Do you struggle to come up with ideas for your content? Or do you struggle to write content for your business? If you’re an online entrepreneur, writing content for your business is necessary if you want to grow your audience, mail list and sales!
I hear some people say…
‘But Risa, I’m not a writer! I can’t blog’
Well, I’m not a writer either. In fact, I’m not a native English speaker! Japanese is my first language, and if you have ever heard people speaking Japanese… well, Japanese and English are two very different languages!
For this reason, I always feel so happy and proud when people tell me that they really love what I write.
Not only I’m happy that they are inspired by my story and find my blog valuable, but I’m also really proud that I can actually write something that make sense!
I have to admit that I’ve never studied the English language properly in my life. I learnt English from listening to other kids at the boarding school where I spent 7 years of my childhood. I went to a unique school in a small town in the UK where lessons were non-compulsory and pupils and teachers have equal rights. I didn’t like going to lessons and instead I loved exploring the woods, playing with my friends, going to town and embracing the freedom. Freedom is definitely something I have loved since I was a kid!
When I was still living Japan, I wanted to be a writer. I loved writing short stories (especially fantasy) and I remember going to my dad asking for his review (I don’t remember what his feedback was. He didn’t even like reading!)
After a few years living in the UK, my Japanese had deteriorated, as I was speaking English on a daily a basis. So I stopped writing – mainly as I struggled to express myself using just one language. Some emotions are definitely better expressed in English, but some I could only express in Japanese. So I decided to not bother with writing, instead I studied photography & media at college and later accounting (!).
Fast forward to 2014, and I started blogging when I created my first website for Yoga & Wellbeing and I absolutely loved it. The more people commented on my blogs & posts, the more confident I became with my writing. I love sharing my story, experience and knowledge with others and and hopefully inspire them to follow their dreams. Writing content for my blog & newsletters is probably one of the top things I love about my business).
But yes, with anything else, writing good content comes with practice.
If you’re wondering why writing good content is key to your business growth, here’s why.
REASON #1 It helps connect with your audience
Sharing your content helps build brand awareness. Remember, your brand is how other people feel about you and your business. By sharing your story, marketing message and valuable information through content, it will help connect with the right audience.
REASON #2 Establishes you as an expert
If you don’t share valuable content that shows your knowledge and skills, how would people know you’re an expert in your field and trust you?
Now, you may be thinking that all sounds great but struggle to come up with ideas for your blog and social media posts…
Here are my top 3 ways to find inspiration for my blog content:
#1 Listen to your potential customers & clients’ struggles and find out what they need help with
It’s easy to think your ideas are amazing and everyone will want to read about what you’ve got to say! Well, not everyone will want to read random stuff you write.
So make sure you listen to your audience’s needs.
Facebook groups (both your own Facebook group if you have one and other people’s Facebook groups) are a great way to find out what your potential customers & clients need help with and want to learn.
Surveys & Polls
You can also create a survey using Typeform or Survey Monkey and email it to your mail list or create a poll in Facebook groups providing a list of potential topics so that they can let you know what they are most interested in learning about.
Tracking Content Performance
Tracking your content performance is also a useful way to understand what your audience is interested in reading about.
You can track your blog performance by checking your Google Analytics report. Log in to Google Analytics account, click 'Behaviour' -> 'Site Content' -> 'All Content'. You'll see a list of most popular pages on your website.
You can track your social media posts performance by using the analytic tools that platforms provides such as Facebook Insights. Go to your Facebook business page, click 'Insights' -> 'Posts' . You'll see a list of posts published with number of reach and engagement such as post clicks, reactions, comments & shares.
You can track your email performance by checking open and clickthrough rates. Most email service providers will have a report section where you can check your open and clickthrough rates as well as other key performance indicators.
#2 Explore new places
I love going to new places, especially getting out in nature. This is one of my favourite places to re-connect with myself and get inspiration.
Of course, you may prefer to travel to cities or resorts, but the key here is to get away from your routine and explore new places, as it will open your mind to new ideas.
Take a journal or notebook with you!
Carrying a journal around will help you jot down any ideas that come up in your mind.
I also seem to get ideas by having a conversations with my partner or friends during my break or while exploring new places.
If you don’t like carrying a journal or notebook with you, you can use a notepad on your phone!
I quickly type my ideas on my phone when I’m traveling on the tube in London or in the car (as a passenger of course!). I even type a couple of paragraphs when I’m in a writing mode.
You can then review these ideas again when you have more time. Keep a list and refer back to it for inspiration or to develop the idea further.
#3 Meeting new people
Whenever I meet new people online or in person, I love listening to their stories and experiences.
Sharing our experiences opens up many doors for inspiration!
Being an online entrepreneur (especially if you’re a solopreneur) can be quite lonely and you may feel like you have fewer opportunities to meet new people so...
Get out more!
Be proactive by going to different events, conferences and seminars in your local area (or even travel to other cities!). These definitely don’t need to be just business related. It can be anything from music festivals, cultural events to business related conferences.
Strike up conversations - these will often lead you to unexpected places and make connections you may not have been expecting.
Facebook groups and social media platforms are also a great way to connect with new people in your niche in the online environment. Remember though, if you’re looking for a real connection in Facebook groups, you’ll have to remove your sales hat - meaning that your intention is to genuinely connect and meet new people - not hoping that this may lead to sales.
This can be challenging as it sometimes feels like swimming with sharks! However there are people out there who you can connect with and won't try and sell you anything, so give it a go.
Get in touch with influencers
You will probably have someone you admire and look up to in your field or in the business world in general. Try getting in touch with them and see if you can arrange a quick chat!
This could help you get some new ideas, inspiration and even help you get motivated to start writing! And who knows, this may lead to collaboration such as guest posting and interviews!
Be clear with them about who you are and what you want - try to be open and direct and you will get a much better response.
Recording all your ideas in a spreadsheet
Start recording all your ideas in one place! I have a spreadsheet where I record all my blog ideas. When you start recording your ideas, you’ll realize there is so much to talk about!
Yay! So hopefully you’re now feeling a lot more relaxed about finding inspiration for your blog posts!
Now, here are my tips to help you START writing your awesome content:
You’ve now identified the topics your audience are interested in and have made a list of all your amazing ideas for your content. I would recommend that you actually provide actionable steps - the ‘How to...’ rather than ‘What to...’ it is they need to be doing. Make it easy for them to follow and implement. I also like sharing a bit of my story or journey related to that topic and inspire my audience to take action.
Practice, practice and more practice...
If English isn’t your first language and you feel less confident about writing content, or even you’re a native English speaker but don’t feel confident with your writing skills, I can say that the more you write, the more confident you will get.
Find your own writing style and do not copy others!
Yep, I’ve been there. I thought if I write like the other established coaches, I would get my audience interested in what I’ve got to say.
WRONG. You’ve got to find your own tone and writing style. If you’re not sort of person who swears in your normal life, don’t swear just because everyone else is swearing!
Hire a proofreader
I highly recommend hiring a proofreader to review your content, especially if your English isn’t your first language.
I am very lucky to have my partner proofread most of my content - so I learn as I go!
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