How to create content faster and easier
In this blog post I will talk about the framework and template that I use, to repeatedly create easy to write and perhaps most importantly, easy to read blog posts.
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.
If you struggle with writing content regularly, I want to make that process easier and faster for you. And perhaps more importantly create easy to read and insightful posts that your visitors will love to read.
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.
Written 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 drives traffic, works in the background 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.
My friend Troy Dean, Founder and CEO of WP Elevation once told me “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. It’s simply not true. This is especially true for blog, book 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 and it’s just not true. Absolutely everyone can benefit from writing more 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.
It’s getting crowded
As more and more players enter the market for all industries, what you do will no longer separate you from the competition. Instead, all businesses will soon be discovered through the content they create.
You can use this format for videos, podcasts, blog content, infographics, courses, books, coaching, speaking, talks, events and pitches.
Whenever you need to educate people, prove you’re an expert in an area and structure the delivery of that content, you can use this template.
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 businesses put off the final publishing, because they are worried 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. You know that you’ll be able to create a second, third and more pieces of better content.
The skill in getting better isn’t about just writing until you’re happy. It’s about publishing until your competent.
Just before we get into the format, I’ve used this template for years now. I used to dream of a rich, full blog with loads of articles. Driving tons of traffic to my site and converting them into customers.
Because of this format, in 2017 I published a blog post every day and in 2018 I published my first book From Single To Scale. Now I produce one post a week, 3 videos on YouTube, a daily email and a podcast - all from this template.
If you Google “how to sell a marketing funnel” or “how much to charge for a marketing funnel”, it’s just me. Writing regular content, with this format drive tens of thousands of visitors to my sites every month and all because I used a simple framework.
The blog post template
I follow this template to create a new blog post every week!
- Knife twist
- About me
- Call to action
- Leave feeling
That’s the structure.
For the rest of this post, I’ll use “post” to refer to whatever kinds of content you’re creating. From videos, to books or podcasts. The framework is very versatile.
First we make a promise about the post or book or video or whatever. This frames the post and 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 that “in this post, I’m going to show you/teach you/explain…” and give them a benefit or how-to guide. 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 competition! If you build websites, your customers do not care about CSS and HTML shortcodes. They want to about making sales, finding customers and ranking their website.
Next we outline a problem that they 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?
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.
Talk about how this problem affects their life and makes business harder. What are they having to deal with every day?
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 empathise with them and explain why they’re wrong.
For example in my post I talked about “writers 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 writers 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 and essentially “why is this important now?”
We want our readers to take action today and see why this is so important.
I like to mix it up with negative and positive change. Negative change that they need to be aware of and prepare for. Positive change that they need to take advantage of.
I also like to choose one of three areas. Technology, economics and sociological. I might choose all three if it’s a sales letter, book or long post.
Address a positive and a negative change in one area and you’ll be good to go.
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.
The biggest mistake people make in talks, posts and books is introducing themselves upfront. We think that telling people who you are at the start of a post or book or talk is sensible. After all, that’s what we do when we meet people right?
Nope. When we meet people we tell them our name, maybe what we do and then we have a conversation. We talk and ask questions.
We absolutely DO NOT go into a 5 minute monologue about who we are and what we’ve accomplished.
In this section I’ll mention something I’ve done related to the problem or promise and tell a story about my experiences with the subject. Keep it relevant, short and focus on one achievement. No one cares about someone who won one gold medal and two silvers. They only care about the gold.
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 1000 words when it’s broken down. I like to think of 6 “milestones” or check marks that my readers would have to check off, before they reach the end goal.
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 tell them what you’ve told them. Remember the saying from you school presentations? Tell them what you’re going to tell them (introduction with promise, problem, myth). Tell them (solutions). Tell them what you told them (summary).
Wrap up with a few dos and don’ts. Don’t worry about introducing the summary. Just go straight to a few dos and don’ts and get to the end of the post.
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 next steps. People have read this far, they obviously trust you! This is where we’d offer an optin form or lead magnet for a download.
Or a number or 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 wordperfect, just publish, write another piece and move on
- Ignore content. It will be how people get hired and jobs in the future
- Focus just on blog content. The same framework works on video, podcasts and presentation
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 10 times. But slowly 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](http://www.missinglettr.com) is a killer app for promoting your content. You don’t need to worry about driving traffic because MissingLettr does that part for you. Work on regularly producing great content and you’ll be inundated with customers and traffic.
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.