One of the most common mistakes I see people making when they begin creating content is that they’re trying to please everyone.
Typically people look at what other people are doing and mimic what they see happening in the marketplace or what they see being published.
That’s a great place to start, but if you stay there too long you’re simply adding to the noise.
Even when you don’t know what you’re doing in regards to all the different elements that make up a quality piece of content, do it anyway.
BUT… you need to find your voice and know who you’re speaking to.
I’m going to share a mini-case study on myself and my early days of content creation.
I got started in 2008 and within a few months of beginning my online entrepreneurial journey, I fell in love with WordPress and grabbed the domain name ‘The WordPress Chick’ (which became ‘TheWPChick’ because well, copyright infringement. Ignorance was truly bliss when I got started).
Here’s what’s wild about my time as ‘The WPChick”… I’m not a developer or coder.
I fell in love with the platform for that exact reason… I didn’t need to be a developer or coder to figure out WordPress.
I started creating content and it was horrible.
That’s not a judgment, it’s a simple fact. The difference is that when I was getting started there were a lot fewer people talking about WordPress from the user’s perspective and there was a lot less content online in general.
My business slowly grew but things really took off in 2013 when I launched my podcast (which was ‘The WordPress Chick Podcast” until I pivoted to my personal brand and is now just called ‘The Kim Doyal Show”, but that’s for another time).
Things took off and my content began to get exponentially better because not only was I being much more consistent (there’s that crazy thing about practicing what we do), but I was finding my voice.
I write very much as I speak, the only difference is that I edit what I write so it’s more comprehensible (and also why I don’t bother with transcriptions of my podcast. I write out my solo shows first so the show has a more cohesive structure and isn’t me just winging it).
The more I wrote, the clearer my message became (and I truly believe my podcast was one of the best things I ever did for my business. It connected me with my ‘right audience.’).
What my podcast wasn’t
It wasn’t for developers or coders.
I often felt like ‘one of these things just doesn’t belong here’ (old Sesame Street song) in the WordPress space.
As much as I loved the platform, my heart was really in content and marketing. Because of that, I created a tagline: “A Place where WordPress and Marketing Collide”… which pretty much summed up what I did.
As soon as I got clear on who I was talking to, everything became easier.
The content I created, who I was talking to, how I spoke to them, and where I shared it.
The beauty of this was that it also led me to where I am today.
Slowly I started to pivot to content marketing, which led me to where I am today.
You do NOT need to:
I’ve seen way too many people avoid writing (or recording audio & video) because they don’t think they have what it takes, whether that’s a skill set or they don’t like how they look & sound.
You’re not going to get good at something by NOT doing it.
Some of my content that has done the best (in terms of traffic and engagement), had nothing to do with my business (at least not directly), and had zero SEO value.
It was a personal story I wanted to share.
I felt inspired to write it and felt it provided value.
I’ve created something called ‘Core Content Values’, which are the ‘why’ behind the content I create.
My primary Core Content Value is simple: I want people to feel better for having consumed my content.
The ways I do this are through:
When I was ‘The WordPress Chick’ I spent a lot of time teaching.
Doing free ‘how-to’ content that drove traffic.
The challenge with too much how-to content is that you can end up creating an email list and/or audience of freebie seekers who never have any intention of paying you for knowledge.
On the flip-side of that, how-to content is golden when it comes to how well it does in the search engines (note: let’s assume it’s quality ‘how-to’ content, shall we?).
Remember the customer journey that Jodi shared with you here? If not, take a moment to read that post.
Not all of your customers or subscribers are at the same point in their journey. It’s perfectly O.K.. to create content for the customer who is in the early stages one week (awareness) and advanced stages the next week (advocacy).
Let’s look at a case-study post as an example.
You could treat this as an inspirational post and/or an educational post. If it’s an inspirational post, how deep do you need to go into the details and nitty-gritty data?
If it’s an educational post, you may want to focus more on the data and details than the inspiration.
Here’s the thing…
YOU get to decide what type of content you create.
I’ve published plenty of blog posts that were originally sent as an email. It was a story-style email with one simple call to action.
While the Content Creators Planner framework is based on creating content that supports your business goals, sometimes inspiration takes hold and we create outside the lines so-to-speak.
If you define your Core Content Value you’ll see that even the content that is outside the lines will resonate with your audience.
There’s no way to please everyone with everything you create, simply start creating.