesting and hits all the buttons of my reader then I’ll write it up. I take the outline and expand upon it making sure that it answers the questions that my ideal readers want answering.
Other times I fly by the seat of my pants.
I’m telling you this because sometimes writing to an outline becomes hard and you need to flex your creative muscles. Those fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants posts are quite popular when it comes to comment but less attractive to search engines. You need to consider what a balance would look like for you and how your reader will react to less formal content every now and then.
Over to you – what tips do you have for writing faster and better blog posts?