For some reason, I always seem to make things harder than they need to be. I think I subconsciously create work when there isn’t any. And I think this wastes my time.
I’m not sure if it’s a female trait – I know a whole lot of my women friends who do the exact same thing.
It could be indoctrination from childhood that working hard is the key to everything.
- If you work hard, and put in the time, you’ll be a success.
- Where does money come from? Hard work!
- The only place success comes before hard work is in the dictionary!
- Hard work beats talent. The price of success is hard work.
It seems that something isn’t worth doing if it’s not hard work, right?
Deciding what to write about used to be one of those tasks that I labored over. Part of it was procrastination and part was not being sure what people wanted to read about.
I’ve made so many lists of ideas and topics and strategies, but I’ve not been convinced that they are what I should use. Especially right now, when I’m writing a lot to develop this habit and build up a library of content. My current strategy is just to write useful things for a while. Once I have the habit down, I can get a little more sophisticated with strategy and planning.
So it should be easy, but it’s still a struggle, even with a list of 100+ ideas ready to go.
Then I heard something that changed my outlook.*
What would my problem look like if things were easy?
I’m not 100%, but I’m pretty sure I heard this from Kim Doyal. By the way, you should sign up for her free Content Traffic Kickstarter course – it’s better than paid courses out there.
So, what would it look like if it were easy to generate blog topics that I knew my people want to read about? Well… I thought about it… I would be easy if my clients told me what they wanted to know about.
Yeah, they have told me! My clients ask me questions all the time.
So, I started digging through my emails and messages from clients. I pulled out questions they’ve asked and made note of the things more than one person has asked. I also looked at the little bits of info I’d sent out, knowing clients would need it, but didn’t know to ask. Turns out, I do have some topics my clients (and hopefully other people, just like my clients) want to read about.
If this sounds like something you want to tackle, but aren’t sure how to start, here’s how I am approaching it:
I’m going back client by client. So I started with email from my very first client! I’m keeping track of questions asked or valuable information given on a simple spreadsheet with counts for how often the topic comes up. I actually have only made it through my first couple of years of clients, and I’m working through the rest now, in random, spare bits of time.
Plus, I’m adding topics and ideas to my list as current clients ask them. I’ll keep this ongoing, since it’s much faster than having to dig through emails at some future date.
And finally, I’m looking at the topics, the total times asked or mentioned, and thinking about where I want to go in the future. I don’t want to be writing about topics that I don’t want to be part of my business in the future. The topics have to be something that will help both my clients and me too.
For example, I get many questions about email. I have zero interest in setting up or troubleshooting email addresses and inboxes, for myself or my clients. So I don’t want to write too much about the technical side of email set up. Instead, I may write a guide on how clients can handle their own email setup to use as a reference.
So, keep a spreadsheet or database of ideas that already resonate with your audience. Then add information about the blog posts you do actually write to that spreadsheet, like the name, the link, the publish date, and the blog category. It can be a wonderful resource the next time you get those same questions.
You can just reply to questions with links to your published posts. You will save a whole bunch of time, and you will be boosting your authority at the same time. Only experts will have published all that information your client wants to know, right?
*My outlook has changed but habit changes are still a work-in-progress. I’m trying.
You're a business-owning mom, so you use this guide to prioritize your tasks in 2 minutes, and have 41 minutes left to knock out a task.