When it comes to starting an online business, people struggle with different things. Some people find the process of setting up a website particularly challenging, but most people I have talked to think that writing content is the most difficult aspect of running an online business. Certainly, writing content can seem scary at first and it’s very easy to feel self-conscious about your writing, but really, writing content can be easy and even fun.
1. Focus on topics of interest
In most cases, there is a lot of flexibility about the topics that you write your content about, particularly if you are writing for your own website or blog. I have seen too many people focus their websites on a niche that they think is going to be highly profitable, but that doesn’t interest them at all. The problem is that you do your best writing when you are talking about topics that you find interesting, particularly when it is also a topic that you are familiar with.
It’s very possible to write about a topic you don’t know and aren’t interested in, and even to write about it well. After all, that’s what freelance writers have to do on a regular basis. However, there are a couple of reasons why it is better to focus on topics that you already have an interest in.
First, when you write about something you like, there is a tendency to put more energy into it and also to be more unique and individual in your writing. If you are trying to establish yourself as an authority within a particular area, then having a distinct voice and personality within your writing is very important.
Second, when you first start to write content, it’s very easy to get into the flow of it and get excited about what you do. A lot of people find that they write a lot in the first couple of days or weeks of starting a new website or project, but their productivity dies off after that. When you write content regularly, it is so much easier if you are writing something that you are interested in.
If you are writing about something that is boring to you, then it is much harder to retain focus on writing when you need to and keeping to your plans. I find that the less I like a topic, the more I procrastinate about it and I know this is true for other people also.
2. Consider the work of other content writers
Making money online has become very popular and there are a lot of different websites that rely on having content for the quality of their site and to get people to visit their sites. People often shy away from using other people’s content for ideas because they think it’s stealing.
Honestly, if you simply take an article that someone has written and rewrite every point into your own style, then yes it is stealing and it doesn’t make you look good. However, it’s very easy to use the information on other sites or as inspiration or to provide one point for an article.
For example, if you had a niche website on depression, you might write a post on ways to feel better if a person is having a bad day. In writing this piece, you might decide to use five key points, some of them your own, others sourced from different websites. If often look for headings or general ideas from other websites but avoid reading their actual elaboration of those ideas. This helps me to make sure that my ideas are my own, but other people actually read the posts of others and find ideas that way. It really depends what works the best for you.
3. Develop a content plan
Content plans are debated, because some people feel like they make your writing artificial and less interesting. However, having a content plan can be very important for keeping you on schedule with your writing, and also helps you know what to write next.
Myself, I always make sure I have a buffer of ideas about my next posts will be. Sometimes these ideas might be drafts, but other times they might just be a keyword or a title jotted down. Even if you don’t end up using the ideas immediately, having them there can be a lifesaver for days where you want to want, but simply cannot figure out what to write about.
Content plans take this approach one step further, and involve considering what you are going to post about and when. This can take a while to set up, but honestly, it considerably reduces the stress you experience and lets you focus on your writing instead. Another advantage of using a content plan is that it lets you tie your posts in with one another.
For example, on this website I wrote three consecutive posts about different stages within the same topic. Because I had planned my posts, I was able to link my posts together and talk about a future post within the post I was writing at the time. This made the set of posts work well as a series, and also allowed me to make them understandable to people just reading a single post.
Honestly, a content plan doesn’t work for everyone, but it is a really good way of reducing worry in writing and ensuring that you have an idea of what you will be writing about in the future.
4. Don’t neglect writing skills
Most online businesses use websites that are similar to blogs. This means that the articles that are posted tend to be between 400 and 1,500 words (although there are many exceptions), and also tend to have informal language. This means that most of the content you write will also be informal, but this doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be written well and researched.
The way that you write a post or an article has a strong influence on how many people read it and whether people continue to view your site. If your writing is full of errors and difficult to understand, then people probably won’t pay too much attention to what you have to say, or to your website as a whole.
There’s no real shortcut to improving your writing skills, in reality, it is something that takes practice and persistence. You may find it necessary to re-read and edit your early drafts multiple times before you post them, and it may even be necessary to get someone else to look at them. However, as you get more practice in you will find your writing improves over time, and you can also get inspiration by reading the content on other websites.
Writing content well is one very important component of being successful at an online business, but it isn’t the only one. It can take time to make a profitable online business, particularly if you are a beginner, but writing good content is a step right direction. Don’t forget, no matter how hard it seems, you are not alone, there are a lot of people trying to make it in the online business world, and some of them are doing well while others are struggling.