Sometimes, we sit down to write and can’t think of anything to write about.
We sit there and we ask ourselves, “where should I start?” What should I say?”
We sit there, staring at the blank screen trying to type but the words just won’t come out. You feel like you’ve already said that before, or you simply don’t know how to put the ideas in your head down on paper.
The struggle isn’t really a lack of ideas, but rather, not knowing where to start. The ideas are there. The content is there. But how do you write in a way that your content is tied to your business objectives?
Here’s a simple 5-step process that’ll you get you writing in the right direction…
Step 1: Start with a question.
The best way to get unstuck is to start with a question from one of your customers.
If you’re in real estate, this one’s easy. Your email inbox is already filled with tons of potential questions to answer in the form of a blog post. Think about it, what are the most common questions people ask you day-in and day-out about buying or selling a home in your market area? What questions do they ask you about getting financed on a new home purchase?
Once you’ve identified a question, you have a topic for your new blog post.
Step 2: Write out your headline.
Once you’ve identified a blog post topic, it’s time to write the headline. This step is crucial in the writing process because it’s a promise to your reader on what you intend to deliver in the rest of your post. If your headline is compelling, it’ll reel the reader in to continue reading. If it’s not, you’ll lose them right then and there.
Most content fails to spread as a result of poorly written headlines. Avoid that, by starting with the headline. So once you’ve settled on a topic, write one or two potential headlines and use that as a guide to stay on topic as you outline and write the rest of your post.
Step 3: Build your outline.
Remember back when you were in High School and your teacher made you draft an outline for writing your research paper? Well, we’re doing the same thing here.
Here, what we’re doing is avoiding a long, dry post about pricing your home for sale and breaking it up into parts by adding subheads to your blog post. Or, if you’re writing a list post, write out each point that you intent to include in your list.
Creating an outline before you start writing will help in two ways:
- It’ll help you stay on track with your post.
- It’ll make the words come easier.
Step 4: Write your first draft.
Building an outline, or a list, is going to help keep your mind focused on what you have to write. Otherwise, you’ll just sit there continuously being unsure of where to start. Your mind will wander elsewhere and you’ll get started on something else.
With an outline in-hand, you’re ready to get started writing. Write a paragraph or two for your opening. Then, another paragraph or two for each subhead or each item in your list. Throw in a strong close with a Call To Action, and eye-catching photo to help break up the text and add a little more umph to your copy, and you’re good to go!
Step 5: Edit, optimize and publish!
Never write and edit at the same time. Trust me, this will get you nowhere. Instead, just write everything that comes to mind on the subject. So if you’re writing about pricing mistakes and how to avoid them on a home sale, you might write about: doing the proper market research, pricing too high from the start, overpricing because you have “time,” etc.
Write everything you know about the subject as you work on that first draft. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t sound/read perfect. The goal is to get everything down on paper first.
Then, once you’ve written your first draft, you can come back around later and edit. Scan your content body for typos. You might spin a subhead into an entirely new blog post. Edit your post title and meta-tags so that’s it’s properly optimized for search results. Then, once you’re done going through it all, you’re ready to hit publish!
The next time you’re sitting there, feeling stuck. Just follow this process and you’ll be well on your way to writing and publishing a quality blog post for your real estate blog!