Whether you’re just getting started in blogging or content creation, or you’re a veteran old bird like me who’s been doing it for over 8 years, you want to ensure you’re creating content for an audience that can actually find it useful and will find value in it.
The last thing any content creator wants to do is create content for air, i.e. content that not a single soul is interested in. Nonetheless, when we first start out oftentimes this is the main thing we do, and it’s through no fault of our own, so to say, we simply don’t know any better and lack direction.
We get excited about a particular topic and want to jump in head first, without a strategy, and without knowing if it’s what our audience wants or needs. :::raises hand::: See the thing is that when we start out creating content, we most of the time know who we want to create it for. Like, we have a general idea of who we want to serve with it and who we think will learn most from it.
However, a general idea isn’t good enough, at least not in today’s online world where there are millions, really billions of pieces of content out there ready to flood our brains with information. This is what you’re going up against every time you publish a piece of content online, and we definitely know this to be true when it comes to social media.
Not only is content being created at an exponential rate, but it’s also being shared at the same rate, and it’s also becoming less relevant the older it gets faster than ever before.
Creating relevant content for your audience is one of the main ways to get around this, and its the one thing I wish I knew when I first started creating content for my brand.
When I say specific, yes I’m absolutely referring to creating content for those in a particular niche or if you already are niching down even more. The more specific the individual is that you target, the more certain you can be that they are finding value in your content. In addition, these individuals often tend to be more engaged and supportive — which is especially important when you want to start marketing and selling to them.
Honestly speaking, the transition from personal/lifestyle/mommy blogger to a business blogger was not one that was as easy as I anticipated it to be.
It also didn’t help that I did it at a time when it was pretty much the on-trend thing to do. Despite this, I was uber passionate about blogging about business and was eager to jump into the world of content marketing. Everyone who was already doing it made it look so easy, and they were booked solid or selling products out of the yin-yang.
So naturally, I followed suit thinking that everything everyone else was doing would work for me. Writing blog posts on similar topics, offering similar types of products and services, and employing similar methods for audience education and outreach, like webinars and online trainings, I thought would either all work for me or that I would be able to easily incorporate into my content marketing/marketing strategy with no problem. This wasn’t the case…at all!
It took me longer than I would like to admit, to learn that you can’t do what everyone else is doing and think that it will automatically work for you and result in instant success — even with hard work.
We all know that there is nothing new is under the sun, but the way in which we approach and carry out things should be because we are all different. It’s all the more reason why copying someone will never get you far.
To be honest, yes I totally took inspiration from those around me in my niche and there’s never anything wrong with being genuinely inspired. Nonetheless, my issue was far from copying, but thinking that the same methods others used to grow their businesses and achieve success would work for me.
Sidenote: there is a difference in being inspired or using something as a model to go off of, but to do exactly what someone else is doing, and seemingly, in the same way, will always leave you steps behind not only them but everyone else in your field. This isn’t in relation so much to the methods that people use, because that’s typically what they teach when offering coaching or a course. It’s more of replicating someone’s content attempting to use their same voice, structure, and tone — or literally copying verbatim the content they produce.
Okay, so now that I cleared that up, let’s dive back into why me trying to apply these same “methods for success” that others in my niche were utilizing and how they didn’t work for me.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not one to invest in a lot of online courses or subscribe to a lot of people’s email list. I invest intelligently, which is always what I recommend you do, meaning that I invest in things that I genuinely feel will benefit my business, and most importantly from a long-term standpoint.
When I consider investing in an online course, I think first about the practicality of it, and how I’ll be able to apply the education to get results. It works relatively the same way with joining others’ email lists because the last thing I need is someone filling up my inbox with a bunch of content that I won’t take anything away from.
It’s not personal, I promise, it’s simply business. There are a ton of creatives that I follow who have awesome programs, but I know that the odds of me purchasing it are slim to none, because they don’t align with my personal goals or my business’.
So, fortunately, I can say that I haven’t broken the bank investing in a lot of courses or programs that ended up being a bust for me — and that’s all because of my pickiness. However, when it comes to the free content, that’s where I get in trouble. I’m less picky because when things are free you can consume them indefinitely because there is no limit on it ending like that of which would be in a course or program. It’s the free online trainings, webinars, blog posts, and podcasts that get me.
It’s the free online trainings, webinars, blog posts, and podcasts that get me. If you think about it, they all have something in common: interactivity. Yep, even those podcasts that you listen to are interactive, because many of them ask/require that you take some type of action upon listening to them. In addition, while all of these things are interactive they are also very accessible, entertaining, and can be revisited multiple times oftentimes.
Bet you hadn’t thought it from that perspective, or maybe you have. Either way, the inspiration can really sneak up on you, especially when you’re ambitious.
You hear a great tip here, and read one there, and think to yourself — I can do that, too! And you can but in your own special way. I know it sounds cliche’, but its true.
In business, you have to do things your way, through trial and error and create your own story (brand) that tells other about your business in the most genuine way possible. There is no other way to achieve success in business — no shortcuts — than through hardwork, consistency and diligence. I know we all wish there were, because trust I’ve been trying to find them, and to no avail, I know there’s not.
If there’s anything I’ve learned on my journey of growing a business it’s that I have to tell my story, in my way, and without the safety net of depending on others’ experience (good or bad) to become successful.
Everyone has a different journey, some appear easy, quicker, and as if they require less effort, but that usually means that those people are/have done something right.
I’m sure if it that they’ve worked hard, struggled, and had set-backs like the rest of us, and if they haven’t then I guess we’ll just call that luck. Highly unlikely, but still it could be possible, but that’s something I’ve taught myself not to focus on. It’s not how blessed or lucky someone else is in their business or life because while I’m focused on them, I could be focused on myself and achieving and getting my own.
So, as I wrap up here, the main thing I wish I’d known when I started creating content for my brand, and even before that is to keep my head down, put blinders on focus on myself. It’s nothing wrong with seeking education or information when you absolutely need to — say you’re looking for a specific answer to a problem — but you have to draw the line somewhere, and that’s when you are working in your business instead of on it. I found myself not having drawn that line, and because I didn’t I found myself trying to do a million and one things for my business without a clearly defined focus.
In business, all of your efforts must be focused. They must have a clearly defined reason and dedicated focus, because believe it or not your most successful business owners know this.
It’s the reason why they are ultra intentional about the decisions they in their business, even though it may not look like it. Trust that they are because they know that fly by night, by the seat of your pants decisions oftentimes don’t pay off in the best ways. They usually result in time and money lost, and unfortunately sometimes a lot of it :::raises hand to the time part:::: – fortunately not the money part, or at least too much of it. Either way, they’re both kind of the same thing, so it sucks to miss out on both.
My content should have been strategically thought through, planned out, and been able to funnel my audience into my products and services. It should have been able to build the type of trust to create a thriving community full of raving members ready to support me in my business endeavors, resulting in wondrous biz besties.
These are many of the key things that a successful business owner needs, especially one operating a business online these days. They are majorly what I wish I knew when I started creating content for my brand — thankfully, I know them now, so better late than never, right?
What’s the one thing you’d wish you knew in your content creation endeavors when you first started out?
Let me know on a free 20-min 1:1 Content Audit call + get instant feedback on your current content and actionable tips that you can implement immediately to level up your content and ensure it’s in direct align with your brand’s mission, vision, and values.