Get It On Paper

Jake Bonneman
January 23, 2023

It’s easy to talk about content creation.

Actually writing that content, even about content creation, isn’t so easy.

In a lot of cases, actually writing down the first line of a blog article—or at least being happy with it—can be one of the hardest parts of the blog writing process.

But it doesn’t need to be.

Remember, they put two keys that delete letters on the keyboard for a reason (unless you’re writing blog posts on a Mac, then you’re stuck with a backspace key that says “delete” because… whatever).

If you’re struggling to create content, there are some tips that can make it easier.

(Notice I said “easier” and not “easy,” because that would be a lie. Sorry… but then again, has someone telling you the thing you’re struggling to do is “easy” ever been helpful?)

#1 Write the first line.

Whether it’s on paper or on a screen, just… say a sentence in your head and write it. Imagine what you would say if you were in a conversation about your topic, and write that down for now.

Try to get one solid sentence on your topic that you’re happy with.

Even if it’s bugging you a little bit, you can go back and change it later. It doesn’t need to be the final first line.

Hell, the first line you write doesn’t need to be the “first” line at all, you can start with a sentence in the middle and write around it.

Nothing worsens an existing case of content writers’ block more than staring at a blank piece of white paper (or a simulated blank piece of white paper).

Trust me, it’s easier to create content once you have some words on the page.

#2 Treat your readers like an old friend.

This isn’t just a good tip for making it easier to write content—it’s also better for the reader.

And that’s who you’re writing for in the first place, right?

When writing content for business purposes, address your readers directly—respectfully, but directly—use the word “you,” and use “we” or “I” depending on the situation.

This may look obvious, but you [might] be surprised by the amount of business/marketing content out there where the writer had no idea how to write for an audience. Like, as if they had absolutely no interest in getting or maintaining their audience’s attention

Or didn’t know how in the first place.

Neither is good.

Here’s another quick example:

Write things like “you can contact us” instead of “our company can be contacted.”

The second way is not only stodgy, sterile, and cold-feeling… it just… feels 11x more boring, somehow.

Fortunately for you, you’re not going to write that way—and that will help your content be in the minority of content that actually stands out. And gets your readers to, y’know… read.

#3 Get a grip on why you’re writing in the first place.

I know—another seemingly obvious one. But so damn important.

If you’re writing content for a business, you need—n.e.e.d.—to understand its purpose.

Knowing the goal of a piece of content helps you navigate it—much like knowing what your driving destination is can often be helpful in helping you arrive there.

Is the content intended to sell a product or service? Is it intended to provide value? Is it focused on building incoming traffic? Generating leads? Building a community? All of the above?

Who are you writing for in the first place?

Why would someone arriving at your content be searching for it?

What are your competitors doing?

Is it working for them?

If you’ve already thought about all of these questions before setting down to write—ah, salute.

But the huge, ridiculous majority of people writing blog posts online—even professional ones—haven’t.

Remember those essay outlines we all had to make in school (you know, with the bubbles and sticks, or the lettered and numbered lists, etc.)?

Answering these questions—boring and unnecessary as they might seem to a lot of people who are anxious and champing at the bit to “just write”—will help you write better and more efficiently—drastically improving your readers’ experience in addition to the writers’ experience. (read: yours)

These are just a few fundamentals you can use to write blog content more efficiently and effectively.

These tips are like stretching and warming up before exercising.

Yes, they sound simple—but will you actually do them?

If you do, you’ll be in the minority of online content writers actually writing good, useful content for their visitors.

And that’s how you turn them into customers.

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Jake Bonneman
January 23, 2023
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