Regardless of your role within a company, you’re likely here because you’ve either been asked to start contributing to a blog or you know your business would benefit from having a blog but you just “don’t have the time.”
I hear you, it’s difficult to tack on the struggle of coming up with topics, getting your ideas down and then writing the dang thing all between back-to-back meetings, reports, and finding time to squeeze in a Jimmy John’s sandwich.
And let’s be honest, this blog could also be titled:
How to Write a Blog When You Hate Writing
How to Write a Blog When You “Can’t Write”
Because realistically the core of the problem is still the same: writing = not for you (you said this, not me). Because if it was for you, you wouldn’t be here and even if you didn’t think you had the time to write you’d make time because we typically always make time for things we love, i.e. coffee, Netflix, naps.
So let’s get started.
STEP 1: GET TOPICS
You can get ideas for topics from tons of sources:
- Peers: Have a chat with customer service folks and see what people are asking. What topics are your marketing department covering in brochures? What industry-know-how questions are peers asking you?
- Internet: What do the industry trade publications talk about? What types of topics are searched on Google?
- Social Media: What are peers in your industry posting about on LinkedIn? What kind of insight are people looking for?
- Your Head: You know a lot about certain stuff, so much in fact, that you were hired specifically do that stuff for 40+ hours a week. If your blog post is geared more toward educating those not familiar with the industry, think about the basic questions someone would ask: What is it, why do I need it, how can I use it, does it work for me, etc. If your blog post is geared toward an audience with the same know-how as you, think of a topic you’d love to discuss with someone who could actually keep up with the conversation.
STEP 2: PUT THE FACTS DOWN
This step is typically skipped. Way back in elementary school you had to make outlines for 5 paragraph essays and I promise you your teacher was on to something there. Without any facts or subtopics written down you’ll be staring at a blank page complaining about how you hate writing, you can’t write, and you don’t have time to write a blog post.
- Throughout the day jot down points you want to make in the post. Nothing fancy or formal. Use sticky notes, a word doc, whatever.
- Always driving? Take advantage of that windshield time. Fire up your voice recorder and ramble about the topic. You’ll develop plenty of data points to pull from.
- Create an outline of what you want write and start adding in supporting points. No particular order or style. Just write.
STEP 3: JUST DO IT
It’s time to start writing. By now you have a topic and some great points of information to work from. If you have trouble:
- Consider working with a true writer in your organization. If you work at a mid-size to large-size company chances are you have an in-house writer. Many times those writers are able to either write the blog post for you based on the data you pulled together or can help smooth out areas that may be confusing.
- Write the blog in your “voice” first, then edit to match your business’s tone (if necessary). Creating a blog post can be difficult on its own, but when you have to try and match a corporate or company writing style it can make the whole process more difficult. I recommend finding out if it’s OK to write in your own voice. If it is, then go for it. I write with plenty of comma splices and a talk-to-text sort of tone. But hey, it’s exactly how I’ll sound when you speak to me in person, too. If your company won’t let that fly, then write it as you’d like and either edit to match their style or illicit a writing expert in the company to help you make those changes.
Overall, if you really hate writing, that’s what we’re here for!