Publishing content regularly — and striving to improve with each new creation — is a proven way to figure out how to serve your audience and meet your business goals. But I have other things to do besides writing content, and you do too.
Recently, I had trouble finishing a draft of a post and realized that my other responsibilities were distracting me from getting clear on the message I wanted to communicate. So today, I’m going to share the simple solution that helped me complete the article with ease.
Why is the coffee shop sexier than the bar?
No, that subhead isn’t a new spin on: “Why did the chicken cross the road?” It references one of my recent posts, The Coffee Shop Is Sexier than The Bar. I initially wrote down a lot of ideas for that content, but when it was time to create a solid draft, I was stuck. My go-to remedy when I feel blocked is to ask myself questions. I said:
If I’m calling the post “The Coffee Shop Is Sexier than The Bar,” every part of it needs to answer the question, “Why is the coffee shop sexier than the bar?”
My other musings needed to be cut out and (potentially) saved for other articles. With that minor outlook shift, it felt like the floodgates opened … every sentence that was appropriate effortlessly stayed and I saw what didn’t work.
How to earn the attention of people “who don’t have time to read”
People quickly navigate away from content that contains too many ideas. You can challenge readers without overwhelming them. So, once you craft a headline, turn that title into a question in order to pinpoint your main message.
Then, as you draft and review your content, make sure every part of it answers that question.
Length doesn’t matter. A short post could be cluttered and convoluted; a long post could be cluttered and convoluted. A long post could be clear and crisp; a short post could be clear and crisp.
3 more examples of how you can use this technique
Browsing the classic five-W tribe and lone-wolf H will help you transform your headline into a question:
Here are three other posts I’ve written and the questions that helped keep the content focused:
- What are the 7 unusual signs on the path to a breakthrough?
- How does this technique help you attract better clients and customers?
- Where is the best place to consistently find winning content ideas?
This tip may seem obvious, but …
So much writing advice fails to take into consideration that content marketers are people who have other responsibilities.
And those other responsibilities sometimes make it difficult to see the obvious. I was distracted and needed to use this quick tip to move forward.
In our new Creative Content Foundations course, the “Taking Your Content from Good to Great” Module shows you how to work with where you’re at and what you have, rather than give guidance that only works in an unrealistic, isolated bubble.
You don’t need a bubble; you need to develop practical, manageable habits designed for real people.
If you want to publish regularly, Sonia and I will help you start on the right foot. We share our favorite techniques for efficiently reviewing and polishing your writing so you create content that impresses … without getting bogged down in perfectionism.
We’re offering the course at a “bananas” price for our first group of students, but only for two more days — until 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 — so don’t wait to get all the details.