When I talk to people about writing, I frequently hear statements like this: “I write pretty good, but I just don’t know what to write about,” or “I have one good idea but I don’t think I can keep up a steady stream.”

Here are four ways you can figure this out:

1. Assess your audience 

If you are selling senior housing you have at least three audiences: – The prospective residents – The prospective resident families – Referral sources It is possible and, in fact, I would recommend,that each of these three groups are vitally important to a comprehensive content marketing program, but that your approach to each group needs to be radically different: Prospective residents will want to hear life stories about other residents. Their secret question is “Will I be happy?” Perhaps even more important, you need lots of pictures of real residents (not models) living a satisfied life. Family members ask two questions: “Will my loved one be happy?” and “Will you keep them safe?” Tell stories, but from family members’ perspective. “My mom did not want do make the move but when she did it was wonderful . . . . or, “My dad had this need and the community caught it early enough to prevent bigger problems . . . “ Referral Sources want to look good in the eyes of the people who are referred and in their professional community. You need to publicly make them look good. Give them credit for providing the referral. You need to demonstrate they made a great referral. It will ensure they refer again and will make it more likely that others will provide referrals.

2. Write about topics that interest you (and are related to senior housing)

I love blogging and love senior housing and loving writing about stuff that interests me, because if I am not interested, my writing will be uninspired and boring and will not interest the reader. If I am passionate about the things I write about that passion will be reflected in my writing. A cautionary note: I don’t write about everything that interests me, because some of it would not have broad enough appeal, meaning I have to circle back to what interests my target audience.

3. Keep your eyes and ears open for things to write about

 Read other people’s blogs, look at what is being talked about on LinkedIn and in general circulation papers and magazines. When you see something that you might want to write about, make a note of it. What works well for me is to actually start an article with just a sentence or two, knowing that I will come back to it at a future date. Right now I am sitting on perhaps 20 article starters. Some will get published and others will likely lose their relevance and never see the light of day. Often I will see an article on something that intrigues me, but I either think there was an aspect or perspective that was not discussed or it might even be an article I read and disagree with. Not every article has to be a brand new idea.

4. Don’t be afraid to be a little controversial

 but be genuine and respectful of other people’s opinion. Finally don’t be afraid to get it wrong once in awhile. If you are wrong or even if you just change your mind about something, be in a hurry to admit it! Which of course becomes a new article topic.

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