Welcome back to the #ContentCreateHustler! In this 4-week series, I am teaching you the simple process I use to create content that makes content creation easy and even fun!
Today we are moving on to your content style and frequency as well as ways to actually brainstorm and organize your content ideas.
If you are joining us mid series, I recommend starting at the beginning and reading the first post and snagging the first workbook:
When I am talking about content creation, I am talking about content for blog posts, podcast episodes, YouTube videos, content upgrades, social media posts (including those you make in Facebook groups), emails and even your paid products.
Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s move onto determining your content style and frequency!
So, why should you even think about your content style beforehand?
When you know the medium, the general format, where you are going to find your images, and your overall goal for each post, then the BIG decisions are already made. So there is nothing that should be holding you back.
I know before I decided to use Haute Chocolate for my stock photography, I would get hung up on finding the right site with the right image. Now I have a collection of images to choose from. It takes me maybe 5 minutes tops to find an image for each blog post.
The reason I use templates for all of my blog post and social media images is because all of the hard work is done once and all I need to do is replace the image and update the text. Easy peasy!
Basically taking the time upfront to make the harder decisions saves you time in the long run. It starts to break down the possible obstacles that might get in your way and cause you to procrastinate!
So let’s dive in. Be sure to download the accompanying workbook for this week – it includes bonus content brainstorming exercises!
Nailing Down Your Content Style
This is a process you should use for each type of content. A Facebook post is going to have a different style than a podcast episode. A blog post is going to have a different style than an email.
Will the posts/videos/emails/etc. be long form, short form or a combination of both?
You should go into detail about any minimum or maximum lengths you want.
For example, you will only post podcast episodes that are between 30 and 60 minutes because your target audience are commuters and they listen on their way to and from work.
Break it down even further, do certain lengths ONLY pertain to certain topics?
For Blog Me Lovely, my educational posts tend to be 1,500 words or longer while the creative inspiration posts are usually much shorter since they are more image based.
Once you know this, it will be easier to determine if a piece of content is appropriate for the medium!
I know I have started writing blog posts only to realize that it didn’t really fit for my blog and was better suited for a Facebook post. That took the stress off of me trying to make it longer just to fit in with the content on my blog.
Plain text can be SUPER boring. I always like to have AT LEAST one image per post, even if it is just the pinable title graphic!
The type and amount of imagery (or audio!) is completely a personal preference. But I would keep your dream audience in mind. (If you are unsure about your dream audience, be sure to check out How to Hone In on Your Purpose, Niche and Audience).
So imagery can be graphics, photography, infographics, slideshows, videos, GIFs, audio files (so not technically visual but it paints a picture in your mind), etc.
Anything that brings your content to life other than just written words.
Once you know the TYPE of visual content, you need to figure out if you are going to create it yourself or get it from somewhere else.
For example, I create my own graphics but I source my stock photography from Haute Chocolate. Where as many fashion bloggers take their own photos!
If you are going to get your visual content from other sources, I would create a list of your go to sites. That way you aren’t starting from scratch each and every time you create a new post. You aren’t paralyzed by all of the options out there. You know the places that have content that is your style and on topic. One less obstacle!
I feel EVERY piece of content should have a desired reader (or listener) action.
This could be as simple as commenting on the blog post or Facebook post, to signing up to your email list, sharing your post on social media or buying your product or service.
You should really only have one desired reader action, or else it can get confusing and the reader won’t know what he or she should be doing.
I will admit that I break this rule sometimes. You will actually see that on this series. My blog post has options for the reader to share on social media, a bold call-to-action for you to comment and multiple email opt ins. But if you notice, there is only one of them that TRULY stands out. And that is the email opt in. That is my main focus.
Your (Brand) Voice
A big part of your brand is your voice. It is the tone and language you use in writing, on podcasts and on video!
So let’s break it down…
Will you use swear words?
I want to say that there is no right or wrong answer to this. This is a personal preference and it depends on YOUR style and YOUR audience.
Do what feels right for you.
Personally, I rarely cuss and if I do you will still never hear me drop an f-bomb. But that is me in real life too. In fact, if I ever did use it my family would probably die of shock.
But if you are someone who uses it frequently and that is you, go with it. I mean Ash of The Middle Finger Project uses it in her tagline!
This is where we dive a little deeper.
You need to decide just how much personal details you will share with your audience. Once again, there is no right or wrong answer.
This can even vary depending on the platform! I tend to be more vulnerable in my emails and in Facebook group posts than I ever do on my blog.
Think about your dream audience and what they would expect to see. But also, think about how you normally talk.
Will you be more fun and light-hearted or will you be more corporate professional? Or a mix of both?
I have come to accept that I use a more technical tone, especially in writing. I think that might be because I used to be a Computer Engineering major and spent a lot of time with my grandpa who is an Aerospace Engineer!
But hey, that is okay. It might turn off some people, but I know my true tribe will resonate with it.
Now think about any words or phrase you commonly use. And also ones you will avoid.
I know Marie Forleo likes to say “it’s all figureoutable!” That is one of her key phrases and beliefs. And I have heard it over and over again in everything she does.
When you spend time developing your brand voice, people will start to recognize your style. This is because it is the same on your blog, on podcast interviews and even on social media.
Don’t worry though, this can and will evolve over time. It isn’t set in stone.
Determining Your Content Frequency
It is important to have consistent content. But the frequency can and should vary based on the platform.
It might be acceptable to tweet 10 times a day but you sure wouldn’t want to post 10 blog posts in one day!
I will be the first to admit that I used to have a different take on this. I used to think that you should post on your blog at least once a week at a bare minimum. Now I feel the bare minimum is once a month. And that is because blog posts are definitely not the only content you will be creating anymore.
Since each platform is completely different, I would answer these questions for EACH medium separately.
How often will you post?
Don’t overexert yourself here. Don’t say you will post a blog post every single day if that isn’t doable (and most likely that isn’t doable unless you are like a daily deal site!)
Do what feels comfortable to you. If you put your expectations too high, you will get discouraged. But it is okay to push yourself.
I want to post once a week. But I originally had that set to 2-3! Now I know that I quit my day job and I do this full time but there are so many other business tasks to do than just blog posts. Tasks that directly result in income. So I lowered it to something doable that I still felt great about. That is your magic number.
Any designated days?
Will you designate certain days for certain topics?
Maybe every Tuesday you will write a tech tip post on Facebook and share it in groups. Maybe you don’t have a schedule and write whatever comes to mind.
If having designated days will help you keep on track and on schedule, then I highly recommend them. They can help you narrow down topics on days you are unsure what you want to write about.
This isn’t something I do on Blog Me Lovely, but I did do this when I had my lifestyle blog Peace Love Sequins.
It might just work for you.
What days will I post?
Will you post every Monday? Maybe every Tuesday and Thursday. Will you post the same days every week?
I think having certain days to post are great. It starts to train your audience to expect a new post from you that day.
I personally fell off the schedule wagon. *sad face*
But my plan was originally to post a detailed how-to post on Tuesday and a design inspiration post on Thursday. It is something I am going to work toward again.
Brainstorming and Organizing Content Ideas
This is the fun part!
When you take the time to brainstorm ideas ahead of time and keep these ideas in an easy to access file (such as an Evernote notebook or in Asana), when you are ready to actually create your content you should never be wondering “what am I going to write about?”
Be sure to download the workbook for my brainstorming method and how I keep my content ideas organized.
You made some BIG decisions today. You are one step closer to creating killer content.
Be sure to use the workbook to brainstorm your content ideas for the rest of the year!
Leave a comment below if you get stuck, have any questions or just to let me know how you are enjoying this series! And if you share your progress and this series on social media, use the hashtag #ContentCreateHustler so we can follow along!
Ready for more?
Check out the next post in the #ContentCreateHustler series: Why Promotion is Just as Important as Creation – If Not More!