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Can a Whiteboard Help You Find Content That Practically Writes Itself?

Solution Provider

One way to come up with content that practically writes itself is to listen to your customers’ and employees’ (especially new employees) questions. Often these questions are similar and frequent, and while the answers may seem obvious to you since you are the expert in your business or industry, your customers typically aren't. Your brain is already churning through answers when these come up. Questions can be amazing sources of content as long as you take the time to jot them down. I like using a whiteboard as my “FAQ Idea Board” so I can grab something when I need content.Don't forget to add relevant imagesDon't forget to add relevant images

 

You can do this old school too by using a notepad or even a spreadsheet with one column for the questions and a 2nd column for your topic title or idea. If someone else is writing your post, or doing some research, use the "answers" column to jot down some suggested sources. And if you think a picture of a product or process would help get your point across better, take out your camera and snap a picture. Images are great content too.

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I encourage you to stand in front of a blank whiteboard (or blank notebook) and think about the last interaction you had with someone at your organization. Did that customer or client have any questions? What information did an employee request about the job? Jot down the question and a brief answer next to it. Now think about another question and answer. Write down at least 3 ideas on your board. 

Now, think about what subject line you would include with each of these questions. Your customers will use your subject line as a way to decide if your email is relevant to them. They may have asked the same question you are answering, so clearly explain what they’ll get/learn when they open the email. Jot down a short (6-10 word) subject that:

  1.  Clearly explains why someone should open an email immediately;

  2. Puts a creative spin that will better attract a reader’s attention;

  3. Doesn't come across as deceptive (don't make it so clever it looks like clickbait);

  4. Is concise to fit in mobile phone previews (can you keep it below 35 characters?).

I you are using a whiteboard to generate these content ideas, you can erase and refine until you get a subject line that works.

Can you turn an answer to the questions on your whiteboard into one or more emails on a regular basis? I'll bet you can!WhiteboardFAQ.jpg

 

 

 

PaulaSUtah

Written by Paula Sageser. Paula started her own business to help other small business owners navigate through the Wild World of the Web. Her day job is building and troubleshooting websites. As a SCORE mentor, she teaches classes in Social Media, Email Marketing and Purposeful Websites. As a blogger, she has written gaming and book review blogs for fun. As a blogger here for Constant Contact, you can expect her to blend her knowledge of website design with tips and tricks for connecting the dots between sites, social and email.