If you were to admit your worst nightmare as a writer, what would it be?
If the answer is “running out of things to write about a topic I have an assignment on,” then you came to the right place. You may think you’ve written about the same thing in a dozen or more different ways, but I promise I have you beat.
Over the course of three years, I wrote 8-12 blog posts a month for a company that sold only one type of product–insulation.
That’s well over 250 blog posts, essentially about the same thing.
“How in the hell can you write about the same boring thing for so long?” people would ask me. “You must be going crazy.”
I can’t say that it was the most scintillating work I’ve done in my life, but it was regular and it paid well, so I kept doing it for as long as I could. In case you don’t know this yet, as a writer, that’s a gig you try to hold on to. So I made it work. This is how I did it.
SEO is generally key to any content marketing strategy. Sometimes the keyword or keyword string can be the source of inspiration on your assigned topic, although that’s not always the case.
Often, though, there will be keywords that are peripherally related to the product or service you are writing about.
The product may be LED light bulbs, with a keyword string like this: “do I need to change my light dimmer with LED bulbs.” That keyword string can lead you to an entire article about green energy upgrades for your home, or what to do when your LED bulbs keep burning out, or even great ways to make your home more saleable.
In fact, you could use that keyword string three different times to create different articles.
As you’ve probably already noticed, angles are everything to me. When you only have two versions of one product available to write about, talking about what makes it beneficial gets boring really quick.
Think about the product or service you need to write about. Who’s the audience? Think of all the reasons each demographic might want to make the purchase and write about each of them. For instance, if the topic you’re writing about is related to the home, you can write about how it relates to the market worth of the home. Does it help to raise the market worth, to make the home easier to sell in the future? Is this an investment that will pay off down the line?
You can write about the future owner of the product or the current prospective owner. You can write about why the owner might want to purchase that particular product, and all of those whys could add up to four new articles.
Consider all of the scenarios the product or service might be useful in. There has to be more than one, so as you think of each scenario, a new article can be written.
Don’t be afraid to compare the item or service you’re writing about to other, somewhat similar competitors. To continue with the LED light bulb example, you can write an article about the pros and cons of an LED versus incandescent light bulb.
You should understand that you don’t need to skew the information of competitor products or services. Explaining the pros and cons of each, and then expanding on why your product or service is superior, can be a perfectly acceptable article.
In contrast, when you’re writing personal essays about something you’ve experienced, there are many ways to make the most of a particular topic. I had no idea that, by the time I had worked as a staff writer for a full year with one publication, I would have written more than 30 articles about my experience with postpartum depression and anxiety.
When it comes to writing about a personal experience, there is an incredible number of ways to approach the topic.
Not only can you write about what you went through personally, you can write about the long-term and short-term effects, how it affected your loved ones, and the best way to support someone who is going through what you experienced. You can write about why you went through what you did, and what advice you’d give to someone else.
You can write about why what you experienced made you a better person, or how you would react differently, knowing what you know now, back then.
Many writers have interviewed a subject for a particular story whom they found interesting in a way that went above and beyond the particular story they were there for. In that case, it’s possible to spin the story into something different for another publication, so that you can mine more information from the interview you already had.
In this case, it’s important to not use the same quotes from the subject in another article, to avoid plagiarizing yourself. The idea is to find additional angles to your subject’s story, not to write the same story twice for two different publications.
When I first began writing, I wondered whether I’d be able to write about anything more than a few times.
With practice, though, I discovered that a single topic or subject could be used in a plethora of different ways, without any real overlap. By doing so, writers are able to reach a wider audience on a particular topic. And, the further you dig into a topic for ideas of what to write about, the better you become at writing about that topic.
Embrace the opportunity as the learning experience that it is, and write the hell out of it.