I love blogging. It’s something that I’ve done since I was 14 years old. It was more of a creative outlet than anything. Blogging became more intentional and strategic as I built my business. Like anything, blogging can become a systematic workflow that is repeatable and predictable. It becomes complicated when we aim for an all-in-one solution or the “perfect” content marketing system.
It’s the era of content. Content creation is one of the most common struggles that business owners experience. It does not know what content to create that will resonate, connect and convert. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s about knowing who it is that you wish to speak with, what challenges you help with, how you can help them, and why it matters.
In the recent weeks, I’ve been working a content plan for execution to create, connect, and cast my schedule, all in an automated workflow in preparation for a short maternity leave. They say it’s easier to help your clients with the solutions and services that you provide. It’s challenging to mirror it back to support yourself and your own business. It could be effortless. But we often complicate our processes, and that was the hidden trap I fell into.
Instead of focusing on delivering content, I was distracted by the #allthelittlethings. Such as where should I start writing in? I had so many tools in my arsenal that I ended up in an analysis paralysis state. Google Docs, MS Word, fancier tools like Blogo, or Hemingway Editor. The critical problem with these was that I still had to audit them for grammatical cleanliness, and easy reading.
Blogging never used to be this difficult! Do you agree?
If you were a one-person operation, you were the only one that had to manage the workflow from start to end. But as your business grows, your workflow may shift to having more touch-points, especially if you have team members. No single workflow is a one-size fit all and to find the sweet spot, you may have to start with a foundation, and then form it to fit your needs.
After my little conundrum, I ran into the small corner of my desk. In the quietness, I stripped away all the distraction, and it came to me: KISS. I need to keep my content marketing system SIMPLE. I looked once more at my toolkit and saw that most of my content marketing is in CoSchedule, along with my blog content strategy. It’s refreshing to reboot and reset to a known process that has worked all along. It reminds you of some of the more #importantthings that I’d love to share with you.
Calm Your Content Mindset
Words always flowed more natural when it can be relatable, and personal. So before you begin, take a few breaths and calm your content mindset. Remind yourself of why you are creating content. It’s effortless to listen to our inner critics and let it swoop us up in the world of procrastination. Before you begin your content creation process, affirm yourself with the following:
- Your audience/clients need to hear what you have to say
- Your words can create connections and collaborations
- You don’t have to be a great writer to be a good writer.
Give yourself some grace, and put it out there even when it’s not perfect. And it all starts with baby steps. Don’t get wrapped up in the do’s and don’ts, or requirements of “google” and “ranking.” Get into the routine of doing, and then adjust as you go.
Less is More
Don’t get caught up with all the do’s and don’ts. In today’s content-driven era, it feels like we are trying to stay in everyone else’s lane except ours. We are jumping in on the content game to try to deliver “quality” content. Instead, we should be creating content that is clean, consistent, and concise to benefit our audience and clients. There’s no magic formula for the “perfect” content. It’s about keeping our content marketing system simple for our own peace of mind so we can stay in our zone of creativity, and not let “content” feel overwhelming.
Tweak less, execute more
We all do this because we’re told to continuously improve. I always keep continuous improvement in sight, but with intentional scheduling versus on the fly. When you continue to tweak your process and systems, over time you begin to add unnecessary layers that complicate your workflow. The next up-and-coming tool may be that added layer; or a suggestion from another colleague or business bestie to try. Be cautious of the hidden trap of “too many tools” paralysis. Stick with the tools you know. Unless if you start working with a coach who specializes in systems or productivity to help accelerate your process. Like Michelle, who hired me to help her create a streamlined social media system.
Standardize your System
There’s no magic one-size fit all. Everyone functions and operates differently. The best thing to do is to create yourself a checklist that will become your system. Standardize your system so that it’s repeatable and predictable and templated. There will be no second-guessing on your process, and you’ll have confidence and concentration in creating your content. You’ll fall in love with your process again and as you keep running the process, the time will get shorter, and you’ll get quicker. Imagine turning out content in less than an hour! Don’t believe me? It can be done!
Repurpose, Recycle, and Refine
New is not always the best thing. In your zone of genius, some gems need to be spoken about over and over again. It takes an average of 7 instances for the average person to retain new information. When you are creating your content, stick to your cornerstone content pillars. They should be about 4 – 5 categories that you should be talking about consistently to establish your expertise in your industry. There are many ways that you can reuse, repurpose, and recycle your content, it’ll surely jive your creativity!
If you’ve been stuck on your content strategy and execution, it’s time to keep pushing and move ahead. The points above should help you make the most out of your content marketing system. Strip away all the baggage and beliefs you had about your content, and allow yourself to give. You have so much to give in your experience and your expertise. The world is waiting for your words, so what are you holding back for?