Have you found yourself putting off writing a blog post or making a video because you worry your content isn’t good enough? Nearly everyone I know struggles with this, and yet some still are able to create new things every day/week/month. How do they do it?
In this article I want to show you some different ways to think about your content and your creation process. I hope it encourages you to get started putting your ideas out into the world.
Who is your content for?
The most obvious answer is that your content is for your audience. And so, we need to think about the content we write (when I say write throughout this article, you could substitute making video, recording audio, making graphics, drawing graphs…) from your audience’s perspective.
Do people ever ask you questions? If yes, do they come back and ask you more questions? If so, they must have found your first answers helpful, or at least acceptable right?
Even if you’re not an expert in the subject you’re writing about, there are people who aren’t as far along on their learning journey as you. You can help them, and your content is definitely good enough. Bring them along with what you’re learning.
I personally take comfort in the advice given by Dave Ramsey, though others have said it, that if you read three books on a subject, you’re an expert compared to most people.
Yes, search engines are important, but you don’t have to have perfect search engine optimization (SEO) to show up on search result pages (SERPs). These days, the more you write for your audience, you know, actual people, the more search engines want to show your content.
I’ve been serious about writing on this blog for about a year now. Just by keeping a few keywords in mind while I write, and writing for my audience, my articles started showing up in searches after about 7 months.
Your content is also important for you!
It helps you get your thoughts out on paper and organized. Having to write an article really forces you to develop and expand your ideas. Surprisingly, it also helps you generate new ideas and new connections.
Creating and publishing content builds a bank of assets that you own. You can reference them, share them with others, and use them as evidence of your expertise.
Your content can save you time too. As people ask you questions, you can refer them to your content for answers.
Judging if your content good enough
First, I have to say that I too worry about this all the time because I am a recovering perfectionist. I have forced myself to embrace the motto, “Perfect is the enemy of the good.” I used to avoid doing anything that I couldn’t do perfectly (or close enough to fake it anyway, which was pretty stressful).
So who gets to judge whether what you write is good enough?
Well, most of your audience probably isn’t qualified to judge.
Is anyone qualified to judge? Probably not. You might have people who disagree with you, but there are very few things that don’t have multiple points of view, and your point of view counts.
Someone told me this a good while back, and I didn’t believe it at the time. But having written for more than a year now, I can assure you it’s true.
If someone IS qualified to judge the content you write, 99% of them remember being at your stage and will cheer you on.
Ok, well, yes, they’ll judge. But you don’t have any control over their algorithms. Don’t focus on writing for search engines at the expense of your audience. Put them first.
Google won’t ever leave you a voicemail telling you you’re not good enough.
Either you’re an expert and your content is therefore good enough. Or, you’re not qualified to judge.
Seriously, if you don’t think you’re an expert in a subject, why do you get to judge whether your content is good enough? You don’t.
(this above is the actual argument that convinced me to get started – let me know if it helps you)
So what if it’s really not good enough?
If you’ve made it this far, thinking to yourself that I must not really get it….YOUR content really isn’t good enough, even though you’re trying… this section is for you.
Okay, for the moment, I’ll buy into the fact that maybe your content isn’t good enough to rank high in the search engines, or it’s not quite as helpful as you’d like it to be. Or, maybe you just have trouble in front of a camera or stringing the right words together. Maybe your writing voice always sounds forced.
IF this is in any way true, then you just have to work at getting better at producing content. (and FYI, this is actually true for nearly all people who are beginning to write or film or record.)
How to get better at producing content
Produce more content.
Really. How else would you get better?
By practicing, you can get better at all the things that make a piece of content good:
- Helping your audience
- Impressing the search engines
- The tech side
- Finding the right accompanying images
- And anything else you feel could make your content better
I challenge you to put out one piece of content this week. Even if you’re worried it’s not good enough to publish.
Write down your thoughts and hit the publish button on your blog. Or sit in front of smart phone and do a FB live, or publish to YouTube. Record yourself talking through a problem and post it on your site as a workshop.
Then see what happens.
You may not immediately get praise or even noticed. But you’ll see that you won’t get boo’d either.
What will happen is that you’ll start to see some benefits
- you’ll start building confidence in releasing content out into the world
- You’ll feel accomplished
- You’ll have an asset that you can use to teach people or answer questions
- You’ll develop your ideas
- You’ll start to gain traction as an expert in your field
- You’ll start to narrow down what you like producing content about
- You’ll start attracting an audience
Put a link in the comments so we can check it out.
Do it again next week.