I started a blog this year. My blog is a baby blog. It is but an infant. So, I’m finding my way with it. Testing things out. Seeing what works. We always hear that telling stories makes for good content creation. And I was like…mmmmkay. I mean, I’m The Story Team. I know this. I didn’t know it at all.
My first blog was about Asana, Trello and ClickUp. Project management tools. Useful. Valuable? Maybe. But boring AF. Even me, I did not want to read it. Neither did anyone else.
Then I wrote something waaaay more me. It’s a blog about finding your authentic brand voice. It’s fun. It’s a bit irreverent. I mention that I don’t comb my hair*. People loved it.
So, I thought, what if I tried this story thing, for real? What if I told a story about me and something I had to work through? This is what I wrote.
That blog had more traction in an hour than some of the others had in weeks: likes, comments, shares, reach, all the juice.
The following week, I tried to be really clever. I wrote about the commonalities between hot yoga and content creation. I thought it would fly. Crickets. Nothing. 32 visits.
I realized I needed to stay in the storytelling zone. I wrote something about money mindset and how I’ve had to work really hard to sort out my money issues.
The night before I was going to publish that blog, I had a bad experience on a train. Before I knew it, I was smashing the keyboard, and I’d written the whole thing out. I published it the next day. It had close to 400 views by the end of the day. Then 500. Then 600. Over 700…
That’s a lot of eyeballs for me. I’m not Amy Porterfield or Rachel Rodgers. I’m just me. That story spoke to people. Men and women. So, this is what I’m learning about content for sure.
1. Write the thing that moves you
When I got home that night, I couldn’t stop those words from pouring out of me. Whatever is in you that has to come out…write that. That’s what people connect with. That’s what makes the difference between good content and great content.
2. Publish it. Don’t be scared
I was so nervous of publishing that piece. I didn’t know what people would think. I thought maybe it was too personal. It was too much of me. But I did it.
Here’s the thing about stories. People connect with them on an emotional level. If the feelings you have about a piece scare you a little, that could be the sign that you need to publish it, because you’ll make other people feel something too. That’s when your content starts to work for you. People remember a feeling. They remember it way more than they remember a lesson or a logo. Make people feel something.
3. Engage with the people who respond
If people comment on your content, respond to them. This is vital for content creation in 2021.
Firstly, time is valuable. If people take time to read your blog AND engage with it…say thank you. Answer their questions. It’s the respectful thing to do.
Secondly, this is how you start to grow your network, and have conversations. These are people you might collaborate with or sell to, or buy from, so make sure that you’re nurturing these interactions. If someone stopped scrolling, read your content, and commented…that means you cut through the noise of social media. That is HUGE. Don’t let that go.
Thirdly, whenever a comment is left on your post on social media, the algorithm favours that piece of content. Even if it’s your comment. If you get five comments, and you reply to each of them, you increase the amount to 10 comments. And if people comment back, that’s 15 comments. The algorithm loves this, and more and more people start to see your post. So, keep responding.
4. Post it and re-post it
Keep putting your stuff out there for people to see. Social media is noisy, and repetition is your bestie. Always give a trigger warning if the content is sensitive and be intentional about the way you post it. Remember, you’re always trying to GIVE with your content. You’re never trying to take.
5. Be prepared for tough conversations
If you create content that is full of feeling about an issue, people might disagree with you. They might not like what you have to say. This is fantastic! This means that your content has made an impression, and that’s what really great content should do.
It’s important to have the conversation with people who disagree. Stand by what you’ve written. But listen to others people’s points of view, as long as they’re not being harmful. What’s harmful? Racism. Sexism. Homophobia. Transphobia. Xenophobia. All the phobias. All the isms.
You have a story
Everyone has a story. Tell it. People want to hear it. They want to connect. The world is a scary place and when people feel something it connects them with their humanity. That’s all that great content is. It’s connection.
*I promise I comb my hair.
Ashleigh is a copywriter who works with female business owners and entrepreneurs. She helps them to find their authentic voice so that they can weave it into their copy and branding, and RISE.
She is from Johannesburg, South Africa and now lives in London with her dog, her cat, and her husband. She’s a vegan and a feminist, who swears too much and laughs too loudly. You can follow her at https://www.thestoryteam.org/