Content is king – do you hate it?

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What subject did you hate at school?

My sons hate ‘recount’.

Don’t know what that is? It’s when you turn up to school on Monday morning – or even worse, the first Monday after school holidays – and your teacher asks you to write a piece on “What I did on the weekend” or “What I did on my holidays”.

My boys loathe this style of diarised writing. They enjoyed their weekend; why put pen to paper to recount what’s over and done with? (Particularly when it just reminds you of the long school week ahead).

Your keyboard's waiting for your content!
Your keyboard's waiting for your content!

Sadly for my sons, they sometimes have to produce content. School isn’t all excursions and maths quizzes. And this mandatory content production is something more of us have to face in our working lives.

We’ve all heard the mantra, “content is king” and the explosion of social media and the digital age has certainly upped the appetite for content. It’s an insatiable appetite. And this means more people have to produce content as part of their job roles.

So I’m sure some middle managers, marketers, CEOs and sales people feel the same way as my sons. Many companies have now created corporate blogs, enewsletters and social media pages to maintain – as well as their official websites. It’s a big job to 1) come up with content ideas 2) research and draft your piece 3) load the content, which often includes formatting, SEO and acquiring images and 4) promote the darn thing.

Once upon a time, you could be a hairdresser, company CEO, dentist or fashion retailer without having to tweet about your day, blog about the future of your industry or come up with a creative Facebook post.

If producing content is part of your job, here’s some tips to make it a little easier:

  1. Write down a blog post or content idea, as soon as you have it. If you don’t have pen or paper handy, write it as a note on your phone. Because you will forget that idea and be very annoyed with yourself later. An app like Evernote might appeal to you.
  2. Have a content calendar. This will plan the next 3, 6 or 12 months of posts. Look ahead at what events your business will be involved with, what industry cycle you’re going through, what news announcements might be expected and so on. Then jot down a few ideas for how you might write about that.
  3. Read what others are writing: that provides ideas. You might respond to someone else’s blog. You might pick up a popular theme in an online forum and expand on that.

Done well, the content we produce can boost our business, attract and retain ‘customers’ and help secure our future. It’s worth it.

But try telling that to my sons.

How do you feel when you’re faced with the job of writing more content?

 

3 Comments Add yours

  1. I never used to hate it – I love writing. But I hate HAVING to do it (same as your boys). I prefer spontaneity.

    Now it feels more like an obligation, sadly :(. Once I get into it though, it’s not so bad.

    Your tips are useful, thanks – I really must do a content calendar 🙂

  2. Ash Simmonds says:

    I enjoy producing content for my personal projects which I have a passion for, but trying to write something interesting for a client on a subject you don’t much care for is just prostitution.

    As to point #1 for keeping track of your brainfarts – Evernote irked me, but with Google+ you can just create empty circles, post a few keywords as soon as an idea hits, then flesh it out later. It’s private to you, available immediately on all devices, and editable as is – although the Android app doesn’t appear to allow editing yet, just ad hoc comments which is good enough on the move.

    As far as doing a “recount” – I’ll just post this: http://www.breadcrumbapp.com/ash-simmonds

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