Content creation block can be crippling to the very best intentions to create consistent content to your tribe. It comes from feeling pressure, being stuck in a rut, trying to be perfect, and a lack of planning. That’s a shame because it’s stopping business owners from promoting their business and communicating with their tribe on a consistent basis.
Does this sound like you?
It doesn’t matter what type of content you create, whether it’s in the form of a blog, a video channel or simply social media posts… we all get creator’s block.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way!
Making Content Creation Block a Thing of the Past
Planning ahead, even just a two-three months at a time, will help you get past this frustration.
If content marketing is a goal for you, you should have a comprehensive content marketing plan that includes building out your tribe or customer avatars, keyword research, market research, a plan for what you will create and how often, an outline of who will be responsible for what (team members), and an editorial calendar.
However, that takes time and research. So in the interest of helping you with a short term goal of getting content out on a regular basis, I’d like to lay out a sort of mini content plan that you can put to use right away.
Once you build habits with a mini plan, you can revisit the full blown content marketing plan.
STEP 1: Brainstorm Categories
Create a list of categories, even if you don’t have a traditional blog. Keep it simple, approximately 5 to 10 main categories should be enough. Less is usually better on this one.
Think of the categories of your products or services. If you have more than a dozen you can probably re-organize into subcategories.
The idea here is to have a quick view of potential topics you could approach as well as keep you from being tempted to produce content outside of what’s relevant to your audience. It’s also a good guide for keywords to use.
Keeping content categories to a minimum helps you be well known for those topics instead of going too broadly. It also helps you hone your writing or communication skills on those topics.
STEP 2: Create an Idea Swipe File
Create a swipe file of ideas. You can keep track of these in Evernote or a voice recorder that will be transcribed into a Google document that you can access anywhere. Use whatever method is comfortable to you but make sure it’s easily accessible so you don’t lose it or forget to use it.
Include the following:
- Questions you’ve been asked often
- Information that can help support your sales process or common customer support issues
- Content that helps new followers get to know you or your product better
- Keywords/phrases that you’ve fleshed out for your business or project
- New ideas that come up while you’re creating other content
- Anything else that comes up for you
Don’t over think it, just do a brain dump of everything you can think of and then add to it every time you have a new idea.
STEP 3: Decide on Content Types
Deciding in advance what TYPE of content you could publish will make the creation process that much easier. Here are some examples of content types:
Blog posts – in addition to a standard article you can create a list post, tutorials, product reviews, best of compilations, case studies, inspirational pieces, problem/solution pieces, and on and on.
YouTube Channel – product demonstrations, exercise demonstrations, guided meditations, accommodation walk-troughs, recipes, quick tips, step by step tutorials, interviews, podcasts, etc. The list can go on and on.
Live Video – 2 minute pep talks, 30 minute preplanned value based webinars, behind the scenes look at how things work in your business, answer a great question from a customer, etc.
Social – all of the above can be applied in one way or another to most social mediums and since you will be using the platforms that are best for reaching your specific tribe, I’ll let you use your imagination!
Decide if you want to do one type of content or a mix of content types.
You might want to also decide in advance the average length of each type of content. You can either be brief and to the point or go as in depth as you feel your audience requires.
Obviously types and length may vary or change but stating a plan will give you a starting point and the goal here is to not have to think too much about it when the time comes to actually create your content piece.
STEP 4: Editorial Calendar & Monthly Content Themes
Now decide on how often you want to publish your content, what day(s) you will create and what days you will publish. For blogs that are added value to an existing business model, once a week should be sufficient. However, if your blog is the business model you can go directly to your audience to see how much content they need or want. Set up a survey and ask!
Every good content plan needs an editorial calendar so print out some calendar pages and assign a theme for each month, planning ahead for the next three months, at the very least. Fill in the calendar with dates that you will create and publish your content. Go ahead and pencil in potential content titles or at least topic and type.
Creating a content plan based on monthly themes will help you stay focused and come up with ideas ahead of time. If you publish a blog post once a week you’ll only have to come up with 4 different points on any given topic to expand on.
Going deep on a category can provide data on level of interest from your tribe. If you aren’t getting a lot of traction on a topic category (after sharing it with all outlets) then perhaps you can exclude it in the future.
Content themes are also a great way to lead into a product or service launch or promotion.
BONUS TIP: Create in Batches
Create in batches whenever possible. This is especially true for video or interviews. If you have a production crew take advantage of the time you have scheduled with them and record as much material as possible in advance.
Having a plan of when and where each piece of content will be used is of utmost importance. With a solid plan and a day or week set aside for content creation you can have everything ready to publish in advance, reducing that last minute scramble and pressure.
My clients who are producing content on a consistent basis all have this in common, they create parts if not all in batches.
Putting Your Mini Content Plan to Use
Let’s recap the steps…
- Create a list of 5 to 10 content categories
- Create an idea swipe file that you can use for inspiration
- Decide on the content types you will create, including the average length
- Decide how much content you will create and how often it will be published
- Create an editorial calendar to keep you on track
Your mini content plan can be created and ready to put to use in just a few hours. Don’t let perfectionism or chasing rabbits turn this into a drawn out project that you’ll never finish and never use!
Set a timer if you have a problem staying focused, shut off all unnecessary devices and get it done. You’ll be glad you did and you’ll see content creation block become a rare thing of the past.
Get a small binder of some sort and keep your plan handy. Pull it out every time you work on your content creation. Add a page to the back where you can note the content you’ve created.
Creating Content in a Pinch
What if you need to do some creation on the fly but you’re uninspired?
Go to your category list and pick the most appropriate one for the situation. Then go to your swipe file and pick something that falls in that category.
Write down the problem that you want to solve and quickly outline the solution, as if you’re speaking directly to the person with the question or issue.
Now start filling in the details of each section of the outline. Before you know it you’ll have what you need for a blog post or an outline of what to cover if it’s to be a video.
That’s it, my mini content creation plan for avoiding content creation block! It should set you in the right direction if you are struggling with what to create next.
If you found this useful and you know someone who could benefit from it please do share. Also, leave me a comment below and let me know this makes a difference for you.