The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
― Albert Einstein
When it comes to content creation, sometimes our brains get in the way. If sitting down in front of a computer to write your next blog article feels like a chore, it may be because you need to change your thinking.
I was recently putting together a great email to tell my readers about some new things in social media. I was excited to share my first impressions of Ello, tsū and the new Facebook Groups app, but about halfway through the Ello review I realized I had a full blog article on my hands!
Something similar happened the day before that. Google had announced they were making improvements to local search results by giving webmasters the tools to identify phone numbers and opening hours for different departments, like customer support or billing. I pulled all of my notes together so I could record a #TBMnews video on the story and, for the second week in a row, I found technical issues in the recording. I scrapped the video, but luckily I found that my notes were good enough that a little tweaking left me with yet another blog article.
What this made me realize is that good quality content can come from anywhere. I’ve never been one to just sit down and write unless hit with a major burst of inspiration. I often hear small business owners talk about how they know they need to create content, but don’t really know what to write about or how to keep coming up with ideas. I imagine many of you are in that same boat.
Thinking About Content
Here are a couple things to remember when thinking about content:
1. Content is not limited to blog articles
My podcasts and digital marketing news videos make up the bulk of my content. It just so happens that I’m more comfortable talking about it than writing it. Even those have written elements! After I finish editing my podcasts, I go back and listen to each one and write show notes for my website.
Each news video is converted into a written transcript that is added to YouTube for closed captioning — did you know YouTube indexes transcripts for search purposes?
2. Don’t force content
If you’re not one of those natural writers that has articles pouring out of your soul, just look around. The content will come to you.
It’s important to me to let my followers know what’s going on in the digital marketing industry. I go straight to the source and listen. How did I know about the Google local search updates? I look for new stories on their blog everyday.
There’s bound to be some sort of industry news that affects your customers. Find the sources of those stories and watch for something new.
I read a ridiculous post in a Facebook Group last week. Someone was asking how we keep up with the blogs we want to read. (Personally I use Feedly.) One response was something like, “don’t read blogs; create your own content.” So I suppose you get your news by osmosis? I get the point, don’t just parrot what everyone else is saying. If you get your news from the source rather than have it filtered through a third-party, you will be more authentic because it is your interpretation.
Speaking of Facebook Groups, do you participate in industry-related groups in places like Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn? That’s a great way to keep an eye on trends and see what others in your industry are talking about. They’re also a great place for content inspiration.
Lastly, I want you to get out there and talk to your customers and potential customers. Don’t be a pushy salesperson. Find out what their concerns are, what questions they may have and what needs you can fill. When you’re one-on-one, you’re likely to have an open and honest conversation. Take those conversations and turn them into content!
What are your inspirations for content? Continue the conversation by leaving a comment below!