As an entrepreneur, you need to be an all-rounder – developing business ideas, doing marketing, speaking publicly, mastering finance and cash flow, and much more. But there is one area where entrepreneurs are often paralyzed with fear: writing. How do you create content if you’re not a writer ?!
As we all know, being a content creator is a prerequisite for building your online business these days. Providing value by creating useful content will help grow your audience, build TRUST with your audience, establish you as an authority in your industry, and invite people into your ecosystem.
This type of content, also called content marketing, is about creating content that is inviting to come to you based on the value you offer, rather than just spreading a message through advertisements or traditional marketing.
Content marketing includes blog posts, email newsletters, social media, podcasts, YouTube videos, and other content that is actually intended to be consumed. This content does not include the “hard sell” that you have put into your marketing and promotional efforts. Content marketing is more about offering help, building relationships, building trust, and building a community of superfans.
Content marketing is great, but it also takes a lot of writing, even if you’re creating a YouTube video or podcast.
So . . What if you are not a writer? What if you just aren’t good at it, or don’t like doing it? What if you just don’t have the time?
Do not despair! Here are some hacks you can use to create great written content that you can use to build your business.
Hire a writer
It’s a breeze, isn’t it? If you have the opportunity to hire someone to do your writing for you, then definitely leave! So you can focus on what you do best.
How do you hire a freelance writer? Ask if someone on your network can recommend an author. Post a message on LinkedIn or check out any of these platforms that can match you with a freelance writer.
Fiverr is a great website where you can find writers who have experience with just about any type of writing, whether it’s articles / blog posts, white papers, sales and marketing copies, or e-books. You can also hire editors and proofreaders.
On Fiverr, you can search the profiles of the freelance writers available for hire and see which one is right for your needs. UpWork is a similar website.
Don’t be afraid to hire someone to help you, even if it only takes a few hours a week or one project at a time. If the writer is a good match for you, you might even want to ask him to come on your team full time. Hiring a freelancer is a great way to get to know someone before you hire them.
But what if you don’t have the money to hire someone?
Tap your team
If you have a team, tap these to see if they make a contribution, even if they don’t have an official writing role.
You might be surprised that there are good writers who do not play an official role as writers. So check to see if team members can focus on a specific topic that they have expertise in and ask them to contribute regularly.
At SPI we have several people on our team who write content, including myself. our senior writer Ray Sylvester; our Co-CEO Matt Gartland; Sara Jane Hess and David Grabowski from our podcasting team; and Jillian Benbow and Jay Clouse from our CX team.
If you have someone on your team who is good at editing, you can also record an audio brain dump. This is where you record your thoughts and ideas for a blog post and let someone else edit the content into a cohesive article.
Reuse existing content
You probably already have content that you can use for blog posts, email content, and even social media posts.
Do you have an online course? If so, take a module or chapter from this course and edit it to create a blog post. At SPI, we recently did this with this blog post about making your business idea a reality.
We took a chapter from the Smart From Scratch course and turned it into an article.
You might be thinking, “What if people know the blog post was from the course content? That’s cheating! ”
No it is not. It delivers valuable information to your audience through more than one medium. Blog content is free. Offering free content from a paid course is therefore an added value. Just make sure not to give away too much content for free, otherwise your paid content will be devalued. But here and there there is a clever way to reuse content and serve your audience.
You can also reuse content from your podcast (if you have one) and YouTube videos. Take the transcripts, rate them to see what content works best in a blog format, and edit it down.
Strategic content reuse is smart and efficient.
Invite guest bloggers to participate
Is there someone in your network who can write valuable content on topics that will benefit your audience? Talk to them and see if they are interested in guest posting. Ideally, these are people with a fairly large audience. So you’re killing two birds with one stone – you’re providing content Your Audience, and if a guest blogger is promoting the post to their own audience, you will get new eyes as you read your content.
Make sure guests know your audience and the types of topics you are covering on your blog. Suggest topics to write about or work together to create topics. When the post is published, suggest how the guest can introduce the post to their own audience so that you can get more traffic to your website.
At SPI Media, we often invite guests to write for our blog, including a post from our friend Heather Osgood, founder of True Native Media, on how to turn your podcast into a profitable business.
Whether it’s a blog post or your weekly newsletter, curating content is another option to add value to your audience without having to personally create an original 2,500 word article.
Content curation is simply a matter of putting together multiple pieces of content that you found interesting and that your audience will like. For example, a blog post might consist of a list of articles (with links) from other publications that you found helpful on industry-related topics.
Again, this may seem like an excuse. But it is not! People like convenience and having links to multiple articles in one place will save them time and effort.
Interview your target audience
Ask your audience to help you write content! You can do this by questioning them and using their responses to create blog posts. At SPI Media, we typically use a Typeform survey to ask our audience a question. Then we collect the answers and put them together in a blog post. This is a great way to provide interesting information and connect with your audience as well.
Last May, at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, we asked our audience: “What gives you hope?” Several people responded to our survey, and we have compiled their responses in this powerful blog post.
Use the power of lists
A list of tips or recommendations is an easy way to put together content that doesn’t require a lot of research and writing.
About once a month, our podcasting team compiles a list of their favorite podcasts. You write a paragraph about each one and explain to readers why the podcast is good. Sounds easy right?
You can do this for anything. What are your ten recommended online business tools? What are the best business books you are reading right now and what do you like about them? What are the top five factors that helped you start your business? Giving advice to people through a list is a great way to create valuable content.
If you are good at asking questions and being curious, you are probably good at interviewing.
- Interview an expert on a topic you think will help your audience. At SPI Media, we regularly interview entrepreneurs who do amazing things.
- Interview people in your audience who are doing well and write a success story for your blog. People love to read about people like them who are successful.
- Interview a mentor or someone you look up to. Get their advice and blog post with the answers.
When you record a video of your interviews, it can be used in many different ways: for a podcast, a video for your tube channel, as a blog post. You can collect many kilometers with just one interview!
If you’re interested in learning more about content creation, here are some tips from Pat on how to create content if you’re a busy, starting entrepreneur.