"Blogging sucks," is a phrase which you will hear our wonderful James Barclay say on a daily basis. It really does - it's hard to sit down and conjure up your unique and insightful piece of thought leadership for that week from scratch. Why? Because who has time for that with everything else going on. (If you're reading this, chances are you will know that's why Passle was invented.)
Then, after you finally start writing regular content and get into some semblance of a rhythm, it can be quite hard to keep it up as life gets in the way - you're ill, go on holiday, feel a bit stressed etc. and the last thing you really want is to write a piece of content.
I had that very same experience last month. I didn't write one post - not one piece of content. And for someone whose job it is to eulogise the simplicity and ease with which Passle solves this problem, it was quite a poor showing.
Then I wrote one post last week and I realised why I started doing it again. When I wrote that post, I was writing for two very specific people with whom I was engaged in 'end of month' conversations. After our numerous interactions, I wanted to actually show them that I understood their problems, that I was listening to them and if I'm honest, as a way of making myself stand out from the numerous other vendors out there.
If I rang them up to say all of the above, it would appear entirely contrived and they wouldn't have listened. It probably would have detracted from our relationship. However, because I actually sat down to write a piece of content and put a bit of research into it all, it's a bit more genuine.
I share this anecdote to show that my most recent piece of content had a point. There was a clearly defined reason for me writing it and an objective that I wanted to achieve. This is the key.
Content for content's sake is a big waste of time. However, when you get past the fanfare and everything you do has a clear purpose, then it becomes infinitely easier to incorporate it into your routine.
Three steps to make this easier?
#1 Ask yourself, "What do you want to be known for?" and then link all of your digital activity with that goal.
If every piece of content has a point ("to be the go-to expert in complex aviation leasing deals" OR "the go-to vendor for large-scale public sector software projects"), then it becomes much easier to incorporate it into your everyday routine.
As set out, this objective could have been sorted via an email or a phone, but it lacked the authenticity of a well-written (cough, cough) piece of content which could be consumed at the person's leisure.
#2 Every time you write a piece of content, think about Who are you trying to influence? Thereafter, link your own personal brand with the people you are directly trying to influence.
As such, when you write, try and break down your objectives into manageable goals, much like you approach any problem.
Content is just one part of influence, but as soon as you make it a part of your routine (much in the same way you attend events), it will become so much easier and crucially, you will see business results as well.
#3 Set aside time and make it a part of your routine: The same way you make time to look after existing clients, go to the gym, do your expenses etc. is the same way you need to approach content creation. It has to be little and often.
Having a deadline event to work towards makes things easier: here at Passle it's 4PM on a Monday, so that we can send out our newsletter on a Tuesday morning. Try timetabling weekly content creation & research
#4 Peer review: Imposter syndrome is a real and quite crippling thing. In short, it's is the feeling you get when you write a piece of content or come up with an idea, that it is complete nonsense and often, you'll just keep it to yourself for fear of looking like a numpty in front of your peers. It's common in academics and professional people because they are overly intelligent and care acutely about their work.
One way to overcome this imposter syndrome is to ask a colleague to review your content before publishing. Aside from the obvious spelling & grammar checks, it gives you just that little boost of confidence before publishing something online.