Have you ever joined a gym, started enthusiastically but then ended up paying month after month after month without going at all?
You try to cancel, but they somehow talk you into staying, and you wonder where on earth you’re going to get the motivation to kickstart your exercise routine again!
Yes, it’s happened to me! In fact, it’s happened to a lot of people, but today’s post is not about exercise… not for your body anyway. It’s about your content marketing.
Ah yes! If you’ve ever procrastinated on your business blog or podcast, that gym analogy might sound all too familiar.
The problem is, consumers these days expect, no they demand, your content. They want information and if you don’t deliver it, they will choose your competitors, especially if they have killer blogs and podcasts. We’ve all felt a little bit envious of that guy or girl at the gym who is just super motivated right?
We can’t just walk away and chalk it up to an expensive mistake. Just like the gym, your customers won’t let you leave it all behind. Forrester research shows that 50% of all online sales are lost because consumers can’t find content.
Consumers research just about every buying decision these days. If they’re not in a shop comparing prices and product features on their mobile phones, they’re at their desktop reading reviews on Yelp. The sales environment is competitive, so if you want to stand out, and you want to help your customers shift from prospect to buyer, it’s a good idea to prioritise creating the information that will help lead them to the sale.
If you want to reach your customers and you can’t offload the job on someone else, you need to get back in the content creation habit. How can you overcome your procrastination and get back on the content creation treadmill without groaning? Here are some tips that might help:
#1 Get a group of your business blogging friends together and host a fun challenge
Just like going to the gym, some things are better kickstarted with company. Your challenge could be to write a set number of posts in one day or even just a set number of topic ideas in one morning. If you combine your idea or content creation with a social activity, you’ll make the process more collaborative and fun. In June I’m hosting a blog-hackathon to do just that.
#2 Write in chunks. Don’t try to write the whole post or do the whole podcast in one sitting
If you haven’t run for awhile, you don’t just jump on the treadmill and run 5 kms (or miles)! You start with 30 seconds of running and a minute and a half of walking, and gradually work your way towards that five km mark. It’s easier to write your post in chunks. Start with ideas for your intro, make an outline of the key points you want to cover and flesh it out gradually. Commit just 10 minutes at a time and get as much as you can done in that time.
#3 Use Topic Generation Tools to Gather Headline Ideas
There are a plethora of topic generators on the web. To help you find a good one, I’ve reviewed the best ones here. Topic generators can spark ideas for your content calendar and help get your creative juices flowing. They can also help alleviate that feeling of overwhelm you can get when you don’t know what to write about.
#4 Use Blog Post Frameworks (we like to call them recipes)
When we write blog posts for our clients we create frameworks every single time. Some bloggers even pay us just to create frameworks (we call them blog post recipes) for them because they are such a massive time-saver. Using a blog post framework can cut down on your blogging time by up to 40%. A framework simply is a paragraph-by-paragraph breakdown of your blog post’s structure. I used a blog post framework for this post and managed to spit it out in half an hour.
#5 Realise your business health depends on you taking action
Just like exercise is important to losing weight and living a healthier life, creating content is important for a healthy website and a steady flow of traffic from potential customers.
If you found out that you had Type II Diabetes, chances are you’d do everything you could to turn that around. You’d eat healthier, you’d exercise more and you’d feel more motivated to stick with it. After all, nobody wants to go blind or have their foot amputated.
If you knew that the life of your business depended on your content creation, wouldn’t that motivate you to stick with it?
If you are worried about how long it’s been since you last blogged or produced a podcast, it’s okay. You can get started again any time. It’s never too late!
I got a little stuck earlier this when I had a huge influx of big projects. My podcast wained and thought I’d have to give it up altogether. Then I had a moment of inspiration, changed a few things around, and now I’m podcasting twice a week and enjoying it more than ever. I had lost my way, but with a renewed vision and sense of purpose, I felt committed to forge ahead and got back in the podcasting saddle.
If you are feeling stuck with your content marketing, and need help, I encourage you to reach out. We’ve started a new group on Facebook for business bloggers and you’re welcome to join us. In fact, it’s the cheering squad and would-be beta tester community for my new content marketing app (currently in development), Writally.
Whatever your content creation challenges, it’s always easier to move forward with some support.
Let me know how I can help you get back in the blogging saddle!