In 2021, I wrote 2 blog posts in the entire year for my website. I’ve improved on that in 2022, but I still struggle with consistent content creation. Yet, we all have systems and processes to keep our work on track, right? For me though, if one area of the business falters, it is often around consistent content creation. Why do we struggle to achieve this consistency? Can we systemise good-quality content? How can we make it easier for ourselves?
I recently read Becky Robinson’s book, “Reach: Create the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause”. Becky writes clearly about the simple structure to creating an audience that many of us—and by that, I mean me—can feel defeated by. She talks about the four commitments to building reach. One of these is consistency, the one I am grappling with right now.
Why is consistent content creation so hard?
Within my business networks, several common themes come up about why consistent content creation is so hard to achieve:
1. Building the habit of content creation is hard
Two to three hours per week to create a blog and its associated promotion means you’re jostling to fit this into already busy days. Deadlines and other deliverables often get in the way.
Make a 12-week challenge with yourself (and your peers) to write your content at the same time every week. Two hours on Friday morning perhaps? Each Wednesday evening maybe? Hint: Don’t choose a time on the weekend. I used to write all my blogs on Sunday afternoons. Now I nap, read, or play Lego and the whole household is much happier for it. You’re not committing to this forever. It’s only 12 weeks, right?
2. Coming up with content ideas is hard
I discovered a while ago that I can write about almost any topic. I’m not bragging (honest), in fact, I was just as surprised to find how quickly I can find and grasp technical, obscure, and complex ideas from original sources, cross-check them and create useful content. Give me a topic and I’ll give you 1000+ words in return. Yet, I find coming up with the topics incredibly difficult.
I bet you have loads of good content ideas, especially when you are driving, in the shower, or walking the dog. Make a habit of writing these down in the easiest way to suit you. Maybe set a reminder on your phone at 8am or noon to think about and jot down your ideas. Use a note-taking app in your phone, record and send a voice memo to yourself, or even go old-school and keep pen and paper close at hand. The more you think of ideas, the more ideas will come to you. Regularly transfer your ideas to a central ‘idea repository’, such as a spreadsheet, document, or project tool. Make sure this is effortlessly accessible whenever you sit down to create your content.
3. Mindset may be the hardest of all
Getting your head right around consistent content creation means overcoming many different types of head trash moments. Do you struggle to believe you have anything worthwhile to say? Do you find yourself getting derailed by big and small life events, from resolving an ‘urgent’ customer query to prioritising, errrm, lunch? Do you struggle to believe what you have created is good enough to publish (I mean, just how many draft blogs do you have in your content folder after all)?
I definitely don’t have all the answers on this, except to say that separating emotion from the content creation process helps. By scheduling non-negotiable content creation time and having a bank of ideas to draw on, you’re already training your body to act without overthinking.
Now put your bum on your seat. Even if the first 15 minutes of effort is garbage, the next 15 minutes might not be. I once spent over an hour tooling around with an idea before I found any momentum with it at all. Nothing from that first hour made its way into the final blog but I needed to work through that pile of horse dung to get to the gold beneath.
Journal a page or two of meaningless scribbles if you need to. We warm up when we do exercise. Doing the same when we’re about to write is just as beneficial. And publish, regardless of how you feel about it. If it’s no good, no one will read it. Believe me, I know! And you might surprise yourself, and others, with the quality of the perspectives you bring.
Bonus suggestion because writing about your ideas is hard
Ideating for your content is one thing, but what if you know exactly what you want to say, and the words just don’t come out right when you sit down to face that blinking cursor and white page? Adding the skill of writing to your range of capabilities may not be one of your future goals.
Today we have plenty of options around content delivery. You can record videos and post them to your platforms instead of publishing a written blog. You can record podcasts or make voice over presentations. Did you know that you can do all of these, and still create written content? You can transcribe any audio or video content into written form. Sure, it requires a bit of tweaking and editing, a great headline, compelling sub-headings and a decent call to action. But you can repurpose your oral content.
And what if you don’t like making videos of yourself? Or podcasts are too difficult right now? What would you say if all you had was 10 minutes to explain your chosen topic to a friend over coffee? Imagine having that 10-minute coffee break every week to talk about an area of your work you passionately believe in. Imagine if recording that meeting was all it took to create your weekly content? With the power of Zoom, and other tools, transcribing your thoughts into content has never been more accessible.
When the content is easy, but the writing is hard
If you’d like me to show you how to get started with quick, regular content creation in as little as 10 minutes a week, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can explain the process in a short, no-obligation meeting.
Happy talking in the meantime!