Have you ever been given a topic that you have absolutely no idea about, and writing content for it seems impossible!
I know the feeling. It’s not something you particularly want to do but you have to pay the bills. Not only that but your reputation as a writer is on the line.
You’ve accepted this job and now you’re thinking, how in the hell do I go about writing this?
First things first, calm down. Finishing this is easier than you think. You just have to learn a little bit about the subject and apply your skills in exactly that same way as you normally do.
I’ve done this before. I wasn’t happy because it was a lot hard than usual due to I didn’t know much about the subject. To help myself and you I’ve worked out a simple 5 step formula to achieving what you could call the impossible!
So here it is…
The first step to create, rank and make content go viral is finding out what has done the same in the past. You’re not here to reinvent the wheel. You want to take what is popular, people want and put your own unique twist on it.
BuzzSumo.com is by far one of the best websites to gaining ideas for popular content to write about.
Just type your keywords into the search bar and hit enter. You will be presented with the top shared content online. This is a huge indication of what is popular for the date range you’ve selected. You can change the date range to see what has been the most popular for the last 7 days, month or year.
I use Buzz Sumo to look at the titles of the posts and a number of shares as this indicates if people actually go on to share this post it means it has some value to them
The posts which are most appealing, open them and look at the content, even save this content for future reference.
In the example below the top two results are tools and trends. Right there I have a start on what to move forward with.
I can use these 2 search terms to further research and start to rank whichever one I wish to go with.
Quora is next, I use Quora to see what is the hottest questions people are asking today based on keywords. I type in content marketing and see what comes up.
The advantage of this is you can easily find which questions are the most popular by looking at exactly how many votes and comments a question has.
You can easily determine if this is something that matters to people.
Then you can go a step further and look for individual posts to see what is popular
As you can see trends comes up again meaning that I will be going with this.
As I am unsure which one is best to write about for the future I will use Google Trends to compare the two words.
This clearly shows content marketing tools is a better search term overall over the last 12 months and it looks like it will be better going into the future.
I will go ahead and type in the search term content marketing tools, this will allow me to see what is hot for this search term.
The results that appear I will open up and look at the ones with high share volume.
Looking through the results I can start to gain an idea of what is hot, what is not and what is relevant to my article.
Back to Quora, you can see the popularity from the comments and points.
As these are real people I would look at what they have to say about the topics and make notes about the biggest struggles and problems they’re having, solutions and anything else that is related towards your post.
Within this research, you can also start to form the basis of your post.
What’s the point in having a party if no one comes through the door, exactly the same thing here.
You’re content might be the best but if your headline doesn’t capture people or create curiosity no one is going to click and read more no one is going to read what you have to say.
Here are some key pointers that you need to follow:
People are bombarded with so much information that your title has to acquire their interest. They just don’t want to waste time on something which won’t be useful to them.
Keeping your title short and sweet, straight to the point whilst creating curiosity will pull in potential readers
Everyone likes to stay up to date and including the title will let people know that they’ll be learning something new which is relevant for them for the current year.
This website will come up with some pretty cool and zany titles but it will also give you inspiration and ideas on what potential titles you can use. I have used this title generator to gain ideas which go into my final title.
As you can see below you can take aspects of it and put it into your title, you could even use the word North Korea. For example, 10 Content Marketing Lessons You Can Learn From North Korea’s Dictatorship.
This title is a bit long but you get the idea, people will be thinking WTF, and be drawn into your post. It is much better than a boring old plain title.
This can be a little difficult if you know nothing about your audience, however, after you’ve researched the topic you should have a basic understanding of what people really want and the benefits they’re looking for.
With every piece of content, you write you will need a final goal of the piece and know what people really want, that way you can structure your post more towards the reader’s needs.
If you haven’t noticed already this article is broken up quite a lot. This allows me to focus on specific points within the article and write the relevant information under each subtitle. BTW this also makes writing it quicker
The fact of the matter is people don’t like reading huge walls of text, by breaking it up people can scan through your content and see which part is applicable to them. Generally, people like to get a sense of what they’re reading before they go in and read it more in depth.
They will scan through your article first before going back through to read in more detail.
This technique has saved me endless hours of sitting at a desk and staring at the screen not knowing what to write because I was thinking too much.
If you just write what comes to mind your writing will flow. Even if you think what you’ve put down is full of crap, just keep writing. Once you’ve finished come back and check. You will be amazed at what you will have written.
Once you have finished take a break, then go back through what you’ve written and you can see how it all fits together, what needs to be added and taken out.
Everyone knows their first draft will always look like a piece of dog crap.
Even though we don’t like to admit it we’re all young at heart and that is shown with images.
Many people will get bored of your writing if it’s all text, but at some images, screenshots and it will change their view on your piece. Not only will they read more of what you have to say but they’ll have a better understanding as the images will back up what you have to say.
You’ve just finished and taken a quick rest, it’s now time to go back through what you’ve written and check it all makes sense.
When you’re proofreading your checking for spelling errors, sentence structure, whether you’ve elaborated your point enough that it’s simple and easy to understand.
One thing I like to do at this stage is add in extra pieces of multimedia and links to emphasize my points.
Overall writing can be difficult or easy, it’s just how you proceed with your research and the process you use to write something. We never really know something until we have experienced it more.
I think if we write to a high enough standard and do enough research you can write a really good piece on absolutely anything.
The most important thing is you have the ability to provide value and something new to the people reading your article as I hope I have done today.
Just follow the rules above and you will be more than prepared to write a piece you have absolutely no clue about, well at least to start with. And once you’re finished not only will your employer be happy but their readers will be sharing and learning new things too.
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