#10 - How do you get in the mood to create content?

November 10, 2020

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Do you suffer from “content block”?

You’ve probably got a bunch of awesome ideas locked away in your brain, but the moment you sit down to write them, the overwhelm sets in. The mood evaporates and you’re just left staring at a blank document. Does that sound familiar?

In today’s episode, Matt explores why creating content for your business doesn’t need to be a stressful experience, and how you can avoid overwhelm when it comes to getting it out of your head and into the world. By going through every step with a better approach, Matt explains how you can turn that intimidating chunk of content into small achievable goals.

Before you know it, that blog post, video, or homepage rewrite will no longer be looming on your to-do list.

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Hello friends, welcome to the 10th episode of the Nurture Flow podcast. My name is Matt and today let’s talk about how you can get in the mood to write some epic content for your business.

Content creation can be an overwhelming topic for many business owners. You’ve got a lot on in your business already. Typically you’ll be busiest with all of the client work that you’re doing.

But you know you need to do some content marketing. You know that this is missing from your business right now.

So you open up a Google document or the WordPress editor, flex your knuckles and prepare to type. Then the overwhelm hits you. There’s so much for you to do, so many different topics to write about, and you don’t have enough time.

Nine times out of ten, you’ll end up closing that Google document and moving back to another task on your list. If you’re anything like most business owners, you’ll probably cherry pick one of the easier tasks so that you can get some instant gratification once the task is completed. I know I’ve been guilty of that many times!

You’ve likely been in a position where you wanted to write a blog post, a series of emails, record a video or two, create a new podcast episode, or perhaps just write and schedule a month’s worth of social media content.

Looking at this as a task or a list of tasks can be extremely daunting. There are thousands of words that need to be written or spoken. Starting from the beginning is always the hardest part after all. There’s nothing worse than a blank page and a blinking cursor.

Creating content doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. It doesn’t need to be something that gets pushed aside so easily. There are ways of making the content creation experience easier, and dare I say it… actually quite fun.

The first tip that I want to share with you is that with any piece of content you should break it down into smaller sections.

Let’s use a blog post as an example…

With a blog post, you’ll typically start out with a topic or an idea. This will usually be based around a pain point or a problem that your target audience suffers from. After all, you want to capture the attention of your readers and engage them right?

So you’ve got your idea for a blog post, but now you need to write 1,000+ words and turn that into a great piece of content that is going to attract and engage. Or if you want to write something REALLY in-depth, then we’re talking 5,000 or 10,000 words for your blog post.

Unless you’re a complete and utter lunatic, you’re unlikely to have the capacity to sit in front of your computer and write 5,000 or 10,000 words in one sitting. If you do, then you have my utmost respect and admiration.

For the rest of us mere mortals, you need to take your topic and break it down into chunks. Perhaps there are 10 different points or elements that you want to make in your post. These are the points that would take your reader on a journey and cover everything that you want to talk about.

For really epic posts, those 10 different points could probably be broken down even further still. I’ve written content in the past that had over 60 bullet points, because I really wanted to have one of the greatest posts on the Internet that covered one specific topic.

Now that you have your list of points, you can separate them out and work on just one of them at a time. Doesn’t that sound easier? Instead of sitting at your desk and struggling through thousands of words at a time, you can sit down for 20-30 minutes, write everything you know about one specific point, and then stop.

Not only do you get the benefit of working in small and manageable chunks, you’re also giving your brain a chance to rest. Coming back to each section with a fresh mind will improve the quality of your writing tenfold.

Once you’ve written out the content for each of the points, then the last thing you want to do is to create an engaging introduction and also a summary for the end of your post.

Your introduction should be a few paragraphs in length, providing an ‘at a glance’ summary for your reader. This introduction, plus the headlines that someone will read as they skim down your page are ultimately what will mean the difference between someone reading your content and not.

The summary rounds of your post and reaffirms the points that you’ve made. It also gives you an opportunity to lead into your Call To Action. You didn’t think we were going to have a great blog post and not a CTA did you?

When you’re creating content for your business, it’s an asset that you can use in your marketing time and time again. It’s really important you have a Call To Action for each piece of content that you create.

What do you want your reader to do next? What step do you want them to take? Typically you’ll want them to opt-in to receive some free content or training, perhaps schedule a call with you. At the very least, you want to create an opportunity to continue the conversation, turning the visitor into a lead.

It’s something that we do with Funnel Packs, giving agency owners, designers and marketers an opportunity to generate more leads for their business through our pre-built marketing funnels. These would be perfect to use as an opt-in at the end of your new blog post.

Now you just need to get your new blog post out into the world and then take a moment to celebrate.

Remember that this works for every single type of content that you want to create, not just a blog post as I’ve used in my example here. By splitting out the content that you need to create into smaller and more simple tasks, you’re helping to change your mindset from overwhelmed to focused.

Now there are going to be days when you feel down or like you’re fighting an uphill battle. It’s okay, it happens to all of us.

When you have these days, it’s important that you acknowledge them but you don’t let them affect you… at least you try your best not to let them get you down.

Sometimes it’s better to understand and to take steps to make your day a little bit easier. If you have the time in your schedule, this could mean switching your day around or even giving yourself some time off to rest and recharge.

Personally, the vast majority of days this year have felt like a horrendous struggle. As I spoke about with our customers at the end of January, I’ve had a lot of trouble sleeping and suffered from daily headaches for much of the last 2 years.

It turned out that some of the sleeping issue was down to sleep apnea, so I was able to get treatment for this, which is an ongoing process. My sleep is better now, but nowhere near perfect.

Unfortunately I still have daily headaches. As I record this episode for you today, I woke up with a horrendous headache. Painkillers barely touched it. Hopefully the headaches will clear up as I continue to improve my lifestyle. Unlike many during lockdown this year, I’ve lost over 20lbs and will keep on going with that as best I can.

What can you do if you’re struggling? What options are there to make the day more productive?

For me, I love to listen to music. If I’m feeling unmotivated or I just can’t get anything done then I’ll load up Spotify and put on something that is uplifting and gives me energy. I’m a big EDM (electronic dance music) fan, so I really enjoy listening to the music that I used to enjoy at festivals across Europe between 1999 – 2007.

If I’m stressed, then I’ll listen to Enya or modern classical music instead. A particular favourite composer of mine is Ludovico Einaudi. If you want a song recommendation, then I’d highly recommend “Nuvole Bianche” – which means ‘white clouds’ in Italian.

My point is that you have things in your life that motivate you. The things that make you feel good, give you energy and put a smile on your face. Use them to your advantage.

It could be a favourite song, a favourite video, a workout routine, a yoga pose or even just taking your dog for a walk… enjoying some fresh air and some Vitamin D.

Use the things that motivate you to get you in the mood to create content.

One of the best tips that I can share with you is to write things down. If you want to create content for your business on an even semi-regular basis, it can be invaluable to write things down. Sharing stories with your audience is a great way to engage and nurture them.

Writing your thoughts, ideas and reflections into a notebook or journal gives you a book of content topics that you can return to at any time. Personally I’m a huge fan of LEUCHTTURM1917 or Moleskine notebooks. They’re great to write in and really well made.

Mel also noticed a few times in the last year that I was forgetting some of the great ideas or plans that I excitedly shared with her. Unfortunately troubles with short term memory is a side effect of sleep apnea. Brilliantly, she suggested that I record my ideas as I have them to ensure that they’re not forgotten.

I purchased a dictaphone, specifically an Olympus LS-P4. You don’t need to get a specific device though, you can do this with your phone and any voice recording app. For me, it just worked better not to always have my phone next to me.

With the dictaphone, I’m able to record my thoughts and ideas directly into this pocket sized device wherever I am. It helps me with our products, blog posts, emails, video scripts and podcast ideas.

Finally, as I mentioned before you must ensure that you’re taking time away from work. I know this doesn’t directly help you when you’re struggling on a particular day, but it will help your mindset and mental health in general.

The hustle culture is big amongst entrepreneurs. There are people that sell books, courses and peddle all sorts of nonsense around it.

Let’s be real for a minute. Hustling is unhealthy. The notion that someone needs to work 18 hours a day and 7 days a week, for example, is not smart and it’s certainly not sustainable.

No-one started a business to burn out and to suffer. You started a business because you had a dream and an idea to create a better future for you, your family and for your clients.

That better future doesn’t happen when you burn yourself out because you’re not taking care of your physical or mental health.

So instead of the hustle gurus suggesting that it’s weak for you to take time out – reframe it as a strength. It’s strong and powerful for you to look after yourself. It’s strong and powerful for you to take care of your mental health. It’s strong and powerful for you to actually be there for your family and not to work yourself into an early grave.

So in summary, here’s my steps that will help you to create more content for your business:

  1. Break down the content that you want to create into smaller chunks. This will help you to avoid the overwhelm and the dreaded blinking cursor that waits for you to write thousands of words.
  2. Create little and often. You don’t have to build Rome in a single day. It’s quite easy to schedule 30 minutes each day to create content for your business. Don’t tell me that you don’t have 30 minutes spare. Many of us spend more than this mindlessly scrolling through social media or watching videos on YouTube.
  3. Motivate yourself with your favourite music, videos, workouts. Whatever gets the energy flowing in your body and fills you with happy endorphins, is something that you can use as a trigger for creating content. Embrace it!
  4. Find a production flow that works for you, such as making notes in a journal or recording your ideas in audio form. Creating a system for channeling the ideas out of your head and into a medium that you can start creating from will be very powerful for you. You can even go one step further with the audio side of things and entirely write your content by recording the audio and then getting it transcribed through a service like rev.com or otter.ai.
  5. Take time out when you need it. Your mental and physical health are too precious to take for granted. I say this with all seriousness but you’re no use to your business when you burn out. Please, look after yourself. The world needs business owners and humans like you.
  6. Don’t let yourself have any more zero days. From now on zero days are not something that are part of your vocabulary or life.

If you haven’t listened to the first episode from our podcast yet, let me quickly explain about what a zero day is. A zero day is when you don’t get anything done towards a dream or a goal. This could be something in your life or in your business.

Doing something, even if it’s small, every single day… helps you to avoid zero days. When you do this, you’ll be one step closer to your goals.

Do check out episode 1 if you want to learn more about the non zero day topic. I promise that you’ll find it eye opening. There’s been a ton of positive feedback about that episode since it was released.

What motivates you to write content? Do you have any secrets that you can share? What was your biggest takeaway from this episode? Let me know in the comments on our website nurtureflow.com.

If you found this episode helpful, please feel free to subscribe in your podcast player of choice. I’d also be honoured if you’d consider leaving a rating or a review if you feel that the content is valuable to you.

Have a great day ahead, you’re awesome. Take care!

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