Time to create enchanting online content

imageSome blog content is compelling, some falls far short of your expectations. But after you have gone past the title page, how do you find, and more importantly write compelling copy that will keep your readers craving more?

Inspiration time

Look across your social connections.  look for content ideas on Facebook, Twitter and, Google+ and blog posts.  Subscribe to Posterous and Tumblr for content ideas

Take an idea and run with it.  My inspiration for this blog post was ‘Brainstorming’  Content for your blog.  I thought I’d add my own perspectives and create a complementary post. ideas come from anywhere.  Be open to new thoughts and inspiration

Watch some videos on YouTube and write about them. Look at other blog posts for ideas. Have a look at infographics, if you are a visual person and create a blog post.  My infographic the other week on the Pinterest drinking game could easily have turned into a blog post about how Pinterest is evolving behaviours, some good, some bad

Thinking Time

Ideas come from everywhere. Be open to new pieces of news that will spark off a discussion.  Use tools such as one note or evernote to save these snippets so you can consolidate them into a richer article

Think about your audience. Do they have questions that need to be solved? Perhaps a series of how to posts would help them out.

Get together with a friend and chat about things. Ask questions and come up with new ideas. In the office this is called brain storming, in personal life it is just a chat. It can crystallise your thinking time and help you write.

Writing time

Consider the structure of the final article.  How will you write it?  Will it be short and punchy, long and peppered with examples?

Talk about an issue you have had and how you solved it. My posts often talk about issues I have had and how I got round the problem. Others are from emails i receive.

Consider your target audience.  Are they your future customers or people you want to really connect with? Your copy should be targeted at these people.  I no longer write about deep technology.  Over the last few years, my audience has changed so I write to connect with new people. Some of my posts resonate with my old audience, some don’t  Be prepared to be flexible and adapt.

Sharing time

Your carefully crafted pieces should be read by as many people as possible. Consider syndication and sharing buttons.  Try to get your content to as wide an audience as possible.  Encourage your readers to share your content by making it as easy as possible for them to broadcast your content (see the sharing buttons at the bottom of this post).

Think about the best way to express your ideas. Some times it is paragraphs of text, other times, it is a list or set of bullet points

Finding time

Use scheduling features to post content when you don’t have the time on that day.  When you have lots of inspiration, write several posts and stack them up for later.  Good quality content is timeless

In our busy lives it is often easier to send a text than a letter, a tweet than a post. Tweets are transient, as are texts.  Well written blog posts and copy are searchable, linkable and more importantly discoverable years down the line.  Spend the time to create great content, and you will always be able to find it again 

Most of all, don’t give up on great content.  You don’t want to spend the rest of your days communicating in only 140 characters. Our language surely deserves better than that

Image Credit: Orin Zebest

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.