In order to build an audience as a content creator, you need to publish content on a consistent basis. My goal with this blog is to publish original, interesting, valuable content on a daily basis. That can be a challenge for sure. So, in today’s post, I want to discuss how to create such content on a consistent basis.
When we think about creating content, we think about creative writing. When we think about creativity, we think about creating something out of nothing. However, that’s not what creativity is all about. Creativity is also about finding new relationships between already existing concepts.
Sometimes, I come with some creative ideas to write about, such as self-programming robots or a secret meeting of Illuminati. I’m pleased with the creativity in those posts. However, if I tried to come up with that level of creativity in each post, I would have only 14 posts in my blog instead of 140.
We can’t rely on creative ideas all the time, if we want to create content on a consistent basis. We need backup plans when our creativity muscles get exhausted. The first backup plan is to document. This is a tip I learned from Gary Vaynerchuk.
Gary Vaynerchuk recommends to “Document, Not Create.” His rationale is that we should think ourselves as media companies and build a following first before creating. I agree with him. I have created some products in the past, which were used by only few people, because I didn’t have a following.
When you have a product, you can either promote with paid advertisement or with your own content. So, it’s better to create the content and build an audience first. In order to do that, Gary Vaynerchuk suggests that we document the process.
Documenting our process isn’t any less valuable than creating the product. The lessons we have learned in our process provide insights to the people that are earlier in their process.
For example, The Only Tip You Need to Grow Your Audience as a Blogger is a post where I documented what worked and what didn’t work in my blogging journey so far.
When we first start to create content, we think that we are allowed to produce content only on topics that we are an expert about. That’s a missed opportunity on multiple fronts.
First, we miss the opportunity to think about the different sides of a topic and reach greater mental clarity about it.
Second, we miss a chance to create original content, because discussing the different sides of a topic makes interesting content.
Third, we miss the chance to receive valuable feedback from our readers. It’s fine that we aren’t the absolute authority on a subject. We can just discuss the different sides of it in a post and then we can reach a conclusion or not.
If we can’t reach a conclusion, we can simply ask our readers for their opinions. Sure, it’s valuable to be the authority on a subject and to write about it, but it’s also valuable to ask a good question and to start a discussion on a subject.
The post, Supervisors, in Service of Their Subordinates or the Other Way Around, was about a topic, which I couldn’t make my mind about. I wrote a post discussing the details of each approach and reached a conclusion that is different than both of the options.
#3. Ask a Question
Curiosity is one of the strongest motivators. Sometimes, all you have to do to spark your creativity is to ask a good question.
Formulating your challenge as a question is also a good first step to solving it. For example, if your challenge is to create original content on a consistent basis, you can formulate that challenge as the following question: “How can I create original content on a consistent basis?”
Ask a question, stay with the question and a text editor or a pen and paper, and the answers will follow. For more details and examples about this process, read my post called Use Your Curiosity as Motivation and Ask the Right Questions to Succeed.
#4. Consume Quality Content
We are living in good times with respect to the quantity and quality of the content that we have. We have access to free or cheap content. Why not make use of it?
Sometimes, one idea you learn from a book or a blog post can make a huge difference in your life and business. One example of such an idea for me was to use growth metrics to optimize the stats of my blog and email newsletter and I have written a blog post about it.
The idea for one of my more popular posts, called A Buddhist Monk’s Take on Business, came from a book called Karmic Management by Geshe Michael Roach.
As long as you provide proper references to the original content, it’s OK to use the ideas of other people and to build upon them. That’s how ideas are spread and new knowledge is built upon the existing one.
#5. Summarize Your Own Content
When consuming quality content, don’t discard your own content. Sometimes, it’s interesting and inspiring to dive deep into your own blog and read what you have written in the past. Then, you can build on your own content.
One way of building on your own content is to write summary posts. I have written several posts on investing. At a certain moment, I wanted to summarize all of those ideas in a single post. That’s how I came up with the post, 7 Irrational Investment Beliefs and Their Alternatives.
Summarizing your own content is good for the people who don’t have time to read all of the related posts. It’s also good for the people who have already read all of those posts, because the summary serves as a reminder.
It’s good for the people who have just discovered your blog as well, because they have an overview of your work and they can go into detail and click on the posts they are interested in.
#6. Capture and Organize Your Ideas
I believe every person comes up with at least ten ideas on a given day. All you have to do is to capture them. My preferred method is to write them down in Evernote.
In the weekend, I go over the ideas that I captured throughout the week and organize them. I must admit that this is the challenging part, but it’s worth it.
Suppose that you have seven ideas about a topic scattered into different notes. If you organize those ideas in a single note, you have the basis for a blog post.
Capturing and organizing your ideas are the first two steps of the Four Steps to Becoming a Published Author.
#7. Dive Deep into Your Life Experience
We all have valuable life experience, but we take it granted most of the time. If you dive deep into your past, you’ll come across valuable life experience that you can write about. That’s how I came up with the post, Four Secrets of Leadership, and it was received well on Medium.
Don’t have enough life experience? Go have one! Do something challenging and write about it.
#8. Make Observations
We all have valuable content right in front of our eyes. All we have to do is to discover it, interpret it, and write it down.
After publishing 100+ posts on Medium, I had a considerable amount of stats collected in my account. There was a lot of value to be discovered in those stats.
What worked? What didn’t worked? What should I do more of, less of? Those were all the questions that had to be answered. As a result, I’ve written the post, 8 Blogging Lessons I Learned from My Medium Stats.
Your observations don’t need to be based on hard facts such as stats. You can also observe more subtle things and interpret them from a different angle.
Here’s an example. Even though Medium is basically a computer program, it’s great at motivating people to participate on it. From a different perspective, there are a lot of lessons in leadership to be learned from Medium.
Bonus: Take Good Care of Yourself
This is a bonus tip, but it helps a lot to take good care of yourself to create content on a consistent basis. Take care of the basics such as sufficient rest and sleep, exercising, having a healthy diet, and minimizing stress.
When I take good care of myself, creating content is like a breeze. When I have a bad sleep, don’t exercise, or when I’m in stress, creating content becomes a chore.
Creating content on a consistent basis might be easier than you think it is. When your creative juices are flowing, that’s great. Make use of them. If they don’t, you can use any of the methods discussed in this post to create content.
In either case, take good care of yourself and creating content will be a breeze.
What’s your favorite method to create content? What are your backup plans when you fail to come up with creative ideas?