What do you think of when you hear the words “content creation?” Do you feel overwhelmed? Dismayed? Frustrated because you’re creating mountains of content and all you have to show for it are stronger climbing skills?
The truth is, content creation will dramatically increase your opportunity to promote yourself without heavy-duty salesmanship. Whether you’re writing a blog post, writing a full length book, or creating a lead magnet, you’ve got the opportunity to show, not tell.
Here are just some of the ways you can benefit from creating lots of content:
Become known as an authority in your field, even if you’re new to your business.
One question I often get is, “I’m just starting out with no clients. How can I prove I know my stuff?”
When I first opened my website, MidlifeCareerStrategy.com, I had no platform. But I began publishing articles and promoting my blog. I never shared a hard-luck hero’s journey story because (a) it never occurred to me and (b) I didn’t have one. I first used examples from research and experience and later shared success stories that focused on my clients.
Without hiring a publicist, I began getting interviews with top publications, including the Wall Street Journal online, the New York Times, Money magazine, and KQED Radio. My credentials as a career expert were never questioned. I still get clients and media opportunities through that site, although I barely pay attention to it.
When I started my first website, I knew nothing about attracting traffic or search engine rankings. All I did was write articles and ebooks. Soon I realized that simply having lots of content will bring traffic. Since then I’ve learned ways to be more productive and more purposeful.
For many solo-preneurs, traffic won’t come from a search engine. You’ll get traffic by operating more like a billboard, with content promoting your site and your blog.
Test the waters for a business pivot or a new program.
Before diving into a new project, calculate whether you’ll generate sufficient interest to make it worthwhile. Are prospects genuinely interested? When you put up a LinkedIn article or set up a post on Facebook, do readers engage? Do they write things like, “I wish I knew more about that topic?”
I decided to focus on storytelling after a post on LinkedIn pulse generated over 2000 views. My decision was reinforced when my landing pages for story-related lead magnets converted at 50-70%.
You can also see if you get more response to one title or another. Recently I got more responses to titles like “Write An About Page That Makes You Look Like A Rockstar” compared to “Write An About Page That Generates Leads.” Lead generation helps, but hey … who doesn’t want to look like a rockstar?
(1) Your copywriting productivity goes up dramatically when you create content for multiple types of media. For instance, I attracted many clients when I began writing book reviews to promote my first site, which was about career change and relocation. Prospects looking for books on career change would find me. Now I was on their radar, even if they’d never considered hiring a coach. Some of my best clients found me this way, along with reporters from mass media.
All too often, many of us get into a comfort zone when it comes to creating content. In my own case, once I got used to writing articles almost effortlessly, it was hard to think of creating video and guest blogging. The truth is, a lot of content can be repurposed for different target areas. It’s all about planning.
(2) Choose topics that influencers care about and that support your message.
This is one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn. When you’re tempted to write a topic about something that gets you all fired up, stop!
The secret to getting wide distribution is to write about topics that leaders in your field care about. That’s how you get more shares and invitations to guest post.
For instance, if you’re a financial planner and the leaders are writing about a bumpy stock market, you might consider getting someone to create an infographic to explain the challenges to clients, write about how this market affects retirees or address concerns about how this market might scare off new investors.
You can get a sense of popular (sometimes “hot”) topics by researching Amazon titles as well as topics of blogs in your field. Notice who gets guest blogging gigs on top blogs and what they write about.
But (as I’ve learned to my sorrow) just because a topic is hot doesn’t mean it’s right for you. The “hot topic” post may get tons of coverage but you barely benefit. Your topic needs to fit your branding strategy as well.
The good news is, often you can spin a hot topic to fit in with your brand message. For instance, productivity might be hot right now. My angle? Copywriting helps you be more productive. Or I could write about storytelling as a productivity tool. I could write about being productive while pivoting your business. Those topics fit what I work on.
(3) Calculate ROT as well as ROI. That unfortunate acronym stands for “Return on Time.”
When I held “real jobs,” I met managers who would take time out of their day to shop at discount stores for sales that might save them less than $100. It never occurred to them that they could have invested this time in moving their careers forward, planning their investments or starting a side business.
Now when I talk to successful entrepreneurs, they have one thing in common. They know the value of their time.
As I grew my copywriting career, I was surprised to find experienced, competent marketers hiring me to write their copy. They were perfectly capable of writing their own copy. They understood copywriting productivity principles and they realized they had a better use for their time. After all, I do this all day long. I can do it faster.
Experienced writers also use templates to develop their writing. You’ll rarely see an experienced pro who writes from scratch.
Resources to Become More Productive
I’ve been writing about content productivity and looking for systems for a long time. Then I came across this guide from Dennis Becker, just released at a very good price. When it comes to content creation, I’m not easily impressed. But I really like the system Dennis presents.
I’ve attended a lot of presentations where gurus (or guru wannabes) made a big deal about creating one type of content … articles, blog posts, podcasts, or videos. Dennis share methods of not just creating content easily, but also how to repurpose each type of content to another format, so that you end up with greater copywriting productivity — getting yourself out there in front of the major players in your target audience.
Dennis show you how to create 10 pieces of content in each of 5 different formats in one month. I reviewed the plan and it’s very do-able (in fact, I’m going to be working through this program myself – it’s just what I’ve been looking for). You may be able to repurpose each of these 50 pieces of content (such as turning a blog post into a Powerpoint video and then strip out the audio portion to make a podcast episode, and then maybe also post the article to Facebook and to an article directory.
The content creation of 50 content pieces in a month might take you around an hour a day, 5 days a week, and then maybe a little more time spent repurposing each. Of course, any or all of this process could be easily outsourced if you wanted.
Dennis calls this the 5×10 system and you can get your copy here.
And if you’d like to work with me on developing your content strategy, strengthening your message and growing your business, let’s set up a consultation here.