Why it’s so important to consistently create quality content
By now you’ve probably heard me or someone else say that in order to be successful in today’s internet-based business world, you need learn how to consistently create quality content that truly helps your audience. This could be writing blog posts, recording podcasts, or making videos. Choose whatever medium works best for your brand, get on a schedule, and produce quality content on a regular basis. Whether you’ve heard it before or not, it’s something you’ll want to be doing in your small business right now. “But why?”, you might ask. Why is it so important to consistently create quality content? Here are a few things to consider:
It makes it easier for people to find you
If you can consistently create great content, you can build up quite a library of blog posts or videos in a relatively short period of time. Let’s say you publish one blog post per week. That gives you around 50 posts a year. In just 3 years you could have around 150 articles all written specifically about your field of expertise. When someone is searching the web for information on that topic, chances are pretty good they will find one of your many well-written articles and end up on your site.
It positions you as an expert in your field
This is perhaps the most talked-about reason for regularly creating quality content. Just by having all this great content attributed to you, you are viewed by many as an expert in your field. For example, let’s say you own a small-batch cookie business. You make amazing cookies, no doubt, but how do people know you are the cookie expert? You could write one blog post each week featuring cookie recipes, talk about different things people can do with your cookies like mix them into ice cream (yum), and maybe feature some mouth-watering photos of your cookies. With all this awesome content out there, people can now see that you are obviously THE cookie expert. So who do you think they’ll go to for their next cookie purchase?
You become the solver of your clients’ problems
More importantly than being perceived as an expert in your chosen field by continually creating quality content, you become the solver of your clients’ problems. If your content, be it video, audio, or the written word, can answer questions and provide helpful information for your target audience, you become their problem solver. The idea here is to find out what their pain points are, figure out what’s keeping them up at night, and provide real solutions. Once you are looked to as their problem solver, you quickly build trust and credibility and foster lasting relationships with your customers and clients.
A nice side effect to creating quality content
One nice side effect to creating amazing, helpful content is that you learn a LOT in the process! You might be thinking to yourself that you’re no expert and why should anyone care about what you’re writing or recording. We’ll address some of this self-doubt later, but keep in mind that while you’re writing all these great blog posts, while you’re recording these super helpful videos, you are learning more and more about your niche. You become the expert your audience now trusts and believes in!
Now that you know why it’s so important to consistently create content, let’s talk about putting the “quality” into your content.
What do we mean by “quality content”?
Creating quality content doesn’t have to be difficult. You don’t have to possess super-powers or have a PHD in journalism in order to produce high-quality content for your target audience. It does take a little research and a little trial-and-error before you get the hang of it, but rest assured that you can do this, and I’ve got some tips to help you.
Focus on the problems
The first thing you should focus your energy on is finding out what problems people in your target audience are experiencing. In order to do this, you’ll need to know your audience intimately. What are their problems? What are their pain points? What’s keeping them up at night? You can send out surveys via email, you can ask people in person, or you can conduct interviews with past clients – you’ll need to figure out what works best for your audience. This is important. Get this part right. The better you can articulate your customer’s problems, the better poised you are to help solve them.
Always be helpful
Once you’ve identified the problems you can help solve for your customers and clients, it’s time for you to address those problems with helpful solutions. Your content should always be written or recorded with the idea of helping someone. When creating your content always be thinking to yourself, “is this helping anyone?” “Is this solving a problem for someone?” The idea is to always provide value to your customers, and being their problem-solver makes you extremely valuable. When you approach your blog or podcast or videos in this way, being super helpful, you not only build trust in your brand, but your clients win big.
What’s holding you back?
So far we’ve discussed why creating content consistently is so important, and we’ve put a definition on the “quality” of our content. Next I want to address something near and dear to my heart – consistency. Why is it so difficult to be consistent in our content creation? Why is it so hard to hit that ‘Publish’ button?
Forget Everything And Run
I’ll be really honest here and just say that the number one reason why I (and many others) find it so difficult to be consistent content creators is fear. For me, it’s fear of being criticized, fear of looking stupid, fear of making mistakes, but it all boils down to the fear of not being good enough. So instead of putting myself out there on a regular basis, I say Forget Everything And Run. I keep working on other things like client projects, which are keeping me very busy these days, and just tell myself I’m too busy to get to my blog or my podcast. But I know better. I know how important it is to create good content for my business. I also know that in order to grow mentally, physically, and spiritually, I need to move through that fear. I need to push myself past my comfort zone, because every time I do this, my comfort zone gets bigger, and I grow as a person.
[Tweet “When you push past your comfort zone your comfort zone gets bigger”]
Push through the fear
I may feel like fear has its grip on me at times, but it’s very helpful to know that everyone has been there. The best writers, the most popular podcasters, the rock stars of the industry, all had to push through some sort of fear to get where they are today. What happens when we push through fear? We grow, we become smarter, we get better at what we do, we become the rock stars of our industry. Even if it’s just the small-batch cookie industry.
Feel the fear and do it anyway
The only advice I can give here is to just hit ‘Publish’. Keep creating good stuff and putting it out there. You may be filled with fear about writing a blog post, but sit down and write it anyway. You may think no one wants to watch your video, just get over it and record it anyway. The fear might still be there 6 months or a year from now, but just keep creating your quality content anyway. Pick a day of the week and make sure you publish on that day every week, no matter what. Just keep hitting ‘Publish’.
How to get started
Besides fear, another issue you might be facing is that you just don’t know what to write or talk about. You may feel that you’re not very creative and you just don’t have any ideas worth sharing. This is perfectly normal. I have a few useful tips to help you get started creating quality content.
Do a little research and then make a list of all of the problems your customers or potential customers are facing. Next to each problem write down a solution you can provide to help solve that problem. Write a blog post or create a video or a podcast episode for each of those solutions.
Do a Google search for articles about your business or your niche. Write down as many titles as you want – something like 20 or 30 works best for this exercise. What trends do you see? What are the most popular subjects discussed? What’s lacking from this list? Think about how you can fill in the gaps. Make a list of potential content titles that no one (or very few people) are already talking about. You can make a huge impact using this strategy.
This one has been very helpful for me lately and I’m really excited to share it with you (I know, I’m such a nerd). First I made a list of 30 or 40 potential topics I want to cover. Next I choose 2 topics from that list that speak to me right now and write very rough outlines for those 2 topics. This is a very simple outline – just a working title and some bullet points of what I want to cover in that post or podcast. I do this once a week. Over the next few days I flesh out one of those outlines and turn it into a great piece of super-helpful content (hopefully). I try to hit ‘Publish’ once a week. Doing it this way, I always have one post I’m working on and 3-4 outlines ready to be polished up. It takes a lot of the pressure off of trying to come up with something new to write about each week.
Just hit ‘Publish’
Trust me, I know it can be tough to get into the habit of writing a post or recording a podcast or a video every week, but once you’ve been at it for a while it does get easier. The most important takeaway from this post is to just hit ‘Publish’. You’ve got to push through whatever’s holding you back and just get started. Do a little research and start creating helpful content for your audience right now. You can’t wait for everything to be perfect to get started, because guess what? It’s NEVER going to be perfect! And that’s OK, just do it anyway.
What content creation tips, tricks, or techniques do you use? How do you push through fear and self-doubt? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject so take a moment right now and leave a comment! Don’t let fear stop you, just do it! 🙂