By Shara Lawrence-Weiss

It seems everyone is talking about “content marketing” now doesn’t it? However, not all site owners feel comfortable creating their own content or writing their own articles. For those people, sitting down to type something out is likely a daunting feeling. Where to begin? What to say? That’s how I feel when I open a Chemistry book. Huh? Writing comes easily to me but Chemistry – not so much.

Here are a few ideas for the people who feel a little nervous about writing content:

Spin-off Posts

Read up on various topics of interest, at the blogs and sites you most enjoy. If something sparks your interest, write a spin-off post. For instance, if you love gardening and you read a fun post about gardening tips, consider planting your own garden. Track the progress, week by week, and link over to the original post that got you started. I often write spin-off posts from articles that really peak my interest. I enjoy carrying on the thought process and pulling my own readers into the fun.

Ask a Friend

Do you have writer friends? Ask them to write a post for your site to give you some quality content. Perhaps they can write a post about “Writing tips for beginners” or “The best apps to use for content ideas.”

Guest Authors

Many people go looking for guest author opportunities. Add a menu tab to your site/blog and let people know that they can submit articles for review and possible posting. Do not accept all articles. Be choosy and wise about the content you post and share.

Pay a Content Writer

Locate a trustworthy writer who can cover content for your blog or site. It is especially helpful to find someone who already understands your niche.

Buy Articles

There are plenty of sites Online that offer articles for sale. Be careful not to buy articles that are being re-posted on multiple sites/blogs. You’ll want unique content, any time possible. How much does unique content matter? Watch this SEOmoz whiteboard to find out:

Go Outside

Head outside for a walk. Explore nature and be watchful of what you see, hear and find. Use that data to create a post or photo gallery.

Go to the Mall

Do you enjoy people watching? There’s no better place for it than the mall, right? Take your time strolling around, looking for funny or interesting stories to elaborate on.

Visit the Zoo

Have you ever been to the Zoo and NOT had something silly or funny happen? Every time I’ve gone to the Zoo something nutty happens; either to my own family, to an animal, or to another Zoo visitor. This could make for an interesting post.

Write About How You Dislike Writing

A lot of readers really enjoy reading a heartfelt post that digs into a fear you have. Do you fear writing? Do you fear the rejection of a post? Open up a little and let it out! You may even help someone else, in the process.

Write a “Top XYZ” Post

Write a funny top ten list about things your kids say or funny things you’ve heard at the store. Take a pad and paper (or iPhone, etc) with you to the store, just in case you overhear something comical.

Interview People

I offer a free interview option on one of my blogs for small business owners. They can fill out the form and request a “free small business feature.” This is a nice way to get some fresh content while helping someone else gain free promotion.

Fall Back On Expertise

If ever in doubt, fall back on your area of expertise. What is your background? Can you draw from that to create an article, webinar, photo gallery or another form of content? Can you offer video tips or training clips on YouTube? How about offering your readers/viewers a series of videos on “How to _____”? This could generate some helpful and useful content. I once saw a video series on crafting: “How to create your own crafts with kids.” The craft company generated multiple do-it-yourself videos for their consumers to watch and learn from.

What NOT to Write About

Stay Away From “Best Bloggers!” Lists

In my opinion, these lists were never all that helpful, as most of the lists were generated by people who named their own friends or colleagues. Or the lists were created by algorithms that told us the bloggers were the ‘best’ based on high traffic stats – when in fact, having a favorite blogger is a rather subjective thing. Some bloggers create fantastic content but have very few readers. I suggest you steer clear of “best” lists and focus more on linking to a blogger you love, who wrote a wonderful article. Carry on the thought process and keep the conversation going. A lot of bloggers who see that you linked to them will be highly professional and will pop over to thank you for the mention.

Stay Away From Trashing Other Bloggers By Name

I’d highly recommend staying away from this rich content area, unless your goal is to tick people off and generate angry comments. If that’s your goal, fine. If not, don’t write about how much you hated a post or another blogger’s point of view. Don’t mock others or belittle people or name call. The backlash likely won’t be worth the reader stats. Being mean is never a professional way to behave.

Shara Lawrence-Weiss has a background in education, early childhood, special needs, freelance and marketing. She owns various websites including: Mommy Perks, Personal Child Stories, Early Childhood News and Resources, Emergent Literacy and Weiss Business Solutions (co owner). Shara actively assists with children’s charity events and will soon be returning to a primary school Para position. Learn more about Shara and Rick. You can view additional Guest Posts here.