You already know that the key to success online is creating engaging content that your audience wants. But that doesn’t mean that you are actually getting your content done and out there where it can make a difference.
One of the biggest reasons you aren’t putting out more content is that creating content feels like work and takes too long. The key to getting more content created isn’t working harder, it’s working smarter.
Here Five Cs that will Help You Create Content More Effortlessly:
1. Clarity. Who is your ideal reader? What is the message that you want to convey to that reader? Clarity about your message helps you to focus on the important elements that are necessary to the reader and leave out extraneous details that would only add confusion.
Create a problem-benefit statement to further guide you, in both the content creation, and the marketing:
This content helps ________ to _________so that they can __________________.
Taking time to get clear about your audience before you write makes the writing process much less difficult and time consuming.
2. Creativity. Without at least a little creative inspiration, writing copy can feel like pulling teeth. If you aren’t feeling creative, it may be that your creative juices are being blocked. Common causes include:
- Fear. Especially fear that you don’t have anything new to say. While the subject you are writing on may not be new, your perspective is unique, as it comes through your personality and unique set of experiences Truly, your audience is waiting to hear what you have to say on the subject.
- Stress. If you are feeling stress, about writing, or about anything, it can block the creative process. Combat stress by taking some time away — take a walk, chat with a friend, go out for a cup of coffee, get a massage. For me, I often get creative inspiration while doing relatively mindless tasks like doing the dishes. Anything that helps you release stress or stop thinking about what is stressing you can help unblock your creativity.
- Noise. Sometimes, it isn’t that you don’t have anything to say, but rather, that what you most want to say isn’t on topic. Things like being upset at your partner, or the weather, or just general life events can roll around in your head and get in the way of creative, directed thought. Instead of fighting this, let it out. Free write for 15 minutes, without censoring yourself — writing on whatever topic that comes to mind and ignore spelling and punctuation — just write.
3. Confidence. it can be difficult to create content when you, yourself, don’t yet believe in it’s value. But leaving it in your head does no one any good, not even you. Taking a chance by putting it out there gives others an opportunity that they would never have if you die “with your song still inside you.”
Since real confidence comes from seeing real people putting your content to use, especially when it makes a difference in the world, get the ball rolling by starting with small steps when it comes to sharing your content. Show it first to supportive people who will give you feedback that is empowering, not dismissive (like your mastermind group). Then, after that has gone well, show it to more people… post it on your blog or in social media. Grow the audience you share your content with only as your confidence grows.
4. Content Plan. Although writing “off the top of your head” can work, it’s often faster to work from a plan. Think about the end BEFORE you even start: If there is only one message or lesson that I want them to learn from this piece, what is that? With this in mind, craft some notes about the content before you write it, using whatever technique works for you. Here are some suggestions:
- Jot down ideas as they come to you. Organize them into a linear plan before writing.
- Mindmap your ideas. Mindmapping is a visual representation of ideas that allows you to see the non-linear relationships between them. Click for an example.
- Outline. The traditional outline format is still around because it works. Following an outline keeps your materials flowing in a logical and easily understood manner.
5. Clear Pathway to Completion. Often, content doesn’t get created because we didn’t plan a way to get it done beyond “when I have time.” Plan out the content itself and then the time to work on it and you’ll get a lot more done:
- Set 20 minute appointments to write at least once a week. For greatest effectiveness, make them 3-5 times a week and at the same time each day.
- Treat these appointments like you would an appointment with a client or your doctor.
- Schedule them during your best — or most creative — time of day.
- Reward yourself for keeping the appointments AND for reaching writing milestones.
Invest some time in these five Cs before you even sit down to write and you’ll find you create more content in less time and with less effort. Content, after all, is king when it comes to marketing online. Create more content, and more success will follow.
Do you have a struggle with creating content? Please share in the comments below.Author’s Note: Information contained in this post is based on notes from a teleclass hosted by Lynne Klippel. When you are ready to write, or publish, your book, make sure you contact her and her Business Building Books team for support.