How to Write Content When You’re Not a Writer

How to write content when you're not a writerCompanies that use content marketing convert 6x more* than companies that don’t have content on their websites.

Got your attention, didn’t I?

Let’s face it: you need some content for your business. Why? Well, why not?

Currently, you have nothing on your website save a good home page where you present your products, an about page, news page and a contact page. No content.

“But…I’m not a writer!” you protest.

No excuse. You know your product best, and you have answers to questions that your clients and prospects are wondering about RIGHT NOW.

Your (future) content will foster engagement with prospects, create trust, relationships and future sales. So get to writing!

“But, but, I–“

Need help? I just happen to have some very handy suggestions. In fact, they’re right here, available on the interwebs, easily accessible, readable and written by leaders in content marketing. Here you go:

First things first. What the heck to  write about?

It can be challenging to come up with topics to write about, especially if you are not a writer. That’s where this resource from comes in handy. Author Karol K. outlines no less that 52 different types of blog posts that work. Should be enough to get you started on a few ideas!

Next, your article needs an outline!

How do you start writing your awesome blog article idea? This detailed how-to from Pamela Wilson of Big Brand Close your post with a bangSystems will walk you through, from beginning to end, writing your article. Pamela’s step-by-step consists of four parts, so be patient, and you will be rewarded, grasshopper.

Oh, and because the internet is such a wealth of fantastic information, here’s another basic primer on writing blog articles–How to Write a Blog Post–The Ultimate Guide by Liz Longacre from Check Liz’s how-to out if Pamela’s isn’t your speed.

SEO? What is THAT?

SEO Basics from Jeff GoinsOnce you have written an article or two, and feel more confident, next item to add into the mix is optimization (the “O” in SEO: Search Engine Optimization).

What exactly is that? Simply put, it’s ensuring your content, once written and published, can actually be found when your article topics are searched through sites like Google.

Jeff Goins, one of my favorite writers and marketers, lays it all out for you (in the simplest of terms) in his article SEO Basics for Bloggers & Beginners. Pretty handy, right?

Promote, promote, promote!

5-Ways-to-Market-Your-Blog-Posts-After-You-Hit-PublishYou’ve published. Well done. That’s it, right? Well, only if you don’t want anyone to read your content!

Next step is to promote your content yourself. Think social media, email newsletters and groups in forums like Reddit.

Roniece Wright gives you 5 Ways to Market Your Blog Post After You Hit Publish, from

Black belt: the next stage of promotion

You’re up and running with your content. You’ve been writing articles for a few months now, and its part of your business routine. What to do now?

That’s easy: take your content and “repurpose” it. Transform your content–preferably the best performing–into “new” content.

blog-content-repurpose-social-how-to-600Your material can be turned into quotes and takeaways, graphics, hashtags, videos, infographics and so much more for social media promotion.

Brian Appleton’s How to Repurpose Blog Content Into Short-Form Social Media Updates on is a great go-to for this.


NOW you’re cooking with fire!

“Thanks Lisa!”

You’re welcome.


*from How to Win Your Battle for Content Marketing Buy-In (Content Marketing Institute)


Print is not dead…really!

Admit it. You love to flop down on the couch with a new magazine. Nice, cool to the touch, slick, full-color pages, beautiful pictures, interesting articles with data you will use, recipes you will make, websites you will visit, a product you might try.

Print is really not dead. I guarantee. And it’s also a great marketing tool. I’m not talking only about print ads, I’m talking a Customer Magazine, produced by your company and exclusively for your client base.

newskeepr cover smallAt all of my positions, I have either apprenticed, assisted, edited or created customer magazines (or newsletters) for my companies. At Diskeeper Corporation (now Condusiv), my “Newskeeper” customer magazine went out to our entire database–nearly 100K contacts, monthly. They still produce the “Newskeeper” at Condusiv to this day. Magazines are something I really enjoy creating, and is my specialty.

A fully branded customer magazine is marketing tool that communicates quality. Since you need more than one small article, you may have to enlist others on your staff or in other departments. It’s a great chance for others to show off their writing talents and feature their knowledge on your product or service. In the sales and technical departments they always knew when I was looking for writers as I would come in with cookies and good will.

BMWMagazineAs recently as 2014 actual digital/online companies have gotten on board with the print magazine: CNET, WebMD and Net-a-Porter are distinctive tech companies who have jumped in with their own publications. Of course the luxury items have their snazzy magazines, like Driven, BMW’s customer magazine. Heck, tractor company John Deere has been around forever and had a customer magazine for nearly as long, Homestead.

There are also many different ways to distribute the magazine. Recommended is by mail, to keep your client database updated. In addition, you can send out the magazine in email form, connecting it to the articles posted on your blog, as well as hosted the magazine digitally online and distributed through online magazine sites, such as It’s valuable and extended material for social media as the articles themselves can be shared and retweeted. This spreads article-type content out about your product that is carefully written and edited and controlled by you, furthering your brand.

Remember, people spend actual TIME with a magazine. “Studies have shown that the average reader spends almost 45 minutes with a single magazine; compare that to the average time spent engaging with a single Tweet.” (from Print is the New Black) An opportune time for you to really further your messages with your clients and customers. eventually driving more sales.


Click Bait (or, Vague Hyperbole from Hell)

You see it, all over Facebook stories, ads, banners, videos on YouTube, even your Google search results.

“This one weird trick…what he saw next floored him…you won’t believe what happens next…she is stunned when this happens…advertisers HATE this…restore your faith in humanity…will shock you…” and how many times do we need to read the next reason why JLaw is our perfect BFF? Well, apparently one more time, because I, personally, love

Why are these phrases so overused? And why, oh why, do we fall for them, even if we roll our eyes to the ceiling when we read them? Can’t help it. Want to know. Is there some information in there that I will miss out on? I’ll just peek at it, I can always go on to the next story.

Since it seems like human nature to fear missing out on something (especially something as simple as a short article with possibly life-changing, or immensely uplifting info), we marketers just can’t resist. I see the seduction–you probably can get more clicks, more readers by using the allure of the “bait”.

It’s all about the “mystery sandwich”: you create a vacuum in between the reader and the story. Nature abhors a vacuum, so you suck them right in. It’s emotional physics. Bing! Done. You’ve achieved your metrics.

I am an idealist (sometimes unfortunately), and I like to try to stick to my guns. That could mean with a bit of extra work, coming up with a story that is genuinely readable and gets me clicks, or possibly, not much. Back to the drawing board.

And, since we now have a word for those stupid phrases (that get lots of clicks, yes I know), I would rather not be knows as a purveyor of that type of rubbish.

Now, back to that article: “Watch this video to find the true meaning of life!”

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Content Driven

It’s kind of funny that “content” is what is currently perceived as one of the high points of marketing (especially online). I have always thought it was kind of cool that I provided information, data, tips, tricks, etc. within my large marketing tools—first newsletters from the nutritional clinic, then technical tips and tricks in the Newskeeper magazine from Diskeeper Corporation, and later on video and audio clips with helpful business advice to auto repair shops on the Management Success website.

Content is something you can provide, free of charge, to your customers and potential customers, in order to create an idea of “exchange in abundance”. You’re willing to give away information that others might want to provide at a premium. It’s a fantastic way to create a large amount of goodwill for your company, word of mouth, testimonials, and in the end, more satisfied customers.

Going the extra mile and setting up a special section on your website with video tips or possibly a question and answer forum, or creating a designed magazine that is attractive and interesting to read with useful information can make fantastic returns in revenue—and happy customers.

The trick is to figure out what you have that they need, and you can provide to them for free at very little or no cost to you. If you can spend money, a professionally designed magazine or newsletter is a fantastic way to not only get your company into offices and homes in hard copy format, but also keep your customers’ addresses current. It is recommended you do a mailing every 6 months or so, with a Return Service on the mailer to get those valuable updated addresses. Having that material also hosted in some way online, through a blog or even “web” versions of your magazine is another avenue to providing content. Sharing and re-sharing through social media can drive traffic to your website and begin a relationship with people who then become customers.

Even if you do need to spend money to get this valuable content out and online, it’s money very well spent.

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