You need to be creating content.
It is one of those non-negotiables in my business. *okay I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that even I let it slip sometimes but I’m never happy when I do!*
Creating content, primarily FREE content, is so important in this online space we are building our businesses in.
“Okay, Lindsey. I hear that all the time. But is it really a necessity? I mean what does free content even do for my business?”
Well, I’m so glad you asked. *wink*
Free Content Gets You and Your Business Out There
Think about it. How do you expect your dream client or readers to find you if there is nothing to find?
How do you expect Google to send organic traffic your way if there really isn’t anything to read on your site?
Creating amazing content is your way in with your dream client or reader. It gives them a taste of what you are all about.
Creating Content Establishes You As A Thought Leader
Sharing your knowledge and zone of genius in your content starts to position yourself as an expert.
It builds authority and trust with your readers because they can see an example of your expertise.
This is why free content is so important!
It allows a reader to get a taste of your knowledge, your style and personality before they even buy a product or service from you.
It starts to create a relationship. A giving relationship.
And Honestly, People Expect It Nowadays
This one kind of stinks right? I mean readers and prospective clients expect free content in some form or another.
And yes, I would consider an opt-in or content upgrade free content. But you still need to entice the reader enough to subscribe and it is getting harder and harder to do so.
Sharing completely free content on your website or blog can be that extra push to get someone to subscribe to your list.
They like what you have to say! They have already connected with you and want more of your value, more of your content.
That is why I created this series. Content creation is more important than ever but it also seems to be a pain point for many entrepreneurs.
So in this 4-week series, #ContentCreateHustler, I am going to show you the simple process I use when creating content. Content creation shouldn’t be hard. And when you have a solid content strategy it really isn’t.
Here is what you can expect from this series:
- How to Hone In on Your Purpose, Niche and Audience
- How to Determine Your Content Style and Frequency
- Why Promotion is Just as Important as Creation – If Not More!
- The #1 Tip for Content Creation from 15+ Industry Leaders
So if content creation is the bane of your existence, this series is for you.
But before we get started, let me clarify something. When I am talking about content creation, I am talking about blog posts, podcast episodes, YouTube videos, content upgrades, social media posts (including those you make in Facebook groups), and even your paid products.
Ready to dive in? Sweet! To make this series even easier to follow along, I have created a 11 page workbook just for you!
Why Knowing Your Business Purpose is ESSENTIAL For Content Creation
If you don’t have a purpose for you business, then you are going in blind with everything you create from content to your offers.
You have to have a reason you are creating something. That is what makes you a business rather than just a hobby blogger.
For example, say you are a health coach and you want to have a five-figure launch for your latest course about creating a healthy lifestyle for the busy 9-to-5 professional.
ALL of the content you create during launch mode will revolve around the topics covered in the course.
Maybe you walk your students through meal planning with fresh whole food in your course. So you can create one post about why eating a diet full of fresh whole food is important or the changes you will see by doing so. It ties directly into what the course will be offering and leaves the reader wanting more.
Makes sense right?
How to Align Your Content with Your Business Purpose
Now that you know why it is important to align your content with your business purpose, let’s dive into how you actually do so.
Determine Your Overall Goals for Your Content and Business
Ask yourself what are you overall goals for your business and how can your content supplement them?
Figure out your business goal (this can change over time and you might have multiple, but pick one to focus on) and then figure out how your content can support your business goal.
This is the foundation of every piece of content you will create.
Why You Should Have a Niche
This is a HOT topic lately.
Some influencers insist you must niche down. While others, think niching down is stupid.
I fall somewhere in the middle.
I DO think having a general niche is important.
It lets the reader know what to expect from you and positions yourself as an expert in that subject.
For example, say a reader wants to learn how to knit. She discovers two blogs from Pinterest. One blog is ALL about knitting – how to knit, where to find supplies, tips and tricks, etc. The other blog is about, well everything, but this person just happens to knit too.
Which blog or person are you most likely going to follow or turn to for advice on knitting (assuming the content on the topic is pretty much equal in quality)?
Personally, I would turn to the one that was ALL ABOUT knitting. Wouldn’t you?
Now that isn’t to say that there is never a time to talk about other things. But you need to consider the platform that you are sharing your content.
For me, I like my business blog to be related to design, blogging and business tips. But that doesn’t mean I won’t share more personal experiences or unrelated topics occasionally on social media or even let my personality shine through on my blog.
I LOVE Harry Potter. So I figured out a way to write a post related to Harry Potter but tied it into blogging. That made sense. A Harry Potter inspired fashion round up post, would not. You can read the post here if you are curious – 3 Lessons I Learned About Blogging from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Okay so that is more of a decision you need to make for yourself.
To niche or not to niche.
If you are struggling to settle on a niche, you can check out my post Why You Should Choose A Niche and How To Do So.
Defining Your Dream (aka Target) Audience and Why It’s Important
To succeed in your content creation (and in business) you have to understand who your dream audience is and their wants and needs.
When you truly know your dream client AND the goal of your content, then content creation is soooo much easier.
You will know what content they want and need, the words they use, and even the little things that will make them connect with you and your content.
Define Your Dream Audience
I like to think of a real person when doing this exercise because I feel it makes it easier and makes it feel more attainable than using just an audience set.
Now I usually dive a bit deeper than this, but at the very least you should know these things about your dream audience.
- Age Range
- Income Level
- What are their interests
- What motivates them
- What are their needs
- What are they struggling with that you can help with
- What are their limiting beliefs that you can help them overcome
Do you have a good picture of who your dream audience is?
If it helps, write a mini bio incorporating all of these aspects so it reads more like a story rather than just a list of facts.
Does Your Current Audience Match Your Dream Audience?
So this is a step that many people miss.
When you have been creating content without a solid plan, your current audience might not be your dream audience.
To find that out, check your Google Analytics. You can at least get an idea of the basic demographic information for your blog and even your most popular content.
You should be able to find out the general breakdown of:
- Age Range
- Your most popular posts
Not sure how to find your top posts in Google Analytics? No worries, I wrote a post detailing step-by-step how to find your most popular post in Google Analytics.
Now, if your content is primarily on social media, then go to that social channel and use their analytics. Every platform is different so the level of detail will vary.
Once you have this, ask yourself: “does my current audience match my dream audience?”
If the answer is yes, then you are right where you need to be!
But if the answer is no, why do you think that is?
It could be colors, language, sayings, writing style, imagery, your content topics, etc. Not all of this is content related, but if you aren’t attracting or are turning off your dream audience then I would first figure out why and fix it.
This week we covered a lot of the foundational material.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, it is totally okay. I know you’ve got this! Plus you have a full week to work on it before we jump into determining your content style and frequency. Oh and actually brainstorming content ideas!
Be sure to leave a comment below if you get stuck and have 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: How to Determine Your Content Style and Frequency.