TIP #1 — BECOME A CONTENT-IDEA GENERATING MACHINE
Not knowing what to write about is one of the biggest killers of creativity and consistency. Thankfully, there’s a simple solution: prepare your topic ideas in advance. This was an absolute game-changer for me and the reason I’ve been able to generate regular content.
Start by brainstorming 40-50 content ideas. Think about the questions customers always ask, what they need to know before purchasing or helpful tips and insights to support them where they are now. If you’re struggling to come up with enough ideas, consider breaking one subject down into multiple topics or a series of posts.
Highlight your top 26 ideas — this gives you weekly content for 6 months, or a plan for the entire year if you post every other week. Commit to a regular posting schedule (weekly or fortnightly) and schedule these topic ideas into your calendar in advance. Repeat this process as needed every 6-12 months.
Planning your topics saves you time. Have a different subject you want to talk about instead? Move the pre-scheduled content idea to a later date in your marketing calendar!
Batch your content creation, by putting aside a block of time to write each week. It’s much easier to create a couple of articles or two weeks of social posts in one sitting. Plus, creating content in advance will remove the stress and ensure you stay consistent.
Finally, keep a running list of content ideas, adding new topics throughout the year. I save a document to my desktop and also jot down ideas in the notes section of my phone when I’m on the go. This way, I never run out of ideas!
TIP #2 — PLAN OUT YOUR POSTS
Got your topic and loads of ideas floating round in your mind — but unsure how to organise them?
Any time I sit down to write, I always begin with creating an outline for my post. I find drawing out a mind-map using pen and paper the easiest way to get all of the thoughts out of my head and into a logical structure.
To do this, start by writing the article topic in the middle of the page. At this point, I usually have a couple of potential headlines in mind, so I make a note of these here. If not, jot down any key words that could form part of your post title.
From there, you’re going to map out all the key areas you want to cover on this subject. These are the sub-headings in the main body of your post — each step in a process, separate tips or ideas. Then, note down all your thoughts as supporting points under each heading.
TIP #3 — HAVE A CLEAR PURPOSE
One of the biggest secrets to creating compelling content people want to read and share? Have one clear purpose behind every piece you produce.
Start by asking yourself: Who is this for? Always have a specific person in mind as you craft each piece of content.
Also consider what you want the reader to take away from your article. Is this post designed to educate, inform, motivate, inspire or connect with your audience? Do you want them to walk away with a particular insight, solution to a problem or ‘how-to’ teaching point?
Get clear on the primary goal behind every single post before you start writing. Mention it in your introduction to create engagement and encourage the viewer to read on. Summarise it in the closing sentence to re-confirm the benefits of reading your post and finish off on a powerful note.
Having a clear purpose also helps you to start sharing your unique voice. By knowing exactly who you are speaking to. And sharing your individual perspective, experience and insights on the subject.
TIP #4 — START WITH A STORY
Before you go into the main body of your post — the practical strategy, ‘how to’ or ideas on a topic — start with a story. Stories allow you to share your unique take on a subject. This is what sets you apart and where your voice can shine through.
I like to use a story in the introduction of every post but you can also weave them throughout your copy. Consider why this topic is important to you or relevant to your ideal client. Share stories about your client’s goals and struggles before working with you, their results and your own experiences, challenges and aspirations.
There are two approaches you can use to identify suitable stories:
- Number one, you could start with a powerful story, share the key lessons and takeaways or match your post topic to it.
- Number two, you can begin with the article subject and find interesting and unique stories to support it.
I tend to use the second method when crafting my posts. However, I also find keeping a running list of stories to support my work often sparks new content ideas too!
TIP #5 — PUTTING PEN TO PAPER
The best way to find your unique voice? Start using it! By putting pen to paper and sharing your ideas, experience and point of view.
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” Louis L’Amour
Put your work out into the world. Get feedback and use this to improve your writing skills. Then, you can continuously create content even more valuable to your audience.
Practice makes perfect. The more you create, the better your writing will become. And the easier it will be to shape your natural voice over time.
When it comes to finding your unique voice, the best tip I can give is to write from the heart, without editing. Keep the tone conversational, by pretending you’re speaking to a good friend. And always have your overall objective or purpose in mind as you curate each piece.
Struggling with writer’s block? It happens to the best of us at times, especially when starting out. If you get stuck, try recording yourself talking on your phone — then turn the transcript into a written piece!
Finally, once you have your first draft complete, read it out loud. Remove any unnecessary filler words or ‘fluff’. Make sure it sounds like you and how you normally speak to guarantee your natural voice shines through!
Creating regular content for your company or personal brand has become increasingly important in business. People do business with those they know, like and trust. By sharing your expertise and unique voice, you’ll add value to your audience and will naturally attract clients.
These tips have helped me find my voice and create consistent content. I hope they support you too!