Content is king. Write epic shit. If you’ve done any reading about blogging and writing stronger content you’ve probably heard either of these, but what do they mean? They’re often repeated, but most bloggers echoing this sentiment don’t really go into much detail about what “epic shit” is. Some do. That and, of course, is content always really king?
“Can I even be a writer?” you might ask yourself.
I’ve seen answers such as “Anyone who writes is a writer, and writing strong content can be learned.”
I’ve also seen “Writing is an innate talent that you either have or don’t, and you may be fooling yourself.”
Holy disparity. Confused?
My take on it is that while innate talent can take you a long way, perseverance is what endures. I used to think of the craft of writing as some mystical profession, and arrogantly placed myself in the lofty category of “people born with the skill.” Deluding yourself into thinking you have some kind of gift beyond the grasp of others makes you lazy.
Some of the best content on the internet comes from people for whom writing was never their first profession. Take CopyBlogger for example, whose founder was once a lawyer.
So how can I write stronger content?
There’s a lot anyone could say on this topic, but here are 3 actionable things you can work on that will strengthen your writing.
1. Play Devil’s Advocate
I omitted “come up with a unique topic” because it’s a given, and also because depending on your niche it’s not always feasible. A great way to leave a dent in a heavily saturated topic is to grab a unique angle, often by going against the grain of the noise. If most experts agree something is true and you can present a solid argument why it’s not, try it.
2. Evoke An Emotion
Whatever your particular style, play to it. If you can be funny or entertaining, try it. If you’d rather be snarky or even controversial, great. As Erika Napoletano often says if you’re not pissing someone off you’re probably not doing it right (not an affiliate link by the way).
Whether positive or negative, people will engage with what you say and remember it if you make them feel something particular about it.
If you’d rather not take a humorous or sarcastic approach, stay informational, but then really pay attention to #3.
3. Do Your Research & Take Your Time
You don’t need to write a new blog post every day to be successful. If there was ever truth to that from an SEO standpoint, it’s over. Regular updates are good, but recent Google algorithm updates put much more focus on original content and social sharing. This is for the good, as it tends to be a more accurate indicator of deserving content and also takes some of the pressure off.
You’d burn out trying to churn out “epic content” every day. I’d rather have one blog post a week that is solid, gets a lot of reads and shares, and ranks well than one okay post per day.
Taking time to gather data, rehearsing your presentation, and editing are big ways to ensure strong content that is valid and worth reading against the hundred (or more) posts on the same topic. Explain it better than they did. Use better examples or analogies. Provide evidence where they just spouted conjecture.
This is by no means meant as a comprehensive guide, but these three are a meaty baseline when refining your writing efforts. Start simple and be honest with yourself and you’ll be churning out stronger content in no time.