Published on October 17th, 2018
After, "But I'm not really a good writer," a close second in terms of my least favorite content creation excuses is, "But I just don't have enough time, sorry."
So, if you've ever uttered that phrase yourself when someone from your marketing team has asked you to create content -- or you're someone who manages the content strategy in some capacity for your organization, and you've heard that from other people -- consider this episode mandatory listening.
To unpack this meaty, two-part topic, I invited Chris Duprey, our COO, to join me on this week's episode.
Because he's a busy guy. A very busy guy, in fact. Yet, he still manages to be a prolific content creator for IMPACT.
On top of that, his position means he has deep insights on how to us marketers and content nerds can better manage conversations -- either upward to executive leadership or laterally to peers -- where someone is struggling with content creation.
Again, if you have never listened to the Content Lab before, make this the one you start with.
Listen to the Episode
Resources & Articles
- Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
- They Ask, You Answer by Marcus Sheridan
- Being Nice at Work (& as a Leader) Doesn't Hold You Back
- Chris' talk at IMPACT Live on Inbound Leadership
One Thing: It's a Choice
I don’t want to get too down in the weeds on a “one thing” for this week — the one thing you can start doing right now to make your content better.
So, here’s the deal — your one thing is that making content a priority is a choice.
Whether you’re the person charged with creating or contributing, or the one ultimately responsible for ensuring your strategy is executed successfully.
I mentioned it in passing during my chat, but Seth Godin really nailed it during his interview on HubSpot’s The Growth Show when he said:
"If you can make a decision once, then the question isn’t should I do it? It’s what will I do? If you make the decision once to be a vegan, then you don't need to have a discussion with yourself every single night about whether or not to have a hamburger.
If you make the decision to blog every single day, then the only discussion I have to have with myself is what’s the best blog post I can write -- not should I write a post. As (Saturday Night LiveProducer) Lorne Michaels has said, 'Saturday Night Live doesn’t go on because it’s ready. It goes on because it’s 11:30.'”
It really is that simple, guys and gals.
If you or your organization has made the choice to rally behind inbound and be the best educators you can be in your space through content, there is no other discussion to have.
The best part is that accepting this fact is so incredibly liberating.
Instead of spending all of your waking hours at the office mentally wringing your hands in anguish around whether or not the content will get done, you’ll get to focus on big ideas, telling valuable stories, and sharing your voice with the world in new compelling ways.
Creating content is never going to be easy, but just because something is a challenge doesn’t mean it isn’t really fun or immensely rewarding.
Weekly Awesome: 750words.com
Alright, this week’s weekly awesome is a tool some of you may have heard me talk about back in the day when I was co-hosting IMPACT’s Creator’s Block podcast.
It’s a website called 750words.com.
It’s based on a concept called Morning Pages from the Artist’s Way — here’s what the founder of 750words has to say:
"I've long been inspired by an idea I first learned about in The Artist's Way called morning pages. Morning pages are three pages of writing done every day, typically encouraged to be in "long hand", typically done in the morning, that can be about anything and everything that comes into your head. It's about getting it all out of your head, and is not supposed to be edited or censored in any way.
The idea is that if you can get in the habit of writing three pages a day, that it will help clear your mind and get the ideas flowing for the rest of the day. Unlike many of the other exercises in that book, I found that this one actually worked and was really really useful."
It’s an online, private way of practicing morning pages, but here is where I found its real power.
I’ve been using 750words now for close to a year.
In that time, I realized something.
Yes, this practice is wonderfully freeing, in that it helps me mentally clear the cobwebs lingering in between my tiny gray cells.
But committing myself to just stream of consciousness writing of 750 words per day (which usually takes me about 15 to 20 minutes, and I typically use it more like a diary), showed me that practicing writing is like practicing a sport.
It makes the act of sitting down to write for the first time, with only a blank screen staring back at me much less scary.
While I still succumb to writer’s block like everyone else, I’m less likely to second guess myself or get stalled. My daily practice has instilled this “write your way out of it mentality” where I feel as if I’ve been exercising my writing muscles to the point where each day it’s easier to sit down and write for work or pleasure.
Again, it’s not for everyone, but I have found it has radically transformed how I handle the challenge of writing itself.
Practice does make it much easier to get going, when a project calls.
Also, another neat thing about the platform is that it will instantly analyze your writing when finished and give you data about how you were feeling and your headspace when you were typing.
Check it out:
As a note, the first month is free, and then it’s $5 every month thereafter.
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