By Juanita Vorster, Founder & Strategist, www.atthatpoint.co.za
The benefits of creating content that engages audiences are well known. While there are many tools - some even completely free - available to enable easy content creation, no one has created a foolproof solution for the key ingredient to successful content creation: consistency.
Here are a few tips to help you conquer the challenge.
Don't skimp on planning
Having to decide on a topic every time you have to write, record or design something wastes an incredible amount of time and creative energy. Rather invest a few hours once-off on planning the topics and type of content you can realistically create on a monthly, weekly and daily basis.
Content planning will help you to allocate content creation tasks and deadline. It will also help you to decide whether to either explore one topic in depth across a few content pieces, or to neatly alternate between related themes.
Don't confuse information for influence
One of the biggest mistakes in content creation is thinking that an abundance of information leads to greater influence while the flipside is often true.
It's easy to include everything you know about a topic; it's much harder to decide which bits to leave out. This is often because we are used to consuming content - articles, stories, videos - from start to finish. When we however try to write this way we often become stuck in the details.
The process that always works for me (irrespective of the type of content I need to create) is to create an outline of my thoughts first:
Once I have this outline all that is left to do is to fill out the bits in between. I wrote this article in exactly the same way!
Let the power of accountability work its magic
The motivation of having a new plan and simple structure to base your content creation efforts on might be enough to kickstart the process, but consistency remains the biggest challenge.
Motivation comes and goes, so discipline is what you have to focus on developing. I've found that having a measure of accountability is what keeps me to plan. Assign a service provider or colleague to remind you of deadlines, or make a time-based promise to subscribers in the case of a newsletter or video channel.
If accountability isn't enough, use your favourite form of instant gratification as a reward. Something as simple as checking off an item on the to-do list, receiving a like on a social media post or a notification that your content has been published in the news could turn the content creation chore into a very rewarding habit.
In the end though, it all still comes down to consistency driven by discipline.