In episode #579, Eric and Neil explain how you can create great content when you suck at writing. Tune in to hear great tips on creating killer content with less-than-stellar writing skills.
TIME-STAMPED SHOW NOTES:
- [00:27] Today’s Topic: How You Can Leverage Content Marketing When You Suck at Writing
- [00:45] Just because you’re not good at writing, it’s ok! Everyone starts somewhere.
- [01:04] Think about your strong suit (what Eric calls your “content foundation”) and build out from there.
- [01:15] If Eric and Neil didn’t like writing, they could have just started with this podcast.
- [01:25] They have the podcast transcribed by Rev and they also get shownotes written by Podcast Motor; this means that things are being written without them having to write a single word.
- [01:46] Go to Jobs.problogger.net and hire a writer.
- [02:12] Use short and to the point paragraphs; this makes it easier to skim.
- [02:27] Use subheadings in your posts.
- [02:32] You need to have an intro with a hook.
- [02:55] A strong headline is key to getting readers.
- [03:22] Copyblogger will give you some examples of great headline formulas.
- [03:41] When you hire a writer, always give them an outline and make sure to get on the phone with them, so you’re on the same page.
- [04:06] You don’t have to be a good writer, you just have to be able to communicate well with a good writer.
- [04:25] Gary Vee doesn’t even write his own blogs; he gives ideas and outlines, but the content is written by someone else.
- [05:01] If you’re producing content, use the content re-usage workflow as a framework.
- [05:28] Content marketing is a 12-18 month journey from inception to results.
- [05:35] If you’re not the best writer and you can’t afford to hire someone, use Eric and Neil’s framework and just go out and write. The more you write, the better at it you will get.
- [05:55] You may notice that Neil has awful grammar and cannot spell; it’s ok, because he is providing valuable information.
- [06:35] That’s it for today!
- [06:38] Go to Singlegrain.com/Giveway for a special marketing tool giveaway!
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The post How You Can Leverage Content Marketing When You Suck at Writing | Ep. #579 appeared first on Marketing School Podcast.
Full Transcript of The Episode
Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of marketing school. I'm Eric Siu.
Neil Patel: And I'm Neil Patel.
Eric Siu: And today we are going to talk about how you can leverage content marketing when you suck at writing. So first and foremost when we talk about content writing we're not necessarily saying blogging, but most people, or a lot of people at least when they think about content marketing it has to do with writing. So what I like to say is just 'cause you're not good at writing, it's okay. Everyone starts with a foundation, so an example I've used in the past is someone like Chalene Johnson. Maybe she doesn't like to write, her format might be she starts with Facebook Live first, and then it goes into separate videos, and then it goes into blog posts, and then it goes into social media. So think about what you're good at first. You start with your content foundation, is what I'm calling it right now, and then you can build off of that and maybe that includes writing in the future.
So here's an example, us doing this podcast right now, let's say hypothetically Neil and I don't like writing. I think both of us actually do like writing, so well we enjoy writing at the very least. So we can start with this podcast first, and here's the thing, we have this podcast transcribed by a service called Rev, that's R-E-V.com. We use it as our API, and then we also have show notes for this podcast as well, and we're talking right now but we also get text and that goes to the web. Text goes to the web, great well now things are being written without us having to write a single word.
Neil Patel: If you suck at writing, but you have thoughts on what you want out there in text. Go to jobsopproblogger.net and hire a writer. For $100 to $200 dollars you can find an amazing writer and give them these requirements. One, they have to write in a conversational tone, using the words you and I. By doing that it seems more like a conversation versus a teacher just lecturing the student and the student falling asleep. The second thing they need to do is use short and to the point paragraphs. You don't want seven, eight, 10 sentence paragraphs. Four or five line paragraphs are enough. This makes it easier to skim. Three, they need to use subheadings. Think of it as a book. People want to skim things. By using subheadings it makes it easier for them to skim. The next, they need to do an intro and a conclusion. You want to start off the intro with a hook and a conclusion should wrap up the whole purpose of the post and what they should have learned.
What you'll find is, and we've done a lot of studies on blog posts with scroll maps and heat maps, people in many cases read the headlines, scroll all the way down to the conclusion, read that, and then scroll all the way back up assuming they want to read the rest. Last but not least, they need to focus on the headline. If they focus on the headline, no matter how crappy the content is, you'll get some reads. On the flip side if your content's amazing and your headline sucks you won't get any reads. And I'm not saying you should create junk content, but you need awesome content as well as an amazing headline. If you don't know how to create one, you can go to BuzzSumo. Type in keywords within your industry you'll see what's hot based on social shares. You can go to Copyblogger, look up their headline formulas, and that'll also give you ideas of how you can write some awesome headlines.
Now that you found your writer, and hopefully they have industry experience, you can find tons of these people at ProBlogger, you want to then get on the phone with them and give them overview of what you want written. Have them outline it with your main points. Assuming the outline looks good, then have them write the introduction and conclusion, assuming that looks good, have them fill in the rest of the post. You can add in pictures yourself or you can have them add in the pictures. You can pay them or have someone else upload it into WordPress. And then you can schedule to go live and then do the promotions. It really is that simple. You don't have to be an amazing writer. You just have to be able to communicate with someone who is a good writer. And if you give them my rubric, they'll do well.
Eric Siu: Yeah, and there's a ton of people out there that do this. Think about it this way, Gary V. for sure is not a writer. I've never actually seen him, I know for his books at least and I think Neil you know this too, he's not actually writing the books on his own, but he's actually, like Neil is mentioning, communicating or delegating kind of his vision for these other projects. So if, you go to Garyvaynerchuk.com, I believe that everything that he has on his blog is written by somebody else. And I know that even the stuff that we have, we've talked about the concept of repurposing, so there's a lot of written content out there from Neil and myself. And somebody reached out to me recently saying, "Hey, Eric I'd like to repurpose your stuff on Corra," and they actually do a fairly good job of rewriting content to the native format of Corra, to where the readers would actually appreciate it. And you just have these people helping you.
And the other thing is if you're producing content, I've talked about this in the past, use the Content Reusage workflow. Google the Content Reusage workflow, that's from Aleyda Solis, she's an international SEO, she's great. Use that as a framework and then tie that in with the framework that Neil just gave you, and you'll do fine. Just make sure that you're constantly getting better. I'm hoping that if you're constantly doing it then you're at least getting better. And then from there you're going to start to see the traffic build. Yes, it's going to take time. Neil and I always talk about content marketing being a 12 to 18 month journey to even start to get it to see results.
Neil Patel: If you suck at writing and you don't have money either, cause a Problogger job or tip won't work for everyone, just go out there and write. Use the framework that I mentioned. As you write, you'll get better at it. When I first started writing my blog posts sucked. But after doing it for years, I got good at it, and people read my content. I have terrible grammar as well. If any of you guys subscribe to my email news list, you'll notice that when I do blast out, I'll use the wrong spelling of words.
Eric Siu: I thought you do that on purpose.
Neil Patel: I wish I did it on purpose. A good example of this I misspelled peek the other day, and I used the wrong version of peek, like a mountain top peak instead. And people emailed me back saying, "Hey Neil, this is the wrong version of peak." And I was like, "Thanks sorry about that." I still keep doing it. It's okay if you're not that great. If the information that you're providing is amazing and digestible, and people are like, "Oh wow I learned something new," they'll forgive your terrible writing.
Eric Siu: I actually like it. I think it's good. This is a sidebar but I like the unintentional engagement that it causes, so I always thought it was a genius marketing tactic, by Neil. But, now you know the truth, but hey it still works. So that's if for today, but before we go, go to singlegrain.com/giveaway for our marketing goodies, and we'll see you tomorrow.
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