Content is everywhere, all around us, but for many people, reading a book takes too long! That’s why websites like Blinkist are there to help researchers gather momentum without having to spend time doing an in-depth dive. Someone else has already done it for them. Many researchers are also finding that ChatGPT is a great way to speed up the process.
In spite of all of the helpful tools out there, many people still feel defeated when confronted with having to write a blog or a post on a regular basis. They feel that they just don’t have anything to say.
If that’s you, read on! Writing your own blogs and insights isn’t impossible, even if you are pressed for time. Here are a few tips on how I do it:
I believe that the process at the heart of every great blog or case study is the same process that keeps us interested in learning. We should always aim to educate, leaving the reader better informed than they were before.
Broken down, my recipe for holding the attention of any reader contains the following five ingredients:
A statement that is future-focused—prophetic—until experience validates it.
Action that produces a result. When the result is negative, reverse it; when the result is positive, double down on it.
A story that reveals the outworking of the proverb. When life experiences confirm the proverb to be true.
The takeaway It might be a short phrase or image that you see that reminds you to stay focused.
What should I do now to make progress? Simple steps towards a deeper journey.
Creating winning content is about adding value, and at the core of any value added must be a message that people can take away and apply. They might not see the results right away, but they can put into practice what they have read.
This is part of my secret sauce for holding reader attention, and it’s why I love to seek out true stories that capture the imagination when writing business content.
In a world where reality has become stranger than fiction, you don’t change your world by making massive moves, you do it by making a series of small changes.
Let me share a proverb with you:
“Make hay while the sun shines.”
Now, for me, this isn’t my favourite thing to do. From a business and metaphorical perspective, it makes sense, but it causes me problems! So, as with anything, I have to find the pattern that works for me and apply it. Let me explain…
In 2019, I started to suffer acutely for two weeks in every year with hay fever, and the antidote for me was to cut out sugar. When I did, my eyes became less irritated and the sneezing stopped.
I don’t actually consume loads of sugar nowadays, but if I choose to have a can of coke or a sweet treat, wow, my eyes itch like someone has literally poured the sugar into them! It was a pattern of behaviour that magnified the situation.
Here is the thing: For me, hay fever is nature’s way of showing me to avoid consuming too much of a bad thing.
Cutting out sugar works, but it also makes me realise how much sugar is lurking out there. Just a little bit of barbecue sauce upset the balance for a few days before I realised the sauce was the source! So, I quit.
Now, I feel better and genuinely healthier, which makes sense as science says that refined sugars inflame your immune system and therefore allergies get worse as a result.
The principle that works for me is not to eat sugar, and in practice, that means saying no to quite a lot of different foodstuffs. Doing that can save needless hours of watery, itchy eyes.
Making hay while the sun shines means making the most of the time and opportunities I have. This is something that I simply cannot do if I feel terrible, locked in the house with streaming eyes. I have to create the ideal hay making environment with good choices (ie. no sugar).
In this simple illustration, I have covered all five Ps, creating a sense of education and revelation.
Of course, there are other techniques for writing great blogs, but for business owners, entrepreneurs, or business leaders, you’ll collect a lot of these ‘five P insights’ that you’ll be able to use for content.
Stories are what inspire people, so make sure not to leave your own story undocumented. As you go through life, you’ll find that the wisdom you have learned through validated experiences becomes IP for your brand.
Too many of us get so caught up in ‘doing’ that we miss out on sharing our learning along the way, thereby creating lasting impact for others.
It has been said that there is nothing new under the sun, and revelation can actually be forgotten knowledge. As leaders, we have a responsibility to build on a previous generation’s foundations rather than always having to re-dig or even reinvent.
Traditional methods are making a comeback, and the impact is incredible. For example, marketers are finding the open rates significantly higher when posting a letter (in a handwritten envelope) than when sending yet another email.
When it comes to journaling the journey, capturing the insights that you’ve already proven (the ones you regularly execute upon as second nature), can become the IP that sets you apart.
When we reflect and take notes, we’ll find that sharing that wealth isn’t giving away all our secrets; it is showing the reader that we have depth. Sharing insights makes sense, as your reader won’t necessarily have tried everything that you have for themselves; they just want to find out what works and what is proven.
We don’t need to get hung up on ‘someone will steal my idea’ as we can all benefit from each other’s shared experience. To be honest, we are all so busy that we’d probably rather someone else spend the time testing and proving something for us so that we can use it if it works.
That is the power of authenticity! Rather than keeping the evidence hidden, we can learn and share enough so that people understand why what we do works.
Learning to write content allows us to express our best. I am not perfect, but I have made progress, and as a result, my blogs have been read by thousands, (something my English teacher would not have believed to be possible).
Therein lies the principle, don’t believe negative thoughts or comments from others, and stop yourself before you’ve even started. Give writing content a shot, because making it happen starts with belief.
An author starts with a few sayings, a few paragraphs, a few pages, a few chapters, and ultimately a few books! So why not think big by starting small!