50% of B2B marketers tell MarketingProfs that producing marketing content consistently is their top challenge. Here are 2 steps you can take this week to start consistently producing marketing content!
Step 1: Make Writing Content Your Top Priority
If your biggest challenge is creating content, the first step in improving your content marketing is to sit down and start creating content. Whether you are the CEO, CMO, designer, or content specialist, if you are concerned about your content marketing, then you have to do something about it now. If not now, when; If not you, who?
If you’re really out of shape, you have to focus on building a pattern of regularly exercising, eating healthy, and sleeping enough. The first step is putting down whatever you’re doing and going to the gym. Anything else is just a distraction – or worse, an excuse.
The same is true for getting your content marketing in shape. The first step is to put down whatever you’re doing and instead start creating content. Do not get caught up with trying to create the perfect piece of content. We will focus on improving the quality of your content in later steps; for now, you just need to get into the habit. You don’t even have to publish, post, or upload your first pieces of content; you just need to start.
Step 2: Make Writing Content a Habit
The second step to take to consistently create content is to sit down and start creating content each day. Earlier we used an exercise analogy to highlight that the hardest part of creating content isn’t having the best strategies; the hardest part for most people is simply starting to create content.
The first step was to just start creating something right then and there. Once you have created something, the next hardest part is doing it again. How many times have you started an exercise program and found that you stopped going after just a few weeks? The trick to success is to make it a habit.
How to Make Writing Content a Habit
When was the last time you forgot to brush your teeth for a day? You’re probably thinking that the question is ridiculous because we all brush our teeth every day.
Now think about the last time you forgot to floss for a week. This question probably doesn’t seem so ridiculous; many people regularly forget to floss.
We all take the hygiene of our teeth very seriously; we brush everyday but nevertheless most of us would probably say we wish we flossed more often. Why do we remember to brush but not to floss?
We were raised to brush daily without question, it became a habit. You brush your teeth every morning when you wake up and again at night before bed. If you forget, it feels pretty obvious and nags at you until you brush again. On the other hand, flossing is something that can be done less regularly, and so we sometimes put it off and forget about it.
With exercising, people often suffer from a similar “forgetability”. Most of us make excuses such as, “Oh, I have to do ______ tonight, but I’ll go to the gym tomorrow.” Yet we all know people who have made running after work such a habit that it is as natural as brushing their teeth; if they forget, it drives them crazy and thus they do it regularly.
Producing content is no different. If we plan to write one piece each week, we will often put it off until the end of the week, then to the weekend, and then we will forget it altogether. When you are first starting to improve the consistency of your content production, it is critical to develop a habit of producing content at a regular cadence. For most of us, this requires writing content daily.
How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Making Content Writing A Habit
If you buy into the reasons why you should write daily, you may be thinking that despite agreeing that it would be beneficial, there is just no way you could do it. You may be thinking that you don’t have the time or enough to write about, or maybe you’re thinking that your writing isn’t good enough at that cadence, and that you have to spend a lot of time tweaking and editing your content. While all of those challenges are valid, none is actually a reason not to write every day.
You do not have to produce a self-contained masterpiece each day, but it is important that you set aside some time each day to write. Each day, at the same time, sit down and try to write for an hour. I highly recommend making this the first thing you do when you get to work. The more hours that go by, the more things get in your way and give you excuses not to create something.
At first, you may have a hard time, your writing may stink, and you might not complete very much – but as time progresses, so will you. Perfection comes with practice. You will find your writing improving, that you can write more per hour and that you will be spotting more topics about which to write.
Warning! Don’t Let Anything Get in the Way!
When beginning to improve the consistency of your content production, you shouldn’t let your effort to be intentional get in the way of making content creation a daily habit. The most important thing to do if you’re not producing enough content is to get on a regular cadence. If improving the quality of your content causes you to regress to not producing content, that quality is useless.
A random yet finished piece of content is more valuable than a complex, well-planned, and unfinished piece of content. At first you don’t want to let anything get in the way of conditioning yourself to produce content on a regular cadence.
As we discussed in the beginning, if your biggest challenge is creating content, the first step to improving your content marketing is to sit down and start creating content. The second step to consistently creating content is to sit down and start creating content each day. Whether you are the CEO, CMO, designer, or content specialist, if you are concerned about your content marketing, then you have to do something about it now. If not now, when; If not you, who?
This article has covered two of the eight steps for creating a Lean B2B Content Marketing Strategy to enable you to do more with less. Check out the full guide below to learn about the other steps and start getting the best results from your content marketing.