We live in an online world, where the average person spends nearly two hours on social media daily—and that doesn’t take into account those of us who market businesses online. (Raise your hand if you blow that two hours out of the water!)
Fresh content gets you noticed by prospective clients and sets you up as an expert in your industry. It gets your name out there, educates your audience and helps you connect with others in the online world (in the case of a guest blog post, like this one!).
And I don’t know about you, but I’m much more willing to spend my money on someone who I’ve grown to know, like and trust because of what I’m seeing them do online.
But creating that fresh content is hard because we’re so busy running our businesses that it feels like just one…more…thing…on our to-do list.
Yes, it is. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be difficult. Or take up a big chunk of our time.
Of course, you can always hire out your content writing. But that’s not realistic for many, especially if you’re just getting started (hello budget!) or if you want to focus primarily on video. So what do you do?
Have a System
Flying by the seat of your pants doesn’t quite work if you want to create quality content efficiently. Not only that, but having a system in place makes the content creation process a lot easier (and less painful) if you know what to do and when.
I recommend asking around to find out how others are creating their content. What works for other business owners? How can you tweak that to work for you? Ask people who have similar businesses to you and those who create the type of content you also want to create. For example, my content revolves around my blog and everything else is secondary. I wouldn’t ask someone who primarily churns out YouTube videos about her process, because I know it would be very different from one I might adopt. (You can check out my system for creating content here!)
Know Your Topics
This. Is. Huge. Everything you write (or record) should have a reason behind it. Plan out your content calendar in advance so you know what you’re creating and why. Maybe you have a launch coming up that you want to write around (and I highly recommend this). Maybe yours is a seasonal business and you want to generate excitement around a particular product or holiday.
To find topics that your audience really needs and wants to hear about, listen to them. What are they asking you about? What are they posting about on social media? And what is it that you can really write or create video around—and well? Make a list, organize it into themes that make sense for your business and get crackin’.
Yep, the all-elusive time. Like anything in your business, you need to have the time to do it. If you’re batch-creating content, you should already have time set aside for each of the big tasks (planning, brainstorming, writing, proofing, scheduling, repurposing). And if you’re like me, you really have to be strategic about the days you create videos. Because let’s be honest, when you’re working from home your hair and makeup doesn’t get done every day.
I set aside two full days every month to plan my content and take care of other administrative tasks, then chunks of time throughout the month to write, edit and create videos. I have a virtual assistant who loads my content to my website for me, so having multiple posts ready at a time saves her time (and me money). That’s a big motivator for me.
Get Some Accountability
Once you’ve done all the back-end work, you need to actually make sure you get it done. Sure, you’ve blocked off the time and you know what you’re creating. But to actually do it is another matter altogether.
Accountability has been huge for me. If you work from a home office, you’ve got a ton of distractions—kids, pets, significant others, laundry, dishes… It’s amazing what we can accomplish around the house when we really should be sitting at our computers and working.
Call on a virtual friend to help you out. Virtual coworking dates (I like to call them CEO Dates) are a great way to keep you at your computer and working on your business, because you have someone on the other end of the camera who is also working on their own business. Think of it as a virtual coffee chat, but without the chatting.
If you have mastermind groups or other accountability buddies, those are great places to state your intention for content creation so the other members can hold you to it.
As a content creator myself, I know how important it is that I practice what I preach about publishing content on a regular basis. But it’s a huge part of any business that markets itself online. There’s really no marketing without that content!
If it’s the actual writing process that’s tripping you up, grab my guide on what questions you need to ask yourself before you start to write. Because it all starts with an idea—and a system!
Download my writing worksheet
Abby is a content marketing strategist and copywriter for small business owners, helping to get her clients' written message out to their audience, in their own voice and on their own terms. She specializes in working with female service-based businesses to generate ideas and strategies that help to move their businesses forward with content that attracts the perfect audience. Abby firmly believes in the power of educating and empowering business owners so they can grow their businesses without breaking the bank. You can find her on her website, Facebook or Instagram.