Content creation can be a challenge. You’ve got a content calendar, so you know what to post and when… But what if the well runs dry and you’d rather stick a fork in your eyeball than write another word?
Start by taking a step back. Yes, you can force yourself to write—but burnout is real. Take a break, even if it’s only for 24 hours. You need to assess what’s happening and take stock.
Struggling with content creation? Questions
To assess your situation, you need to know what’s happening. Here are some questions you can ask; you can develop your own.
A big tip: at this point, you need QUESTIONS, rather than answers. Many questions will resolve themselves when you ask them, because an answer becomes obvious.
Questions you might ask:
- Why am I feeling this way about content? Do I lack ideas? Inspiration? Is something wrong with my business, or business model? (If you’re writing content for others, you have different questions: do you dislike the subject matter? Has the challenge gone? Should you raise your rates? Etc.)
- Have I created a framework for the content? (Do I know WHY I’m creating content? What’s the return on investment (ROI)? Have I created goals?
- What needs to change? This is an open-ended question. It will lead to other questions. Write down every question and answer which pops into your mind.
You may get answers from your questions and improve your results, or not. Either way, go back to basics.
The basics of content creation: who, what, why, when, where and how
The 5 Ws (and 1 H): who, what, why, when, where and how, are basic tools for content marketing, planning, and much else in life.
Your content creation rests on these questions. Chances are, that when it comes to content development, you’re answering these questions in your head.
Here’s a basic rule of writing (and life, once again): when the going gets tough, write it down. Document everything.
You may know I’m a huge fan of journaling. Here’s why: journaling helps you improve your thinking, because you’re writing stuff down. And journaling is therapeutically valuable, too. You can only keep a limited number of factors in your mind at any one time, so writing things down helps you to think.
Much mental processing happens below your conscious awareness. That’s dangerous, because unless you write things down, you’ll fall into mental ruts. You’ll also fail to recognize opportunities.
Here’s the ONE secret to end your struggles with content creation
It’s simple. Grab a pen and notebook, or open a new computer file in the app of your choice. BTW, currently Obsidian is my favorite app. Try it. It will help you to keep track of everything you’re writing down; it will definitely help you to keep track of your content.
If you haven’t asked any questions yet (start with the questions above) write down your questions. Then answer them. Not in the mood to write answers? Develop more questions.
Try dictating your questions and answers. Change your location first; go for a walk, or if you’re at home, go out into the garden or change rooms.
Content creation made simple: start with who, what, why, when, where and how
Let’s say you’re creating content to sell a widget. Use the basic questions:
- Who buys this widget? Would other audiences be interested in the widget?
- What makes them choose this widget over the competition? What’s the history of the widget? What questions do buyers ask?
- Why? Why are they buying widgets at all? Why this widget?
- When do they buy? Are they influenced by price? By reviews?
- Where do they buy? Are widgets a necessity—a regular buy? Where and how? Are they an impulse purchase?
- How do they buy? How do they use widgets? How could we turn customers into fans?
Have fun. 🙂
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.