If you're an online business owner (and I'm guessing you are, if you're here reading this!) then content is a non-negotiable. You can't run an online business without creating content - it's as simple as that.
You'll create content on your website
Your social media will need some content too...
Want to email your subscribers? Yep, that's going to take some content...
And don't even get me started on actual content marketing! Blogging, podcasting, videos...
So if you don't feel pretty darn confident about your content creation skills, then you've got a bit of a problem because ineffective content equals an ineffective business.
Lucky for you, I'm here to tell you that writing killer content doesn't need to be difficult. You don't have to be some copywriting genius - or in fact any kind of genius. You just need to implement these three tips and you'll be well on your way to creating your own killer content, confidently.
1) Be Organised
Yep, it's the P word again... PLANNING. Great content needs a little preparation and thought, so get yourself into good habits and I promise you, you'll see a huge difference in your confidence levels AND your content.
The last thing you want to do is just churn out content for content's sake. You want your content to be valuable, right? So do a little research! Here are some of the things you might want to spend some time on before you begin your content creation:
The Beginning & The End
All great pieces of content have a structure to them and the foundations of that structure are your beginning and end!
Consider who your content is aimed at and how you want them to feel at the start? Then how will they feel by the end?
Let's take this blog post as an example...
My audience are people who need to create content for their business, but who want to learn how to do that more effectively. At the start of the post, I want you to understand the importance of content creation in your business - and the pain of not being able to do that confidently or with impact.
Go on - go back and take a look at my first paragraph or two. Do you think I do that?
By the end of this post, I want you to feel a new sense of confidence that you now have the tools to go away and start creating better content for your business. There's also another benefit of writing great content that I want to introduce to you - but more on that in a bit!
Plot Out Your Key Points
Once you know your start and finish points, it's just a case of plotting out the journey to get there!
Identify the key points that you want to make along the way - these will be your headings and sub-headings (or in the case of non-written content like video, your different sections).
Always think of your content as a journey that you're taking people on. This will help you to build a more structured and ordered framework.
Don't Skimp on the Details
It's easy to get so focused on the actual content that we forget the other elements which go towards turning your content from blah to brilliant. Make sure you allow some time to spend on the other details such as:
2) Be Believable
Right, that's the prep done. Nice!
Now on to the fun stuff. How to create content that people will read to the end, remember and (you know how I said I wanted to talk about another benefit of great content.... well here's a big clue...) ACT ON.
Because that's the real power of killer content.
It's wonderful if you can get people to read to the end
It's fabulous if you move them enough that they remember your words and how they made them feel
But if you can actually move people to action with your content? Well the world's your oyster, my friend.
Write from Your Heart or Your Experience
Great content holds you captive from start to end because you believe it (or in the case of fiction, you suspend your disbelief).
If you try to create content about something YOU don't believe, then your audience will see right through it (and you). The best content comes when you talk about the things that mean the most to you, that you feel most strongly about or that you've experienced for yourself.
There's a reason that storytelling is one of the buzzwords in the online business world at the moment. It works!
People love stories. We remember them - and we share them with others.
My four year old used to have a bit of a problem with hitting other children at his pre-school. It came from playing rough with his older brother... His Dad and I were so worried that he'd end up in trouble and without friends!
Time and time again, I would plead with him not to hit other people. I'd get him to promise me each morning that he'd be gentle with the other boys and girls....
Then one day, I sat him down and I told him a story about a little boy called Seth (that's my four year old's name) who wanted to play with his friends but they all said no because he'd hit them. The little boy had to go and sit on his own and just watch everyone else play and have fun without him....
Do you know, he's always remembered that and even repeats it back to me sometimes. He's never been in trouble for hitting again....
If you can use stories in your content then you'll find you get more engagement and more conversion (and by that, I mean people taking action)... there's that added benefit again...
Lastly, if you really want to be believable then make use of other people's research too! Of course statistics may not always be appropriate, depending on your topic, but where it is, back up what you're saying with (reliable) data.
3) Be You
Right, listen to this part because it's important. I mean the other stuff was important too, but this is super-duper important.
YOUR CONTENT COMES FROM YOU.
Every piece of content you create is a statement about who you are - it's a piece of YOU.
So make it YOU - warts and all.
We all have other content creators and entrepreneurs who we admire and wish we could be more like. That's fine - use those people for inspiration.
DON'T try to be them though. You'll only ever be a second best version of them, so why bother when you can be the BEST version of you?
When you're just starting out with content creation it might feel a bit awkward or stilted to be you - and somehow easier to put on a different 'voice' which mirrors the voices you've seen and heard yourself.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DON'T.
Keep going, keep creating and you'll find it starts to feel more normal and natural.
You WILL find your voice
You WILL find your own rhythm
and you WILL find an audience who loves your content, just like you love others.
Stop Trying to be Perfect
People don't want you to be perfect.
They want you to know what you're talking about, for sure.
They want you to come across as professional (and when I say 'professional' I don't mean 'corporate'.
But they don't want you to be perfect.
We connect with content that we can empathise with - and that empathises with us.
Perfection is overwhelming and sometimes even off-putting.
So if you've been worried about your flaws or weaknesses when it comes to putting yourself out there in your content - DON'T!
They are part of what makes you, you. They're also a big part of what will attract your ideal clients to you instead of your competition.
If you want to move people with your content (and preferably move them to ACT on it), then you'll need to create an emotional connection.
We're people after all and much as we like to think that we're driven by logic, we're not! Nearly all of our decisions (and that includes our buying decisions) are based on emotion.
Why else would you even consider spending £200 on a pair of shoes? There's no logic in it - but it sure feels good to wear them!
One of my favourite quotes seems incredibly apt here...
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
Last, but not least - be consistent. Content is the long game.
One great post does not a successful business make.
You need to show up consistently
You need to be consistent in your tone of voice
Your need to communicate a consistent message
If you can do all that - EVEN when it feels like you're talking to no one and that you're completely wasting your time, then that killer content of yours will start to make big things happen in your biz before you know it.
You've got this. xx
Oh and one more thing...
That last benefit I kept mentioning? The powerful thing your content can do for your business?
Well, if you hadn't already guessed, I was talking about content that converts.
That's the type of content that is SO good that it compels your audience to take action - whether that be signing up for your email list, following you on social media or taking out their wallet and buying something from you.
It's all done with content, baby and if you want to know how to create killer content - that converts, then this is for you.