Three pieces of content a week. I’ve said it now! I’m going to write a piece of content, 3 times a week. And I don’t just mean a document for work purposes or an email. I’m talking about a piece of content on a topic I’m passionate about, that I can share online to add value.
This statement is so easy to type now, but from where I’m sitting also seems incredibly hard!
If you read my recent article on the 7 Steps to Become a Thought Leader you would have seen that I’ve been encouraged to write and produce content from a few sources lately. Not only did Josh Steimle focus on it in his presentation but everywhere I look, people seem to be publishing great meaty articles, writing books and sharing awesome insight through their words.
I’ve always liked the idea of joining these people that have such unique thoughts and can so eloquently put them in words. In fact, I have tried over the years. I wrote a personal blog from 2006 - 2013 and I began a digital marketing blog to capture my musings on the digital marketing industry in 2006 too. It nearly reached 150 articles before I stopped (it makes quite amusing reading now!) I even created some content about startups in 2014. But with all these platforms, eventually I ran out of things to say and got tired of writing to a non-existent audience and all things came to a halt.
Establishing a Framework
This time though, I’m prepared to give it another try. With more mechanisms to spread the content and a more established audience, it will now be easier to see what resonates (and what doesn’t) and evolve my writing accordingly. However I think I need a better framework and plan to work to rather than just waiting for the writing moments to occur. So I’ve decided to implement these guidelines:
- I need to write something three times a week
Like everything, we can’t expect to be good at something unless we practice and writing will not come naturally or be a good reader-experience unless I keep at it. Three times a week seems somewhat achievable as a starting step, yet frequent enough to be making it a regular part of my week.
- Each piece of writing has to be at least 500 words
It's well accepted that readers like deep articles and that they perform better in search results and most of all are more valuable to their audience. I don’t want to set an unrealistic expectation that I can write 3,000 words each time, but I think a minimum of 500 words is a good starting point (this post is around 950 words).
- At least one piece of content a week has to add value to digital marketers
Digital Marketing is my industry, it’s where I work, it’s where I connect and whilst I will also enjoy writing about some other topics from time to time, unless I write with purpose, there will be no benefit in either the short or the long term. That means that at least 1 of the 3 content articles needs to be published each week.
There are two key challenges that I’ll have with regularly producing new content. Firstly I don’t really know how I’m going to fit it in. I’m assuming that each article will take at least an hour to write, edit, publish and link to. So that’s three hours a week I’ve just added to my already slightly crammed schedule. For now I don’t have a strategy around that, but I feel that this is important and I need to make it a priority. I also suspect that I’ll have more luck writing earlier in the day, potentially before I check my email and get sucked into the crazy.
Secondly there is always the question of whether I’ll have anything to say. This is a big one as I’d love to be one of those really deep thinkers who always has something incredibly useful and inspirational to say. Chances are though that I’ll be tied up in the “every day”, potentially a bit isolated and may not have something relevant to my industry to comment on. I suspect this can be solved by making sure I’m getting exposure to stimuli. When I have big weeks meeting lots of people, including some random catch ups and attending events, I find my mind is most active and the thoughts are broader and more interesting.
Who Does It Well?
In the digital marketing field there are thousands of people who produce great, interesting content on a regular basis. Seth Godin is one of my favourite authors and looking at his blog he seems to write regularly (daily), but not always in long form, in fact many posts are really short.
Locally I’m a big fan of what Dan Norris has done. Not only did he start a super insightful blog at WPCurve but he has gone on to now publish 3 books and continues to create all types of content. Now his blog seems to update every week or two but they are always feature rich and full of insight.
Perhaps you came along to the Josh Steimle event and was also inspired to start writing or maybe you’ve got something to share and feel it is time. Whatever your motivation, if you’d like to start writing and take on the 3 times a week challenge then visit our Facebook Group and let us know that you’re doing it too and send us link!