New Catholic Content Coming Soon!

Based on feedback from my followers on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn I am going to redouble my efforts on topics I suspected were more popular and relevant to my audience.

New Content

In no particular order here are the topics I look to write more about for the remainder of 2020:

  • The Sacrament of the Eucharist
  • Mental prayer
  • The Holy Spirit
  • Purgatory
  • Last Things (Heaven, Hell, Death, and Judgment)
  • Ten Commandments

Stayed tuned for updates.

Thank you for supporting The Simple Catholic!

Thank you for sharing!

How to Create Content with Value

💡💡You have to add  value when you create content.

🤦‍♂️ This is probably the most generic statement ever. Here is what I consider to be the specific ingredients for making content with value.
Provide Value

Value MUST include the following (tier 1):

Truth— Authenticity for me is absolutely essential for adding value.

People can see through BS through fog and miles away.

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 practice, or thought leaders in specific niche industry.

This post is an example of informative content. 

🔷 Inspiration— provides  positivity, and hope in the face of adversity.  My post 3 Ways Hope Can Overcome Despair is an example of inspirational content.


🔷 Entertaining— provides fun through wit, humor, and storytelling.  Muffingate 2019 entertains readers. 

How do you define value?

Share a link to your most valuable blog post in the comments below. I would love to learn and be inspired by your work!

Thank you for sharing!

10 Simple Tips to Create Engaging Content Right Away

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. 

💡Tip #2— Try a Different Approach

⚙️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:

1️⃣ Gratitude

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:

  • Seminars
  • Trainings
  • Conferences
  • 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.

⚙️I have been also watched Dan Lok’s YouTube videos to learn best practices in copywriting.

💡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:

  • Do you think simpler is better? Why or why not?
  • How have you simplified your personal or business content’s message?
  • What challenges did you face in simplifying your branding?
Thank you for sharing!

10 Tips to Help You Create Better Content

Life is going to throw you curve balls. Be prepared to adapt. But what if life sends that elusive knuckle ball? Preparation can only go so far in these types of situations. Today, I felt like a hundred knuckle balls were aimed at me. I had a bunch of tasks I wanted to accomplish. So far, I have missed. There was a thunderstorm last night. This woke up and scared my three-year-old and nine-month-old kids.

Working the night shift, I did not expect to get much sleep anyway. To make matters a bit more complicated was finding out my five-year-old was running a fever. 1 sick kid + tired 2 kids + 1 tired sad = a knuckle ball kind of day. So far, I have found a way to make through the morning (and hopefully the rest of the day) with in the most graceful way possible for me.

Content Creation

 

 

 

 

This post is the compilation of 10 tips for content creation in 10 days. Originally, I posted these content strategies on LinkedIn, but I figured why limit myself to one platform when other content creators would benefit from some of the tips that worked for me.

💡Tip #1—Complete tasks using chunking, micro-chunking, or nano-chunking depending on your schedule and ability for the day

Breaking up a task (writing, reading, email follow-up, lead research, etc) into manageable bits of time helped get me to achieve something. Something is better than nothing.

I  pause many times or step into another room to center myself whenever parenting gets too stressful. It actually took me at least 3 Nano chunks (1-2 minute time segments) to complete this first tip! Placing a time barrier between you and the overwhelming into definitely helps.

💡 Tip #2 Focus on one goal or group of goals at a time

Some weeks or seasons of your life are more challenging than others. Maybe you left ended such a season in your own life. Perhaps you are in the calm of the storm. All I know for certain is that you will encounter resistance again in the future. I am in the middle of the stress tsunami.

Sharpening my focus to specific areas of my work has helped prepare me to better weather this storm. Below are just a couple examples of my focused goals for today and the rest of the week:

  • Post at least once a day on social media
  • Do creative/free form writing for at least 30 minutes sometime this week
  • Read at least 5-10 minutes a day
  • Begin to carve time in my schedule to listen to podcasts about marketing

I know I cannot achieve all 4 goals every single day, but my goal is to focus on and name the specific goal and at least be consistent in my approach to working towards it. Consistency is an investment that you rarely see a return on in the present. What tools/resources/advice have you implemented to help you focus your goals?

💡Tip 3—It is okay to adjust your goals

Earlier this week, I mentioned this has been a ‘knuckle ball’ type of week. Challenges kept coming at me, yet there was no pattern to them. Monday and Tuesday, I kept swinging and missing. I almost gave up and shut down for the week.

Instead, I adjusted my productivity goals. Dealing with sick children and an erratic work schedule I realized this was going to be a less productive period. I maintained consistency but limited the frequency of content produced. See it is easy to give up when life sends you knuckle balls. I used to have an all or nothing (home run or strikeout) mindset.

If you can’t give it 110% everyday what is the point in trying? Realistically it is not always possible to be at or over 100%. You may get sick. Family obligations supersede work goals. That balance may not happen all the time.

Consistency is what will help weather you through these trials. Hit for average not power:  Are you more of a power hitter with your work goals or a person who shoots for average/consistency?  How have you endured a ‘knuckle ball’ week?

Rest

💡Tip 4—Rest is Necessary in order to improve productivity

I have started taking off most of the weekend (starting last weekend) from social media. I am realizing more and more that it is not realistic for me to post daily and comment often on others’ posts. I am a parent to special needs kids first.

This week drained me of all my mental stamina. It was a week of regression for my three-year-old. I know a lot of people only post the positive stuff and shy away from the real challenges of life. But I am not your normal connection. I am being honest here.

Don’t give into the pressure to create content like a machine. Rest. I am going to cut back on my overall social media a bit as I rest and strategize how I can be more efficient with creating content and still focus on my family.

Have you ever been so worn down from life’s challenges that you had to limit or eliminate your social media activity?

💡Tip #5 Clear and consistent communication overcomes the toughest of situations

Whether you work remotely, in the office, or odd hours it is important to keep your boss and peers at work in the loop. Any transition point in a project or process requires extra diligence. Find how your co-workers prefer to receive information (email, text, in person, phone call etc) and flex to their preference.

Communicating in a variety of ways not only allows you to work well with others but shows your ability to adapt. Always provide a short recap of the main points of a meeting of phone call. Ask clarifying questions to check for understanding especially if you are working on a complex process.

💡Tip #6—Dedicate time every work to work on your craft

Carve our 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour. Whatever time segment works with your schedule make that the goal you aim for. Call this your “base goal” a non-negotiable on the absolute minimum amount of time to work daily. With my topsy-turvy work schedule and raising young children my base goal is 5 minutes daily.

Make a stretch goal on days you have more free time. What I mean is add extra “x number of minutes” to your base goal these days. Ex: Wednesdays and Saturday’s I don’t work any of my part-time jobs. So, I up my stretch goals a lot—to an hour.

Not hitting your stretch goals should never cause you worry or anxiety. This is bonus time. Achieving stretch goals should invoke gratitude.

Do you set daily or weekly goals? If so, why do find it helpful? If not, what is stopping you from setting up goals?

💡Tip #7—Getting feedback from your audience will help improve your content

You could be a superior writer interweaving complex ideas together in a beautiful way, but it you are not generating content that resonates with your audience it is ultimately a selfish and futile work.

Feedback

J.K. Rowling began her Harry Potter series not for herself, but as a bedtime story for her children. She know the kind of content that would be easily picked up by kids. J.R.R. Tolkien was inspired to Roverandom to entertain his son after losing his favorite toy. Selfless acts of creation blossomed into classic tales that continue to give joy to readers today. One way to get feedback is to simply ask.

What kinds of questions do you have about content creation? Do you prefer standalone posts, or would you like to see a content series based on a theme? What prevents you from engaging with certain content on LinkedIn?

💡Tip #8—Getting feedback from your audience is only as important as your consistent execution of that feedback into content

It is important to listen. That often involves follow-up questions or noticing the engagement on the content you implement will go a long way towards fostering a solid relationship between you and your audience. I did get feedback on whether people wanted to see a series based on a theme or standalone posts. The verdict was it was a bit of both. I plan to continue the unique posts but will be creating more of a themed content series broken up in the course of a few days or a week.

What are some of the obstacles in your way of implementing the feedback once you got it from your audience? For me it is time and family obligations—my nine-month-old is teething still and having trouble sleeping through the night.  What are some strategies or tools that helped you implement feedback promptly and consistency?

💡Tip #9—Higher priorities will bump your content goals down the queue sometimes and that is normal

Full disclosure: My 10 tips in 10 days has been a misnomer as a couple days I had to miss because of dealing with regression in my autistic son’s progress. Yesterday, was challenging as we painted our living room (thankfully we had some family come up for help). But any deviation from our schedule big or small incites a meltdown unless we uber-prepare him. The latest meltdowns were like wrangling a squid with the tenacity of a wolverine and the sound of a jet engine. Some days it takes me entire mental stamina to maintain a sane semblance of composure. I was 100% drained.

Don’t get down if you miss a day so long. Consistency does not always mean creating daily, but generating, on average, a repetitive and predictable schedule. The weekend often mean family comes first and this was the case yesterday.

How have different and higher priorities impacted your content creation and productivity of your work recently?

💡Tip #10—Content is versatile across platforms

There are so many different types of social media and communication platforms today to publish your material. Audio, written, and video. As I previously mentioned, originally these tips were created for LinkedIn, but realized I was limiting myself to only a single audience if I kept this content solely on one platform.

Combining the ten tips did not take up too much time. I basically had to update the format to read as a blog article (I included headings and ensured I broke up the paragraphs in a readable fashion) and proofread for consistency.  Finally, I added images to help break up the text and improve reader experience.

Creating content can definitely be daunting at first. The key is dedicating time daily,a even if it is only 5-10 minutes, to work on your craft, develop a consistent schedule, implement chunking or breaking up tasks throughout the day, reassess your goals often. Learn to love the process of creating content as this will help you greatly in achieving your end goals!

Content is King

If you need engaging content for your website to improve traffic and boost your brand please send me a link to your website in the comments below along with any questions you have about content creation. I will randomly select three comments to set-up a free content creation consult call!  The deadline for comments to be included in the drawing is November 15th.

Thank you for sharing!