Blogging has become a valuable part of the content marketing strategy for many businesses. Good quality content is something that gets you found by search engines, read by potential clients and shared on social media.
But what if facing a blank screen and writing is something that fills you with frustration?
We’re not all natural writers. For some people it just flows, for others stringing two words together is a mammoth task. This doesn’t mean you’re illiterate, it just means that you have different skills.
At least a couple of my clients have realised that, while they don’t like writing – and feel that the results of their writing aren’t what they want to produce – they’re very happy chatting away about their area of expertise and are exploring producing a podcast instead.
There’s never been a ‘rule’ that says blogs must be text, arranged into sentences and paragraphs.
- There are blogs that feature images
- There are blogs that are video (vlogs)
- There are blogs that are audio (podcasts)
Podcasts have been around for years – more than 15 – but they’ve suddenly gained more popularity as people look for learning and entertainment on the move. A video is harder to watch, but podcasts can broadcast through your headphones or ear buds, in the car or on the train – and listening seems to be easier than reading for many people.
Fail to plan, plan to fail
Just because you’re naturally able to talk fluently, doesn’t mean you don’t need to plan. There’s nothing more irritating than starting on one subject and then wandering down a series of paths that take you further and further away from your core subject.
A bit of planning will give you a structure and direction. This doesn’t have to be a script – in fact, that would just result in your writing a blog that you then read, and that never sounds natural. All you need is a few bullet points to follow to keep you track.
Engage brain before opening mouth
Make sure you’re focused before you start and you know where you’re going. Think about each point you want to make and work towards it.
Don’t talk for the sake of filling the silence. If you lose your thread, pause for a moment and think. Silences can be edited out so there’s no need to panic.
Check your bullet list and where you were up to, take a calm breath and start from where you left off.
Check for verbal idiosyncrasies
We all have these; they’re phrases we repeat frequently. For instance, ending sentences with ‘OK’ or ‘you know’. Words like ‘absolutely’, ‘basically’ and ‘like’ sometimes pop up to often and are guaranteed to irritate your listener.
If you want to keep your listener engaged, make sure they’re listening to your thoughts, not counting how many times you’ve repeated your favourite word!
Polished, but not perfect
Your podcast needs to have structure and focus, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. The odd throat-clearing or cough isn’t a big deal. Yes, you could get your podcast edited professionally, but don’t worry too much about ironing out every little thing – you’re human and people expect you to have the odd human foible.