But HOW do you actually start being more consistent with your content?
Consistency is a habit, and like so many habits, it’s something you build over time. Here are some tips for making it easier.
Start small. Smaller than that. No, even smaller.
B.J. Fogg, author of Tiny Habits, has been studying habits for years, and he says that the most effective way to build or change a habit is to start small.
So, instead of setting a goal that you will create a new habit of writing a thousand words a day, he would suggest that you start with a goal of 3 sentences a day. Or 10 words a day.
Or your goal might be as small as opening up your document every day — not writing! Just opening it up.
The premise here is that you want the smallest, simplest possible task so that it’s nearly impossible to talk yourself out of it. And, chances are, if your goal is just to open the document, most days you’ll find that you write some words as well. Maybe lots of words.
But whether you write anything or not, you’re setting yourself up for success, rather than failure.
As you progress, you can increase your goal. After you’ve successfully opened your document every day, you might set a goal to open the document and write a sentence.
Keep building in small chunks, and before you know it, you’ll have a creation consistency habit you can rely on.
Schedule it in.
This is another common suggestion, but it bears repeating: You’re going to want to schedule time for content creation in order to build consistency.
Put it in your calendar, set reminders, get one of those apps that limits your access to distracting websites — whatever it takes.
If you take the “start small” advice, you can start with very small chunks. It might be daunting to block out an hour to write a blog post, so why not block out 15 minutes across 4 days instead?
Consider, too, when you do your most creative work. Are you freshest and most creative first thing in the morning, mid-afternoon, or late at night? Try blocking out time when you tend to feel most creative and inspired.
Another tip from Dr. Fogg: try connecting your new habit with something you already do. For example, lots of people get their best ideas when they’re working out or standing in the shower. Maybe you hitch your new creation consistency habit to one of those things and say to yourself, “When I finish my cool down from my workout, I will sit down and open my document.”
Of course, you can hitch your new habit to anything you already do habitually — like opening your laptop to get to work, checking email, having lunch, finishing a particular task or call, etc.
Make a plan.
I find that having a plan is VITAL when it comes to content creation — not just because it will get you better results overall (it will), but also because it makes it so much easier to get to work when you understand how that work fits into the bigger arc.
Here’s an example: I’m writing this blog post as a warm up to a launch we’re going to run in a few weeks. I created a plan starting with what I want to sell, and working backward to think about why people want to buy what I want to sell.
One of the biggest pain points I see for my customers is consistency; most of them struggle with consistency. So, I decided to do a free training around how to be more consistent with content creation.
Because I’m going to be offering that free training, I want to get my audience to start thinking about consistency, so I’ve been able to map out a series of blog posts that will warm you up to the idea.
Now, when I sit down to write, I not only know what I want to write about, but why — and that’s a much more powerful motivator. I’ve now attached the creation of this post to a solid ROI — a product launch — which is much more motivating than writing content just for the sake of consistency itself.
Systematize, delegate, and automate
Sometimes, part of what holds us back from being consistent are all the little things that gum up the works.
Back in the early days of my business, when I was doing everything solo, one of the things that tripped me up around creating content was finding the right image to go along with it.
I could spend hours scouring free stock photo libraries, then trying to get it to look just so with text overlays and logos, then resizing the image for all my social media channels.
And that one little thing often tripped me up in being consistent with my content. So it was one of the first things I outsourced in my business to help me get over the hump.
Think about where the sticky points are in your content creation process and how you can systematize, delegate, or automate them.
When you sign up for my free Content Consistency training, you’ll get instant access to my “Perfect” Blog Post Template — which is a great way to systematize your blog writing so that you’re never stuck staring at a blank page.
But there are plenty of other pieces you can get off your plate. For example, you could:
- Let someone else upload the post to your website
- Have a VA schedule social media updates
- Hire someone to help you strategize
- Have a designer pick out the image and make it the right size
- Automate your weekly emails to announce new content
- Start with a template for your blog posts, social media posts, or emails
And so on.
Don’t let your feelings get in the way.
I’m a Pisces and an INFJ and if you know anything about those, you know that my life is pretty much RULED by feelings!
But if I let my feelings rule my business, nothing gets done.
What I mean is, I can’t just sit down and write content — for myself or my clients! — when I feel like it. I have to be able to do so even when I’m not feeling it.
I was chitchatting with a writer friend the other day, and she said, “What do you do when you don’t like your writing? When it doesn’t feel like it’s flowing?”
And I gave her some ideas of what I do when I feel that way to shift the energy and then I said, “The other thing to remember is that sometimes it doesn’t flow. Sometimes you’re not feeling it and you have to do it anyway.“
Is there somewhere in your life that you’ve already conquered this? The best analogy I can come up with is workouts; maybe you’ve cracked the code to working out even when you don’t want to, even if it isn’t your best workout ever.
It’s the same sort of discipline you need for creating consistent content.
Because it’s not about how you FEEL about the content right now, today; it’s about contributing to your business and your body of work as a whole.
If you struggle with consistency when it comes to creating content for your business, I invite you to sign up for my free training:
The ONE Thing You Need to Create Consistent Content
Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 2pm Eastern / 11am Pacific