Does it feel like your best days of content creation are behind you? You best ideas 💡 gone never to return? I have experienced that struggle recently. 🤔
How did I get my writing magic back? I stopped forcing ideas! I focused on being consistent with my writing. Five minutes here. Ten minutes there.
Having four kids, a wife who is an elementary school teacher, and working two part-time jobs during the evening and overnight shifts make my schedule a bit less than ideal. Okay. I admit it. My schedule is hectic. I feel like an acrobat swinging from trapeze to trapeze of events. Feels like I am juggling a cheetah, koala, car, and a monkey (those are what my kids pretend to be and act like it daily!).
My goal in this post is to give you ten simple and actionable tips to START creating content for your website, blog, or social media accounts. Entrepreneur Seth Godin quipped, “Content Marketing is all the Marketing that’s left.” It’s never too late to learn a new skill or polish up on an old skill. These tips will help you do that.
For more reasons why content marketing is not a want, but a necessity in 2019 (and beyond) check out the following link: https://www.advancedwebranking.com/blog/inspirational-content-marketing-quotes/
Now here are the ten tips to help you make engaging and amazing content immediately:
💡 Tip #1— Add Value to the Content Your Create
🤦♂️ This is probably the most generic statement ever.
Here is what I consider to be the specific ingredients for making content with value.
👇 👇 👇 Value MUST include the following (tier 1):
1️⃣ Truth—Authenticity for me is the absolutely essential for adding value. People can see through BS through fog and miles away.
2️⃣ Relevance—content needs to be geared towards a specific (niche) audience to be considered valuable. Generic content will not cut it.
The following I consider to be tier 2 level importance for adding value.
🔷 Informative—this type of content educates you about a specific process, product, service, history, best practices, or thought leaders in specific niche industry.
🔷 Inspiration— provides perspective, positivity, and hope in the face of adversity.
🔷 Entertaining— provides fun through wit, humor, and storytelling.
⚙️Creating content is like riding a roller coaster. Highs. Lows. Comments veer off in different directions at times.
⚙️Coming off a week where I had personal record views, likes, and comments on my posts, I came into this week confident.
⚙️In tip one I talked about turning weaknesses into strengths. It did not get the engagement I predicted. 🤦♂️It was among my worst performing posts. 🤦♂️
⚙️The key is to shrug off the content flops and try again.
⚙️I am trying different hashtags and having a bit shorter text.
💡Tip #3— Experiment with Your Content
⚙️Whether you are a newbie or seasoned content creator it is important to be open to trying different approaches and styles.
⚙️For example, i tend to write content that is straightforward and informative. I am naturally a more serious and logical person who loves learning daily. Humor is definitely not my normal style.
⚙️But I felt whimsical a few times last month and created content that included humor. I was quite surprised to find that it actually resonated with more people than I anticipated.
⚙️Now does this mean you have to switch styles all the time. Definitely not! But being open to testing out a variety of content will provide you the following benefits:
1️⃣ Stretches your ability to create—this will only help you in the long term. It will make you generate content with more ease and dexterity.
2️⃣ Tells you if a certain style of content will work or not. If your content flops, then at least you become aware what content not to focus on.
💡Tip #4— Collect Data on Your Content
⚙️Everyone likes to collect something. Stamps. Baseball cards. Video games. Coins. Art. Owl 🦉 statues (like my grandma did). Or something else!
⚙️Something about collection invokes a sense of journey and accomplishment.
⚙️The same is true for content creation. See I myself am a collector of information. Best practices. Knowledge.
⚙️I also love to collect experiences to share my best practices. Find out how your content performs. Track likes, views, comments, and other engagement indicators to determine whether patterns emerge.
⚙️I started doing this today—I hope to share my findings later this month. 🙂
⚙️Collecting data on your content will provide you the following benefits:
1️⃣ Provide an opportunity to build and stretch your skills of research and data collection.
2️⃣ Allows for you to discern whether or not a pattern in results is present or not.
💡Tip #5— Giving Gets Results
⚙️This other day I noticed a post on the topic of how individuals with a larger following sometimes get little to zero content engagement.
⚙️Whenever I come across accounts like this I always check out whether they give value to others. More times than not what I learn is these individuals only post and never comment on others’ work.
⚙️You cannot keep asking people to look at your content without giving something back. 💭Maya Angelou wrote, “I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.”
⚙️Giving freely without expectation of things in return actually frees you of selfish tendencies.
⚙️Giving elevates others around you and yourself as well. It leads to a win-win-win-win-win (etc) scenario!
⚙️Giving will also provide YOU the following benefits:
2️⃣ Knowledge of best practices in your niche
3️⃣ Boosted brand visibility
4️⃣ Collaborative partnerships
5️⃣ Freelance work
6️⃣ Job opportunities
💡Tip #6— Make Time to Grow Professional Relationships
⚙️ Creativity cannot happen in a vacuum. Creating something involves a community. ❤️ Children are born from the union of mother and father. 🏠 Houses are built with many individuals. 📖 Book projects involve the collaboration of the author, proofreaders, editors, publicists, and marketing teams.
Relationship take time to develop. Follow someone in your respective niche field. First follow their content: podcast, blog, social media, or website. Get to the point of familiarity with the craft and their personality and next reach out to see how you could HELP them.
Don’t ask first. As previously, mentioned giving is the essential mindset to have in the 21st century. Give. Give. Give. And give some more. Your willingness to help and the content you generate in doing so will eventually lead to people noticing your skills.
💡Tip #7—Genuine and Add Value When You Comment on Posts
⚙️ LinkedIn experts tell us that commenting on posts is one of the best ways to grow visibility and add followers to your count.
⚙️While that is definitely true, It should not be the primary reason for commenting on a post. Here should be the primary reasons for commenting:
1️⃣ Add value—give best practices, tips, information, jokes (if the situation is appropriate), or tag connections who you know would benefit from reading the original post and/or would further the discussion.
2️⃣ Genuinely want to learn—adding a comment can help you receive notifications better. How do you write authentic comments?
- Use the voice-to-text option on your phone—this has two benefits: saves time and ensures your comments are in the same style as you talk in real life.
- Be specific—include a relevant detail from your life or the OP’s life that you learned from their profile or past posts.
💡Tip #8—Genuine and Act Like an Actual Human When You Message People
⚙️ Treat DMs like a conversation you would have at the grocery store or with your mail carrier. How do you write authentic messages?
1️⃣ Use the preferred name—in initial DMs I greet connections by the name they have on their LinkedIn profile. After getting to know them I may start using nicknames (Ex: Matthew vs. Matt)
2️⃣ Include the specific day as opposed to time in the greeting—I.e. “Happy Saturday Matt!” —This has three benefits:
🔷 Tailors message which establishes trust.
🔷 Shows you are engaged in reality as opposed to being ‘robotic’ and spammy in your messages.
🔷 Prevents the mistake of telling someone across the globe “Good Morning” when it is actually nighttime for them.
3️⃣ Use the voice-to-text option on your phone.
4️⃣ Be specific—include a relevant detail from your life or the OP’s life that you learned from their profile or past posts.
💡Tip #9—Professional Development Opportunities to Strengthen Your Skills
⚙️Whether you are working at your dream job, working towards that goal, or ensure of your next career step it is essential to pursue professional development opportunities.
⚙️ Examples of professional development can include the following:
- Side-by-side training
- Listening to podcasts pertaining to your niche area of expertise
- Reading books by leaders in your industry
- Collaboration with different people in your network
⚙️ Currently, I am reading John Caples’ Tested Advertising Methods. He was a titan of the copywriting industry with over 40 years of experience in the field.
💡Tip #10— Be Concise and Direct to Simplify Your Personal Brand or Company’s Message
⚙️ Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
⚙️ I have learned that to be true from my experience as both a parent and writer.
⚙️ Breaking down an idea to its basic and most necessary elements requires you get rid of technical jargon, acronyms, and define any unclear terms.
⚙️ Have you ever called into a customer service number about a bill charge or service needing corrected only to get the representative rattling off an explanation that includes a laundry list of acronyms?
⚙️ In those situations, I am more confused ending the call, then when began. 🙁
⚙️Acclaimed copywriter John Caples wrote, “When a young writer first enters the advertising business he often rebels at the advice: “Write simply. Use short words and short sentences.’”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
Tip #1 Questions:
- How do you define value?
- What are the qualities that make up valuable content?
Tip #2 Questions:
- When did you have to make an adjustment at work and had to try a different approach?
- Do your new approach work? Why or why not?
Tip #3 Questions:
- How you ever experimented with content creation?
Tip #4 Questions:
- How you ever collected data on your content?
- What metrics do you track?
Tip #5 Questions:
- How do you give back to your network?
- Why do you think a giving mindset is important in business interactions?
Tip #6 Question:
- How have you fostered professional relationships this week?
Tip #7 Question:
- How do you develop genuine comments on social media posts?
Tip # 8 Questions:
- What other benefits of messaging connections are there?
- Do you prefer to DM or comment? Why?
Tip #9 Questions:
- What books in your field are you currently reading to hone your craft?
- How are you continuing your learning at work?
- Does your employer offer any special professional development opportunities? If so, how have you benefited from them?
Tip #10 Questions: