Generating new content is mandatory for anyone who has an information-based business or wants to be known as an expert in a particular field or topic. There are many options available today to be able to create content from blog posts, podcasts, videos, webinars or hosting a live event, to name a few. Having many options also brings many challenges for experts to get noticed as there are a lot more distractions to take into account.
Unfortunately, many content creators make some fundamental mistakes when it comes to developing content. These mistakes inhibit their ability to reach the number of people they would like reach or have the type of impact they want.
Here are five things to consider when developing new content and to avoid making some of the mistakes many experts make with their content. Some of these things I have learned through my own mistakes and some I have learned from other experts. Anyone who is able to apply these things well will be able to have greater influence with their audience, make a bigger impact and achieve the goals they want to.
- Be clear what type of content you are generating. One of the mistakes experts make is trying to cater to everyone and they do this by being very generic or broad in what they offer. We can’t create content for everyone therefore knowing the audience we want to serve is one of the foundational elements when it comes to creating content that people want.
At present, I am only creating content around the categories of leadership, personal development, productivity and marketing. While these are very broad categories, within the specific content I create, I narrow down my focus to small business owners, entrepreneurs and those wanting to make the shift from being an employee to an entrepreneur. Also, my predominant content currently are blog posts however, over time, that will expand to podcasts, videos and webinars.
- Be consistent with your content delivery. This was one of the critical mistakes I made when I first started blogging. I wasn’t generating regular content and eventually I stopped blogging for about three years. Any trust or affinity I had built up with my audience was lost so when I recommitted to blogging, I pretty much had to start all over again. This mistake has cost me time, experience, credibility and significantly diminished my ability to make a difference now as I am starting all over again. Don’t make the mistake I made.
Whatever you can do, whether that is one blog post or video or podcast a week, stick to it. Many experts recommend generating three to four pieces of content each week however, that could be a stretch for most people. Right now, I have committed to two new pieces of content every week and that is manageable for me. Therefore choose what you can comfortably do first then gradually increase it over time.
- Allow your audience to tell you what type of content to create. It is very easy to fall into the trap of creating content based on what you have learned or experienced. While that has merit and can be useful, what will make more of an impact with who you are serving is to let them tell you what they would like to receive from you.
The best way to find that out is by doing a short audience survey. Asking some specific questions will give you better insight into what you need to focus on when it comes to creating new content.
- Have specific goals or metrics that will help you stay on track. Being clear on what channels you want to target is very important. In today’s social media age, there are many media channels that seems very appealing and the “in thing” right now. By targeting too many channels, it can dilute your focus and not have the impact you want.
For me, my main media channel is Facebook, however, I have a strong presence on LinkedIn and to a lesser extent, Twitter. These are my main three channels and in recent months, I have added on Google+ simply because it is a Google channel and Google still is the largest search engine in the world.
Having a tool like Google Analytics is critical to know whether the content you are creating is reaching the people you’d like it to reach. Unless you know how you are tracking, you won’t be able to make the right adjustments and create content people actually want.
- Being too diverse too soon. It is probably unrealistic to think that after doing the same things over a long period of time, our interests will not change. That is all part of our own development and it is okay if our interests change over time. However, many experts try to branch out too quickly without having the foundations in place, and as a result, they do not have the impact that could have been possible for them had they worked a certain area or topic first.
A good example of someone who has stayed true to his interests and audience is John Maxwell. Although he has many interests and has achieved great results in many different areas, he still has stayed true to his leadership niche. Most of the content he creates is around leadership and as a result, he is known as one of the top experts in the world on the topic of leadership. He can easily branch out into topics such as how to be a bestselling author, book publishing, professional speaking or conducting live events. However, he is still positioning himself as one of the top leadership experts. In recent years, he has started training others to be certified in teaching his content but that was only possible after decades of being a leadership expert.
These are some things to consider when deciding what type of content to create, who to create it for and what format to offer your content as. Personally, I think consistency is they key along with creating the right content for the right audience, at the right time. If you’re able to apply these things to your content creating and marketing strategy, it will reaps huge benefits over time.
Question: Which idea resonated the most with you? What did you take away from this post?
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