Creativity is a fickle mistress. Especially when creating content.
Sometimes, the words flow as fast as the coffee. Other times, well, not so much.
It’s easy to create boring content. (Many people do it quite effortlessly.) But if you don’t have a distinctive point of view, you’re just reporting.
Feel stuck when it’s time to crank out captivating content? Need a boost of inspiration for a post, podcast, or speech? I’ve got you covered.
Below, you’ll find 21 juicy prompts for creating fascinating content. Keep this handy list in your content creation arsenal for when you need to whip out material that fascinates your audience — and keeps them captivated.
1. Start with information, then add insight
Information is good, but it’s not enough to establish your thought leadership.
If you and I can both search for the same information, that “content” isn’t content — it’s a commodity. Step it up a notch by adding insight to your message.
Insight requires more effort and sophistication, and it increases the relevance and value of your material.
If you’re not a thought leader, you’re a thought follower.
2. Show us the implications of a trend
Enlighten us. Connect the dots.
For example, “Here’s something on the horizon: ___, and here’s what it means for you and your business: ___.”
Give us your interpretation. Point us toward what we need to pay attention to.
3. Go on a rant
Show us a point of view that you feel strongly about. Make a fuss about a problem.
I have an affinity for service businesses.
I love when people:
Recognize that they possess specific skills that can help others
Invest in training that will help them succeed
Offer their expertise and problem-solving abilities in exchange for money
But I don’t love when these driven individuals make a certain mistake that invites unnecessary frustrations into their workdays and weakens their reputations.
“Sure! I can do that!”
I understand that it’s exciting when a work offer sounds good.
So, when a potential client proposes a project to Joe Service Business, he’ll immediately respond with, “Sure! I can do that!” (or another phrase with a similar sentiment) before he finds out everything he needs to know about the project.
For example, more information about the project may reveal that he’s not the best person for the job or it’s not actually an assignment he’d like to work on.
When you respond to an inquiry and move ahead with a project too quickly, you operate under the assumption that you’ll figure out the details later, as issues arise.
But your service business can only become respected in your industry and a long-term source of income if you abolish the casual approach to discussing work that runs rampant in freelance culture.
If you want to have an exceptional service business, you cannot casually respond to any form of business communication or informally agree to any business transaction.
To become exceptional, you must become a master of assessing, communicating, and managing expectations.
How to rise above the
This week on Rainmaker Rewind, Pamela Wilson and Jeff Goins from the podcast Zero to Book explore the predictable structure of nonfiction books and what that means for your writing.
Pamela and Jeff also share their theories on “creative borrowing” and how choosing between the two main structures most nonfiction books follow can help you create a better, more cohesive presentation.
And as always, be sure to check out the other fascinating episodes that aired this past week on Rainmaker FM.
Zero to Book. Jeff Goins and Pamela Wilson share their thoughts on the world of nonfiction writing: A Theory of the Universe of Nonfiction Books (and the Art of Creative Theft)
The Writer Files. Kelton Reid interviews New York Times bestselling author of The Nest, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney: How Bestselling Debut Novelist Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney Writes: Part One
The Digital Entrepreneur. Brian Clark is going to start publishing articles on a site other than his own. Find out where: Brian Clark is Doing … What?
Elsewhere. Brian Clark joins Travis Jenkins on The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show to explore the factors that make Rainmaker Digital so successful: Brian Clark on The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show
Confessions of a Pink-haired Marketer. Sonia Simone is going to be featured in a new documentary. Find out the details and more: Up All Night to Get Lucky: Sonia’s in a New Documentary!
The Missing Link. Jabez LeBret and Mica Gadhia discuss how to find vendors on LinkedIn and the best ways for others to find your
Welcome back to The Hubcast, folks: A weekly podcast all about HubSpot news, tips, and tricks. Please also note the extensive show notes below, including some new HubSpot video tutorials …
The post The Hubcast 96: Publishing Process, Lead Nurturing, & LeadIn Flows appeared first on The Sales Lion by Marcus Sheridan.
Optimization is an iterative process.
Your copy is never “done.”
So although we more than doubled SweatBlock.com’s revenue by applying these 3 copywriting principles – messaging hierarchy, specificity and appropriate CTAs – we weren’t about to stop there.
This spring, we worked with the SweatBlock team to run another copy test on their home page.
To Figure Out What to Test, We First Had to Do the Unsexy:
Develop an Hypothesis About What Wasn’t Working
When you get a statistically significant paid lift of 108%, you might tell yourself it’ll be tough to beat that winning copy.
And you’re right: it probably won’t be
URL to post
Let’s imagine you’ve published more than 100 articles on your website and you have 500 subscribers.
Many of those articles drive substantial traffic to your site, and you’ve published 12 guest blog posts on other websites. Those guest posts also drive traffic and help you gain subscribers.
About once a month, you get an invitation to be interviewed or sit on a panel. Due to the authority you’ve established, people in your industry look to you for advice, direction, and education.
Launching a membership site might be an ideal way to monetize your authority.
But what exactly is a membership site?
Watch our short, fun video about membership sites
With help from our friends at The Draw Shop, we whipped up 12 definitions from our new Content Marketing Glossary into short, fun whiteboard animated videos.
Here’s our video for the definition of a membership site:
Animation by The Draw Shop
For those of you who would prefer to read, here’s the transcript:
A membership site is a private, password-protected website that offers exclusive content and training and (often) the ability for members to interact with one another.
These members pay you either a one-time or a recurring monthly fee for access to the site. You can also build a free membership site, giving access to exclusive content or products in exchange for a prospect’s free registration.
Or, you can offer a combination of free and paid levels within the same site, allowing your customers to upgrade their subscriptions according to their needs.
Tara Gentile is known for helping people grow terrific businesses — without sacrificing ethics or heart.
Tara works with “idea people” — people who have an idea that they want to turn into a product, program, or service, but who may not always see themselves as business owners or marketers. She helps her audience and clients find the right business models, craft marketing that resonates, and structure their businesses for profit.
She calls her approach the Quiet Power Strategy — and it’s a complete reversal of a lot of the “cookie cutter” advice you sometimes see around digital business.
Listen and observe
A while back, Tara spoke with Rainmaker Digital CEO Brian Clark about how to thoughtfully observe your audience in order to strengthen your business.
Listen to Win: How Actionable Observation Provides Profitable Answers
Brian and Tara share a deep focus on listening in order to uncover audience interests, fears, and desires. When you master this, everything about your business starts to work better.
It’s also the key to marketing that doesn’t feel pushy or creepy — because you’re speaking directly to the problems and concerns of your audience, using their own language. Marketing becomes a direct expression of audience empathy.
Listening is the key to building a business based on service rather than selfishness.
“I see [listening] as probably the biggest thing that’s keeping people from creating marketing that works and products that sell easily … and sales processes that don’t feel slimy.” – Tara Gentile
What do they care deeply
In this interview, I catch up with James from Zaapt.com. What is Zaapt you ask? Zaapt is a new social media content calendar and scheduler …
The post Creating, Managing, & Scaling a Social Media Content Calendar ~ Interview with James from Zaapt.com appeared first on The Sales Lion by Marcus Sheridan.
Start with a messaging hierarchy.
Use calls to value, not just calls to action.
Those are the 3 copywriting practices we put into play to optimize the copy on the home page of SweatBlock, a top-rated clinical-strength antiperspirant.
The result? A 108% lift in revenue.
Yup, our copy more than doubled revenue attributed to the home page.
Now, to be clear, when I see numbers like that, I’m as skeptical as the next person. Even I can’t believe copy is as powerful as it is. “Really? Just use specific phrasing and double my biz? Really??”
Yeah, I hear you.
URL to post
Does your business card proudly proclaim “Content Marketing Professional, Chief Cook, and Bottle Washer?”
Now’s the time to change that to simply “Content Marketing Professional.”
We often take pride in the fact that we’re in charge of every aspect of running our businesses, from doing accounting to changing the light bulbs in the office.
But here’s some shocking news, especially if you’re new to content marketing and are still bootstrapping your way to success: Hiring help — outsourcing tasks you struggle with so you can focus on your strengths — will allow you to grow your business and your income at a crazy-fast pace.
Let’s talk about how to go from “doing it all” to “doing only what you do best.”
Step #1: Determine what you don’t need to do
Is there one aspect of your business that you despise — or that you’re just not that good at?
Chances are, there’s someone else who loves that task and offers it as a service.
And think about it: If you’re doing your taxes, you’re not polishing your prose. If you’re cleaning your office, you’re not sharing your content on social media.
Tasks you may want to delegate include:
Content formatting and finding images
Perhaps you love writing blog posts or email newsletters, but you don’t have a lot of experience formatting your content or finding compelling images. Find someone who does, so you have the time to write more.
Editing and proofreading
Even professional writers benefit from editing and proofreading. The bigger and more