Creating content is much more than simply putting together 600 words on a given subject and sharing it online. Whether you are a professional content creator or a free-time blogger, coming up with fresh and interesting content for your audience can be quite a challenge.
As a content creator myself, I often find myself wondering how I could possibly write another content piece about the same subject, surely once you’ve written five blogs on a product, there’s not much more that can be said right? Wrong, as I have found out, there is always more to write about. If you’re like many of the content creators out there who are searching for that snippet of inspiration then this little five step guide should point you in the right direction to creating more unique and interesting content.
Step 1. Create a Content Calendar
A content calendar is the perfect way to organise your content for the month ahead. Spending a couple of hours at the end of the month planning the next month’s content will make your following weeks seem a lot more relaxed and achievable.
Spending half an hour or more coming up with a topic or heading every time you sit down to write really starts to add up and before you know it you’ve lost days of potential writing time. So at the end of each month, set a little time aside for planning headings, keywords, useful websites for the piece and on which platforms you’ll be sharing your content. Content calendars are ideal for you to show your client or even your manager what you have got planned for the month ahead and if they have any thoughts or queries about what you have planned.
Step 2. Build a Buyers Persona
Before you put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard as the case may be, you need to know who your target audience is. This is much more than saying your target audience is ABC1 women aged 30-50.
Creating a buyers persona allows you to visualise the person that you’re writing for and gives your content a tone of voice. Formal, casual, descriptive, humourous – all of these things can be discovered when you build your buyers persona. Building a buyers persona can be as simple or detailed as you like. Here’s a few topics which you should cover:
Background – Profession, Family status, Interests
Demographics – Gender, Age, Location
Identifiers– Personal Traits, Content Preference e.g Online News, preferred Social Media Channels
Goals/Desires – Health Concious? Learn a Skill?
Challenges – Time Pressured, Short Attention Span
Once you’ve answered these categories, you’ll find that you’ve got a pretty strong idea of who your buyer is and what content you should be writing for them. For example, the person above is time pressured and health conscious so you could write ‘5 Quick Tips to Getting in Shape’.
Step 3. Put Yourself in Your Customers Shoes
As content creators, it’s our job to become familiar with the products that we’re promoting because if we didn’t, we wouldn’t know what to write about. But once we’ve been introduced to the product, it can be hard to remember that some people have still never come across this product. They don’t know how it’s made, what the benefits are or where it can be used. Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes allows you to re-introduce yourself to the product and see the product through a fresh new perspective.
The job of a content creator is to educate the public on a specific product, service or company so you need to make sure you are covering all questions that could possibly be asked. For inspiration, trying using Google Search for ideas as to what people are searching for or ask friends, family and colleagues what they would like to know about the product. Once you’ve given yourself this new view, your ideas will begin to flow and potential content ideas will be never-ending.
Step 4. Take a Mini-Break
This doesn’t mean a long weekend in Paris – unfortunately- just a mini-break from your content. It happens to the best of us, we spend hours planning, researching and writing content then when we’re finished, we analyse every single word and the piece never seems quite finished. Stop, save your work and move on to another task.
Getting heavily involved with your work will only stress you out and may lead to mistakes. After a couple of days, re-read your piece and make any minor adjustments where necessary. It can be hard to tear yourself away when you’re so close to publishing but trust me, a fresh outlook on your piece will really clear your head and allow you to see the piece in a new light.
Step 5. Make the Content Visually Appealing
The fun bit! Watching your content come to life with headings, links and images really gives you a sense of satisfaction. Make your piece look fun and inviting to read. One best practice is to use headings wherever possible as this breaks up your work and allows people to skim over your piece first to see if it’s something they’re interested in reading
Finding free images online is every bloggers worst nightmare because we really don’t want to get handed a hefty fine through a copyright error. A great site which I found recently is Pexels, there’s loads of free, high quality images which require no author attribution. If stock images aren’t your thing then be creative and go outside, take your own photos – that’s one sure fire way to make sure there’s a photo to match your content!