A reader asked about my process of writing blog posts and making videos:
“When you do your content planning for the week, do you pick a theme or category for that week’s content? Is your content planned within certain guidelines? Or do you just go by what you are inspired to share that week and whatever is up for you in the moment? I’ve heard a lot about having themes for each week, so I’m wondering if there needs to be any organizational way to plan our content. Thanks for any tips!”
It’s a great question. That’s what the content experts tend to tell us — that we need to put our content into themes/topics. However, as a content “expert” myself, I would not recommend that strategy to beginners (those who haven’t yet produced at least a few dozen pieces of content.)
Since I began writing in the middle of 2015, I now have almost 400 blog posts. You can find those by looking at the written pieces above (or below) each of my FB biz page videos. That came from a consistent, almost daily practice of doing content.
Focus on consistency and authenticity first, and allow the themes to emerge.
Prioritize Consistency First
When I first started, I didn’t concern myself with what the theme or topic should be. It was more important to get into the habit of creating content consistently.
The most important thing in the beginning is the habit.
And the habit comes with consistent practice.
You don’t have to burden yourself with trying to stick to certain topics yet. Before you’ve gotten into the content habit, simply write/share what’s inspiring, real, or current for you and your business right now.
The first priority is to get accustomed to content. You want to get to a point where it becomes harder for you not to create content consistently, where you feel compelled to keep a rhythm going.
For example, I committed in 2015 to doing videos (and blog posts) every Monday through Friday, until I got to at least 100. I think by about 8–10 weeks into consciously keeping my promise each day, I became compelled to keep going. It was now easier each day to meet my promise than it was to slack off.
That’s when I knew I had created a habit. This is what I wish for you.
Before you have a content-creation habit, that is the first priority. Without a habit, you will keep struggling rather than having content be second nature.
Whether it’s writing blog posts, or making videos, or recording podcast episodes, work first on the consistency — the habit.
Authenticity Creates Freedom
Besides consistency, it is also important in the beginning to consider “how” you’re doing your content, rather than “what” you should write/talk about.
Are you trying to pretend to be someone else?
Are you trying to act like a guru or hero of yours?
Are you talking about what you “should” rather than what you want to?
Before you have a content habit, first give yourself the freedom to share what’s true and energizing for in the moment. This will make content more fun for you to do, and that will help you get and stay consistent.
Eventually, this will happen:
You’ll come to realize that the most valuable thing for your audience is not your knowledge — it’s your authenticity.
Knowledge can be found in many places. Your authenticity can only be found with you.
No one else can compete with your authentic voice in writing or speaking. So just be who you already are, no matter what.
Maybe you think:
- “I’m too ugly for video.” I thought that about myself for a long time, and still do sometimes… and yet I just jumped in and did video, knowing that we all judge our own look on video much more than others do.
- “I have an accent.” This is true for some of my clients, but they just do their videos anyway, and their audience finds their accent to be unique and interesting.
- “I’m a bad writer.” Every time I look back at my first 300 blog posts, I think I’m a bad writer. And I’m sure when I look back at this blog post in the future, I’ll see so much room for improvement. Yet that’s what it is — there is always room for improvement and the only way is to keep doing it and you’ll get better.
- “Everything I want to say has already been said.” And yet — it hasn’t been said in your voice, in your style, in the context of your life’s experiences. No matter what idea you’re repeating from others, the way you repeat will be different just because you’re coming from a different perspective than anyone else in the world.
So just go for it. Aim for consistency and authenticity first. Get into the habit of making and posting content. That’s the first priority.
Clarity, Relevance, and Themes Will Emerge
The more content you create, the more clarity you’ll have. You’ll start to see some themes emerge, but only after you make enough content. It should be natural rather than forced.
Also, the more content you put out there, the more you’ll start to see what is relevant to your audience. You’ll start to notice what topics they most enjoy hearing/reading you create content on.
Content leads to Clarity… not the other way around.
Once you have lots of content, it’s then time to categorize them into themes.
You’ll then have a bird’s eye view of each theme, and what holes exist — what content pieces you still need to create to make each theme more complete.
At that point you’ll be ready to work on a collection based on your theme, such as putting your content pieces into a book or a course.
But don’t get ahead of yourself. If you aren’t even in the habit of creating content yet, do that first. Work on consistency and authenticity. Then, allow the relevancy (the themes) to emerge.
Go for it!
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