Does this sound familiar . . . You’re into the idea of blogging and you know you need to create content on a regular basis, but actually sitting down to write…not really happening. Maybe your spelling skills aren’t great or cranking out over 1000 words every week sounds like torture, or maybe you’re fine with writing but what you’ve been publishing isn’t gaining much traction.
Good news – writing thousands of words isn’t the ONLY way to create blog content. Yes, you need to be updating your blog on a regular basis, but there are other ways to create content and build traffic besides spending hours typing away.
Here are four alternatives to writing to try. Be creative, consider what your audience would like to get from you, and think about how you can put your own spin on each of these ideas.
Create audio content
Maybe you don’t want to go full-on podcast, but what about speaking your blog posts instead of writing them? Invest in a microphone (this is the one I use) and you can record blog content right at home.
Audio is perfect if your audience is more likely to check your blog on their daily commute, during their morning workout, or while they’re stuck waiting at appointments. For example, if you blog for those with chronic disease, they might find themselves waiting in a doctor’s office on a regular basis and your audio blog post could be the perfect thing to keep them company. Or maybe you blog for hikers who need a little motivation to make it though the last mile.
Think about how much time your audience has during the week to listen to your post (20 minutes? An hour?) and create content that fits effortlessly into their schedule.
Make sure to include a short list of what you cover and where in the audio files listeners will find each piece of info along with any links you mention.
Create video content
Video content is one of the fastest ways to build a connection with your audience. Yes, even faster than writing posts. Video allows readers to see that you’re a human, with all your endearing quirks and flaws. If you’re their cup of tea, then they’ll be hooked INSTANTLY.
Now, if you have zero video editing skills and don’t want to spend the time to learn, then hop on Periscope or Facebook Live. (I wrote all about doing live video over here.) You can get away with being slightly more casual and not having perfect lighting if you’re sharing replays of your broadcasts. And this will encourage readers to follow you on those social media platforms so they can catch you live.
Just like audio files, give your audience the option to skim through your post by including important points and time stamps. And for both audio and video blogging you always have the option to hire someone to transcribe your content for you.
For live video I use my iPhone and for video that I’ll shoot + edit, I use this webcam.
Create photo content
If you’re creating tutorials or DIY posts, you can skip the paragraphs of text and instead opt for a series of photos that walk readers through the process with a sentence or two describing each photo. Yes, this means you’ll need to step up your photography game and learn how to shoot and edit your own photos, but at least you don’t have to write a ton!
Now, photo content does not mean you can post 63 photos of the same thing (fashion bloggers, I’m lookin’ at you). If you’re going to opt-out of writing, then your photos MUST tell the story for you.
Go magazine style
Instead of doing all the writing yourself, what about putting on your editor hat and curating content from others? The Yellow Conference blog nails this by including posts from lots of different writers related to the themes of the conference. Founder Joanna Waterfall almost never writes blog posts herself, instead gathering writers from her community to keep the blog updated with brand new posts multiple times each week.
Now, I don’t recommend magazine-style blogging if you’re creating blog content for a business where people will be hiring you. In this case it’s important that YOU are the star of the show; otherwise, your contributors will be landing all the clients.
Lastly, if you don’t love to write but you WANT to love it, keep at it! Practice makes published. (Yeah, I just made that up – it’s never perfect.) The more you write, the quicker you will find your voice and your style. If spelling isn’t your forte, then invest in a virtual assistant who can double-check your posts before they go live. And remember, you can ALWAYS go back to update and edit.