The Challenge (and Solution) to Creating Sustainable Content
You’re here because you want to learn how to grow your business using the new fangled internet.
Someone told you that if you want to do that you are going to have to create this stuff called “content.”
There’s just one catch, it’s hard.
Not hard like imposible, hard like hard work.
The number of people and businesses that start and ultimately fail at any type of content marketing effort is far greater than those who stick with it.
You Make It Bigger Than it REALLY Is
The second you start over thinking your “content strategy” will be the first time you get close to paralyzing yourself and your efforts.
It doesn’t have to be perfect, it will never be perfect.
Just start, right now.
In fact, if you stopped reading right now and started writing, then you know you’re on the right track.
If you want to keep reading that’s okay too, but this article will be here when you finish writing whatever idea just popped in your head.
The Slippery Slope
One of our fearless leaders here at the Grow Program, Ryan Hanley, has done more for advancing yours and mines efforts and abilities than the entire Grow team combined.
He recently wrote an excellent article a couple months ago titled, “Overcoming the Devaluation of Unremarkable Content” in which he said.
“I used to believe that newbies to blogging needed to create more content. That traction came from activity. Like a rocketship grasping for orbit, escape velocity was achieved through more publishing.
The thought was early content would suck and we needed to work through it. Over time we’d find our voice, quality would increase and hockey stick growth would occur.
My mind has changed.”
Reading that as a seasoned content veteran, I said to myself, “Yes, let’s raise the bar.” But as I’ve had more and more conversations with other agents inside the insurance industry I kept coming back to that statement.
If you don’t have a firm grasp on who you are and what your doing as a content creator, this could be debilitating advice.
I’m not bringing this up to call Ryan out, rather to preface that advice and help it from intimidating your content creation efforts.
You might read something like this, already struggling to create unremarkable “list” type content on a regular basis and this intended motivational tale from an industry leader actually feels like an avalanche of despair.
How are you going to be remarkable when you are struggling to be mediocre on a regular basis?
Moving Beyond Mediocrity
It’s not about more content, it’s about better content, faster.
This is where I will disagree with Ryan slightly and say, you STILL have to start anywhere you can and your content will more than likely be unremarkable for awhile.
You see, when getting started with content you have two choices.
One: create content in your basement that never sees the light of day until one day, hopefully, your “remarkable” switch is flipped and off to the promise land you go.
Two: set a minimum standard for quality and start publishing today.
The problem with number one is you will never get to that place you seek waiting for remarkability if you’ve never written a blog post before.
The problem with number two, and I think this is ultimately what both Ryan and I are trying to say, once you start creating content you have infinitely less time to improve your efforts from each piece of content.
Your improvement needs to be accelerated and focused to the point every sentence, paragraph and headline is better than the last. Everytime from the first day you hit “publish.”
There’s so much more to gain from each piece of content that “fails” to grab someones attention and move the needle than anything else you could ever NOT do.
Achieving Sustainable Remarkability
I promised a solution on how to create this sustainable process that hopefully and ultimately leads to remarkability.
The only thing I can tell you comes from my own personal experience.
This is going to sound shockingly basic and obvious, bordering on useless…
You have to set publishing days, dates or goals.
If you don’t know when you’re posting your next piece of content, you never will.
Keep in mind, this is if you’re just getting started or having trouble creating that sustainability.
The second, and possibly more important part of this process is identifying what type of content you want to create.
What I mean by that is, there’s SO many new shiny bells and whistles to distract you from focusing on your core content.
When you can choose from blog posts, videos, podcasts, hangouts, infographics or ebooks it’s no wonder you can’t stay on track.
Pick one or two of these and set your content schedule for the week or the month and get REALLY good at them, FAST.
If you even think of tossing in a new type of content in the first six month I will hide your computer from you.
A Real Life Example
I’m in charge of creating all the content for my family’s agency.
Here’s what my content schedule or workflow looks like.
Monday morning, write blog post.
Monday afternoon, record video with blog post
Monday night, edit/upload video, format blog post, create video thumbnail, find image for blog post
Depending on how smoothly anyone of those steps goes, I might schedule the post to go live on Tuesday morning or get up early and manually publish it.
Tuesday night, write email newsletter.
Wednesday morning, send email newsletter.
Friday afternoon, host an open Google hangout for anyone to join and discuss.
Rinse and repeat.
I was also hosting live Google hangouts every Wednesday afternoon, however the craziness of “Obamacare” has destroy my hangout time. Look for them to be back in the fold as enrollment winds down.
Draw Your Own Map
When it comes down to it, there’s nothing, Ryan, myself or any of the fellow Grow team members can do to take this from concept to reality for you.
The only thing we can provide is this first one percent, the nudge off the ledge, the rest if up to you and how remarkable or unremarkable you make it.
Of course, we hope you find your remarkability, but the only way you’re going to do that is by starting today.