The Oprah Method to Figuring Out What to Write about When You Don’t Know What to Write

It’s Monday. You promised yourself that you’d start blogging once a week. This was the year. You’d finally make the commitment. Your goal: to publish at least one post per week and promote it on Tuesdays.

But like last week, you have a nasty case of writer’s block.

You’re so tired of “real weddings.” Everyone does those. And you know you’re supposed to write so-called “high-quality, valuable content” but that’s already all over the internet. What could you possibly offer that engaged couples can’t already find everywhere else?

You close your laptop, and quietly tiptoe away from the task at hand. You’ll blog next week, you vow.

The problem is, next week will never come at the rate you’re going.

The key to knowing what to write about when you don’t know what to write about is to write like Oprah.

blogging tips

Oprah Winfrey’s Two Secret Weapons to Producing Amazing Content 

Oprah has two secret weapons in her arsenal for creating amazing content (and building a billion-dollar empire, by the way).

Her one-two punch involves 1) planning and 2) authenticity.

 

Think about it. Oprah Winfrey doesn’t show up in the studio every week and say, “Oh crap, we need to record a show. What should we talk about?” No. Nor does she try to publish a magazine real quick right before it’s set to hit newsstands.

Rather, she and her team create an editorial calendar around very specific content categories: stories of real people going through real struggles, health (Dr. Oz), wealth (Suze Orman), beauty and trends (Gayle King), and inner peace and wellness (Martha Beck). Then she puts her content on a schedule.

So why would you sit down on a Monday and try to hammer something out real quick for a Tuesday blog post? It just doesn’t work.

Oprah also commits to being herself, always and unapologetically. She started her career as a talk show host in the 90s, during an era of talk show mania. Everyone was a talk show host back then, and competition was fierce. There was Sally Jesse Raphael, Geraldo Rivera, Donahue, Whoopi, Jenny Jones, Ricky Lake, Montel Williams and even Mark Wahlberg had a talk show.

She also started a lifestyle magazine amid fierce competition. Real Simple and Martha Stewart Living had 5 and 10 year head starts, respectively.

How did Oprah do it? How did she end up being the longest-running talk show in history? How did she launch a wildly successful lifestyle magazine in 2000, when it seemed like she was late so to the game?

She did it by showing up as her most authentic self: her thoughtful mission, according to the May 2000 premiere issue of Oprah Magazine, is to “help you lead a more productive life, one in which you feel a sense of vitality, cooperation, harmony, balance, and reverence within yourself and all in your encounters…” To this end, Oprah committed to producing content that was authentic to her and helped her audience live their “best lives.”

It didn’t matter that everyone else was doing a talk show. It didn’t matter that other lifestyle magazines were already being published. Oprah was going to throw her hat in the ring and show up in the world as her authentic self and serve her peeps.

You need to do the same. Don’t just create content. Create the content that only you can truly create. Create content that stands out in crowded market. And, above all else, create content serves your potential clients and helps them plan their best wedding.

That’s it. That’s the secret. And it’s simple:

Have a plan and be yourself.

 

Here are some quick tips to get you started.

5 Easy Steps to Creating Awesome Content When You Just Don’t Feel Like It (Inspired by Oprah)

Run your blog like a magazine by establishing content categories

Just like Oprah Magazine has regular features, you’ll want to pick 3-5 content categories that focus on solving problems, telling the story of what it’s like to work with you, or showcasing your values and aesthetics. These categories can easily align with the actual categories on you blog. Examples include: Real {Your Location} Weddings (“Real Aspen Wedding with Pink and Gold Details”) and Wedding {Your Industry} Advice (“Wedding Cake Advice for the Asheville Bride”)

Brainstorm Post  Ideas for Each Category

Once you have your main categories in place, start brainstorming topics and titles. Ideally, you’ll have at least four content categories, but if you only come up with two or three that’s ok. Just rotate through them each week. It’s important that you commit to publishing at least one post per week. If you brainstorm at least 12 articles for each category, that will give you content for an entire year! But even if you can only think of three titles for each category, you’ll still have months’ worth of content ideas ready for you.

Create a monthly series and put it on your calendar

Now that you have your categories and titles developed, now it’s time to plug them into an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar can be as simple as jotting the category and title on a Google Calendar or in your monthly planner. You want to post at least once a week. Doing so lets brides know that your business is active and successful and a steady stream of new content allows you to truly benefit from SEO and inbound marketing.

Outline first, then write

Block out time each week to outline your post, then block out time later to go back and write it. This is the easiest yet often overlooked trick to calling upon your muse with clockwork precision. It prevents writer’s block like nothing else I’ve tried. It’s hard to sit down and start writing from the beginning to end. But if you block out 30 minutes ahead of time to jot down notes and outline your ideas, sitting down to write later is just a matter of fleshing out your ideas. I generally outline on a Wednesday, write on a Saturday and do final copyediting on a Monday for a Tuesday publication schedule.

Make it meaningful

The days of quick-and-dirty content are over. Take the time to outline and then write content that is authentic and unique to you and meaningful and useful to your clients.

Stay tuned next week for part 2 where I’ll share some content ideas to get you started!

Christie Osborne

Christie Osborne

Christie Osborne is the blogger and editor behind Mountainside Bride, the place to plan a mountain wedding. She's also the Marketing Director at Mountainside Media, where she helps wedding professionals who struggle with wasting time and money on ineffective marketing to not just book more brides, but to discover and book ideal brides who pay vendors what they're worth and celebrate and allow them to do their best and most meaningful work.

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  • 5 Powerful Ideas for Content Types for Wedding Pros - Aisle Society for Pros

    […] week I shared how to channel Oprah to help with writers block when it comes to blogging for your wedding business. Here are some powerful content ideas to help […]

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