From brainstorming to outlining, writing, and editing, all the way to finally publishing, there’s a ton that goes into crafting an excellent blog post. When you start from scratch each time, it can be hard to build momentum and maintain a regular blogging habit.
If you’re starting each new blog staring at a blank screen, you’re doing it wrong. In this article, I’m going to explore the easy-to-use framework that I’ve implemented to develop great content weekly. Through this template, I now attract thousands of visitors for free to my blog, generate hundreds of leads a month, and have even published a book, all while battling with the motivation to write content.
No one likes to write.
We all know that we should be producing regular content, but sometimes staring at a blank screen can be so intimidating that we put it off for weeks or even months at a time.
Educational content in the form of blog posts, books, sales letters, and even videos, can cement you as an industry expert and do wonders for your brand. It works in the background to drive traffic and can replace a traditional portfolio.
If you’ve ever struggled to get your ideas down on paper, this blog post is going to help you create all kinds of content, from blog posts to longer books.
What is writer’s block?
My friend Troy Dean, Founder and CEO of WP Elevation, once told me that there’s no such thing as writer's block. We’re naturally good at talking to people about certain subjects, so why would writing be any different?
For most of us, it’s because we don’t have a structure or template in mind. Many people believe that creative writing exercises like music, stories, and poetry don’t or can’t use templates. That’s simply not true. This is especially true for blogs, books, and non-fiction content.
Templates, checklists, or prompts give us freedom, by encouraging us to experiment within those boundaries. When you have a template or a format like the one I’m about to share with you, you’ll be able to quickly and easily write more content.
Lots of people think that there are natural-born writers. In reality, everyone can benefit from writing and creating more. By sharing our ideas and what we know, we attract more opportunities. Besides, what appears to be natural talent or even strokes of genius is often in fact a well-rehearsed habit or script. Just ask top athletes, the military, and famous authors.
Push back on publishing fear.
To top it all off, you have to get over your fear of publishing your content. Hitting the publish button is often the hardest part. Many writers put off publication because they are worried about what others will think of their content.
When you use a format like this, you’ll feel more confident in getting over the publishing barrier. The skill of getting better isn’t about just writing until you’re happy. It’s about publishing until you’re competent.
The blog post template
I follow this template to create a new blog post every week!
- Knife twist
- Call to action
- Leave feeling
For the rest of this article, I’ll use “post” to refer to whatever kinds of content you’re creating. From blogs to videos to even books or podcasts. The framework is very versatile.
First, we make a promise about the post content. This frames the post and tells the reader what they’re going to get. You might want to write this part last as you’ll have a better idea of what you’re promising after you’ve written it.
Explain to the reader what they’ll learn by reading your post and what actionable information they’ll walk away with. Finish that sentence with something that your readers will want to know. We’re letting them know that there is a better future out there after they read this post.
Remember, it’s not about creating content for your team or competition! If you build websites, your customers don’t care about CSS and HTML shortcodes. They care about making sales, finding customers, and ranking on search results.
Next, we outline a problem that the reader is facing. This is the opposite of their better future, we’re describing their troubled present. Spend some time outlining the current negative situation and problems that your readers are facing. What’s the biggest problem or roadblock in their life right now? Talk about how this problem affects their life and makes business harder. What are they having to deal with every day?
It might sound strange, but explaining to the reader (even in a short paragraph) a problem they’re facing, will show them that you understand their situation. We’re now building trust.
Third, look at a myth or misconception or a way they’ve tried already.
By this point in the post, the reader will have objections, and reality creeps back. They’ll be saying to themselves, “yeah I know all this and I’ve heard…” or “I’ve tried…”
By addressing a common misconception or something they’ve tried already, we can empathize with them and explain why they’re wrong.
For example, in my post, I talked about “writer’s block” and how it doesn’t exist.
“Yeah Mike, I know all this. But every time I’ve tried to write a blog post I get writer’s block.” I address the misconception with...another myth!
Mine was stacked with another myth about templates being restrictive. I explained how templates and formats increase creativity and speed of publishing.
With your readers, what are the misconceptions that they’ve heard, or what have they tried? A great addition to this section is to tell them it’s not their fault. They’ve been taught the wrong technique or they’ve been sold a lie. Allow them a way out of their current misconceptions.
Here’s where we can address a few changes in the world. This is how we create scarcity and action. We want our readers to take action today and see why this is so important.
I like to mix it up with both negative and positive changes. Share negative changes that they need to be aware of and prepare for. Keep your reader excited with positive changes that they need to take advantage of.
Just before the solution section, I’ll add one final jab. It sounds gory and it’s supposed to be. I’ll top off the introduction with “and to top it all off…” and explain one final thing they have to deal with. This brings the reader back to focusing on the solution and gets them fired up to learn more.
Helping your audience get better search rankings? And to top it all off, people keep telling you SEO is dead.
Helping your customers lose weight? And to top it all off, there are new diets every week. Finish the opening section of the post with a knife twist before introducing yourself.
Finally, we get to the solution! Talk about 3 - 7 points that teach the reader how to do something. It could be 7 steps to [benefit] or The top 3 videos on [topic].
Break up the guide and solution into small chunks. You’d be surprised how fast you can write over 1,000 words when it’s broken down.
Sometimes, the solution is easier to write first. You know how to help people run a 10k race, or drive more traffic from Google or stop their dog from barking. Write out just 3 - 7 steps and make them very easy to understand. There’s nothing wrong with going super basic and working on very specific details. You can always write another, longer post or a part 2 and 3!
Often, the solution part isn’t as simple as a 7 step guide to [benefit]. It might not be sequential or in stages, but rather a mix of things to do. You don’t have to write the solution “in order”. You can have 7 tips or 5 examples. It doesn’t have to be a step-by-step process.
Now we’re reaching the end of the post and this is where people stumble. I’ve heard blog writing is a lot like skydiving. The middle bit is ok, it’s the start and end where people get stuck.
The key is to remind them what you’ve told them. Wrap up with a few final reminders, such as some dos and don’ts
Before wrapping up entirely, try leaving with an objection. That’s where we answer the question “but what if..” This is where the reader has an objection or question or doubt about the post. What’s a common reason people don’t do what you’ve told them? Confidence, money, fear. There are hundreds of reasons to not do something. You have to answer them.
Finish the sentence “but what if…” and write out the objection. Then turn it with feel, felt, found.
For example: But what if I’ve tried blogging before?
I totally understand how you feel and a lot of businesses have felt the same way. But what we’ve found is that after writing a handful of posts, in a consistent regular manner, the benefits become so clear that it becomes an integral part of their strategy.
Call to action
We’re almost finished. Make sure to include the next steps. People have read this far, they obviously trust you! This is where we’d offer an opt-in form, lead magnet for a download, a phone number, or a contact box to get in touch. Whatever it is, make sure there is SOMETHING for readers to do if they want to continue getting results.
Think of calls to action like this. If you’ve helped someone get more traffic/lose weight/find a cheap hotel. Would they want MORE of that? Would they want MORE results? Of course! So offer it to them.
Finally, it’s important to leave your readers feeling inspired, motivated, and clear on what to do. Wrap up with the same promise from the start, of a better life and future and encourage them to take action.
Lastly, yes, I have used that exact framework to write this blog post. Re-read the post from the start and then follow back over the structure to see just how easy it is.
- Use a template that lets you create content quickly.
- Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you’ve told them.
- Finish with a call to action and a feeling of inspiration.
- Worry about being word perfect, just publish, write another piece and move on.
- Ignore content. It will be how people get hired and jobs in the future.
- Focus only on blog content. The same framework works on video, podcasts, and presentations.
It’s easy for Mike
But it’s easy for you, Mike. What if I’ve never written a blog post before?
I totally understand how you feel about this and lots of my clients have felt the same way. And what we’ve found is that blog content is usually crap your first ten or so times. But slowly, you get better.
Eventually, you’ll be so natural at writing content that you’ll wonder what all the fuss was about.
Get started today!
The biggest call to action I need you to take is to start your FIRST post. Write out the 3-7 steps that you wish all customers knew about. What are you going to help them do?
Missinglettr is a killer app for promoting your content. After you hit the publish button, Missinglettr develops a year-long social media drip campaign to help drive traffic to your website over the next 12 months. All you have to do is hit approve!
You can do this
Businesses like you have so much to offer. Your unique perspective, your passions, and how you get results.
By sharing those strategies with customers and readers, you’re genuinely making the world a better place. Yes, it’s uncomfortable to start, but so was learning to walk, talk, and drive. And just like those skills, you can improve your writing ability.