20 WAYS TO ROCK AT CREATING SUPER AWESOME CONTENT
Consistently creating super awesome content is possible.
Yes, it can feel completely overwhelming, and sometimes, that causes you to not create at all.
This often leaves you frustrated about your blog – and that frustration makes it even more difficult to create excellent content.
You don't have to feel that way!
You just want to learn what it actually means to create consistent content.
Let's talk about that for a moment.
When it comes to taking your blog to a branded business, delivering consistently great content is key. The content that you create falls under the interaction category of the 5 Critical Elements of a Powerful Brand Image and is an important piece of your brand image. It is the way into your heart and soul of your brand and personality.
A lot of bloggers feel like the need to be pushing post out 3 - 4 times a week in order to be consistent.
Unless you are able to put out 4 long form and super actionable posts every week, I would not advise posting just to post. I did this for a long time when I first stared blogging. The results? Mediocre at best.
Consistency simply means that when you hit publish, send an email, or post on social media, it is high quality. Something that your audience finds useful. Your audience can tell when you posted whack content just to get something out there. Don't post whack stuff. Take it from me, I've totally been there.
Now let's go ahead and jump into 20 Ways To Rock at Creating Super Awesome Content!
1. WAKE UP EARLY
You may not be a morning person, and it is possible that you don't believe me right now, but if you don't mind, I'd love to tell you a story first and see how you feel after that:
When I was in design school in Boston, I worked at Starbucks. At 5:30 AM. I did not have to leave at 5:30, I had to BE THERE at 5:30. I left at 4:45 AM and worked until I had class. After I quit Starbucks, my body would not allow me to sleep past 7 AM, at the latest for months. Guess how much I got done? I started my first blog, and read a LOT, wrote a lot of poetry and ate breakfast way more than I used to.
5 QUICK TIPS FOR GETTING UP EARLIER
- Get up slightly earlier everyday. 15 minutes earlier everyday and by the end of the week, you given yourself close to 2 extra hours of time! If 15 minutes is too ambitious for you, try 10 then 5! Once you get used to it, your body will adjust. It’s science.
- Put your alarm across the room and set multiple alarms in 5 minutes increments. It will annoy you enough to get out of bed
- Do a quick workout. Quick cardio will get you alert pretty quickly. Try jumping jacks or jogging in place for 1 - 2 minutes. A squat challenge is another way to gain some more energy after you wake up!
- Cut the afternoon coffee.“But Tiffany, I go to bed too late to wake up early.” I assure you, that second or third cup of coffee is affecting you much more than you realize. Try cutting to half-caf in the afternoon if you cannot go cold turkey, then pull back completely. I know I am a huge coffee proponent but I do not drink it after about 2 PM, unless my goal is to stay up. I usually regret it if I do!
- Just do it.I know this sounds like a cop out tip, but at some point, you’ve just got to say “I am getting up at 6 AM tomorrow no matter what.” Just like any other goal, you have to be determined to get there!
I promise, (even if you are looking at me through a half open sleepy eye screaming for coffee) you will thank me later. Tweet me about it.
Get up earlier. I promise you'll get used to it and be more productive
2. GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER
Someone who will keep you inspired, motivated and on your toes will help you get this book written this month. This does not have to be someone which is in your niche but it can be someone who supports you enough that they will push you. Perhaps a like minded creative individual who knows what it means to work hard to build something that you love and can share.
Someone who holds you accountable should be honest, kind and insightful. You want someone who will actually takes the responsibility to check in with you and remind you to write. I would choose someone that you know cares enough to ACTUALLY hold you accountable.
3. SEEK FEEDBACK
In addition to your accountability partner, ask your friends, family, Blogger/Business Best Friend reach out to them. Give them bits of your content to look at and ask them to objectively assess what you have written and ask them for real feedback. (This does not include your mom saying “Baby, I’m so proud of you, just keep on writing!”) Only accept real, non-fluffy, hardcore feedback that will help you improve your content.
4. SET ASIDE TIME TO WRITE
This is crucial. Intentionally and diligently seeking out time to write is what will get your book written. This seems like an obvious statement, but it is easy to get caught up in research, lessons, (ahem Netflix) and forget to actually write.
A specified time to write will help you feel like you are not rushed. When you set aside time, you are much more prepared to actually get things done. If you know that you have blocked off 2 hours to write on Saturday, your mind will be prepared and you will have very likely started developing ideas in your mind that will naturally flow out.
5. LEARN HOW TO FREE WRITE
Once you have that writing time, use it to free write These are just things that come to your head easily . Don’t edit. Don’t research. Just write. Write until your brain is empty.
This advice comes from a lesson from INFOBOMO (Infoprenur Book Month that was organized by five entrepreneurial women: Ashley, Elizabeth,Brittany and Jenna last March) I set my timer for 30 minutes and just went for it. The outcome? I had written 3 pages and almost 800 words of stuff that had been floating around in my brain for a while. It was awesome and I will now always start my writing projects just like this.
Another thing to look out for is being distracted by technology. I turned off all my push notifications because I would be writing and get an Instagram or Facebook notification and totally lose my flow. Try going to a park or coffee shop with just your word processor open and just write.
6. DON’T GET STUCK EDITING
Alright, my hands are raised on this one. When you are creating content, it is best to just write and edit later. You can truly stunt the flow of creativity this way and may miss ideas that you have did not take the time to write down. Editing is truly a great process, but how much more natural will your writing be if you just write like you were speaking?
A really great way to d this is by actually recording your ideas. When you speak naturally you can hear how you sound – it isn't really something you would necessarily think about! This is truly a wonderful way to use your authentic voice in your writing - because you’re literally speaking in your authentic voice. Write now, edit later and reap the benefits.
7. TRY CREATIVITY EXERCISES
Sometimes, you really just need to do something that is not related to your work. In my article 75 Ways to exercise creativity, I outline (you guessed it!) 75 ways to crank up the creativity and free your mind. Check it out for inspiration.
8. READ WRITING AND LANGUAGE BOOKS
I cannot tell you how nerdy I feel when I sit at a coffee shop reading actual textbooks, but I love how much you learn about grammar, language and writing in general. I can really inspire your work on a whole new level!
9. ASK LOADS OF QUESTIONS
People like answering questions. Go ask them! You can also ask peers, your blog audience, and other entrepreneurs for tips and see how their insight can inform your own work.
It is a great idea to seek out writers and bloggers in your niche and ask them how they got to where they are. Ask people what they want to read, ask them what kind of writing they like, and ask them if they would be willing to check out your work.
Ask them for wine too. You need that.
Asking great questions will help you produce great work.
10. IGNORE SELF DOUBT
Positivity is the name of the game. You are writing a book in one month for Pete’s sake! There is no room for negatively and self doubt. Look in the mirror and say “Self. You can write this book. You will write this book.” Anything that pops in your head that does not support that, ignore it, and get writing. If you fall on the side of doubt often, it is a good idea to regroup, read the lessons, and get motivated. Pump yourself up. Listen to some Taylor Swift - whatever you need. Just keep your eyes on the prize and keep on trekking!
You are awesome. You have some awesome things to share. And now let's sit around and soak up in each others awesomeness.
*If you caught the "Mean Girls" reference there, you are even more awesome.
Let's sit around and soak up in each other's awesomeness
11. SET REALISTIC GOALS
I have the tendency to jump the gun. I'll be like, I'm gonna write a WHOLEl book tomorrow! Ummmm, hi, that is so unrealistic. You are simply much more productive if you break your content into chunks, like solidify the outline and then free write.
Try thinking ahead about how much time you have. Consider how much you have to do and start to block out time to get free writing done for each section. Then set a time to edit your work.
READ: HOW TO SET GOALS YOU'LL ACTUALLY WANT YO ACHIEVE
12. REVIEW PAST WORK
Now ya'll know that older work can probably use a spruce. Chances are, you have written something that you can reference and expand on. Look at your blog posts and see what can be extracted and reworked.
Doing this periodically will also help you develop continuity (I freakin' love that word!). Let's say your writing style has changed a bit. Reworking an old post will ensure that your style matches throughout all of your work. In addition, you'll find underdeveloped ideas that will give you some super awesome content ideas.
In addition to this, Regina from byRegina.com was recently talking about the beauty of "un-publishing" go ahead and draft that mediocre post and rework it into something amazing!
13. READ BOOKS ON YOUR TOPIC
I mean real books. Going to (gasp!) the library can improve your writing and help you understand how books in your niche may be organized. Even amongst different authors, there are often common themes in the way things are written and how the information is organized. Even if it encourages you to find a fresh way to organize your content, reading these books will be an important part of your journey. Plus, googling everything leaves a lot of room for getting distracted (Hi, Buzz Feed). Sitting in a library with a book can be totally invigorating.
As bloggers and infopreneurs (coaches, solopreneurs, whatevs you wanna call us awesome creative folk), we have a tendency to consume a lot of info from other bloggers. This is awesome for support, but be careful not to be too inspired. What you don't want is to accidentally copy!
There is a reason that you believe you have something to say in whatever niche you chose! As you read, find things that you may disagree with and address it (I don’t mean directly call authors out, but address the topic). Find holes, things that people haven’t touched on, or use a different perspective.
Oh, and the library is awesome by the way.
14. SEARCH FOR YOUR AUDIENCE
I don’t mean the audience you thought you were writing to. Find the people who will genuinely need and be interested in your topic. I wish I had thought of it two years ago when I first started blogging instead of just writing random things! It will help you get very specific about who you are writing to.
Get out there on social media and hunt down your target audience. Find out what they are tweeting, Instagramming and Facebooking. This will help you truly speak to them.
15. FACT CHECK
When I read blog posts or books and the facts are blatantly wrong I lose trust. Even if you are making up a statistic for dramatic effect say “I just made that up.” Your reader will think it is hysterical and love you for it.
It is really easy to get going and say things that SOUND great, but if they are not true or accurate, it will not go over so well. The worse thing is you may never hear about it. People just won’t share your content.
This also goes for plagiarism, by the way. Be sure to give credit to whatever source you use. It is easy to accidentally quote something you read and not even realize it.
16. DON’T IGNORE AN OUTLINE
Outlining your work is important. Once you outline it, refer to it. Ask yourself if everything contributes to the overarching topic. If it doesn’t, get rid of it or rework it so that it fits. Clarity is key. If you are writing about elephants people following you for your elephant-speak won't appreciate a post on dinosaurs.However if you are writing about elephants and your post about dinosaurs points out the similarities and possible relation to elephants, you’ve have created an interesting piece of literature, friend. Take time to outline your work and develop a consistent flow that always supports your overall topic.
Sometimes you put content out that you know relates to your topic but others may not see the connection. Use the outline to make those connections so that it is written in. Spell it out so everyone will see how my value you're bringing!
17. JOIN A COMMUNITY
Being a part of a community is the way that I developed and refined my niche and target audience. Constant inspiration by peers will really motivate you to get moving.
Google + Groups
Then just start talking to people! You will find that bouncing ideas from new friends will inspire you to no end.
18. INVEST TIME IN OTHERS
Reach out to people who captured your attention – whether it be a blog posts or an email. It is likely that someone has a similar topic to you. Bounce ideas off of each other and be another source of encouragement. One great thing about having group support is that creative people have a tendency to inspire one another, ESPECIALLY if their niche is different. You will get a chance to alter their expertise to fit your topic and have a wonderfully fresh perspective on your work.
Take time to invest in others for a fresh perspective and to inspire your own work.
19. GAIN SOME PERSPECTIVE
You’re attempting to build a course, or write a blog series. That is difficult, right? So think about something that is more difficult. Like carrying a monkey while riding a bike or lifting a car with your pinky toe. Now THAT is difficult.
In all seriousness, I watched this video of a 16 year old girl who just graduated with her Master’s degree, is working on her Doctorate and has written three books (Watch here) I was like - dang, if she can do that, I can write some pretty powerful content.
Think about where you were when you first started. You've improved in many ways, I'll bet. (If not then you are in the right place!)
20. TAKE A BREAK
Last but not least, you need a little downtime. I know how hard it is to stop once you get going but I promise you need a small break. Even if you just need an hour to walk or hit the gym. Take some time out to recharge and come back refreshed. You will feel much better.
And now it is your turn! Tell me, what are some ways that you are rockin’ at content creation? Has this advice helped you on encouraged you in any way? I would SO LOVE to hear from you - in the comments below, or Twitter - just reach out and let me know how you are doing!
Also, here is a great image that you can refer to to help remember the tips discussed here.