Developing content writing skills for your small business can be stressful. So let’s chat a bit about setting up systems for success and your development as a confident content creator.
I’m a bit of a bulldog when it comes to systems and making sure they are part of my writing process. I’m also ferocious about note-taking and collecting my ideas/thoughts in a methodical manner.
Now, I know when you hear systems you groan and think: “Not another something to set up??!!” But what I’m about to tell you isn’t difficult at all. Your system can be as simple as writing personal stories consistently in your journal, recording voice notes on the phone, or typing information daily into Google Docs.
If you do it repeatedly and get to an advanced level, it’ll feel like you’re giving a can of Redbull to your content.
Here’s the deal.
Content writing for your blog, social media platforms, newsletter, etc never starts when you sit in front of your computer. It begins way before then. Ok, this is where I ring the bell because I want to drill home this point.
Every experience you have has the potential to become a future sentence or story.
So learning to capture your stories in an instant will go a long way in making sure you never run out of things to say.
This applies to your blog, your YouTube channel, your podcast and frankly everywhere you are creating long-form content.
As my own business grew I recognized I needed to capture my stories for marketing and other everyday purposes.
I preach to my students all the time about the importance of consistency and showing up on social media, in their newsletters, and on their blogs.
This isn’t easy, I’m the first to tell you that. But once you hit a good copywriting stride, you’ll feel like Naomi Campbell on a runway.
Ready to strut your stuff with the insights I’m about to share?
Why Capturing Your Ideas Matter
There is not a day that I don’t write. But I also recognised that it is much easier when I can refer to my catalog of ideas, stories, and thoughts. From there I can build several pieces of content.
Content writing clears my head, it makes me see the world and my business in new ways. More importantly, it also helps me to earn a good living on the web.
From educational content to promotional copy and personal branding stories, it is important to have a bank I can tap into when I’m stuck or even if I need a boost of inspiration.
Creating a Content Writing Bank
The other thing too is that as your business grows and you morph from a one-person shop into a team, having a bank of stories centers everyone on what content can be churned out.
This is important for weekly content planning. Also, I call it a bank because it feels like one.
Once it’s filled, hassle-free withdrawals can be made.
I also like that you don’t have to sit there looking at an empty screen and get overwhelmed thinking about what you should write. That’s the biggest relief of all.
David Perrell says on his YouTube Channel that as business owners and content creators we have to make content writing a daily habit. “A day where you don’t write is the enemy of productivity,” he says.
I would say it a bit differently.
When you don’t write you’re working against yourself by not connecting to your audience and not marketing your gifts to the world.
So it’s about creativity too but linking that to running a successful business.
The most important thing is to write content frequently, — no matter what. I’ve taken to doing this every day for over a decade.
With that said, let me tell you about Hack 1 so you can get better at consistent content writing,
No. 1| Your Best Copywriting Will Come From Your Own Stories
Some time ago my twin sister came over for lunch. It was the day Jeff Bezos had gone into space and the Internet was ripe with criticism and laments about how many better things the Amazon founder could have done with his wealth.
“We love to hate,” I told my sister adding that: “What is important these days is not the outrage, but the appearance of it.”
Immediately those words struck me as being special, not just the words but the feelings.
I had watched Bezos orbit the outer ring of space. Connecting that feeling to the one I had as a child when my father made us watch all moon landings on a small black and white tv screen made the Bezos moment feel more special.
I was not sure at that point where I would use the recollection but I recorded it. I jotted it down in my notebook under the section, Quotes, and tagged it nostalgia and courage.
I know there will be a time when I can distill it and use it as a reference in a story I’ll write for the Internet.
Listening to conversations is such a skill. Remembering peculiar phrasing, writing new ideas into a notebook or iPad, collecting images, allowing them to sit there and then mixing some together, adding on layers and new constructs is a wickedly good skill.
When you do all that something meaningful is always born. The best part is that your brand comes to life in so many meaningful ways for your followers, who by the way, are also your potential customers.
No. 2| When Content Writing, Start With A Full Plate
Ok systems aren’t formed in a snap. They take time. If you’re struggling to move from collecting ideas to creating content, I’d say take a second look at your note-taking system and what happens after you jot things down.
Let me drill it again. You become good at content writing when you have a system
Question To Ask: Are you categorizing your stories once you collect them?
For example, when you record your voice don’t just leave it as a raw note on your phone or recorder. Consider the keywords and save them alongside other like-minded tags.
Systems, my friends, systems!
You can also group like content with like, assign group symbols if some of your ideas are collectively thoughtful, comedic, self-reflective, etc. You get the drift.
Organization is key, and there are several apps that can help you.
Pro tip: Here is one I have from being a JK, a journalist’s kid.
My father wrote stories for the local newspapers from a position of abundance. He would have all his interview notes, quotes, and references in piles of paper next to his Canon typewriter.
Yes, this is way back in the day.
He’d spend hours typing furiously glancing from the notes on his right to the type bar in front of him, pounding out story after story. Today I work just like my dad but with two screens open on my desktop.
To the right is the content I’m working on and to the left are my ideas, notes, rough stories, research.
The left is my cup and it runneth over. When it does I know I can write from a state of abundance. Notes are like the forest and from there I pluck all the seeds and buds to place in my garden.
REAL TALK: Once your content starts with a rich set of ingredients, your plate will always be full and you will never feel that you have nothing to say.
Content writing will be soooo much easier.
No. 3| Hack The Heck Out Of Your Favourite Content Creators
Copying has gotten a bad name. Ok, let me be specific. If you’re taking someone’s content wholesale and not giving them credit, that’s plagiarism.
I’m not talking about the Melania Trump type of copying. Instead, think of copy hacking as finding sources of inspiration for study and even imitation.
I recommend it as the highway that will eventually lead you to the destination of finding your voice.
This is especially useful if you’re not a natural writer and struggle to get words onto paper.
Oprah copied Phil Donahue until she found her own voice and became one of tv’s most beloved and talented daytime hosts.
Instead of forced originality, copy and pasting the work of others, study them intensely. Look at their phrasing and their word cadence, and their research skills.
Work towards getting some of their brilliance into your skin. Soak in their energies.
Even if it’s in your head, you’ll feel like you’re having a conversation with them.
As you aim for perfection, pay attention to the things that make you feel uncomfortable and that you can do better.
Insert your own stories and feel your own dynamic words coming to life. Write them down even if they are not perfect.
Think it all through. You feel your authenticity stretching over you like a warm blanket.
No. 4| Get Copy Templates Like 30 Days Of Content
Ok, I admit I have close ties to this hack. When I created over 100 pieces of FREE content for you, I had one thing in mind.
I wanted to take the grunt work away so those of you who are focused on social media posts could spend less time thinking about what to say.
My Content Planning workshop contains a replicable content writing module.
Best of all in addition to getting 100 pieces of FREE Content when reserve your seat you’ll also get accompanying workbooks.
The content templates and prompts make your day-after-day social media writing effortless.
Marketing and content writing are my jam and I share my hard-won lessons with you in the workshop as well as my simplified content writing secrets.
No. 5| Grab All Those Client Questions and Make Sure Your Content Writing Adds Value
Ok, I think this point is really the simplest.
It involves just listening. And yet this simple act can generate so many good ideas for your content writing.
Think about it for a second. Good things happen when you listen to your customers. You improve service and efficiency, right?
But as a content writer, there is something else. You get a bunch of questions that can inform the content you create, and which you probably would not have thought of on your own
When you develop content to address questions you set your content writing skills on fire by adding big-time value to your customers’ lives.
Harvesting these questions, and creating content from them is something you need to know how to do as the chief marketer of your small business.
This kind of work should become the bane of your existence as a small biz owner.
It’s the meat and potatoes of content writing, and dare I say better than keyword research because you are hearing from the people who matter the most.
It gets your dream customers to pay attention because your content writing skills solve their problems.
This is what greases the wheel of your sales and promotions systems once you are ready to sell. Now you know how much I love automation and answering client questions but oh the time it takes.
My best tip?
Find ways to automate the process. I’ve got some ideas for you to do just that!
Tips to Generate Evergreen Funnels for your Content Writing
- Create a highlight story on IG which reminds people to ask a question
- In the thank-you section of your Landing Page, create a field for question submission
- In your welcome sequence mention it in several of the emails
- In your various bios encourage questions but of course, don’t forget to send them to a spot where it is easy for you to collate.
Now you can create both short and long-form content that answers your customers’ questions.
You win because your bank of ideas becomes expansive and they win because you’ve given them exactly what they needed to know.
Look, this kind of give and receive is essential when you’re building your content writing skills set.
Connections are everything. When your customer feels like you understand them, the door cracks open to a new relationship.
Your role is to build an entire house on top of that foundation, by serving content they asked for when you can—that’s how you’re going to add value!
Content Writing Is A Joy
I hope this was helpful. I love writing about content that adds value to your customers and increases your sales.
I provided 5 ways you can be more confident about creating content to market your business in a way that does not leave you drained.
Of course, I wouldn’t be much of a small business coach if I didn’t ask if there was anything you’d like me to focus on in my next article. Share your ideas below.