Especially when you need to create a blog post, or Medium article, or a client piece.
You stare at your screen and wish that the cursor would magically start pouring out words.
You type a sentence, “This sucks.” And you delete it.
That blinking cursor taunts you.
Finally you squeeze out something you absolutely hate. Right about now, you hate writing, period.
t happens to everyone at one time or another. Writer’s block or creative constipation, and it used to happen to me a lot. I struggled every time I sat down at the computer.
I didn’t know what I wanted to write or didn’t know how to start.
Now, not so much. I’ve gotten pretty good at pumping out content because I use a content creation strategy that works for me.
You Have to Prime the Pump Before You Start Writing
You can’t force the writing if you haven’t primed the pump. Begin to think of the act of writing as a process, sort of like pumping water. You have to prime the pump before it starts to work. Creating content is the same.
When you prime the pump before you begin to write, the writing flows more easily. In fact, what happens before you start to write may be more important than the actual writing process.
Here’s the strategy I use to make writing flow faster and easier.
1. Build an Avatar
To reach your customer and get them to buy your products and services, you must single out one customer who represents them. You do this by creating an avatar. You may have more than one avatar — one for each major customer group you serve.
Be specific and detailed when you describe your avatar. This will give you valuable information about what this customer niche needs and wants. For example, if a relationship coach wants to target mid-level career women, they would consider factors like: her age, salary, background, values, past relationship history, and so on.
2. One from Column A, One from Column B, and…
Create a catalog of topics to draw inspiration from, using your avatar. Also send out a quick survey to your existing customers to find out what they are interested in.
- Make a list of questions your target niche has and turn your answers into topics for your content. Our harried career woman probably has dozens of questions about how to find time for a relationship, stay on top of business, raise kids, and maintain a household.
- Fear is another fertile area for content. Our career woman may be afraid of never finding the right person, of damaging her relationship with her children, that a relationship might distract her from her job, and so on. You could build an entire content series around this.
- Complaints are another source for content where you can showcase your unique solutions and services. Back to our example, she complains that she meets only the wrong people, that her kids hate everyone she brings home, that her ex- hassles her about dating. You get the idea.
Schedule different types of content regularly and frequently. For example, Monday’s article or blog post could answer a question. On Wednesday, tackle a fear. End the week on Friday with a complaint. Repeat.
3. Gain, Pain, and All That Jazz
Position your content so that people clearly understand what you can do for them. Use it to market your products and services by using both gain and pain.
- The gain is something the customer wants that you can give them.
- The pain is something that you can help your customer avoid, eliminate, or mitigate.
For example, let’s say you’re writing for the harried career woman.
Identifying and reconnecting with her most important values in a relationship
A compelling vision of what she most wants from a partner
An improved likelihood of finding someone compatible
Strategies for getting her children to support her
Wasting time dating the wrong people
Conflicts with her children and ex- over a new relationship
Going off track and falling back into old habits of not having enough time
Here’s how you can use these to write articles and blog posts or create audios:
- How to Prepare Your Kids for the New Guy/Gal in Your Life
- Don’t Let Your Kids Sabotage Your New Relationship
- How to Stop Dating the Wrong Person or How to Find Mr./Ms. Right
- How to Find Time for a Relationship When You Have No Time
Reap the Content Rewards
The more successful Medium writers are the ones that post most often. Check out Tom Kuegler, Liz Huber, Ayodeji Awosika, or Shannon Ashley. I follow these writers religiously. They post content-rich articles regularly and frequently, and they have steady followers. That’s what having a content strategy can do for you. (BTW: Totally recommend Tom Kuegler’s free email course about Medium. Game changer.)
While a content creation process takes time and energy to build, it turns you into a content machine. By regularly and frequently sharing valuable information that your target niche needs, you can:
- Show your unique expertise and experience, so potential clients value what you have to offer before they even hire you.
- Strengthen your brand and become known as the go-to expert, so you become top-of-mind for referrals.
- More easily attract followers that can lead to new business.
- Cultivate your existing client based and make them eager to buy more of what you offer.
- Create a pathway that leads potential clients directly from your content to your products and services.
This is what a content creation strategy can do for you.
Is it worth the effort? Why not build your strategy and find out!
Want help creating your avatar? Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org and mention this article in your subject line for a free worksheet.