Great content made easy: deconstructing a blog post

deconstructed blog post

 

If you have ever stared down a blank WordPress post editor with fear, or procrastinated like a pro in lieu of writing a post for your biz, this is for you.

After all, we all need a kickstart sometimes.

Swipe it, Evernote it, bookmark it, edit it, or simply discard.

This is a is a quick, deconstructed overview on how to write blogs for business that can get you going when the grey matter needs a re-start.


Let’s go.

In this intro, make a punchy overview of your intention in your own tone of voice that your readers have come to know and love.
Maybe pose a question, use humour, and definitely make them want to read more. If you have a keyword in mind, make sure you use it here (and in the title).

Pull out a one liner, in a larger text? It makes us read on…

Use a narrative from your experience that is easy to relate to, and that makes you more approachable and authentic. Tell your story in a way that gives a glimpse of your life, your accessibility (within your personal boundaries), and that enhances your ability to be authentic and someone to trust. Links to your instagram account give us images to see behind the scenes and make you easier to relate to.

Adding a quote here breaks up the text and gives authority and context.

Now you have our attention, remind us of the value you are adding in this post. Give extra bumper value to one post by linking back to older ones, hence keeping it brief and scannable but also providing a shit load of reading on one, brief, place.

Make it all easy to digest, scan and action by breaking the next part into actionable/digestible steps and pull out the key parts.

 

1. First example of your awesome idea and valuable content

How does it work? What do we need to know? (NOTE: this point can also be made into an image for Pinterest and instagram).

 

2. Second example of your awesome idea and valuable content

As with before, this is a great, easy to read and scan point which can be collated, along with the above point, in a board of visuals on Pinterest for extra blog boost juice.

 

3. Third example of your awesome idea and valuable content

Now you have a blog post, pull out points for visual social media and images you can also use on Facebook + Twitter to garner attention and shares.

 

Now, round up your points with a “pull-it-all-together” statement, and consider adding a tweetable to help spread the post, such as:

 

I just deconstructed a biz blog post Click To Tweet

 

Sign off, remind us of your brilliant product or service that we can learn even MORE from, and invite discussion in the comments below.

 

BOOM.

Whilst, of course, your own posts will be unique to you and not formulaic it can sometimes really help to just get started.

Need some more ideas? Sign up for Killer Content Academy updates and you’re golden.

 

This post originally appeared here.

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Using Twitter for a super easy viral magic post

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Content creation is SO important for your biz, and I love finding and sharing easier ways to do it. After all, overwhelm doesn’t look good on anyone.

 

So last season, darling.

Let’s look at a really quick way to use Twitter for a post that gets shared, shall we?

For my next trick, we are going to crowdsource some opinions on Twitter and use them as a basis for a blog post.

 

What we are doing is using other people’s opinions on a subject to form the basis of a post – or, as I like to say, getting people to write a post for you.

 

1. Grab some tweets as your framework

You might want to ask a question on social media, or round up existing tweets on a subject.

 

 

2. Embed the tweets in a post and add your responses

Embed the tweets into a blog post (to do this, click here for info).

You can then jump in and add your glittering expertise around the tweets.

 

You might want to:

– offer a different perspective

– add to an point or expand upon in.

– show agreement and add extra resources or info that reflects your view point.

Add in an introduction and a closing point, and you have a new post.

 

 

3. Share it out, baby!

Ok, here is a clever twist.

Once your post is live, you can send the link via Twitter to people you have featured in the post and tag them using their @ user names.

Most people love to share something they have been involved with or quoted in (think about it, don’t you usually share an article if you appear in it?)

 

That’s right, you just got other people to help write your post, AND got them to share it for you!

 

Well done! You just rocked another way to create killer content that is so easy to do.

How did you find this exercise? Did it help you to spark some ideas?

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How To Swipe A Great Format For Your Content

swipe content

Way back in 2007 when Facebook was a baby (and I had less wrinkles), I was writing for Daily Candy, among other lovely folks like Last Minute.com, Easyjet, London Le Cool and eBay.

The great thing with Daily Candy was that the format was super short, punchy, and fun, with a new tip every single day.

Something really cool and interesting hit the inboxes of subscribers every day, and they came to expect it, look out for it, and try out the new suggestions.

The (now massively famous) lovely Mastin Kipp used the model as a starting point for his site The Daily Love, which is now at global take-over status.

 

You don’t need to re-invent the wheel.

 

Using a pastiche as a kick of point for a post or format can be a great way to test out ways of creating content.

Direct copying is a no-no, of course.
Plagiarism is, too.

But you could “do a Mastin” and try out a format swiped from someone else.

Work out what resonates with you as the content creator, and what hits a home goal with your audience.

Tell me what ideas came up for you from this.
You can also tell me how wrinkle free I am. I won’t mind.

Jo

 

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The 10 x 10 Super Quick Content Ideas Hack

ideas hack

Getting the ball rolling with content ideas can feel really overwhelming sometimes.

I know you guys feel the same.

From the messages, emails and updates I get, I see the content paralysis kick in and it gets harder and harder to re-start the flow, despite our best intentions.

 

I have a really quick method that will get you quick results for content ideas in no time at all.

 

It’s part of a larger toolkit and framework that I use, and I love sharing this one as the light bulb moments happen really quickly (and who doesn’t love lightbulbs?!).

 

The 10 x 10 super quick content ideas hack

To kick things off, I want you to grab a fresh notebook, or page in Evernote, and jot down under each heading 10 of the following headings. It should take you around 15 minutes for this part, so brew up a coffee and make some time.

  1. 10 things you have worked on recently.
  2. 10 stories in the media, or in your industry news. 
  3. 10 things you only just learned to do (or are learning).
  4. 10 things you have improved at in the last 5 years.
  5. 10 testimonials you had in the last year.
  6. 10 things that are unique to you and your experience.
  7. 10 things that your clients need help with.
  8. 10 things that people ask you all the time.
  9. 10 things you are incredibly passionate about,
    and could talk about for ages.
  10. 10 things that you do in your working day as a habit.

(tip: if you can’t think of 10 of each don’t worry, just make a start and do what you can).

Now, the fun begins.

Let’s take each of the sections, and start to play them off against each other.

For example: 

Things you have worked on versus things you are learning
What take away can you share with your audience? Do you have any before and after stories?

Or we could try:

Stories on the media versus things your clients need help with.

What is happening now that you could hook a story onto with your personal expertise? Do you have an opinion on a news item or trend that you can comment on?

Spend 10 minutes jotting down some possible combinations.

Stop when the brain freeze kicks in – we aren’t about overwhelm here, just the opposite, in fact.

Ok, well done.

Hit reply and let me know how the brainstorm goes and what lighbulb moments you had.

Or, tweet @killercontentAC with your results (extra points for screen shots of lists).

 

Don’t worry about formats, word counts, styles posts or any of that stuff yet.

This is just to show you that we can overcome the rabbit in headlights idea overwhelm.

 

Grab yourself a PDF of this quick cheatsheet right here.

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Great Content Idea Ignition Shortcuts

great content

Stuck for ideas for great content? We have all been there.

Despite your best efforts to find your flow, get into the zone and produce great content, some days it’s just not happening.

Never fear, help is at hand.

 

 

Here are 5 ways to ignite your ideas, kickstart your storytelling, and get your killer content creation back on track:

 

1. Use prompts.

Sometimes all you need is a prompt to re-start the grey matter:

I have SO many great tips on how to___________________.

I have THE funniest story about that one time I ___________________.

I know a TON about ___________________.

I really want to be known as an expert on ___________________.

I really want to be known as someone with a fresh twist on ___________________.

(these are by the amazing Alexandra Franzen – make sure you bookmark + Evernote this page for future ref.)

 

2. Get random

Random word association is a tool I often use in creative thinking and brainstorming.

This random word generator can get you started.

For example, “ignition” came up for me which sparked this post idea.

 

3. Give an A to a Q

What was the last question someone asked you?

Can you answer it in a piece of content that adds value?

 

4. Use your own story and evoke a feeling

Storytelling is so powerful in content creation because it evokes a feeling and emotional response.

Consider points in your personal life and career that have been significant for you. How did you feel? Can you bring back that feeling again? What were you doing?

What were you wearing?

What sights, sounds and smells were there?

What did you learn from that experience, and what can you tell us about it?

 

5. Pastiche

A far cry from plagiarism, a pastiche post or piece of work  takes inspiration from the work of others.

In the same way that you might learn about how the masters created artwork by layering the colours yourself and following suit, pastiche content creation.

Great content starts with an idea.

 

Meta breakdown: This post is a really short, scannable blog post that ignites ideas and is easy to digest, refer to, and take action with. What could you produce that is a set of action taking ideas?

 

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Great Content Creation: Why Pocket-Sized Businesses Get Brain Freeze

great content

So you want to create great content but you feel stuck? Read on…

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Most small biz owners will recognise that moment of panic.

The precise moment when, staring down your blog editor, best intentions and coffee in hand, the content gremlins arrive, right on cue.

“Long form is best.”

“No, list posts.”

“NO! Curated links, with 80% visuals and 10% quotes.”

“Are you kidding me? Audio is SO where it’s at right now.”

“What, is this 2014? Live streaming, my friend, live streaming.”

Before you know it, an hour of flat white fuelled procrastination has passed, and you have achieved nada — other than a rocking insight to your old school friends Instagram feed and your Mum’s viral pet memes on Facebook.

All well and good, but this stuff doesn’t have a great ROI. Just sayin’.

When we juggle multiple roles, keeping up to speed with trends, formats, skills, and of course actually DOING the thing, there is ample room to avoid it for just another day.

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Tackling the overwhelm leads to making a start.

Can I give you a little permission slip, too?

You don’t have to be perfect straight off the bat.
(Type A’s, this may require some therapy).

Let’s just take a peep at the kind of content creation options that may — just may — be getting your neural pathways in a twist:

Blog posts (long form, short form, evergreen, emotive, remarkable, informative, controversial, guest posts, re-purposed posts and more);

Visual content (pins, instagrams, infographics, gifs, reports, graphs, quotes) ; podcasts (with show notes, transcripts, visuals and content upgrades); Live video streaming Blabs, Periscopes + Meerkats, Slideshares, videos, Vines, opt-ins, reports, emails, e-books, e courses.. and the list goes on.

If we aren’t worried about format, there are plenty of other things to worry about: frequency, scheduling, style, platforms, tech tools, tone of voice, the actual content of the content, whether anyone is seeing the damn thing anyway, and more.

Let’s start making this easier.

Here is some good news to combat the brain freeze:

Great content is essential for small businesses to grow, and it can be time efficient, easy to do, and it yields long term results.

Knowing What To Say

This is often the biggest stumbling block for many pocket sized businesses, but it can be easily solved with a few prompts:

  1. Keep a running record of things you get asked all the time. These questions are a great kick off point for content ideas. Store ideas in Evernote, Google Docs or an easy to access place for later retrieval.
  2. What did you just learn or discover that you can explain to someone else? Sharing information that you have just learned is a great time to do it, as you remember really clearly what it feels like to not know (hat tip to Derek Sivers for this reminder.)
  3. What is happening in the news, or in your industry that you can respond to? This is a great way to link current affairs, industry events, research and conference papers with your view point and expertise.
  4. What are people asking online? Facebook groups, the blog comment sections of other people’s websites, Twitter, Amazon book reviews, on Facebook pages, Linked In groups, Pulse blogs, profiles — people are leaving little clues everywhere of what they need to know. Tip: Screen grab the questions and store them for later in your ideas repository to kick start some content ideas.
  5. Remind us of the problem you solve, tell us how you do it and why we should care. Essentially, this is the basis of what great content creation is. Bear this is mind and the rest of it starts to become easier.

Knowing How To Say It

As we have seen, there are so many ways to get your message across, and choosing how can be terrifying.

  1. Choose one format and get your system working well.
    Don’t start to blog, do a podcast, weekly video show and Blab all at once. That way lies madness (and failure). Start with one format, learn how to communicate well, build an audience and client base, tweak, adjust, learn, grow, then experiment when you are ready to do so with a new format.Tip: think about what feels most natural to you. Do you like to speak, write, or present more? Start there.
  2. Share your special take on things. What is your method, your process, your system that sets you apart? What does your unique experience, personality, skill set and knowledge bring to the mix?
  3. Don’t worry about your content “voice” — it will come. Whether you are blogging, podcasting, periscoping or You Tubing, you will learn, evolve and refine over time. Just start.

Think about content creation as simply this: telling people what they need to know about what you know.

The rest will come.

You can learn how to create it efficiently and in less time than you thought.

You can try different formats, test the data, tweak, refine and revisit.

You can re-purpose, re-format, re-publish and re-do.

You can learn smart research methods, smart working habits, ways to make it all easier when juggling many roles.

All of this comes after you take away the obstacles of overwhelm and just start.

Great content comes with time.

 

Read this post on Medium here.

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