How to Write Killer Blog Content Without Spending Countless Hours Staring At Your Computer

This post is the second in the 6-part series “How to Create Bite-Sized Content Your Readers Will Devour and Share.” Click here to see the first post, “6 Steps to Instantly Connect With Your Blog Readers.”

In the last post, I showed you how to engage readers by building instant rapport–a quick, friendly sense of connectedness.

Once you successfully strike that personal chord with your readers, you’ve hooked them. But have you hooked them for good?

The next challenge in creating bite-sized, accessible content your readers will devour and share is to back up the rapport with value and relevance.

If you don’t give them what they want—and actionable, empowering information to boot—that instant rapport won’t stick.

Here’s how to get and stay relevant, in 5 practical steps.

RULE #2: CREATE RELEVANCE

You can’t be everything to everyone. What’s engaging, valuable, shareable, irresistible and even empowering to your readers may not be all (or any) of those things to someone else’s audience.

In other words, relevance is relative.

So the first step toward achieving relevance is NOT, “How do I do it all?” It’s, “How do I hit the right notes and deliver the essentials MY audience wants?”

STEP #1: Identify WHO your audience is to uncover WHAT they want.

If you can’t be everything to everyone, then the next most valuable way to approach your content strategy is the exact opposite: get laser-focused. Deliver ONLY what your target audience wants and needs.

Sometimes, I start thinking to myself, “My peers and colleagues are going to think this blog post is ridiculous. This has all been said before. It isn’t new and it’s not ‘high-level’ enough!”

But you’re not writing for your peers. You’re writing for your ideal audience. And they NEED your knowledge and skills to help them move forward.

Take me, for example. I’m not writing for the social media big shots. I’m writing for you—the person with a great business or project who wants to take their social media strategy to the next level.

You don’t eat, sleep and breathe social media – that’s my job!  So with that, it’s my job to give you all the best of the best info to help you succeed.

STEP #2: Get inspired.

Really remarkable people are inspired on all levels. They step outside their niche, seeking exposure to ideas and real-life situations that challenge their own ways of thinking.

Doing so stokes your creativity and keeps you on your toes.

I’ll give you a funny example. You’ll probably laugh at me, but it works: I love watching “Real Housewives of New York.” Yes, it’s trashy, but the show almost always gives me a funny idea or two to use in a new post.

When your head’s down and you’re only thinking of real estate, your yoga studio or whatever it is you do, you stifle yourself. It gets harder and harder to come up with valuable content.

So go out. Turn on the TV. Grab coffee somewhere new. Do whatever it takes to stay inspired—so you can inspire others.

CASE STUDY:  Workshifting.com 

Workshifting  is one of my favorite websites. It’s all about teleworking, and how in a mobile world, we’re empowered to work anywhere we want.

Here’s the clincher: Citrix, a major company, owns the site—but you really can’t tell. There’s no need for them to tell. By focusing on delivering high-impact, relevant content, they take the focus OFF of the company—and put it ON you!

This is powerful. If your business runs a blog, and you’re struggling to bring traffic to it, you’re probably forgetting the most important tenet of relevance: it’s determined by the READER, not you.

If your blog is focusing too much on the business or niche itself, you’re not relevant to them—you’re relevant to YOU.

STEP #3: Plan, don’t panic.

The speed of social media has conditioned us all to think that relevance is just as important as continuous, super-fast updating.

While it’s true that a regularly-updated blog packs more punch than one that idles, delivering irrelevant content isn’t going to bring readers back!

I try to blog once a week myself. When my posting day comes around, I sometimes start panicking. “Oh my gosh, tomorrow’s the day I have to post. I better get something up fast!”

But as soon as you start thinking that way, you’re making VALUE and RELEVANCE secondary to speed and anxiety.

Getting it done counts for a lot, but genuine, authentic meaning takes some thought. Plan your posts in advance so you can deliver meaningful content.

STEP #4: Give your posts meat.

The best experts provide tangible evidence to emphasize the purpose of what they write about.

If you need more meat, try giving your audience stats. (Infographics are even better.) Cite solid research. Or interview some experts, and introduce a new perspective!

Before you hit “publish,” ask yourself:

  • Did I include statistics or numbers?
  • Did I include research or expert quotes?

Or another way to look at it is to ask, “Is my post meaty enough?”

The minute you put some real meat into your post is when a “good enough” post comes to life and gains real viral potential.

For an incredible example of a VERY meaty post in action, check out Kipp Bodnar’s “The Ultimate List: 100+ Facebook Statistics [Infographics]” with over 100 infographics chock-full of information about Facebook users.

STEP #5: eCube It.

Before you write your next post, eCube it.

This is a technique I learned when I worked with Tony Robbins. Whenever we wrote a piece of content, or put together a product or program, we had to eCube it first: make sure that it ENTERTAINED, EDUCATED and EMPOWERED our audience.

That sounds like a lot to do in a 300 or 400-word post, but it doesn’t have to be. Try it:

  • Entertain with a personal story or anecdote.
  • Educate with the “meat”–giving your readers the purpose, or the “why” behind your content.
  • Empower your readers with a single lesson, action or takeaway. If you follow up great, relevant content with a way to make it work, you’ve EMPOWERED your audience to act!

CASE STUDY: Vistage International

Vistage International is a leadership organization that serves as a kind of think tank for its chief executive members.

What I love about Vistage is how forward-thinking they are. They’re always asking, “What can we do to make our social media strategy better?”

At first, Vistage wrote blog posts via their “Executive Street” blog with calls to action like, “Hey you guys, you need to be ahead of your trends.”

The thing is…their audience already knows that.

The Vistage team out their heads together and decided to initiate a relevance shift. Rather than state the obvious and say, “You should stay ahead of trends,” Vistage started giving advice such as, “Consistently following Inc. magazine will help you stay ahead of the trends.”

The difference? They now give the audience a tangible way to achieve what they already KNEW they wanted to do.

Are You Ready to Get Relevant? < If you're ready to start producing relevant, shareable content, get started with this simple list. It summarizes all 5 steps above:

  • Give them information they can use.
  • Stay inspired and inspiring.
  • Don’t panic—plan.
  • Fatten up your posts with meaty stats, quotes and info.
  • And most important: entertain, educate and empower.
  • Have you used any of these techniques? I’d love to hear your story. Share your case study in the comments!

  • http://IsaacAWardell.com Isaac A Wardell

    An additional strategy I use is to write when inspiration finds me. If I’m working along on something and think “That would make a great blog post” I either stop and write it then, or make a note about it and come back and write on that topic later. I also write in advance, I write as I get inspired and I may have several blogs ready to go at any given time. As long as the content isn’t time bound, I could have content papered weeks in advance. With the scheduling options in Word-Press I could even have them automatically post for me in the future, taking my mind off of worrying about continually producing content. 

  • http://twitter.com/videoministry Theresa Croft

    Awesome Amy! Thanks for the reminder about remembering WHO we are writing to… That gets overlooked so often. I need to be reminded that my audience is not as techie or social media experienced. This helps me remember to keep it at the BIBMO level…Basic instructions before marketing online.

  • http://twitter.com/videoministry Theresa Croft

    Awesome Amy! Thanks for the reminder about remembering WHO we are writing to… That gets overlooked so often. I need to be reminded that my audience is not as techie or social media experienced. This helps me remember to keep it at the BIBMO level…Basic instructions before marketing online.

  • http://twitter.com/videoministry Theresa Croft

    Awesome Amy! Thanks for the reminder about remembering WHO we are writing to… That gets overlooked so often. I need to be reminded that my audience is not as techie or social media experienced. This helps me remember to keep it at the BIBMO level…Basic instructions before marketing online.

  • Anonymous

    Where’s the beef? I will ask myself that from now on when I write a post. I also like the personal anecdote . People love to hear stories. I just posted my weekly “quotes to get me through monday” and realize I didn’t put a personal story in it. I will change it now – thanks to you!

  • Anonymous

    Where’s the beef? I will ask this to myself from now on. I just wrote my weekly ” Quotes to get me through Monday ” blog and realize I don’t have a personal story in it. People love to hear stories! From now on I will use this post as a road map. Thanks Amy!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10618874 Chase Sherman

    Your case study about Workshifting.com sparked an important resource I wanted to share.  It’s called ilovemarketing.com… and best of all, it’s free.

    Two of the top direct-response marketers in the world, Joe Polish and Dean Jackson, have a weekly podcast that talks about the idea of your prospective customer’s prime directive.

    They use the analogy of cheese as the prospective customer’s prime directive and the cat as the vendor/seller/company.

    In most cases, companies who focus on themselves tend to reveal their cat whiskers to prospective “mice” which scares them away.

    However, when you focus entirely on what the prospect wants – the cheese – and create a backend marketing funnel that entertains, educates, and empowers (eCubes) them to make the right buying decisions, they’ll likely buy from you.

    Why?

    Because you’re the only one who’s focused on helping them get cheese rather than showing them you’re a cat.

    Now here’s the kicker:

    Dan Kennedy, who’s Joe Polish’s colleague, mentions that there’s NO relationship between the amount of money you make and your expertise/experience.  People who are getting paid are those who’ve positioned their services as cheese and therefore draw highly interested prospects to their door.

    Obviously the ongoing success of the company is the effect of overdelivering on value in your product/service, but the key is to understand that you’re primary objective is to create cheese.

    Great post, Amy. Definitely well written for your audience!

  • http://www.getgravitas.com Jay Lebo

    Terrific tips. Thanks Amy.

  • Laurademeo

    Hi Amy,great article!  I find that I wait so long to blog because it always takes me a while.  But everytime i do write,  it is so beneficial!  Thanks again

  • Douglas Halfpenny

    Amy, you are a person of amazing insight and depth of feeling. I know this because your narrative makes me examine myself. I call it inlook, and as you can imagine it directly affects my outlook. This baby boomer has hesitated sharing much on social media, not because I lack the skill or knowledge (and I love teaching what I know) but rather because I was unsure of how to approach an unknown kindred soul. You have led me on an amazing journey of self-discovery and I am quickly becoming a fan of yours. Thank you!

  • http://www.tedmiller3.com Ted

    My man Dan O’Day said you rocked it. We go back over a decade so I believe him when he says you could give great feedback on my question. I’m new to using blogging to interact with my following and I’m interested in the measuring stick of when is it too much or just enough. Meaning I TRY to keep the post 300 words but it keeps going over 500. Everyone is saying that may be too long. HOW in the world do you make a meaningful point in only 300 words? 

  • http://profitbasedmarketing.com Bonnie

    “If your blog is focusing too much on the business or niche itself, you’re not relevant to them—you’re relevant to YOU.”  There are MANY valuable points in your article, Amy, but this one stands out to me as one of the biggies. I see so many websites/blogs of small business owners who do the opposite, so I’m constantly trying to get them to do what you’re saying. It’s tough because they see so many badly written examples that they assume “this must be the way to do it.” This monkey-see, monkey-do marketing is unfortunate for everyone — the blog/biz owners and their readers/prospects. 
    Thanks, as always, for the excellent and inspiring advice!

  • http://www.teotrainer.com Teo Personal Trainer

    HAVENT read the post yet but as Ive read some comments it feels mandatory for me to read it… Incredibly without reading you AMY, I can tell by the posts your article is a must. Something to ad here after Ted’s comment.
    According to Google the average optimized SEO article or post should be 400 words plus 50 words in the sigfile. In order to reach good read and indexation and SEO enriched should never surpass 650 words total. So 300 is less than Google likes.. But everyone is free to write from 1 to million words. haha.
    Teo from argentina

  • http://www.poweredbyintuition.com Angela Artemis

    Amy,
    Thanks for the great tips. I never lack for words or ideas though. My battle is to make my posts shorter and to spend less time on them.

  • http://www.goldhawkps.com Sam Adodra

    Really love the ecube model. That’s something I can put into practice immediately into my own blog so hats off for this alone. Cheers Amy :)

  • http://www.goldhawkps.com Sam Adodra

    Also forgot to write, injecting some personality really makes the difference between an interesting post and something that’s just pure content.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DevaniFreeman Devani Freeman

    Great post! Glad to know I am not the only one that panics when I know there is a blog post due! lol

  • http://twitter.com/CGmagia nazywam się Rahul

    Great post

  • http://twitter.com/FitnesstoaT Fitness to a T, LLC

    Thank you so much Amy for this post. Today is “focus on my blog” day, and i’m trying to figure out why my blog isn’t getting the traffic. Creating the content for my readers IS important and doing so while taking advantage of how Key words work with everything is very hard to do.. especially when you want a Schnazy post title! Because i am in the fitness industry i am in a niche.. trying to broaden that is very difficult, but would like to attract different interests so that they could share with their friends, family, peers.. blogging used to be so much easier and fun.. now (especially with facebook) it’s almost like a 2nd job.. love the series so far.. and i look forward to step 3!

  • http://www.zgero.com/ Zsuzsi

    Thank you, Amy! I really appreciate all the points you gathered here, and that you shared genuinely about your own experience of blogging too. reading this has been very helpful and relevant.

  • Emeroy

    You posted this up right on time. I needed this! I’ve been going crazy about what to write

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