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. This was way before I knew about systemising my content creation….
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 thus far.
In this blogpost, I am going to walk you through how my team and I create content for my presence online. One thing that I really struggled with was “what happens AFTER the content is created?” You see, when creating content, depending on what you want to achieve, the creation is only half the battle because after you have created it, you have to figure out how to get it in front of people that will find use from it.
I talk about how we create and how we do light promotion of the content to get people reading and interacting with the content. So, without further ado, let’s get to it…
For me, when it comes to creating content, I view it as creating something that either educates, informs or entertains people. As I mentioned at the start of this blog post, there was a time when creating content was quite the struggle for me (which I’ll be talking about more later on).
I use the term “creating content” loosely because creating content has become a term primarily used to describe people on YouTube that create videos and do brand deals and they are primarily doing this to become 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 to encourage consumption and implementation of the points the particular content piece is talking about.
For me, when it comes to creating content, I look at content in the micro. This can mean a blog post, podcast, or video to show someone or a group of people how to do something.
For business, especially business today, creating content is the foundation that a lot of first time entrepreneurs build upon. You have to write blog posts, you have to then promote those blog posts so that people can see or read what you’re talking about, and see if it interests them.
My Battle with 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.
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 screen. It still happens to me now, but not as often anymore.
The reason it doesn’t happen as often anymore is because I’ve systemised the way that I create content and also leveraged a virtual team member (but this isn’t the point I’m trying to make at the moment).
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.
But if you look at my website now, you would not know this because there are over 10 blog posts. And those blog posts are pretty in depth, talking about things that interest me and things that I’ve done. You can read about the things that I’ve tried and the results that I’ve got from trying those things.
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 it wasn’t 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 the content and just create it.
To answer the question of who was going to read this, I decided that I want to create content for my past self.
And in terms of not knowing what to write about, I worked my way around that as well.
Anytime I’ve ever had a roadblock around a subject matter that I had no theoretical knowledge of, I figured a good way for me to get around that would just be to show myself doing the thing that I was trying to talk about.
If you look on my website, you’ll see 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 me, i.e Tega 6 to 12 months ago. 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 6 to 12 months ago, struggling with that particular thing I’m writing about.
Getting Over The Black Screen of Doom
Once I decided I had to get over myself and figured out the steps I would take, the next thing that I had to navigate personally was the fact that I don’t like starting with a blank screen.
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.
Once I got over some of my hurdles and accepted the fact that I’ll be creating simple, uncomplicated content for Tega from 6 to 12 months ago, what I needed next was leverage. This leverage should allow me to create content in a way that works for me, and allows it to be created consistently and relatively quickly.
So the first thing I had to do was hire a content writer. That content writer was Gabbie, and we still work together and we actually just celebrated her 1 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.
However the current iteration of the system is primarily for blog posts.
Once we had the idea for the system in place, then we had to build the machine, which I have rather crudely dubbed “The Repurpose engine.”
The Repurpose Engine
The repurpose engine is relatively straightforward in the sense that we know what we have to create. What we then have to do is figure out a way to create this thing 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 called Otter. 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.
The reason this is called the repurpose engine is because from the video, audio, or blog post, we can then proceed to create audiograms, image quotes, social media posts, blurbs and so much more.
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
The point of the repurpose engine is actually twofold.
The Point of the Repurpose Engine
So what is the point of all this?
The first 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.
At the moment, we’re posting only on Facebook. That way, we can actually refine our processes and get clear on what we’re doing before we can roll it out.
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.
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.
To get to the mega blog posts, we need to have a mechanism and our mechanism just happens to be Otter. Otter makes it easy to take this original asset and turn it into the ultimate thing that we are trying to create through transcriptions.
Tools We Use for Creating and Repurposing Content
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 Otter, which is a transcription service that we use, 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.
Google Docs is 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.
We record the videos using Streamyard which is one of these new video tools that popped up in the last year or two as streaming has grown in popularity.
And then the final tool that we use is 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. The way it works is that we have these assets that we upload to Canva to then work with.
The great thing about Canva is that it’s very easy to use and you don’t need to learn Photoshop.
Focusing on Improvement
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 if you think about it, what good is creating the blog post if nobody sees 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 is really bad. So it only makes sense that the next step is to amplify the work that we’re doing right now
Currently, this is what the blurb 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.
The power of what I have just shown/explained to you, is now responsible for winning me 2 clients.
I was talking to a friend about this and how we use the ONE asset to create several bits of content to go on other platforms and drive traffic to my website, and I 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 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 200 visits to my website every month. 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 podcastv(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.