Tune In: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher
When I was just starting out, I blogged Monday – Friday for YEARS… And while it’s admirable or even shocking, looking back those blogs weren’t really doing much for me. In fact, they were sucking up my time and not getting me anywhere closer to my goals. I’d share a new blog post once on Facebook, and then move on to creating the next. It wasn’t until I started creating content with intention and a plan that I started to see REAL results.
Results like upwards of 130,000 weekly blog views. 40,000 monthly clicks on pop-ups. Thousands of email subscribers. Hundreds of conversions a month. Those aren’t vanity metrics—they’re actual results, akin to subscribers, sales, and students.
The solution isn’t creating more and more and more. It’s not spending the majority of your time willing your creative juices to crank out just a few more sentences that hopefully *fingers crossed* make it in front of a potential client… The solution is tied to a simple purpose behind each piece of content you push out.
Results don’t just come from a little call-to-action at the end of your blog post. They come from creating with intention, certainty, and confidence, and you can do that when you have a plan.
P.S. If you’re ready for all the content help you can get, dive into my newest program, The Content Lab.
Why Content Matters
If you own a business or if you’re a content creator, you likely have a portion of your website dedicated to hitting publish on new blog content anywhere from multiple times a week to a couple times a month… or maaaaybe even less than that if you’re totally honest with yourself?
And since we’re being honest, let’s all admit that most of the time, it’s more of a chore than a good time to push through the cycle of brainstorming ideas, picking a topic, writing the content, finding great images, and hitting publish. And let’s not even get started on the promo that comes after publishing the new post to try to get actual eyes on it.
By the time you get to that point, let’s be real, you’re probably exhausted. You just spent all this time and energy on the creation aspect, and you’re so over the topic you just spent 2 hours typing away about that you likely toss up one Insta-story mentioning “new on the blog” and figure, if someone really wants to find it, they’ll find it. The end. You get to close the book on your blog task for the week… until next week rolls around and you have to do the whole shebang again!
My goal is to help you turn your blog into a badass, community-driving center for all things your brand represents.
Here’s the truth about blogging and the thing that people get wrong: you should really only be spending about 10% of your time actually creating content. The other 90% should be spent promoting, sharing and re-sharing it so that your posts don’t live and die with ONE Instagram story or Facebook post.
So I want you to ask yourself honestly: are you creating just for the sake of publishing, or are you creating with a purpose? OR–maybe you’re in another camp, where you’re simply not creating anything when you know you should be, whether it’s due to time restraint, lack of resources, or creative lulls.
No matter where you fall, I want to help you work smarter, not harder, and to unlock the true power of creating content that can live on WELL beyond the day you publish it.
If you’re sick of being stuck on the hamster wheel of content creation that hardly gets seen — or if you’re waiting for your cue to finally start sharing content in a way that matters — well my friend, this is the episode for you. Let’s walk through what you need to know about creating content that packs purpose and doesn’t just leave you feeling drained.
If you want more guided help, my tried-and-true methods for creating with intention and finally, AT LAST, locking down your brand’s content strategy, find all of that inside my course, The Content Lab.
Your success is in the plan
Tell me if this has ever happened to you. You’re on your website looking for something and end up landing on your blog, where you see you haven’t published anything new in 6 weeks (er, or 6 months). How has it been so long?? You have no clue, but you frantically pour another cup of coffee and pull up that dusty old google doc with blog topic ideas you threw in there a few months ago when you were feeling particularly inspired. Somehow you crank out 1,000 words on one of the topics in an impressive flash, if you do say so yourself, slap in one of your images, and hit publish as quickly as you can.
You hop onto Facebook and Instagram and type a couple of sentences letting your followers know that there’s a “new post on the blog!” with a quick synopsis about why they should click through to it. And… scene.
You can check “blog post” off your list for another week, and hope that it doesn’t sneak up on you again the next time you need fresh content.
Um hi, hello, this is what SO many of you are doing and it’s breaking my heart. Listen, we all know that blog content has the power to do incredible things for our businesses. It can position us as experts in our fields, it can provide free value and education to our ideal clients and customers, it can boost our website SEO by infiltrating fresh keywords and search terms in our content on a regular basis. Blogging for your business is a GOOD thing, this we know.
If you’re doing all this work on the back end to prep and plan blog content, hit post, and then just share it once, how are you really making your work and time worth it when you maybe get a handful of page views on publish day?
We often think of blog content as a chronological journey. Like, it doesn’t make sense to a lot of people to re-share something you published a year ago, even if it’s still relevant today, because it’s not the most current post. I’m not sure when or why that became the narrative, but I’m here to say it’s time to leave that thought process in the dust. If you’re creating intentional content with teachable value and insight, then it’s likely content that is able to withstand the test of time and be referenced again and again. That’s called evergreen and it’s the ONLY way I create these days.
And here’s the deal, if you’re NOT creating content that could potentially be evergreen or have a longer shelf-life than one day or one week, then I want to challenge you to reconsider how it is that you’re creating content.
Everything you do in your business should move the needle forward, get you closer to your ultimate vision or dreams. How are you digging into data, how do you know what people want, what are the results your content is delivering for you? When I researched this, I learned that most people publish and share about the post once or maybe twice before creating something new and leaving that past work behind.
If that’s you, then we’re going to talk about how to make a few shifts so that you’re not working so hard on cranking out more and more content, and instead utilizing what you have and planning new content with intention.
3 mindset shifts to approach content in a fresh way
I think that a problem with so much of blogging these days is that we enforce these self-imposed rules that don’t make a whole lot of sense when we break them down, like “I have to publish a new post once a week” or “my content needs to be timely and talk about current events and personal updates in order for it to make sense to post.” While YES, there are certainly times you’ll want to share timely content, and yes, getting into a rhythm with a posting schedule is great for consistency, these shouldn’t be your hard and fast rules for creating content.
In fact, I’d encourage you to loosen your standards and ease up around content creation a bit, at least until you have a solid plan in place for promoting your work and sharing the content you already have. There are a few mindset shifts that I think are necessary to be able to start approaching content creation in this way:
Create Smart and Strategic
The first shift I want you to think about is that it’s not about creating MORE content, it’s about creating it smart and strategically from the very beginning so that you can get the most traction with each piece. Your blog posts should be able to live on and remain relevant and helpful in 6 weeks, 6 months, heck even 6 years (maybe with a few design tweaks or updates along the way).
We actually have it written into our Team JK blog standards to write blog copy in a way that is timeless. We don’t mention things like “last week on the blog, we said this,” because we want to imagine each blog post as a standalone piece of content that’s complete and fully approachable for someone who knows the brand OR someone who might be interacting with it for the first time.
While certain times require us to talk about current events, like giving businesses tangible advice on getting through coronavirus, for the most part, all of our content is written in a way so that it can be evergreen, it can live one, and referenced again and again for months and years to come.
I want to produce helpful content that serves my audience and then mix in a few personal updates — because people love seeing the behind-the-scenes of all the action and I can’t blame ya for wanting cute Coco updates. So I approach it with an 80/20 idea, 80% of the content we share is serving, evergreen, and created with the intention of having a long time to produce results and the other 20% of the content is used as an online journal with personal updates to connect with my readers and followers and to share the personality behind all the content. People who may not be interested in my business content might be curious about my favorite baby products and so those serve as a means of expanding my reach, deepening my connection, and they selfishly force me to create content that I’ll look back on and smile.
So back to the whole work smarter, not harder idea? I find that most people are creating 90% of the time and then promoting it 10%, but we need to flip that. Rather than always having the big focus be on fresh, new content, ask yourself, how can I share what’s already created? How can I repurpose it? How can I get fresh eyes on already existing, solid content? It takes way less time to promote, so if you can nail down this idea, you can save yourself time while driving bigger results.
If you’re struggling to visualize what this could look like, it could be a quick blog post rounding up 5 resources on your blog that already exist and that may be older, but it can bring new attention to them by sharing them in a way that’s resourceful. It can also look like sharing old posts in new ways, whether that’s pulling 5 corresponding blog posts into an email for your audience or referencing an old blog post in a social post because it makes sense for your audience right now.
No Need to Reinvent the Wheel
Mindset shift number 2 is that you don’t have to come up with the next best thing since sliced bread. Seriously, you don’t! Leave that ish to the bakers and the bagel makers. People are trying to reinvent the wheel and create new, fresh content for every single platform instead of figuring out how to create and repurpose one solid piece of content and have it span the platforms in order to get you the maximum results.
Would you believe me if I told you that I could teach you how to sit down and create ONE piece of long form content — this could be a blog post, an email, a podcast script, a youtube video outline and then turn that ONE piece of content into 10 different promotional posts that could work across the platforms? That’s what we do over here, it’s LIFE changing.
Did you write a caption on Instagram that seemed to really resonate with your followers? Expand on it in a blog post. Do you notice certain topics perform better than others? Focus on those top performers and become an expert and go-to source in that area. Did you write a blog post chock-full of tangible takeaways and tips? Break that down into 7 separate social media posts and span them out over time so that you have easy captions available, without a ton of work.
Lemme explain a tiny bit how this works — I wish I could share the entire system but this episode would get WAY too long. When we started to create outlines for my solo shows, I realized that I was adding work to our plates. Let me just divert for one sec and say that when you get 350 episodes into the game, you need an outline to stay on track, to deliver the promise of the show, and to make sure you don’t get mom-brain midway through and start saying the same story you said a week ago. Maybe you don’t like the idea of outlines or scripts, but this mama requires it in order to deliver you an epic show each week, cool?
Anyways, I realized that this switch meant we’d be adding work to our plates and I didn’t LOVE that but then I started to develop my system. I created a way for us to create that outline in a way that we could repurpose that same outline to become the shownotes on our blog, to become our social media copy, to be used for Facebook and Instagram and across the platforms. So while it looked like more work up front, it actually helped us develop a method to create intentionally on the front end so that we had all the puzzle pieces we needed on the back end and I’d even argue that it’s ultimately SAVED us time.
I get it. There’s this pressure when doing creative work to always have the newest, greatest, most original opinion or take on something, but the truth is, there isn’t a whole lot in the creative world that’s 100% original.
There’s a book called “Steal Like an Artist” that talks about how all the creative greats we look up to merely took pieces of what they admired in other artists, squashed it up in their own way, figured out their own method or system and regurgitated it. When you put your own spin on something, because do it in a way only you can do, it’s unique, but that doesn’t mean you need to stress yourself out coming up with fresh content and the most captivating copy every day.
I don’t know a single person who wakes up bursting with inspiration every single day. When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So don’t just assume that you can create create create without a plan or a strategy. Use what’s working, use what you’ve already created that has performed well, and repeat. Again and again. It doesn’t need to be more complicated than that, really!
The final mindset shift I want you to consider is that we need to stop creating mindlessly and start creating thoughtfully. Anytime you put something out into the world, it should accomplish something bigger than just being a box you check off on your to-do list. You need to make sure EVERY task you’re working on, every item on your to-do list can be tied to a tangible result – something that actually moves the needle forward towards your dreams.
Ask yourself: What is the goal of each post? How will you measure and tie actual results to that piece of content beyond vanity metrics?
Vanity metrics are things like likes, views, comments, etc. Unless your mortgage company accepts payment in the form of views, that’s not a REAL result, I want results like: email list growth, sales, leads, or real connection.
When you create with intention, it’ll serve your business and drive actual results: leads, sales, customers, fans, and so on rather than just having a number of eyes that may or may not have consumed what you created. Tie every piece of content to a real, measurable result. My business coach Dean always asks me what the next step is for my audience. Like I’ll tell him what I’m working on and he’ll say, “Okay, what’s next? And after that? And that?”
He wants me to have a bigger plan and to always tie things back to results — specifically creation, because us creative folks love to create but a lot of times we forget that everything we’re creating should lead to a result. Like when someone lands on any piece of my content, it should be clear to them where to go next because the content guides them there with calls to action and subtle cuing.
Like if you landed on today’s show notes, you’ll see that these are a recap of this episode repurposed to match our blog standards. You’ll likely also see an invite to check out my brand new program about this exact system, The Content Lab, and you will likely get a pop up telling you to take advantage of some sort of offer.
Can you see how those next steps are laid out and how this one piece of content can drive actual results because of the strategy and system behind it? Your content shouldn’t just be an empty hope for a little SEO boost or created just so you have an excuse to post on Instagram.
It shouldn’t be something you do out of obligation or guilt, either. Your content should be the driving force behind everything you do. It should be a way you add value to your dream clients, a way that you attract traffic to your offers, and a means of making a bigger impact by sharing what you know, do, or love. Let each piece of content be a part of your story, and a guiding post for your reader to find the next thing your brand will help them to solve, find, or figure out.
The Big Picture
I know that content creation can feel like a never-ending cycle. We have this pressure to create fresh, new, interesting content all the time, but I have a feeling that if you dig into the things you’ve already created and worked so hard on, you’ll be able to spin it without a ton of effort into new resources and opportunities to get value into the hands of your readers and followers.
Not only that, but when you begin to create from a place of intention and purpose, your audience will feel the authenticity behind it. They’ll be guided to the next step in your brand’s journey because you’ve crafted content that leads them to the next step, and the next and the next with clarity. You’ll begin to see the real, tangible results possible from creating content with a plan, not out of frenzied obligation.
That’s the magic and beauty of content creation, and it doesn’t have to feel like a roller coaster to get high-quality content into the hands of your people. At least, not anymore.