Cathy Goodwin

Jan 14, 2019

5 min read

3 Tips To Create Content With More Stories And Less Effort

When online business owners talk to me about their biggest challenges, “not enough time” almost always comes up first. That’s usually amended to, “not enough time to create all the content I need.” And that’s followed up with a sigh: “It’s getting worse all the time. Now we need to write longer pieces — not the same-old “5 ways to get more followers on LinkedIn.”

So I’ve up up with 3 tips to be more productive with content creation. If I were using old-style hype-y marketing, I’d say, “3 ways to create more content faster — and #2 is the big one.”

And you’ll notice these aren’t the same-old tips like, “Use a template.” Content productivity starts with understanding your audience, your message and your story, so you’ll make each piece of content count significantly towards your marketing goals.

(1) Create content for multiple types of media. For instance, I attracted many clients when I began writing book reviews to promote my first site, which was about career change and relocation. Prospects looking for books on career change would find me. Now I was on their radar, even if they’d never considered hiring a coach. Some of my best clients found me this way, along with reporters from mass media.

All too often, many of us get into a comfort zone when it comes to creating content. In my own case, once I got used to writing articles almost effortlessly, it was hard to think of creating video and guest blogging.

But writing for those new areas got the creative juices flowing. I found new ideas and new ways to position the content.

And it wasn’t a lot more work. A good rule of thumb is, “Don’t write anything unless you can find 3 different ways to repurpose it.” This blog post could become part of my next book on storytelling

(2) Choose topics that influencers care about and that support your message.

This is one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn. When you’re tempted to write a topic about something that gets you all fired up, stop!

The secret to getting wide distribution is to write about topics that leaders in your field care about. That’s how you get more shares and invitations to guest post.

For instance, if you’re a financial planner and the leaders are writing about a bumpy stock market, you might consider getting someone to create an infographic to explain the challenges to clients, write about how this market affects retirees or address concerns about how this market might scare off new investors.

You can get a sense of popular (sometimes “hot”) topics by researching Amazon titles as well as topics of blogs in your field. Notice who gets guest blogging gigs on top blogs and what they write about.

But (as I’ve learned to my sorrow) just because a topic is hot doesn’t mean it’s right for you. The “hot topic” post may get tons of coverage but you barely benefit. Your topic needs to fit your branding strategy as well.

The good news is, often you can spin a hot topic to fit in with your story archetype. For instance, productivity might be hot right now might be hot right now.

Learn more about story archetypes when you download this workbook, From Story To Brand: 3 Steps.

Now let’s imagine we assembled three business owners, each with .a different story archetype that’s the foundation of their brand. We challenge each one to write one post. Here’s what happens.

The Role Model archetype might write a blog post about how she struggled to learn time management. She’ll talk about how she almost flunked out of college because she couldn’t organize her study time. She’ll write about how she tweaked her study schedule and ended up graduating with honors.

The Educator archetype will write a blog post, “4 Productivity Strategies That Actually Work.” She’ll point to research that shows why some time management techniques are doomed to fail. Or she’ll emphasize the need to match your productivity strategy to your natural biorhythms.

The Innovator archetype will write a blog post on an innovative time management tool that helps you get more done in less time. Or she’ll share case studies of business executives who became more productive with her innovation.

The point is, once you’ve identified your archetype, you now have a framework for writing blog posts (or anything else). Notice it’s a framework — not a straightjacket. You can go off course every so often, especially when you reference other guest experts.

(3) Calculate ROT as well as ROI. That unfortunate acronym stands for “Return on Time.”

When I held “real jobs,” I met managers who would take time out of their day to shop at discount stores for sales that might save them less than $100. It never occurred to them that they could have invested this time in moving their careers forward, planning their investments or starting a side business.

Now when I talk to successful entrepreneurs, they have one thing in common. They know the value of their time.

As I grew my copywriting career, I was surprised to find experienced, competent marketers hiring me to write their copy. They were perfectly capable of writing their own copy. But they realized they had a better use for their time. After all, I do this all day long. I can do it faster. And because I’m not too close to the project, I can bring an angle they can’t.

I’m Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., a copywriter, storyteller and small business branding strategist. I would love to connect with you. If you are a service-based business seeking to differentiate yourself in the marketplace, check out my comprehensive workbook “From Story To Standout Brand: Your 3-Step Blueprint.” Discover how your personal brand helps you create compelling copy, strengthen your message and establishes your consistent, memorable presence online.
*** “Everything’s easier when you do it with stories.”***