16 In Content Tips + Tricks

The Only Thing You Need to Know About Creating Content

The only thing you need to know about creating content

For the past few weeks, I’ve blogged about why you need to create content for your brand and how to create and promote content to build your brand. For the fourth and final post of this series, my plan was to write some mumbo jumbo about how to use your content to build an engaged, online community that supports your brand.

Thanks to something that recently caught my eye on Twitter, I ditched my original plan. Truth be told, it’s something I’ve noticed for some time now, but I chose to ignore it. Today, I’m sharing my number one tip for creating content:

The only thing you need to know about creating content

Create content you genuinely care about

I took a look at my Twitter timeline one day, and all I saw were “How-To” posts about getting more newsletter subscribers, more website traffic from Pinterest, more Instagram followers, and the list goes on and on. Granted, I follow quite a few entrepreneurs who teach others how to build a business, a brand, or a blog, but it makes me wonder… do you really care about the content you create?

Or are you jumping on board the blogging bandwagon because some successful blogger said you can make $10K in a month like she did?

I don’t care how saturated a niche is– if you’re committed to being yourself and you know and love a topic so much that you want to teach others about it, there’s a gold-plated seat for you in that niche with your name on it.

The problem is, however, many bloggers aren’t using their unique personalities and voices in the content they create. From the looks of it, many aren’t even truly interested in the topic they blog about. How can you blame them? You read one article about how to get more [fill in the blank], and you’ve read ’em all.

I recall a comment a beauty blogger made a couple years ago. She said she was tired of people blogging only about… blogging. At the time, I was like, “OK, girl,” not really seeing what the big deal was, but unfortunately, she’s right.

After I realized how repetitive the brand/business blogosphere is, I took a step back to reevaluate the content I create and the people I create it for. Writing/editing is what I LOVE to do, and over the last 5 years, I’ve learned a lot about how to create a successful blog and online presence.

Sure, I could base my entire blog on content creation and social media marketing, and even though I was on that path, if I’m honest with myself, I won’t feel fulfilled for long if I continue to create this type of content. It actually makes me feel kind of empty.

This past year has been such a scary, exciting, and enlightening time for me, and I’m at a point in my life where I know I don’t have to compromise when it comes to living my best life and serving people I’m meant to help.  Am I meant to add more noise to the “how to create a badass blog” world? Nah. I don’t think so.

As a content creator, you learn the importance of creating value for your audience. However, what’s more important than creating value for your audience is caring about what the heck you’re saying in the first place.

We live in such a technologically advanced world where anyone can make a living doing pretty much anything. This is why I can’t help but think about bloggers out there who create content about every blogging, branding, and business tip under the sun, but they wish their true passion (whatever that is) was “good enough” to blog about.

I think about these bloggers because I got caught up and became one of them. I didn’t think my true interests and passions were enough to create a successful online presence. Deep down, I knew what I wanted to share and how I wanted to help people, but I lacked the courage to commit to what I truly wanted. I didn’t believe I was enough. But I am. And so are you.

Many people are creating successful online businesses, and they’re packaging all their business expertise with a cute, glittery bow for their audience, which is great. But please remember that there’s more than one path to success. If creating content about a certain topic doesn’t feel completely right to you, do like Keyshia Cole and let it go.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in the last couple of years is that it doesn’t matter how different, awkward, or weird you think you are. There are plenty of people who can relate to your story and what you have to offer. PLENTY.

So be honest with yourself. You know the true things that make you excited to wake up in the morning. The things that you can talk endlessly about without feeling drained or annoyed. The things you would blog about if you weren’t so consumed with what everyone else is doing.

Create content about these things and everything else will easily fall into place.

 

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  • Yes, to all of this. As still somewhat of a “newbie” I had to take a HARD step back from all the “how-to” & “here’s why you’re failing” posts & scopes … Sometimes you just have to do the work, learn, retain your passion, & surround yourself w/ truly supportive people.

    • Hi Ang,

      There’s SO much information out here about everything, so as consumers of information, we definitely have to be mindful about how what we read/watch influences our progress (or lack thereof). Everything you said from doing the work to surrounding yourself with supportive people = KEY.

  • My sentiments exactly! I’m an Interior Designer by trade but my platform is expanding so much–I’ve just made the commitment to write about what REALLY moves me, knowing my tribe will appear. Spot on!

    • I’m glad you’ve committed to what really moves you, Dayka. That’s the only way to do it!

  • Kate Cook

    Vanessa. What an impeccably written inspiring post. Thank you for staying true to YOURSELF and putting your much needed voice into the world. I can honestly say I fell into the “blogging trap” myself a little early on. I started to blog about lots of different things and then followed the advice of many to “niche down”. I am happy I decided to “niche down” because I know I can add a lot more value by focusing on my expertise in the digital marketing/social media marketing industry but at the same time I (like many others) would always see that the posts of mine that appeared to gain the most traction were those that were focused around “blogging” and any “fast tips and tricks” I had for bloggers to climb the ladder to success (traffic and money)! I have spent the last few weeks thinking about whether to refocus on writing for “bloggers” like everyone else seems to be doing and in doing so, I had completely lost sight of why I decided to blog in the first place! Your post has given me the wake up call that I needed to stay true to myself and blog about what I think will add value in my unique voice – how to DIY your digital marketing strategy. While I appreciate that some “bloggers” will find value in being able to understand some aspects of digital marketing, I realise now that I was getting too “off track” focusing on them when really the majority of my audience is likely to be small business owners. Thank you for this post Vanessa!!

    • Kate, I’m so glad you’ve decided to focus on digital marketing strategies for small business owners, because it’s needed! Deciding on a niche and sticking to it is hard, especially when other, more popular niches, have proven to be successful. What we tend to forget is that there are billions of people in this world, and many of them share our interests, so why not niche down and serve those people? Looking forward to your digital marketing posts. 🙂

  • Amazing advice as always Vanessa. I fell into the same trap when I started my blog. It’s important to write about what excites you and try to keep up with the Joneses.

    • Thanks, Kwame! I think most people fall into that trap. The quicker you’re honest about what excites you, the quicker you get out of the trap.

  • I love this post SO much. I often feel like maybe I need to think of a certain niche and write in it, but it’s MY blog and I want to write about things that are more for me than readers. At least for the time being I like writing stuff I genuinely like to write and care a little less about how much people want to read it, as I’m still finding my feet anyway!

    Kyah – http://www.weekendtempo.com

    • Kyah,

      Props to you for writing about what you genuinely care about when so many people are doing the opposite. Finding where you fit in is definitely a journey.

  • Thank you for this. I don’t know when it happened but all of a sudden everyone is blogging about blogging, and there is no more actual interesting content out there.

    • Hey LaNeshe,

      Right. Blogging about blogging is predictable now. Regurgitating what’s already been said isn’t going to cut it or allow you to stand out. Kind of reminds me of the natural hair blogging niche.

  • I really love that you wrote about this. I’ve been blogging since middle school, and so I could easily choose to blog about writing and social media and, well, blogging, but that’s honestly not where my passion is. I think that we all want to make money and be popular, but I agree that the most important factor we need to think about is whether we actually care about this stuff.

    It totally shows and is apparent when someone doesn’t fully agree with their message or is just going through the motions trying to make 6 figures a month. Great post!

    • Thanks for reading, Adia. As millennials, it’s easy to start a blog about blogging or social media because like you said, we’ve used this technology since at least middle school.

      You said people want to make money and be popular, and this is why I find it hard to believe that so many people are passionate about teaching others how to build a profitable blog.

      It’s a process, though. Many will start out blogging about blogs, and as long as they’re honest with themselves, they’ll be able to transition to what they truly love later on.

  • Marie Elliott

    Hi Vanessa, I’m very new to the blogging world but I totally agree with this post. I’m currently taking a step back because I tried to jump on the bandwagon myself and I didn’t even realize what I was doing. Thanks for sharing

    • Marie, I can relate. At the rate things move in the blogging world, it’s easy to get caught up and not even realize it until you take a step back one day. Wish you the best with your blog!