Writing for Business

Take a step back from your content

I’m all about content. I love creating content. I love coming up with new ideas. I love the consistency you need to apply. However, sometimes, it is really important to take a step back and truly assess your output.

I have written this short blog post to remind you to take time out and to reflect on what you are trying to achieve. Don’t carry on blindly creating content…do this instead…

Assess your messaging

This is a common error in writing a blog post, but I see it across social media platforms too. People get so involved with what they are writing or creating, post after post after post, they forget to assess what their main message is. They forget what was the point of what they first started writing about? They don’t consider, ‘why write it?’ or ‘why put in the effort?’

If it is not clear and if you can’t identify the point of the content you are creating, then it’s time to step back. Your content needs to work hard for you – you need to have a goal and a need for the content. Take time to assess this regularly.

Look at the stats

I know I’ve said it before but looking at some basic analytics is a great way to use ‘stepping back time’. Really assess those numbers – look at your website, blog posts and social media posts. Has your number of followers become stagnant? Have the number of comments reduced? Is you reach or engagement down?

Take a step back and look again at what works hard for you and your business. Go back six months, even a year, what worked well? And be inspired again, to create content that will see your stats improve!

Take some time out

“You should post regularly.”

“You should post consistently.”

“You should blog weekly.”

“You should post 5-7….10-30….100000000 times a day”

“Blah….Blah…Blah…”

The advice goes on and on…we all know what we probably should do….but sometimes it is better to take a break, to give yourself time to plan and relaunch than to get bogged down and put out rubbish!

It is not ideal to have long gaps in your content output but, equally, for any small business, quality is often more important than quantity. So take two weeks off in the summer or choose to take a break when content creation is getting you down. Step back, assess…and come back fresh and inspired…

Look for inspiration

When you take a step back, ‘turn and face the other way’!

By this, I mean look at other content. Read different blogs posts. Follow some people on social media that you wouldn’t usually. Try something new. Perhaps explore a new social media platform entirely!

I recently did some work on hashtags and I found it fascinating comparing the different hashtags across the different platforms – what was different between the popularity of the same hashtag between LinkedIn vs Instagram vs Twitter was so insightful and gave me such a better view of how people talk about the same thing in different ways on the different platforms.

Hashtags are great for inspiration – search for ones relevant to your business or interests and then compare across the social media platforms. See how popular or unpopular they are from one to the next. See what posts come up too – they can be really varied… and often contain some surprises! Consider homographs (words written the same but different meanings), for example. My recent favourite was #reading …which I thought would be a good one for posting about books until I realised most of Instagram posts were about Reading Music Festival!!!! Whereas those on LinkedIn, were not! But without taking the time to do that I wouldn’t have known that. And just by looking at different posts I got new ideas.

Then, step forwards…feeling refreshed

With a bit of a break, with a bit of renewed inspiration and, finally, with a bit of focus, you’ll feel refreshed and you can step back on to the content treadmill.

If you want to spend your ‘time off’ productively, give me a shout and we can ‘waste that time together’! New ideas…new content forms…and perhaps…new business leads.

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