The Content Rulebook
|31 BLOG CONTENT WRITING CHALLENGES (CREDIT ANKIT SINGLA)|
Content writing can be tough.
Don’t expect your blogging life to be perfect even if you have amazing writing skills. There will always be challenges to overcome as long as you’re dedicated to creating high-quality content.
In this ebook, allow me to share with you the best solutions to the most common content writing hurdles.
Feeling lazy lately?
Don’t feel too bad — it’s more common than you think. Writers, like other creative types, are prone to burnout, especially if they churn out thousands of words per day.
A good solution is to take 30-minute breaks after every 90-120 minutes of focused work.
This will make it easier to stay motivated and energized in the long run.
What should you do during these breaks? Several things could work, like:
- Taking a power nap
- Drinking coffee
- Performing light exercises
2. Looking for an interesting topic idea
To look for engaging ideas to write about, I often head to Facebook and ask the community about their problems.
You can do the same by visiting social media or Q&A websites like Quora.
Just enter a relevant keyword in your niche to find questions that people are asking.
3. Finding keywords that will bring in readers
Another way to look for content topics is to do keyword research.
For this, you’ll need a keyword research tool like SEMrush.
Remember the following tips if you want to find profitable keyword opportunities fast:
- Use filters to find low-competition keywords with good traffic
- Understand the user intent behind keywords to find out the information they need
- Look at your top competitors’ keywords
4. Lack of confidence in your own writing skills
Let’s face it, not everyone is blessed with innate writing talents. But if there’s one thing I know about being a blogger, it’s the fact that writing skills can be improved.
If you’re not a native English speaker, make it a habit to read books and watch English movies.
Trust me — it’s much easier to learn a language if you’re having fun while doing so.
I also have a handful of go-to writing rules to ensure the quality of my blog content:
- Use simple words that are easy to read
- If you can, keep sentences within 20 words or less
- Read your draft aloud to check if it sounds naturally
5. Creating subheadings
I normally don’t have trouble writing subheadings for my articles. But when I do, I just remember to focus on the readers.
Ask yourself, how can a particular section benefit your audience?
Utilize this information to write user-oriented subheadings like:
What do the examples above have in common?
They all focus on a goal, like keeping readers engaged and finding profitable keywords.
Of course, there’s no need to get fancy with cookie-cutter subheadings like “conclusion,” “table of contents,” and “frequently asked questions.”
Here’s another tip for the road: try to use a subheading for every 300 words in your content. This will increase the skimmability of your post — perfect for readers who need information fast.
6. Avoiding grammar and spelling mistakes
Speaking of writing skills, a professional blogger must know how to eliminate grammar and spelling mistakes in every piece.
You don’t have to do this manually.
With free tools like Grammarly, you can rely on software to automatically highlight errors for you.
7. Poor time management
The secret to maximum productivity as a full-time blogger is effective time management.
For this, your first step is to establish a weekly blogging schedule. This will give you a visual reminder of how to spend every hour.
To decide the specific times of rest and productivity, the key is to understand your own body clock.
Some writers work well in the morning, while others can breeze through blogging tasks at night.
Observe the times you usually get your writing flow going and build your schedule from there.
As for the tool you’ll use, any spreadsheet or note-taking app can be used to flesh out your schedule. I personally use a combination of Trello and Evernote, but you’re free to use your own preferred tools.
8. Actual lack of time
If you juggle blogging and a full-time job, you may lack the time to do significant work on your website.
This is a tricky one since you need a steady source of income if you want to grow your blog.
For part-time bloggers, a lot of sacrifice is required if you truly want to achieve your goals.
Instead of traveling or going on movie dates, consider spending your weekends productively by working on your blog.
You can also chip in a couple of hours every night to write articles.
Whatever you do, don’t quit your job just yet and persevere. Tell your family about your aspirations and gain their support — it helps a lot.
There is a fine line between boredom and general laziness.
If you consciously choose to stay in bed and put off your blogging work until the last minute, that’s laziness. But if you genuinely try to write only to lose focus a few minutes later, that’s boredom.
Whenever I feel a wave of boredom during the workday, I take a 30- minute break and read books. Sometimes, I’d watch informational videos on YouTube.
Why those two activities? Because I enjoy them.
Ultimately, you need to strike the perfect work-life balance by acknowledging the recreational activities you love.
Just remember to discipline yourself and limit your break times to only 30 minutes.
This leads us to the next challenge that a lot of bloggers face.
Boredom and procrastination are like peas and carrots.
If boredom overwhelms your desire to work, procrastination takes over — throwing your productive hours out the window.
A few years ago, I solved this problem by creating my own “vision board” using MS OneNote. It’s basically a collage of pictures that represent your long-term goals.
Go ahead and build your own vision board — it’s actually fun.
Your board may contain images of your dream house, car, travel destination, and so on. Just use any note-taking tool or make a physical vision board using printouts.
When done, make it a habit to look at your vision board every time you feel like procrastinating.
11. Distractions at home
Even if you don’t give in to procrastination, distractions can still slow you down.
A long-term fix is to designate a clean, organized, private, and professional workspace at home.
Get rid of anything that can distract you, be it a radio, TV, bookshelf, and a landline phone.
Your home workspace may not be ready immediately, but it should definitely protect you from distractions in the long run. If you need a professional work environment right now, try using Coworker to find a co-working space near you.
12. Lack of technical knowledge
Even if you pick a blogging niche you personally love, chances are you still have truckloads of new stuff to learn.
I often get this feeling whenever I’m asked about digital marketing tools and strategies. After all, these things constantly change.
My solution is to allocate 30-60 minutes of my time to research before I write.
I would absorb information from every resource I can get, be it a blog or a YouTube video.
In my opinion, the perfect resource is a similar article from a competitor’s website. You just need to know how to identify your top competitors through keyword and content research.
13. The writer’s block
The writer’s block is a condition that can affect you even if you’re not bored, distracted, or lazy.
It occurs when you really want to write but seem mentally incapable of weaving words together to form sentences.
A lot of cures have worked for me over the years, like napping, reading, and asking others for help.
But if you want a surefire cure for the writer’s block, try taking a quick walk around the block.
The everyday things you see outdoors, from cars to the neighborhood animals, can trigger new trains of thought. Furthermore, light exercises like walking also prompt the release of dopamine — a “feel- good” hormone that improves creativity.
If you’re constantly reviewing your draft after every sentence, you’re doing more harm than good.
It’s good that you aim for perfection when creating content for your blog. However, overanalysis can lead to paralysis.
Relax and don’t overthink everything — you always have the opportunity to improve your work when proofreading.
For now, just focus on getting your ideas out.
15. Not enough word variety
If you ever feel like you’ve been using the same phrases and words over and over again, you’re not alone.
I, myself, have struggled to increase the word variety in the past.
A simple fix is to search for synonyms and check the thesaurus whenever I overuse common words. Some examples are “increase,” “create,” “however,” and “easy.”
The long-term answer, however, is to build a “swipe file” of English expressions and words.
It’s basically a list of new, uncommon words and phrases, like:
- Compartmentalize (alternative to “organize” and “categorize”)
- In a nutshell (alternative to “in conclusion” and “in other words”)·
- For instance/one (alternatives to “for example”)
- Effortless/a breeze (alternatives to “easy”)
- On the other hand (alternative to “however”)
Build your own swipe file by listing down all the interesting new phrases and words you come across every day.
Telling a relatable story every now and then is fine. But if you often write long paragraphs unrelated to the point you’re making, then you’re guilty of writing fluff.
I avoid fluff by limiting paragraphs to only two sentences each.
This forces me to get straight to the point whenever I’m sharing an idea.
Another way to avoid fluff is to look for adverbs that can be eliminated without changing a sentence’s meaning.
You don’t have to remove all of them — just trim your content down by deleting the ones that are overused.
Examples of overuse adverbs are:
17. Poor diet
You can’t write brilliant content if you’re thinking about food.
And as someone working from home, eating healthy can be a challenge.
A lot of full-time bloggers feel like they don’t have enough time to prepare wholesome meals on a daily basis.
To those bloggers, my recommendation is to learn how to make healthy make-aheads in batches.
A make-ahead is a recipe wherein you prepare the ingredients and some of the cooking steps ahead of time.
To learn more, there are literally thousands of make-ahead recipes available on the web for free.
Ordering food is also an option, but it can be very expensive. Plus, inconsistent delivery times can mess up your work schedule.
18. Taking care of housework
Being able to write from home is a double-edged sword.
A common misconception is that every home-based professional can work whenever and wherever they want. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true.
If you work at home with family members, you’re often still in charge of everything that goes on in the household. There may be dishes to wash, kids to pick up from school, laundry to do, and so on.
Work-from-home parents can attest to this.
To make sure housework and blogging don’t clash, you need to designate specific times for your chores.
Explain your situation to your partner and create a schedule that works for everyone. If your time is really short, come up with a compromise like volunteering to do chores on weekends.
19. Giving family members attention
In addition to housework, work-from-home bloggers may also struggle to stay productive with family members who need attention.
My only suggestion here is to suck it up, muscle through your workload, and give them the care they deserve.
Nothing is more important than family, so respond to their needs whenever you can.
Of course, don’t overdo it. If you still have words to write, tell your family that your time is limited — they should understand.
In case of family emergencies, just make up for the lost productivity by writing over the weekend.
A private workspace will shield you against noises from inside the home, like kids playing or the living room TV.
But unless you work in a soundproofed room, noise can still make their way into your workspace and distract you.
I can’t keep count of how many times I lost my train of thought because a loud vehicle passed by.
The good news is, you can easily drown out noise pollution with the help of background noise generators.
Noisli, for example, can generate sounds that simulate environments along with white noises to help maintain your focus.
Music can also work at times. The only issue is, certain songs can be distractions if you become too absorbed into listening.
21. Random notifications
Even if there are zero outside noises around your workplace, sound can still be a hindrance to your productivity.
I’m referring to the notifications you get from your computer and smartphone while working.
For notifications on your phone, a simple solution is to turn on its “silent mode.”
If you use a Windows 10 device for work, turn on ‘Focus Assist’ feature to disable all forms of notifications. For macOS users, you can enable the ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature in the “Notifications” section of “System Preferences.”
22. The marketing aspect of writing
Whether you like it or not, you need digital marketing knowledge to make it big as a blogger.
It may seem intimidating and incredibly difficult for beginners. But as long as you focus on improving the quality of your content, the marketing side of things will follow.
For example, great content is an important component of a robust SEO campaign. You need to:
- Empathize with the struggles of your target readers
- Look for keywords that will help you reach them
- Optimize your article for those keywords
Before you know it, you’re now capable of publishing SEO-friendly posts.
Don’t stop there and keep on learning.
If you want, start slow and study one digital marketing concept at a time. I advise you to start with the fundamentals like SEO, content promotions, and WordPress management.
23. Bad content flow
To make your content engaging and fun to read, you must pay attention to its flow.
Sometimes, new bloggers create incohesive articles that look fragmented.
I’m talking about blog posts with paragraphs and sections that don’t seem connected.
You can improve your flow by preparing a detailed outline before you write.
Start with an introduction and an explanation of terms that your readers may not be familiar with. From there, break down the main body into a list of points that you’ll cover until you reach the conclusion.
24. Writing attention-grabbing headlines
To make sure readers will appreciate your content, they need to click on your headline first.
- Include power words like “super,” “killer,” and “amazing”
- Insert at least one relevant keyword
- Think about your readers’ goals
- Mention numbers like “top 21,” “150%,” and “$10,000”
While there’s no specific blueprint of a perfect headline, there are some guidelines that can help you massively.
You should also use the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer for more suggestions on how to refine your content headline ideas.
25. Stress and fatigue
If you’ve been blogging for a while, stress and fatigue are two giant obstacles productivity.
This can happen even to folks who enjoy writing.
To relieve stress and fatigue, adequate rest is the only true answer.
Take a nap, go out for a walk, or have lunch with a friend. Just stop thinking about work for an hour or two.
Here are a few things to remember if you want to prevent stress and fatigue:
- Get enough sleep — Sleep is just as important as food when it comes to a writer’s productivity. If you work late at night, then it’s okay to wake up a bit late as well.
- Don’t overthink — Remember what I told you about perfectionism while writing? Focusing too much on tiny mistakes and imperfections will also cause a great deal of stress.
- Rest your eyes — After every 90-120 minutes of work, try to rest your eyes for 15 minutes. This will significantly reduce the likelihood of eye strain, which spells trouble for your productivity.
26. Writing more words
It’s a well-known fact that longer blog posts tend to rank better in search engines.
But what if you can’t even exceed 500 or 1,000 words in a day? What if you’re suddenly out of ideas?
If you want to increase the number of words in your post, consider adding more instructions and examples.
By instructions, I mean step-by-step information, some general tips, and things to avoid. You may also add a “Frequently Asked Questions” section that will provide readers with quick answers.
As for your examples, all you need to do is be as descriptive as possible. Real-life examples are preferable, but you can also make up scenarios to explain simple concepts.
27. Slow writing speed
In blogging, “writing speed” is relative.
For a typical blog post about a topic you’re familiar with, a speed of 300-500 words per hour should be acceptable. But if you’re writing an in-depth guide or review that requires tons of research, you can be slower.
To boost your writing speed, remember three things:
Do your research, create a complete outline, and practice.
The more you understand a topic, the easier it is to write naturally. An outline will also help you maintain the flow of your piece and stay right on topic.
In terms of typing speed, the answer is to keep practicing. Use online typing speed tests like Typing Test @ AOEU to practice typing common words and track your progress.
28. Back pain
Ever tried writing thousands of words in one sitting?
It’s not fun, especially if you’re experiencing lower back pain.
This can be solved by chopping up your work into different writing sessions.
It’s also helpful to perform quick standing stretches as often as you can. On top of your breaks every 90-120 minutes, do it whenever you run out of ideas when writing.
Lastly, good posture will go a long way towards long-term back pain prevention. You can search online for “posture reminder” apps that can help correct your posture over time.
29. Looking for accurate references
Accurate statistics and facts will help make your content more impactful and credible.
However, it’s not always easy to find reliable and updated references. At times, you’ll find contradicting information between two or more sources.
When searching for facts and statistics, use Google operators and filters to find the most relevant source online.
Specifically, use the quotation mark operator with the keyword “statistics” if you need data.To ensure you have updated data, look for articles within the past year, month, or week.
30. Handling negative feedback from previous posts
Getting feedback from readers is essential to your growth as a blogger.
However, not everybody can take negative feedback in a constructive way.
Whatever readers have to say about your content, always remember that they don’t define who you are.
Still, you need to acknowledge every negative comment on your blog, especially if they have valid criticisms about your content.
Did your content have outdated or inaccurate information? Make it a point to double-check your sources next time.
How about grammar and spelling mistakes? Do you think it’s time to invest in a grammar checker tool?
At the end of the day, no blogger is perfect. Use negative comments as stepping stones towards perfecting your content writing skills.
31. Writing conclusions
So, you just powered through another lengthy article for your blog.
But when you’re about to write the conclusion, it feels like you’ve hit a brick wall.
I also sometimes struggle to come up with a unique way to write a conclusion. And whenever I do, I take three steps:
Take a rest, skim the draft, and think of actionable advice.
A conclusion’s purpose is to recap and empower. Look for the key takeaways in your post and simply encourage readers to put them into action.
While you’re at it, thank your loyal audience for reading the post. You should also encourage them to leave a comment — that should help you win their trust.
Final Words!Blogging is a never-ending journey full of learning opportunities along the way.If you want to improve your blog writing skills, you need to take a stand. Face your biggest content writing challenges one by one and you’ll eventually become the best writer you can be.
Hopefully, the list above was able to help get things going for you.If you have suggestions, questions,or opinions about what you’ve read, don’t hesitate to reach me out.
Thank you, and good luck!
If you do not understand my given information,then you can ask me your question in the comment box, I will answer your questions as soon as possible.