Brace yourself. It kind of is.
Here’s the thing: the more information you share, the more frequently you post, the fresher you keep your website — the better writer/podcaster/researcher/thinker you’ll be, and the greater the chance your ideas will spread.
That doesn’t mean you should post every day. Quality is just as important as quantity. Find a frequency that works for your business and your audience.
But there’s no way around it: successful content marketing involves creating a lot of content, and keeping it up over a period of weeks, months, and years.
But really, what are your alternatives? Spend hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) on advertising that doesn’t work?
Don’t throw in the towel at the thought of creating all that content!
Today I’m going to show you a technique that — in exchange for some bursts of intense hard work — will bring you long breaks from the content creation hamster wheel.
Binging is bad. Almost always.
Binge eating? Bad. Binge drinking? Terrible. Binge exercising? Not advisable.
But binge writing? Good. Very, very good.
Today’s post will outline how to plan, implement, and use the results from several binge writing sessions.
(And be sure you scroll down to the SlideShare presentation at the end of this post for a visual representation of this technique.)
Pick four days and four times. Schedule blocks of time when your creative energy is at its peak.
That might mean four mornings in a row. If you’re a night owl, you could do this over four late nights.
Schedule it into your calendar, and start getting excited. You’re about to be very, very productive.
Before you begin, plan your outcome
Look ahead at your marketing goals and plan content that will help you achieve them.
What should you tackle first?
Ask yourself what content is most urgent. Is it your next month’s worth of blog posts? A group of landing pages? A sequence of autoresponder emails? A series of weekly newsletters?
Find a group of projects that need to be written, and that would benefit from being written at the same time because they’ll sound more cohesive.
Day 1: Ready, set, outline
Get your environment ready so you have no excuse to stop once you’ve started.
- Grab provisions — something to drink, and a light snack if you think you’ll need it.
- Turn off all interruptions, including your phone. Close down any programs that generate alerts.
- Use reinforcements. If you have a hard time resisting the pull of social media sites while you’re working, use software like the SelfControl App (for Mac) or Anti-Social (Mac and Windows) to block them during your writing binges.
- Gather any references you plan to use such as books or websites you need open and ready for viewing.
- Move a little. Get your blood and creativity flowing with a short walk, bike ride, dance break, or weight lifting session.
Then, plant yourself at your keyboard. It’s time to get serious.
To binge write successfully, you’ve got to use a system that will allow you to get your thoughts into tangible form as quickly as possible.
I love mindmaps for this. There’s something about writing little bits and pieces of ideas, and having the ability to move them around and connect them different ways that just works for me.
There are plenty of software programs that will allow you to create mindmaps, or you can draw them out on paper if you prefer.
If mindmaps don’t work for you, try index cards. Write the main idea on the front, and elaborate on the back. Re-organize them until your writing makes sense.
The other tool to try is sticky notes. Some people swear by the minimal space allowed on a sticky note: you have just enough room to state an idea and no more. This limitation will keep perfectionist tendencies at bay, and that’s important.
Create an outline for each of the pieces of writing you plan to tackle. Once you’ve got your outlines ready, you’re done for the day.
Day 2: Write
After the work you did yesterday, your writing shouldn’t be that difficult.
Take your outlines and fill in the missing pieces. Make sure they flow from one paragraph to another. Add subheads where needed.
If you’re writing marketing pieces, make sure each ends with a clear call to action.
And, of course, write headlines that will create curiosity and an irresistible desire to read more.
Do not edit, do not polish, just write. Write more. And don’t stop writing until all your pieces are done.
Day 3: Edit your pieces
One role of editing is make sure your writing style is consistent throughout your work. That’s why editing several pieces in a row actually makes your job easier.
Do you consistently use one sentence paragraphs? Be sure to include at least one in each of the pieces you edit.
Are you a fan of the Harvard comma? Make all your commas consistent.
Take this time to go through your writing carefully. Clarify, polish, and delete extraneous words and sentences.
Most importantly, check to be sure that your writing voice sounds the same across all the pieces you’ve written.
Day 4: Set up your writing on your pages
Have you written a sales page? Get it set up and work on formatting and adding images.
Wrote a month’s worth of posts? Format them, find images, and schedule them for publication. Use the WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin to set up publishing dates for your content.
Wrote an entire autoresponder series? Open up your email marketing account, set those messages up, and schedule them to start dripping out to your email list.
Whatever you created, now is the time to put it in its final form. Set it up, polish it to perfection, and schedule it to go out to the world.
Now, use your free time wisely
Congratulations: you’ve now freed up time in your schedule where you won’t have to write. You can get off your hamster wheel and take a break.
If you’re really smart, you’ll use the time to support the binge writing you just did. You could:
- Email influential bloggers and ask them to link to your posts.
- Create a social media advertising campaign that drives prospects to your autoresponder series.
- Develop an affiliate campaign that sends people to your sales page.
- Create complementary materials and link them to your post, like the SlideShare presentation below, or a YouTube video with additional tutorials.
Let’s hear it … are you going to try this technique? Is this something you already do? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
And here’s a little SlideShare I’ve put together for you … enjoy!
About the Author: Pamela Wilson founded Big Brand System to empower small business owners with marketing and design information that gives their businesses an edge. Want to learn more about using images to communicate? Sign up for the free 12 Days of Visual Buzz series here.