You know how they say you should write what people want to read?
First of all, you're a human being with unique personality strengths. If you're a better speaker than writer, you better start making video. Secondly, if you don't ENJOY the subject or format of the content you're creating, it will fail.
You know how they say you must love yourself before you can hope to love another?
That's a Universal truth, and it can be applied to ANYTHING.
In this case,
Both steps are important, but one comes first and the other one follows.
Sometimes it's exactly what you have planned for them. Sometimes it's only part of it.
Like everyone else, I look around, at the market and the competition, to see what's working. Then I see curations are big and step-by-step articles... but I'll only do it if I find that my audience wants it from me.
They want it, yes, but do they want it from you? Do you know what influence you have on them? What is the one thing that sets you apart from everyone else?
When I started writing about startup culture on Betweet last year, it was very clear that people LOVED it when I shared my experience. But it's more than that. They were inspired and thanked me for making them inspired. That is when I realized that's what people wanted from me personally - my enthusiasm was my bargaining chip.
And when I write a purely informational piece...
And when I write a rant?
After all, ranting is the opposite of inspiration.
And they can sense whether it comes naturally for you or if you spent hours editing and didn't even enjoy writing it.
Every one of us has their natural styles and if you check out Beth Grant's "Archetype Alignment Grid", you'll know what I mean. Also, you can take Shawn Driscoll's test and see what your "Trailblazer Quotient" is. (And tell me your results!)
I will eventually come with my own system, but these will have to do for now.
Once you have the format, your message, and what people want from you, it's time to come up with some topics. Obviously, they'll have something to do with the idea of your blog/business, but they also need to meet your people's needs.
Whether they need information or guidance or entertainment, you might as well be the person who provides it (if it fits with your natural strengths).
To discover what they want, you can:
- Go to them on social media and communities, and ask;
- Go on Quora and see what they're asking there;
- Let the Universe inspire you and have faith it will work out.
- Experiment with titles, length, trends, and so on.
Yeah yeah, the 3rd point is not exactly a "strategy", but when you're starting out, you can't expect everything to shoot up at once. Sometimes you just have to try different things and be patient. And sometimes it's all about numbers, babe.
My current strategy is producing as much content as I can, and it's evergreen, so I can share it for at least another few years.
Don't despair if your audience is not "biting" yet. You have to try a lot of things until you find your perfect medium and pace. I was mostly lucky with Betweet because I happened to start writing what I was doing (and learning) at a time when this was trendy.
So a lot of success is based on TIMING. So...
Content success is YOU + YOUR AUDIENCE + TRENDS. (tweet it)
Makes sense, right? But I wanted to write this article for those of you who are tempted to only address one of those things because I've been there, and I know - it's always a mistake. So there you have it. Content creation is a compromise.
Now it's your turn...