Writing Tools and Ideas to Help You Write Better B2B Content
As a B2B copywriter I spend a lot of time glued to my computer, writing! I know, such surprises to be found in this blog.
If you've landed here, you probably want to know how to write good quality B2B content without paying me to do it, and I can't blame you. Here are some of the best writing tricks and tools to create B2B content - without paying me a single penny.
For inspiration on what to write: Check out Reddit
People often suggest looking at question sites like Quora, and this can be interesting, but I find that Reddit is a hive of information on the questions people are asking that you probably aren't using - and the answers that come back can be really illuminating. Sometimes snarky, often very truthful and to the point, it's like getting unfiltered feedback from a great friend.
On Reddit, people are awarded upvotes for providing helpful and interesting answers to questions - so you can be sure that any information you find will be useful. Some people might have direct questions on your industry that you think are lacking, or have been very insightful. Some might even be mentioning your brand!
There are so many sub forums, from HR professionals to the general public.
You can simply type into google your query like this...
reddit + HR software
reddit + incentives
reddit + Why do estate agents
...Or whatever you sector or interest area may be. There will be some great ideas for topics for your next piece of content in there, and some surprises too!
For tighter writing: Try Hemmingway Editor
Named after the great man himself, the Hemingway Editor is designed to make your writing 'bold and clear'. Like any good editor it will highlight adverbs (often a sign of waffly writing), long, complicated sentences and more.
It also gives you a readability score which is handy to know. Many of my clients use this as well when they view and proof work, as it helps to give a good overview of the text and it's quality before they start taking a red pen to it! The downsides of this is that it can be a little over-zealous with it's highlighting, and sometimes things that are actually fine to leave in are highlighted. But it's a great starting point for any editing you need to do on your work, and will help you to tighten up your writing.
For in the flow writing: Refer to a 'Why Do They Care' sign
This isn't a nifty tool, but I have a paper print out stuck on my desk wall that says 'Why do they care?' It focuses the mind onto the task at hand. If i'd started this post going on about my dentist appointment or my sister's experience writing, we'd never get anywhere. People are time poor and b2b copywriting is often about cutting more than writing. It's actually the hard bit.
This handy phrase somewhere visible keeps you on track. Do try it and let me know how you get on!
For research: Use Kindle searches from your books
If you are like me you have hundreds of reference books, you might know there is research or an interesting story that could bring your content to life - but your brain isn't retrieving the information. This might be one for people who aren't reading the latest John Grisham - but did you know you can search your Kindle books?
By clicking on the search field in the top menu bar you can type in a topic that you've read about. This might be inspiring for topics - eg 'leaders are' or 'incentive stats' or something else. It's another way to bulk out any research you want to add into the piece and bring it into your work.
For proofing: Try Natural Readers
Natural readers won't write for you, sorry! What it does do fantastically is listen back to what you have written, so you can see what parts are total gibberish. Baggy writing is something everyone needs to overcome - and as the famous quote goes 'I would have made it shorter - if i'd had the time'. Trimming down content can be hard to do if you're staring at your Word document and feeling like it all adds value.
Natural readers cuts through that, and is just one of the many tools around that can help with this as it reads your content to you. You get a slightly robotic voice that reads your text without any intonation and you can easily pick up repetitions and even strange spelling mistakes.
Just google 'text to speech' to find one you like. You can even get a little Chrome extension to have anything you like read out to you.
I hope this has sparked a few ideas for you. If you've decided it's all too much work and you'd like a B2B copywriter to get involved for you producing your B2B content - speak to me!