In my previous two posts, we’ve looked at the right mindset, goals, strategies and personality – now we’ll get into how to amp the content up to the next level and make it as easy and do-able as possible.
Step 4: Hunt out those creative content ideas
A great hack for looking for content ideas is searching Google News for topics related to your key content pillars. You can search what’s been covered in your industry and put your own spin on that idea.
Another resource is BuzzSumo – where you can start with a 30-day free trial to search for the most popular content in your industry.
And remember to draw on inspiration from like-minded people, businesses and brands. But I’d be conscious of looking at your competitors – and getting sucked into the comparison trap or consciously or unconsciously copying what they’re doing.
Bring your own words and opinions with your content and you’ll absolutely stand out above the rest.
Step 5: Put content in the bank and repurpose
When you run your own business, you’re both blessed and cursed with having brainwaves of new ideas.
And a lot for me are about content ideas. Generally, 80 per cent are less than perfect, but 20 per cent can be nuggets of gold. So when they come, my favourite way to track them is the iPhone Notes app.
But even when you’ve got the content ideas, it can still fall to the bottom of the to-do list when other priorities come in.
So, dedicating at least one morning each week when you’re in the zone to write content is a great way to form a regular habit around this.
We use a master content plan excel spreadsheet and Trello – a project management software – for both our own content management and our clients.
Social media schedulers are also great tools for planning content. We use Planoly, Preview App and Facebook ads manager for this.
Step 6: Don’t be afraid to outsource
In small business, I know I personally struggle with the concept of outsourcing anything. I am consistently battling fears over outsourcing something that may not be how I want it done or handing over hard-earned money for someone else to do it when I could do it twice as fast.
But whenever I do, I almost NEVER regret it. Even if I end up doing it completely again (which is very rare), I’ve realised what I don’t want and it gets me clearer on what it needs to be, or how to brief it in better.
So, if there’s someone you can work with to bounce ideas off, write a first draft, or edit your content, it may just give you the boost you need.
Step 7: Share and care
What’s the point of spending time on the content if you don’t tell anyone about it? Even as someone who works in content creation, I still feel often uncomfortable sharing my own content broadly.
What I can say to this is start gently. Share on your social channel or website, and as you gain more confidence with your writing, spread the net a little wider.
Can you pitch it into that media outlet you know your audiences read regularly? Or pitch in your content ideas to a speaking opportunity or network? Also, know, repurposing existing content is a great timesaver and repetition helps with memory and recall.
Go forth and just start
So, with these tips in hand, now is no better time to get started with writing your first blog post, feature story or opinion piece.
Remember we all start somewhere – just be ready to reap the rewards.
Katie Martel, Founder, Croft PR