I’m going to talk about creating content.
Stay with me … I promise, it will be worth it.
Creating content can feel like laundry or dishes. It’s the chore that never ends, right? You create a video or blog post and then you need to create images, social media posts and distribute it out to your audience and list(s). And as soon as you check all the blocks, it starts over again.
On and on it goes.
Believe me, even though I’m a content writer, I feel the pain, too. It can be exhausting, and cause burn out – to the point that you stop creating new content all together. This happened to me a few years ago. I was creating so much content for my clients that I became burnt out and stopped creating content for my business. I knew it was the wrong thing to do, but at the time, the thought of writing one more article for my newsletter/blog was too overwhelming to complete.
Admittedly, I was also dealing with the deaths of both of my parents + two grandmothers in a span of 15 months. Read more: Lessons Learned 2019.
But I knew I needed to #changeit and begin creating content once more. What did I do? I put my head down and worked through the client work knowing that over time, I’d create enough white space in my business to begin to write and share with my audience again, which is something I love to do.
But here’s an essential element about creating content that shouldn’t be overlooked…
More content isn’t effective. All it does is contribute to online noise.
Better content teaches, solves and connects.
That’s always been the goal of anything I write for you. To teach ideas, help solve your marketing problems and connect with you on a more personal level.
Last fall, I finally carved out that space so I could begin creating content and sharing ideas again. Before putting one word on paper, I invested a lot of time on my content strategy. Here’s what I did:
I identified the most important content and will focus on only that.
As I stated above, my approach wasn’t to create more content. The industry does not need more content. But it does need better content.
The content I identified as being most important to my business includes:
- Website pages and posts
- Email newsletter + backend components
- Social media around sharing my content and ideas
Why Website: It is the hub of my business’ online presence, and as I say often: It is one of two digital properties you own. I have plenty of content on my site (over 250 pages and posts), and it all needs reviewed and updated. This is a long process (think marathon), and my goal is to update the most important pages and posts first. I’m using an SEO tool to identify keywords to use in my refreshed content. This will make the content on my site much more effective.
Why Email Newsletter: My email newsletter subscriber list is the other digital property I own. These folks are incredibly important in my business. They, at one point, raise their hand and said that I’m interesting enough to want to hear from me regularly. That’s powerful!
I’ve grown my business on my email newsletter. Jottings has been around since I opened my business 13.5 years ago. Not only do I believe that newsletters aren’t going anywhere; I also believe that newsletters are on the cusp of another big marketing explosion – because they WORK!
- Email marketing has the highest return on investment for small businesses (Campaign Monitor, 2019).
- From a study of 1,000 small business owners, email marketing was ranked as the second most effective medium for building brand awareness (second to social media). (Campaign Monitor, 2019).
- Roughly 80% of marketers have reported an increase in email engagement over the past 12 months. (Hubspot, 2020)
But email marketing is more than sending out emails to your list. There is an entire backend that needs to be built to make your efforts effective. It includes creating attractive incentives to build your list and at the very least, an 3-5 email automation sequence that is sent out after your new subscriber signs up. (More on this in a future article).
Why Social Media: Social media builds brand awareness, which is important, but it also drives traffic back to your website. Using a social media scheduling tool, like Publer, I’m able to schedule my posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. The time I save by using this tool gets allocated to participating in conversations on social. WARNING: Do not use a scheduling tool in place of yourself. You still need to participate.
Quick Tip: I see lots of lovely project photos on Facebook, but many home builders and remodelers make a critical mistake. They don’t add a link back to their website. The next time you have project photos to share (either in-progress or completed) be sure to link back to your site, too!
Once I prioritized my content categories, my path was clear—only focus on them. If a shiny, new idea comes along but it doesn’t fit into one of those three categories, it gets tabled. Is there other content I’d love to create? YES! I’d love to start a podcast/video series (I’ve not decided) and create on-demand courses. But that will come later. First, I need to get the foundation down, and that includes the critical element of carving out time each week to get it done.
What are the most important pieces of content for your business in 2021? Comment and let me know!