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As I’ve said before, overcoming perfectionism is not an excuse to publish sloppy or uninspired writing. Content that works for your business is not only clear, accurate, and educational, it also gives insight into your values. And if it doesn’t contain aspects that make it memorable, it’s not going to work. Of course, memorable content Read More…
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Sometimes it’s really helpful to prepare multiple pieces of content in advance.
You might be:
Launching your website and need to have articles already published on your blog
Taking a vacation and need to have your content scheduled before you leave
Looking for new ways to execute your content marketing strategy
But how do you plan your content, create it, and meet your publishing deadlines without getting overwhelmed?
Let’s start with a simple, small task: selecting one content idea.
Then we’ll break down that one idea into a fascinating four-part series. The process I’m going to share is a straightforward way to communicate your expertise, in a format that is easy for your audience to consume and share.
Shift from publishing content to building anticipation for your next installment
The example I’m going to give will demonstrate how to produce a four-part blog series, but you can adapt the guidance to produce podcast episodes or videos as well.
When you do, you shift from merely publishing content to actively building anticipation for your next installment.
Content marketing and copywriting work so well together because copywriting helps you stir something in your audience so that they’re invested in the content you produce.
If you produce one piece of content a week, the installments below will give you four weeks of content, but they could also publish four consecutive days in a row or every other day. See what works for you.
Installment #1: Establish your authority
Here’s where you select your content idea.
Let’s pretend you run
I started working with podcasts because I was an avid podcast listener.
I would be listening to a conversation, hanging on every word, and then it would happen: the guest would bump his mic at the exact moment when he said the one thing I wanted to hear, and I’d miss out.
Our content should connect and engage, not frustrate and push away.
Since I run a podcast production company, I’ve learned that most people think any sound problem can be repaired with the simple twist of a knob. If only that were so.
Do you know how to avoid the most common podcast production pitfalls that distract your listeners?
Read on to discover how your podcast can stand out from the majority of the audio content available on the web.
Quality audio defined
Audio quality can be as subjective as Picasso’s art in a museum. One person says it’s brilliant … the next walks away scratching their head.
Let’s start with what quality audio is not.
You can tell audio needs to be improved when you hear:
Room reflections (echoes from the recording room)
Microphone handling, bumping sounds
Other foreign sounds: animals, lawnmowers, keyboard clicks, etc.
“Plosives” (the explosive sound consonants make when spoken into a microphone)
Extreme audio processing (audio effects that create an unnatural sound)
On the other hand, quality audio can be defined in one word: natural.
Quality audio sounds as if you’re talking around a kitchen table or with a client in your office. Your sound should be a
You may love to write.
You may get a lot of positive feedback on your writing.
And you may have even picked up many great writing gigs over the years, solidifying your status as a professional writer.
But something is missing.
It’s difficult to balance writing for your existing clients and attracting new clients. Consequently, your writing income varies at different times throughout the year and the work you love to do never quite feels sustainable.
TET: the backbone of a sustainable writing business
Whether you’re just starting your writing business, or you’ve been building it for a while and are hoping to make it more financially secure, I have 15 tips that support a healthy, productive solopreneur venture.
To make the advice manageable, I’ll list five tips under three important categories for anyone working for themselves: Technology, Education, Tools (TET).
The success of a writing business depends on so much more than your ability to write.
Educating yourself on the business of writing and content marketing gives you a huge advantage over other (directionless) writers.
My TET Talk below — not to be confused with a TED Talk — will show you how the right knowledge combined with the unique value you offer clients can create a powerhouse business that allows you the freedom to be yourself and do work you care about.
Technology makes most modern writing businesses possible.
And getting set up with the right digital services doesn’t require a ton of technical knowledge. Instead, this section will focus on core business
I hate to be the one to break this to you, but …
Your audience does not need your ideas.
Sorry to disappoint you.
It’s true though.
Your audience is exposed to plenty of ideas. Everywhere they turn online and offline, they are bombarded with ideas. Ideas, ideas, ideas. Mostly filler and fluff.
Think about yourself. Do you need any more ideas to consume and consider?
What you need are someone’s best ideas. And what your audience needs — in fact, all that your audience needs — are your best ideas.
The ideas that cut through the crap and clutter to make a difference
The ideas you’ve thought through, spent time with, and sculpted
The ideas that are closer to finished products than initial impressions
And you should invest more time distributing these premium ideas further and wider, in different ways and in different places. You shouldn’t simply hit Publish and then run to the next idea.
This way you can meet more of your current audience members where they are and you increase the likelihood of reaching potential audience members with your best work.
Let me show you an example of how I’m doing this on one of my sites …
It all starts with a blog post
Given my responsibilities here at Rainmaker Digital, and being a new dad, I don’t have a ton of extra capacity for side projects.
So when I do have an idea worth sharing over at The Assembly Call, I want to maximize the impact and distribution of that good
“Hello, I’m a Mac.”
“And I’m a PC.”
You remember Apple’s “Get a Mac” series of commercials that ran from May 2006 to October 2009?
The commercials were short vignettes featuring John Hodgman as the sweet-yet-bumbling PC and Justin Long as the creative, hip Mac.
Those 66 short spots were named the best advertising campaign of the previous decade by Adweek.
The success of the long-running campaign leads one to believe that Apple certainly knows who its ideal customer is. Of course they do … because they chose their ideal customer, right from the birth of the Macintosh itself.
That doesn’t mean that everyone responded favorably to the ads. While researching for this article, I ran across a commenter who maintained that the campaign had “backfired” because the PC character had actually been more appealing to him.
No, the campaign didn’t backfire (no one runs a series of ads for three years if they’re not working). Instead, Apple chose who not to attract as much as they chose who they hoped to convert.
Apple knew they were never going to get hardcore PC people to switch to a Mac. Instead, Apple used these 66 humorous little stories to target those who were more likely to “swing” toward Apple, after being educated about the benefits by the contrast between the two characters.
Sounds like really great content marketing to me. In fact, given the nature and duration of the Get a Mac campaign, it resembled serial online video marketing more than traditional