Content Marketing For People Who Hate Writing

Bill hates writing. Ask Bill to write a blog post and get ready for a hundred excuses (or a lot of unanswered emails). The thing is, Bill is a really smart guy. An industry leader even. We all have a Bill at our company.

So how do you get the wealth of information Bill possesses from his brain onto your blog? You have to get creative and help Bill create content in the ways that he feels comfortable doing it. Here’s how…

Bill Likes to Talk

If Bill knows a lot about a particular topic, it’s probably because he’s passionate about it. If he’s passionate about it, he’s likely to talk about it. A lot.

Asking A Question Is Usually A Good Starting Point

By asking a question, you’ve now forced Bill to think about the topic and explain it.

From my experience, most experts like to share information on the topic they’re knowledgeable about — many feel more comfortable talking about the information than writing about it. You’re likely to be surprised by the information they offer. A five-minute conversation could easily become not only topic ideation, but a first draft.

Turn your conversation into an informal interview. Keep asking questions; get him to elaborate. Ask Bill to dive deeper into each part of the process he’s describing.

Go Further

After taking notes on the nitty-gritty, get him to explain how this fits into the bigger picture — how it aligns with the mission and goals of the company.

Ask how it benefits the company’s customers or stakeholders. Bill knows what he does is valuable. Have him tell you why.

Remind Bill That He’s a Star

You know what’s easier than writing? Pressing record on a camera (or phone). Explain to Bill that your audience wants to hear from him, and wants to see his face. Set up a camera, and have Bill talk to it just like he’s talking to you.

Have him list the steps of his process or describe his area of expertise in easy-to-understand soundbites. Let Bill share his wealth of knowledge. Depending on his area of expertise, maybe he can describe “the next big thing in Web development” or provide “five tips for optimizing your landing page,” or “creative ways to reward employees” or even, “how to manage client expectations while keeping them happy.”

Now post Bill’s video on YouTube and embed it on your site – optimized, of course. Share it across all of your social media channels. Use a transcription service so there is a text version as well. Highlight the best parts.

So Bill’s a Money Man

Let’s say your business specializes in marketing for financial firms, and Bill is your CFO. Get him on video explaining what the fiscal cliff (or any other current hot topic) really means for micro-businesses. Ask him to make it unique; to offer information that hasn’t been covered extensively.

Summarize the best parts into a pitch. Share it with finance reporters and industry bloggers. You’ve given reporters a story lead without them having to do extensive research; their audience will appreciate the free education. Bill feels good because he now realizes people benefit when he shares his knowledge; and you just got your brand’s name in front of a new audience.

Now Let’s Go A Step Further

Take the audio from Bill’s video and turn it into a podcast. Get it on iTunes and PodOmatic. Give it an attention-grabbing title and be specific in the description — let your listeners know what they’ll learn by listening to the podcast.

Don’t falsely advertise. Be realistic. After all, you want them coming back to you for more information, right? Which leads to an important point — include the company website in the description and have Bill provide it at the end of the podcast.

For video, provide it in a closing slide. This part of the process is best if you have a blog that is informative and educational. You’ll turn your audience off if you come off as “too salesy.”

Now that your video and/or podcast is complete, you have material to link to in future blog posts on related topics.

Bill’s Not Only Smart and Good With Money--He’s a Good Guy Too

Bill is very active in both his local community and in his industry. He sits on several boards, he attends charity events, and has been to more luncheons in the last year than you’ve been to in your lifetime. And those trophies on his shelf? They’re not fakes.

We already know that once you get Bill talking, he won’t stop. Ask him about his experience with these industry and community organizations. Maybe you have more than one Bill at your company (you probably do). Tell the story about what your company and your people do to give back to the community.

Take Advantage Of Events And Special Occasions

Next time Bill goes to an event for his industry organization, have him interview one of his peers about a hot topic. Not going to happen? Send him an email asking him how the event went with a couple of questions. Boom. Blog post = done.

The group gets free coverage, Bill feels good because he’s done his part in helping to promote both his volunteer organization and his company.

Bill’s a Renaissance Man

He’s multi-faceted. He’s a finance master by day, and a photographer and videographer by night.

Ask him to take photos around the office or work events to include in your blog posts, on your website, and on your social media channels. People love to look at images, especially when they tell a story or give a feel for a company’s culture. Same with video.

Bill Is Now Your Hero

By involving your “non-writers” in the content creation process, you’re keeping up-to-date on what your team members are up to. You’re also educating the rest of the staff on what’s going on across departments. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

By featuring or talking about other members of your staff, you’re also showing your audience that your company knows how to work together. You are truly weaving content marketing into your company’s DNA.

Next time you’re at the water cooler (or on IM) with Bill, strike up a conversation. Be engaging. Pry the information from him — with a smile. You’ll be amazed at what can come from it.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Content Marketing | Content Marketing | Content Marketing Column


About The Author: is the Co-Founder and CMO of BlueGlass Interactive, an Internet marketing agency specializing in data-driven content marketing strategies.

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  • mankul65

    This is a article written in a completely different vein.Thoroughly enjoyed reading this article!

  • Ankit Mohan

    I really enjoyed reading the article..And the style and tricks might really get the Bill in our office to say something. :)

  • Cory Grassell

    Bravo! So many people still think “content” refers to copy and the written word. Content is more than that, expanding into audio, video, and images. A good content calendar will ultimately unify those elements into a cohesive strategy.

  • Nick Stamoulis

    I agree with @corygrassell:disqus Content doesn’t have to mean putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Not everyone likes to write and far fewer people are actually good at it. But everyone has a Bill type figure that has a wealth of knowledge in his brain that you just know is going to get people’s attention. You’ve got to get it out of him someway!

  • Kishore Kumar

    a good idea.. content is not only a text. It can be video, ppt, image, voice etc. If we understand it, all Bills are hero.

  • Alyson Miller

    Concise strategy for developing and distributing “thought leadership” – driven content and boosting personal brand in the process! Good read – thank you!

  • Travis Wright

    I really want to meet Bill now.

  • Chris Winfield

    I’m glad you enjoyed it — thanks for the comment!

  • Chris Winfield

    Ha, I’m sure you have a ‘Bill’ at your company — everyone does :)

  • Chris Winfield

    Great summary Alyson — thanks a lot!

  • Chris Winfield

    Understanding is key Kishore :)

  • Chris Winfield

    Thanks @nickstamoulis:disqus — I always enjoy your comments!

  • Chris Winfield

    Exactly @corygrassell:disqus — well said!

  • Chris Winfield

    I’d love to hear how it goes @twitter-240451088:disqus :)

  • Trish Jones

    Enjoyed the article. In fact, I started podcasting and video blogging again a few days ago for this reason. I don’t hate to write, but I much prefer to talk. You have to work your skill set and then like Bill, everybody’s happy!

  • Chris Winfield

    “I don’t hate to write, but I much prefer to talk.”

    @thebloggingqueen:disqus I think the majority of people probably full into that same category :)

  • Chris Winfield

    “You mentioned in your post that if a person knows a lot about a topic, they love to talk about it or may find it easier to talk about it than write about it. I think that may be true for most, but not particularly for me.”

    It really depends on the person. I also know a lot of people (including ones that I work with) who would prefer to write than talk. My overall point was more about needing the flexibility and creativity to get people to create ‘content’ in whatever way they can and feel comfortable.

    Thanks for the excellent feedback & comment @tiroberts:disqus!

  • Qnary

    Videos are a great way to get the same message across that a wall of text would. People are beginning to prefer looking at a picture or infographic or watching a video to reading a lot of text. Use video to get convey your message in a fun new way!

  • Trish Jones

    I agree with you Chris … some people are too afraid of the technology for audio and video though and this can pose a stumbling block to them.

  • Trish Jones

    I hear you on this one @tiroberts:disqus. One thing I’ve started doing is where I know about the subject but not be able to articulate it well on video, I write and then read my notes a few times over a few hours (so maybe about 3 times in 3 hours) – that helps my mind process what I want to say and get some clarity before recording. But the other thing I’ve decided to do is write the article as a blog post first and then do a video on it.

    If you think about the great copywriters, what made them great was just copying great copy. Somehow, writing (if you don’t mind writing) helps endorse in your mind what you want to say, so you can then speak it. Of course, I appreciate that this post is about creating content when you hate writing but in your case Ti, this might work.

  • msultanaparvin

    This article is so interesting. I liked your writing style. Your content and pictures are attractive.


  • Kishore Kumar

    you are right Chris :)


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