Content Generation

Content Generation: Starting is Hard

The late great Tom Petty said, “the waiting is the hardest part.” Living legend Stephen King says it’s the moment before you start. But maybe they’re both right because if you look at the spirit beyond the wordsmiths’ prose, it can sometimes mean the same thing, at least In regards to content generation. 

The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.

Stephen King

Beginnings are difficult. But it’s less what you’re actually doing than the anticipation of it. We get in our heads. And that can be especially true with anything outside your wheelhouse, especially when it involves creativity. 

For many business owners, marketing falls under that umbrella. It’s creative and intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be. 

Content Generation: Generate, Don’t Judge

The best way to create regular content is to create regular content. 

Let me start with this. Your content generation doesn’t have to be super creative and artistic. I’ll get more into that later, but for now, let’s assume it doesn’t even need to be seen. 

I know that sounds ridiculous. After all, you’re generating content so it will be seen, right? 

Wrong. 

You are publishing content so that people will see it. And you want it to be seen so that you generate business by staying top of mind. 

What’s the difference? Content generation isn’t the same as content publishing. 

When you’re generating the content, it doesn’t need to be publishable. So right now, I’m talking about brainstorming. 

When you get started, don’t worry if your ideas are good. Instead, turn the critical part of your brain off and just come up with ideas. 

When you’re not trying to make sure everything is perfect, you’ll come up with more content, and when you come up with more content, you’ll come up with more GOOD content. 

A Reminder About 2QC in Content Generation

My first blog here was about the 2QC marketing formula I run POP on. What is that formula? Quality, Quantity, Consistency. They all matter, but only one is subjective.

Quantity

More good content is better than occasional great content. That’s because social media and search engine algorithms weigh you higher when you produce more. 

But there’s more to it than that. 

Consistency 

A content dump might get you some brief attention. But for a solid ranking and getting your material viewed more often, it’s better to post consistently on social and your website. 

Did you notice that I always post my blogs on the 15th of the month? Sometimes I write them before that, but I CONSISTENTLY post on the same day each month. 

I wouldn’t get the same mileage if I dumped 12 blogs in one day. 

This is even more true with social media. 

Quality

So what about quality? Quality matters too. But when I say quality, I don’t mean your content needs to be Tom Petty or Stephen King quality. 

Like anything, the higher the quality, the better. If you can hire a professional for your marketing, absolutely do it. 

But if you want to go it alone, quality means a few things. 

–           Easy to Read

–           Non-Generic

–           Non-Salesy

–           Authentic

Editing – Now You Can Judge

“Good effort. Poor execution. F -“

Ok, now you can let out your inner Simon Cowell. I told you that during content generation brainstorming, you don’t worry about quality. But you can be a little more ruthless when editing your creations.

As I said, when it comes to quality, no one is expecting you to be a modern Twain. But they should have the four aspects I listed under quality.

Easy to read means that your posts use whole sentences or phrases. You can use slang, but it needs to be understandable to your audience. And being casual doesn’t mean you can skip punctuation or use constant run-on sentences. Watch for typos!

Nongeneric means you should have a voice and, ideally, write about things that show you’re a real human person. This connects with authenticity as well. Write in a way that shows your voice. Tell stories about your work and your customers. 

Finally, don’t sell with your social. Your posts shouldn’t be about getting someone to do business with you, at least not directly. Say, this person had experience A, not “we have  a great deal on yada….” Do you see the difference?

Publishing

Finally, all the best ideas, even if perfectly edited, are useless if no one sees them! I used to have a comedy troupe. Writers would sometimes say, “I have an idea about _____. Do you think that could be funny? “I would respond with a variation of “It could be. Write it.”

That might seem harsh, but we had a shorthand. Here’s what I meant. Anything can be funny (or, in your case, good), but you need follow through. Ideas have no mileage in themselves. 

Regarding publishing your posts, several social media sites have decent internal publishing tools that allow you to put in your posts and schedule them. Ideally, you should have a strategy for when to post, but I could write several hundred more words on that. 

You can also look into third-party tools for scheduling your posts. Or, if you’re more analog, there’s nothing wrong with an actual calendar or excel document. 

The important thing is to develop a system for content generation and publishing content that works for you. 

Content Generation Shortcut

I would be remiss as a writer and marketer if I didn’t point out that there’s an easier way. Your shortcut is hiring someone like me. Marketers publish quality material on a consistent schedule. 

In my case, I specialize in finding and speaking in your voice. When you’re ready, I’m here for you. 

Until then, feel free to comment with your questions!

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