Content Content Content.
It seems as though EVERYONE and their cat is talking about content. When do I create it, how long does it have to be? What “tone” should I write in? What makes good content? Should it be written, audio or video? And on the questions go till you decide there is no point in doing anything because you can’t get a straight actionable answer when you ask those questions.
How do I know?
I know because that is exactly what I went through when I wanted to start creating content to highlight the skills and “expertise” I have picked up in my business owner journey so far. This is one of the many struggles I’ve faced.
In fact, finding the courage to actually create content has been a struggle in itself.
In this blog post, I am going to walk you through how I got over my fear of creating content, why I even had this fear in the first place, and what my team and I did to create content for my presence online.
I’ll also be sharing with you my “secret weapon” that allows me to leverage my content to the fullest.
Additionally, I will also show you how we do light promotion of the content to get people reading and interacting with the content.
One thing I promise is that I won’t hold back. I guarantee that I’ll be spilling the beans so if you’re currently stuck in a content rut, it is my goal to make sure this blog post gives you the confidence to take the leap and start producing MOARRRR content.
So, without further ado, let’s get to it…
Tega The Influencer…NOT
For me, when it comes to creating content, I view it as creating something that either educates, informs or entertains people. This is why I’d rather use the term “creating content” lightly. Most people think of YouTubers and “influencers” when they hear that someone “creates content.”
And obviously, I’m not nor do I strive to be an “influencer.”
Due to the way I am set up, it makes more sense for my content to fall in the aisles of educating and informing with a generous helping of entertainment.
It’s important to write what I know, but it’s more important that I encourage people to consume and implement whatever I’m sharing.
For business, especially business today, creating content is the foundation that a lot of first time entrepreneurs build upon (including myself). If you want to be seen as an expert and someone that people can rely on for knowledge, you have to create content.
Content can come in the form of blog posts, which you then promote through multiple channels such as social media and newsletters. This allows your content to be visible so that people can see or read what you’re talking about, and see if it interests them.
So yes, inasmuch as I understand the importance of creating content online to build an online presence, I am by no means an “influencer.” I’m simply a normal dude creating content on the internet and finding the courage to talk about himself…
Now, you may think that I really know my stuff, right? But in all honesty, I haven’t made best friends with content just yet. We do seem to be acquaintances, however.
Why I Used To Be Afraid Of Content
You might say that I’m a little bit ashamed to admit this but for the longest time, I would not create any content. This is something that I’ve honestly struggled with.
The introvert in me made me uncomfortable talking about myself. Posting about me and my accomplishments? WEIRD. Posting about how I did XYZ in my business? NO THANKS. Posting my thoughts on the latest online tool. CRUH-AZY.
I thought that I could get away with putting myself online and just grow my business through other means.
However, I was fooling myself. I needed to put myself out there. I needed to create content. And I needed to muster up the courage to do so.
That’s when I had to deal with my next enemy: the black screen of doom.
When I’d try creating written content like blog posts or articles, I would turn on my computer, open Microsoft Word or Google Doc, and I would sit there, staring at the blank screen. And I didn’t like staring at a blank screen because my mind went blank too.
Let me tell you, a blank screen and a blank mind are NOT a productive combo.
That realisation meant that I would have to come up with a way of creating written content which did not have me starting with a blank screen. Which ultimately led to what I am showing/talking about in this blog post.
The point is, for me personally, whenever it comes to creating content, I’ve always, ALWAYS struggled.
I struggled because I was never sure what to post, when to post, how to post, or even something as simple as how long the copy should be. That’s my confession.
Outside of an academic setting, I’ve never been comfortable just creating content for the sake of educating and informing people.
The truth is, I was a little bit scared of creating content and that fear stemmed from a whole raft of different reasons.
What should I say?
Who’s gonna read this?
How do I make sure the person I’m writing it for gets to see it?
How long does it have to be?
Why should anybody listen to me?
After all, I haven’t made a million pounds or dollars, I don’t have a Ferrari, I don’t have a private jet. So why should anybody listen to me?
Those are the fears that I had. And these could be fears that you are currently facing.
This fear has kept me paralyzed for so long until someone gave me a chance in holding my first guest expert session that I realised that I really had to get over myself. That meant I had to put aside the fears that I had about content and take the black screen of doom by the horns.
How I Got Over The Black Screen of Doom
If you look at my website now, you would not know that I used to have a fear of creating content. I have over 10 in-depth blog posts that talk about things that interest me and things that I’ve done.
And how was I able to start creating content and get over my fear?
I decided to think about writing content for my past self. The Tega from a few years ago who didn’t know anything about business and needed someone to guide him. I wanted to be that guide. It felt more natural, somehow, for me to write for someone who I genuinely knew and cared about.
You’ll see in my website that I wrote some blog posts on how I made $2,000 while running a 5-day challenge. I also wrote a blog post on how to start a podcast, and another on how to hire virtual team members.
All of those spawned from this idea of creating content for past Tega. That gave me the freedom to explore the things I wanted to explore and actually create something that would be useful to somebody who wrote to me back when I didn’t know much and was struggling with that particular thing I’m writing about.
Then came the next hurdle, which is facing the black screen. Honestly, writing isn’t my biggest forte. I found that I was more comfortable with recording myself and pretending I was speaking to someone rather than quietly typing words on a blank document.
So when I decided to record myself, things felt more natural for me and I didn’t have to force myself to come up with the right words.
My advice is to choose what type of content works for you to get the wheels running. Do you prefer written content, audio, or video? Think about that.
Once I got over some of my hurdles and accepted the fact that I’ll be creating simple, uncomplicated content for past Tega through recording myself, what I needed next was leverage.
The goal of leverage was to allow me to create content in a way that works for me and is consistent and quick.
What Is This Leverage You Speak Of?
In terms of leverage when it comes to creating content, you may be wondering how that works. Well, if you search for the meaning of leverage in Google, what comes up is, “use (something) to maximum advantage.”
In my case, this means creating one piece of content, and making the most of it through a “content creator’s” (sorry, but I’m really not a fan of this term) secret weapon:
And if you haven’t heard of content repurposing, it’s simply taking your main piece of content and turning it into tiny, wonderful bits of multiple other forms of content. This can mean turning a blog post into several social media posts, or turning a podcast into short-form audiograms.
In my case, I’d turn the video I recorded into blog posts, which are then turned into social media posts and so on.
That’s the beauty of content repurposing. All you need is a few pieces of really great content which you can then transform into bite-size pieces of content to be distributed across multiple platforms. Magic, isn’t it?
That’s the beauty of this type of leverage.
Another form of leverage that has proven to be a life-saver is using my resources to hire a content writer to execute on this whole content repurposing shebang.
That content writer is Gabbie, and we still work together. In fact, we are about to celebrate her 3rd year anniversary of working with me.
What she does is she takes the assets that I create, churns it through a machine that we both collaborated on, and then turns that one asset into another form of content, which inevitably ends up being the blog post (which you’re reading at this very moment).
Second part was after Gabbie was hired, she and I came up with a system for consistently creating the blogs to post on my website.
Now the beauty of this system that we’ve come up with is that should we desire, we can create more types of content from that ONE asset. Currently we’re just creating blog posts, but we can also create other things like short-form, easy-to-consume content that drives people to the blog post as a way of promoting the blog post.
Content repurposing is no secret in the content marketing world, but I adapted it and made it my own. And this is where we put the pedal into the metal of the magical engine that we’ve created to help us systemise the way we create content…
Where The Magic Happens
After a few months of working with Gabbie, we were able to come up with a system that we use up to this day. I like to call this my “Repurposing Engine.”
The repurpose engine is relatively straightforward in the sense that we know what we have to create. And to give you a quick recap, I wanted to talk about advice that I’d give my past self that I think would be useful for entrepreneurs who are currently feeling stuck themselves.
What we then have to do is figure out a way to utilise this engine in a way that works for me and the entire team.
Let me talk you through the repurpose engine.
Above is the repurpose engine that the team and I designed. The key thing that we have to do is create blog posts or “mega” blog posts (as we’ve affectionately come to call them), because these things range in length from 2,500 words all the way up to 5,000 words.
Because of the way I work and because of the fact that I tend to struggle with the black screen of doom, I had to think of a way for me to actually create the assets and then have the leverage point in place. The goal was to have the asset used by me or somebody else, in this case Gabbie, to create the mega blog.
To make the process of creating the mega blog much faster, I usually record a video, strip out the audio, and upload it to a transcription service. This transcription is then converted into a blog post.
Every single one of my blog posts on the website started out as a video. The mentality that I took with the video is that I was doing a guest expert session, whether actual or “pretend.” This means that I’d have to plan the video and make sure that everything flows and makes sense.
Why a guest expert session? Because if I simply treated this as a recording for myself, I don’t think I’d be putting as much effort and structure as opposed to treating it like an actual talk for a group of people.
So in summary, I was able to create leverage through three things:
- Hire Gabbie
- Come up with a system for consistently creating mega blog posts
- Use the repurpose engine
Up to this point, you may already have a good grasp as to what content repurposing is, but why did I even develop this repurpose engine in the first place?
How Does This Mighty Engine Benefit My Business?
So what is the point of all this?
Ultimately, the goal is to distribute the posts or the mega blog posts that we create. This creates a sort of omnipresence by posting on multiple platforms in various types of media. And if you think about it, what’s the point of writing these blogs if there’s no one to read them?
As you can see from the repurpose engine, all the content we put out on multiple platforms stems from one point. In my case, that point is the videos I record.
Recording the video is just something that works for me but if you feel that you are a good talker and you just want to do audio, you can definitely do audio.
Just bear in mind that creating audio (as opposed to video) will affect what you can do in terms of repurposing. Basically, you limit yourself in terms of what you can create if your asset is just an audio file.
This is because with video, you can turn those into small 1-minute clips that can be transformed into stories, IG Reels, TikToks, and Facebook videos. You simply can’t do that with an audio file unless you transform it into an audiogram, which isn’t always that effective as a talking head video of yourself.
To recap how this repurpose engine works, we are basically reverse engineering.
You start from that one strong point that works for you, and then you break that down so that it’s sequential in what you can do until you arrive at the point where you can create your ultimate end goal. In our case, that ultimate end goal is the mega blog posts.
In terms of execution, there are a few tools that have helped us make things a hell of a lot easier, which I’ll talk about in this next section.
The Tools That Carry This Engine
Without these tools and resources, the team and I wouldn’t be able to execute our repurposing engine in such an efficient and seamless manner.
There are a few tools that we use to help us identify and organise our repurposed content.
The first one was the Content Creators Planner. This was a tool that appeared to me on a Facebook ad one day when I was scrolling Facebook. I like it because it allows me to plan my content from the macro view before I have to zoom into the micro view and figure out the things that actually need to be created.
Then I’ve mentioned a transcription service and in our case, we use Otter. This is where we upload the audio files from the videos that we record. We then take the transcript of those audios and use it to create the mega blog post. Otter makes it easy to take this original asset and turn it into the ultimate thing that we are trying to create through these transcriptions.
Once we have the transcript, we clean everything through Google Docs. This is also where we end up writing the article so that everybody on the team can review and make suggestions for changes. We can also see the complete blog post before it goes on the website.
For basic SEO optimisation of the blog post, we use Yoast SEO. We don’t use advanced SEO methods because this kind of goes back to where I talked about no fancy gimmicks. We don’t do keyword research for articles but we just wanted to optimise enough so that Google knows what the blog post is about. This allows me to come out in the right searches.
When it comes to recording myself in my hypothetical “guest expert sessions,” we use Streamyard which is one of these new video tools that popped up in the last year or two as streaming has grown in popularity.
For graphics, we create everything using Canva. If you noticed in my blog posts, you’ll see that we have all these different images within the blog post to just break things up. Those images are created in Canva. We use Canva for basically all of your graphic needs.
And finally, when it comes to tracking all of our content (which is a lot), we heavily rely on Airtable. We absolutely love Airtable because of its versatility. We use it to create our content calendar and content database, but it also has other great features such as Kanban boards and Gantt charts.
With Airtabe, we upload all of our important photos, files and relevant links. That way, everything is centralised.
These tools are the backbone of our engine and as confident as I am of how good our current system is, we must always adapt the kaizen approach of continuous improvement.
Is There A Way To Make Things Better?
At the end of the day, the question that we have to ask is how can we make this better?
In the current version of this repurpose engine, the goal is to create the mega blog post and then have it go out to all the different platforms.
Now in the second version, which is something that we are going to be working on, we will focus on amplifying the blog posts. In simple terms, it means running paid traffic to the blog posts so that we can build a brand off of the hard work that we’ve done in creating these pieces of content.
Because you have to remember that the goal is not just to create great content, but to make sure that the right people see it.
We actually already have a sort of amplification engine already since we’re posting to Facebook. And what we can do with this is we can increase the number of places that we post to or we can put money behind it to make sure it reaches more people on these platforms.
At the moment, organic reach on Facebook isn’t that great. So it only makes sense that the next step is to amplify the work that we’re doing right now.
Currently, this is what a blurb on my Facebook page looks like. It’s basically a simple post about what the blog post on the website is about, followed by a call to action which sends them to the website.
And despite this engine being far from perfect, the power of what I have just shown/explained to you is now responsible for winning me 4 clients. These were actually pleasant surprises because I wasn’t purposely trying to land clients yet.
How I landed these clients came from simple conversations I’ve had with them.
The first client was from a friend whom I showed how we use the ONE asset to create several bits of content to go on other platforms and drive traffic to my website. I also showed him an example, and he asked “how do I pay you to do that for me?”
The second client we got is actually someone like me who was also strigged with the Black Screen of Doom and they had tried to solve this issue themselves SEVEN times but to no avail. I showed them what we do and they also offered to pay me/the team to handle it for them.
The one area where I am going to be shifting my focus over the next few months is to AMPLIFY the results we are getting.
With this first iteration of the production and promotion, I am averaging 250 visits to my website every month. I’d also like to note that we even get roughly 100 listens to our podcast even though we haven’t recorded a new episode in forever simply because I am still promoting in our different channels.
Where this is limited is that it is only people who KNOW me due to my privacy setting on Facebook (where we primarily promote).
To expand that reach, I am researching how to run low budget campaigns to make the numbers “better”.
Our organic posts are currently driving traffic to the website. And because we have our tracking pixels installed, we have data being gathered to help us when we start doing paid traffic.
So, to wrap this up and drive the point home…
- Figure out where your strength lies when it comes to content creation. Are you good on video, are you a talker or are you a writer?
- Plan the content you want to create.
- Use your strength. For me it was recording real or “pretend” guest expert sessions.
- Repurpose for the platform you are going to be sharing to. For example take the audio from a video and turn it into a podcast (provided it makes sense).
- Promote the main piece of content.
And that ladies and gentlepeeps is how my team and I have systemised our content production and to a VERY basic level our content promotion. Go forth and create all your content with relative ease.