One of my primary responsibilities as a marketing consultant to small businesses is to create unique and informative content to post via my clients' blogs, social media and e-newsletters. This frequent writing keeps me very busy and often tests my creativity, especially since I happen to have multiple clients in the same industry requiring me to be extra careful not to make the copy too similar (for obvious reasons.) I enjoy the challenges posed by this ongoing wordsmithing but I do admit that there are weeks when my internal idea factory gets a bit low on fuel.
So what's a solo marketing maven like me supposed to do to generate enough appropriate content to fill the business services space? My answer: READ. When I'm feeling under-whelmed, or underproductive, I head over to those friendly search engines and news outlets and start reading everything I can find. It's not unusual for me to consume several days-worth of articles before coming up with one that sparks a new flame. After all, it takes time to develop content that is relevant, timely, and clearly links back to my clients' businesses.
I recently read a great article on Entrepreneur called "5 Findings About Idea Generation for Content Marketing." The author, content marketer and writer, Jean Spencer, offers a sobering reminder of just how much content needs to be conceived of in order to produce a consistent stream of words. At the risk of intimidating my entire blog audience, I will share her recommendation:
"Marketers need one new idea per working day to fuel their marketing efforts. That’s 251 ideas per year."
251 ideas? Well, that's a lofty goal, for sure! To reach such a wordy summit, Ms. Spencer must be assuming the presence of a team of full-time, actively brainstorming writers from which to draw ideas. Realistically, I'm not sure that's going to be feasible for a solo practitioner like me, but it's certainly something to work towards! A more achievable goal for my company would be to generate one new idea per week, per client. I understand that the more I write, the more content I will post and the more opportunity for the search engines to do their job. At the same time, I'm determined that the text I write will be considered highly readable, compelling and actively opened and shared by my target readers.
The nature of this business dictates that I try to be as prolific, as possible. However, when faced with the age-old quality vs. quantity debate, I'll choose to err on the side of quality, every time.
Please share your own content-writing stories or struggles in the comments, here.