I know I’m not alone when I say I spend a large chunk of time each day thinking about content. In fact, some of us tie ourselves in knots trying to work out the ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘where’, even before committing to writing a single word. At times it can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.
Consistency, creativity and quality: these are three simple principles I follow when creating content, be it for a client or myself. Whether I’m writing an article, a blog, a website, a video script or a social media post, keeping these ‘top of mind’ during the development process makes the process easier and my writing more impactful.
So what do these principles look like in action?
This applies to the frequency, look, style, language used and overall messaging conveyed in your writing. Consistency helps you leave a thumbprint on your writing, and conveying your values, purpose, vision and brand with every post helps your audience recognise you instantly. But to do this well, you need to set the foundations for your content, along with a posting schedule so you know the what, where and when in advance. You need to:
Develop a style and voice for yourself and your brand.
Commit to a plan – how often, where and when you will post.
Create a content calendar.
I can hear you shrieking, “But I’m not creative!”
Creativity doesn’t just mean fancy wordplay or humour; creativity can also refer to your own unique thoughts and perspective. Present your ideas while staying true to who you are and what you stand for and your perspective can be what sets you apart.
But for those more creatively challenged, there are a multitude of apps available to help you spice up your posts. Inject imagery, video and audio to create the sort of cut-through content that stays with people long after they’ve finished reading.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to be different and have fun with your content.
No matter the form, destination or style, make all content quality content! I’m not talking about high-budget productions or time-consuming essays; I’m talking about crafting impactful, meaningful communication. Move away from creating content for content’s sake as this will result in a low ROI. Besides, given the constraints on a small business’ time and resources, every content piece must have a clear purpose. To ensure it does, ask yourself:
Are you offering up a new perspective?
Are your readers learning something?
Are you making your readers think or laugh?
Are you inspiring engagement and participation from your readers?
Answering ‘yes’ to one or more of these questions means you’re on the right track.
Creating quality content is rarely easy, but it doesn’t have to be complicated either. Whatever you do, don’t overthink it as you risk trying to be all things to all people, and diluting your message in the process. Just keep it simple (stupid) by staying true to you and your brand message and you’re well on your way.