Do you love the strategizing the researching and the planning that goes into content marketing?
Are you one of those people who knows exactly how you want your content marketing to play out?
You’ve got your keywords. You’ve got your topics. You’ve got lists of ideas. You might even have an editorial calendar for your blog and social media outlets.
But producing the actual content is pretty intimidating.
That’s putting it mildly.
You stare at a blank page and all the awesome tidbits that had been flowing through your mind disappear.
How do people actually write all this stuff?
How do you crank out a blog post you really need published asap?
Unless you have a serious handicap, writing isn’t as hard as it might seem.
Full-time writers have off days, too, don’t get me wrong.
We also have tricks and strategies to help us out.
I could teach you all about the writing process and how writing online content is different than other forms.
What helps you more right this second, though, are strategies that will help you start writing content today.
Here are 6 strategies to actually produce content for content marketing
The first three help you get those awesome thoughts out of your head and onto the page.
Once you have a chunk of material to work with, then you can use that as raw material out of which you’ll craft your shareable content.
#1-3 – Getting awesome ideas out of your head and onto the page
1) Have a “jot spot”.
Designate one or more places to jot down all your fresh ideas right when they pop in your mind.
I recommend having at least one jot spot, but no more than three.
Your jot spot could be an app, a physical notepad, an audio recorder, or something else entirely.
I use a notepad app on my phone, a voice recorder app (also on my phone), and a physical sketch book.
You can’t be actively composing content all the time. (Even full-time writers don’t!)
The problem is that often ideas pop in your head when you’re not writing (I think of all kids of things when I’m washing dishes), and then when you sit down later to write you can’t remember.
To use a jot spot to fix this, every time you have an awesome idea or the words start flowing well, stop what you’re doing and jot them down.
Store those ideas for later.
When you sit down to focus on writing, you’ll have all that material to get your juices flowing again.
2) Talk it out.
This strategy was transformative for my middle and high school students who struggled with composition. Especially those with learning disabilities.
The mechanics of writing really slows some people down.
Most of us can’t type out the words as fast as we think them. We also tend to try to edit as we write.
Then we lose our train of thought in the middle of trying to spell everything in the sentence.
If this is a problem for you, try to talk it out instead.
Talk about the subject or idea just like you would if you were discussing it with another person.
Literally. Out loud.
As you talk, record yourself, use dictation software, or even speak while someone else types for you.
Students were often surprised by the awesome stuff that came out of their minds when they used this trick.
All that’s left once the ideas are out is to edit!
Silence your phone and minimize distractions. Set a timer for ten minutes.
During those ten minutes, type or write everything that comes to your mind.
Try to stay on topic, but literally write your stream of consciousness.
If you can’t think of anything to write, write “I can’t think of anything…”
Keep your pen moving on the page or your fingers typing.
Don’t stop to correct spelling or grammar.
Don’t edit at all as you write.
Freewriting is about getting your thoughts flowing.
Try freewriting once or twice a week for a while. It might take several attempts before you start to see results.
Once your brain starts to get the hang of it, though, I bet you’ll be really excited by the results!
(If you want to learn more about freewriting, I highly recommend the book Everyone Can Write by Peter Elbow!)
#4-6 – Turning those awesome ideas into awesome content
Once you’ve used the first three strategies you should have a nice stash of fresh material from which to pull.
Now you can throw some of that that clay on the wheel and mould it into your actual content.
One main idea can easily produce a week’s worth (or more!) of content on your blog, YouTube channel, and social media.
Here is the most efficient way I’ve found to do this:
4) Turn the big idea into your primary content
Pull the one main big idea and write your blog post(s) or video script(s) from that.
Yes, it’s really that simple. Revise and edit the idea(s) you produced in steps 1-3.
5) Create smaller pieces of content using snippets of that larger primary content.
Pull quotes and smaller/related ideas from the big idea, and use those shorter snippets for your social media posts for the week.
It’s kind of like having a theme for the week, though you don’t need to state that explicitly.
Some of these smaller pieces of content will promote your primary content, and some of them will stand as valuable content on their own.
If you’re not used to producing that many thoughts on a consistent basis it can be really intimidating at first.
Once you develop a habit of using these and other strategies, producing your own content can be really doable.
But writing all your own content is not for everyone.
Sometimes you do actually need to:
6) Hire a writer
You saw this coming, right? I am a writer, after all.
Seriously, though, we all have areas of our lives we delegate. Sometimes only for a while, sometimes long term.
I do a lot of my own graphic design, but even though I own and use professional software my skills only go so far. When I need something more complicated done I hire a designer. I could totally find tutorials online and do those projects myself, but it isn’t worth it to me to put in those hours when I could pay a reasonable fee to have the project done quickly and spend my time doing what I’m already good at (and what pays the bills).
Evaluate how much time you’d need take away from your other duties in order to write all your content.
Can you even take time to write during business hours?
Will you need to carve into your time off?
How steep is your learning curve?
Might it be worth your while to go ahead and delegate this piece?
I’d love to help you get your content marketing started on the right foot.
You can email me right now and ask for a free 30 minute strategy session.
Then we can walk though your business goals and content marketing ideas, and see whether content marketing is even a good strategy for you.
(For some businesses, traditional media is still the way to go.)
If content marketing fits your business and your goals, then we can figure out which way you should go and how to get it done.
There’s no obligation to hire me after the strategy session.
My hope is that you’ll walk away from our call with direction – excited about your next steps.
Go ahead and shoot me an email to ask for that strategy session – firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to hearing from you!
Jenni Burks is a web content writer and copywriter who loves helping small businesses that market to parents. Content marketing has been her side hustle and passion project for almost 20 years.
She lives with her family in Virginia.