Content is one of the most fun things in the world! Words are beautiful, powerful and meaningful. They are used to entertain, inform and educate. Where would we be without them?
As a small business owner you can have a love affair with words, writing and content. There is so much you can do with you; the possibilities are endless and that why I love it so much.
Now you might have decided to write a blog post once a week, update your Facebook page five times a week, post to your LinkedIn account, start writing an ebook and feature as a guest blogger once a month. Go you! And then the panic sets in! I can’t do that – I don’t have enough to say! What will I write about?
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there, including me, and there are plenty of ways to get around writer’s block and dry spells. But here are the easiest things you can do to start with.
Start with what you’ve got
The best piece of advice (or one of the best!) I can give is to just start writing. To do this quickly and easily you will need to keep a record of your published work, whether it’s from your blog or work you’ve had published in newspapers, magazines or online platforms. A simple spreadsheet with the title, topic, date run and a link to the file or where it is saved will be your best friend.
Go through everything you’ve ever written for your business – online and print, published and unpublished, articles, marketing material and whatever else you can find. Then, list everything down. This will start to give you a few ideas for your writing, building on what you’ve already done.
Tip: If you have hard copies of some of your published work, see if the publisher can send you a soft copy. This will make it easier to re-edit, add new information and re-use later.
Repurpose your current content
First, if you have a bank of stories you can draw on that relate to your business, frameworks, customer problems and solutions, the time of year or popular questions, then all you have to do is update them with current information and tweak thelanguage a little so they can be re-used for social status updates, blogs, eBooks, internal process manuals, video scripts and press releases.
Second, you can use these stories as inspiration for new content. Simply do a mind map with each topic you’ve already written on to see the new ones that stem from your original list.
Finally, if you have them all written down in the one place, like a spreadsheet, they will be easy to find and reuse, making the writing process very, very simple.
Tip: When you are repurposing your content, you only have to rewrite 50 per cent of it. So add a story or some client feedback to it. You will already have this in the form of case studies or testimonials – and client stories are easy to come by if you’re talking with your ideal customers.
Content curation is one of the most awesome ways to upload regular content. When people think of online content, they think of content creation – their own original work; the words they’ve written themselves when they put their fingers with lacquered nails to the keyboard. That type of content is the best for making you stand out because it’s a part of you. No questions asked.
Another way to generate content is through curation, where you share relevant information from other industry sources. You find it, add your spin and simply pass that message on to your readers.
This is great for a number a reasons:
- When you don’t have time to create your own awesome content, you can still give your readers valuable information so they come back for more.
- You can use it to strengthen your own comments, ideas and work because your values are aligned.
- It adds credibility to your cause.
Tip: Google Alerts are a great way to stay up-to-date with what’s happening in your industry, and to find content you can curate. To create a Google Alert, search for a term or phrase (for example ‘fashion industry’) in Google News. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click ‘create an email alert for keyword’. Then simply follow the prompts and you’ll start receiving automated emails whenever something relevant to your search is published.
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