Did you know? Over 6 billion searches/day happen in Google. One goal you should have as a content creator is to make sure that your content ranks well in relevant searches.
Even if you have all of the right content strategies in place when it comes to searchability, keywords, and marketing, that may not be enough to make your content truly stand out from the rest.
You need to find something that not only draws in your audience, but captivates them, and gives them something to take away.
Lasting impact—it’s what we as content marketers, creators, and publishers should want to leave online.
In my live Facebook talk on stepping past your inner critic, I explained the ideal recipe for what I call my “secret sauce” for successful content. This blog recaps my talk. Ready? Let’s get into it.
Step Past the Inner Critic & Develop Heartfelt Content: The Secret Sauce of Successful Content (Talk Recap)
Think of your business as a restaurant. You are the chef, and your role is to produce great food (content) for your customers that they will love. And you want them to love it enough that they keep coming back for more.
You need your audience to be satisfied by your content, so you have to give them something that does more than just satiates their hunger. You also have to give them something that fits their taste.
The reader should enjoy the experience of taking in your content.
How do you give your audience something that not only gives them what they need, but what they want?
My answer to this question is this: craft content that matters.
Making content for content’s sake is not going to get you the kind of traffic and business that you are looking for. What you publish must from the heart. You should know your people, know what they care about, and then use the right voice and language to speak to them in a way that makes them feel like you understand, and you have something worthwhile to offer them.
The Recipe for Stepping Past Your Inner Critic to Great Content
Going back to the restaurant analogy, perhaps you are not the most confident chef in the kitchen. You know which ingredients are important, but you are unsure of how to put them together to make a great meal that will get people talking.
My four-step recipe – a.k.a. “secret sauce” – will give you the tips that you need to get past that inner voice of doubt so that you can bring all of your own delectable ingredients together into a post that your audience will want to eat up.
1. Know Your Audience
If you want to step past your inner critic to make content that really matters and speaks to your audience, then you should get to know your audience. Take time to truly understand who your audience is and what makes them tick.
It is not enough to just answer their questions by trying to offer them a solution. Give them more than they were expecting. Find an issue that really matters to them, and talk to them about it. Addresses the things questions that they are asking all the time, and that other people or businesses generally aren’t answering.
How do you find those pain points?
First, start with yourself. You have at least one thing in common with your audience: a shared experience of being human.
But the most important thing to remember is that your audience themselves can tell you exactly what they are looking for.
There is so much untapped potential here because people love to share their questions and concerns – they appreciate being listened to – but they rarely get the chance to do that the businesses that serve them.
Put out a call on social media asking for volunteers to share some thoughts with you about your area of interest, or interview clients to get their feedback on their experience with your business or in the industry as a whole. You will probably find that this not only gives you better material for your content, but it also helps you to build a better relationship with your people because they see that you care.
2. Tap into Your Most Authentic Self
Creating content should never feel like you are just throwing material at a wall. The process should be enjoyable and, well, creative!
Tapping into your most authentic self means accessing your creativity. This inborn ability to think and imagine new things is one that often gets ignored. It can be very easy to critique or dismiss these ideas because we believe that they aren’t good enough.
It will take a lot of hard work, dedication, and time to get past the inner critic and let those ideas come to fruition on their own.
Take a step back from your work, go for a walk, and let the ideas marinate. Find creative inspiration. Learn from the best in your field. Let all of these ingredients have the time they need to come together into something great.
3. Have a Brand Style Guideline
Once you know what your audience wants to hear and what you want to say, you need to know how to say it.
This step is especially important if you have a team working under you because it will ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Take the time to write out guidelines for the tone of voice, grammar and style rules, and format of your content. This gives you an easy template to work from whenever you make new content. Guidelines can help you step past that inner critic by giving you the right tools you need to bring your great idea to life without having to worry about whether it will be readable or relatable for your audience.
If you write for clients, then have them provide this for you. It will save on the guesswork and extra research involved in trying to figure out what kind of brand voice to present to their audience.
4. Create content around the right keywords/topics
Lastly, include appropriate keywords or topics in your content.
Once you have your idea, find the right words to speak to your customers and have your content appear in relevant searches. Take time to do some good research here and find specific keywords that are low competition.
When writing for clients, have them provide these for you. If they choose not to do so, include some of your own.
Step Past Your Inner Critic: A Four-Step Recipe for Effective Content
Now that you have the four-step recipe for getting past your inner critic to content that really matters, you’re ready to publish great material.
Work on overcoming self-doubt with these tips, and you’ll be able to produce content that innovatively and authoritatively offers value to your audience. To learn more, watch the full talk in the video above, and download my slides for reference.