Content mistake: No organisation. If your content is unorganised it means you are wasting time and money.
How annoying is it when:
- A – you have written down an idea or started a piece of content like a blog or newsletter in a document and you save it in that special place… never to be seen again!
Issue – your content isn’t organised in a way that makes it easy for you to find.
- B – you sit down to write a piece of content and have no idea what to write about so you don’t write anything or it takes you 86.34 hours to pull something together by which time you’re completely over it.
Issue – your content isn’t planned, albeit it’s unorganised.
- C – your content waffles on and goes off-topic and off track.
Issue – your content lacks structure, it’s unorganised.
Gah! Let’s look at fixing these issues ASAP so you can write beautifully crafted content that’s easy to read and understand, and allows your audience to engage with you.
FACT: 75% of struggling small business owners believe that disorganisation leads to productivity loss. (Source: Swell System)
It also affects your state of mind, happiness and motivation.
“For every minute spent organising, an hour is earned.” – Anonymous
What is organised content?
Organised content has two parts:
- Organised for you – Content that is mapped out and planned so it is easy for you to just write and create. You have done the hard yards in the planning stage so you know exactly what to write and how it will flow and come together.
- Organised for your reader – Content that flows and reads well. It is well researched, it answers the all-important questions your audience has, even if they don’t know they have them, and it is structured in a way that takes your reader, listener or viewer on a journey from top to bottom.
Why is it important?
It is important for you because it saves you time when you are creating your content. And you’ll never suffer writer’s block because you know exactly what you are doing. You can take a three-pronged approach to organising your content into a plan.
- Overarching marketing plan – what you are doing for the next 12 months (this is a 12-month content and marketing map).
- Editorial calendar – what you are doing each quarter (each three months) and then on a monthly basis.
- Weekly formulas and plans – content that’s broken down and pieced out each week with headlines and dots points (weekly formulas for your blogs, newsletters and social media).
It’s equally as important to have organised content for your readers so they get a very detailed piece of content that answers their questions and gives the info they crave.
You want your readers to fully understand your points of view so they can see how valuable you are to them.
And you want to take them on a journey from top to bottom – from the headline and lead sentence to the call to action and next logical steps.
It’s all very well for me to tell you to do this … but it can seem like a lot of hard work!
Organising your content in a plan and writing content with structure can actually be really easy.
Organisation hacks to reduce time and stress when it comes to content
FACT: Good content writing is your best employee and asset. In fact, 97% of respondents said bad content negatively affected their trust in a brand, that’s according to a Salesforce/Pardot survey.
Hands up who wants bad content?!
Ok, so let’s get you writing awesome content that doesn’t take up so much time.
Organising your content – Plan
“Organising your content is a journey! It’s not a destination.” – Elizabeth Campbell, The Word Stylist.
Here’s what I do.
- On your computer, create a file called 2020 Marketing. Then create sub-folders called social media, blogs, newsletters, etc. In each one of these folders create a new folder for each month and each new week in that month. This will make it easy to find and save.
For example the folders might look like this: 2020 > Marketing > Blog > January > January 6 (and so on)
- Create a plan for your content, start small and then you can build it out to 12 months. For now, just create a plan in a spreadsheet that allows you to see what you will create each week. For example, 5x social posts for Facebook, 3x social posts for LinkedIn, 1x blog and 1x newsletter.
- Save that to your 2020 Marketing folder.
- Name your files in a way that is easy to understand and find in a search if you lose them. Naming every blog you write as “weekly blog” will be confusing and hard to find. I name mine – “Blog – January 6 – (insert title of blog here EG How to organise your content) – DRAFT1”. When it is in final state and ready to publish I re-save it as “Blog – January 6 – How to organise your content – FINAL”.
- Batch write your content. Write all your blogs for the month. Write all your posts for the week. Or write everything once every three months. Whatever works for you.
Organising your content – Structure
- Determine the topics and themes for your content. Have them all mapped out. Try our content map and content funnel trainings here.
- Have a list of client or frequently asked questions. In a list in a document, have your questions ready to answer for a live, video or social post in case that dreaded writer’s block hits or you haven’t had time to plan out your next batch of content.
- Have a list of ideas for your content. What’s your wish list and what do you want to create? Keep your ideas in a safe place like our Content Creator.
Just doing these three things will save you hours in the writing process.
- Use a timer. One of the best strategies is to set the timer for 15 minutes and write as fast as you can about your chosen topic. When it goes off, check your word count. Use that as a benchmark. If you have written 300 words, you know you can write approx 600 in 30 minutes, so set aside that amount of time to get the content written.
- Follow an easy-write structure. There are many, but the proven one I use and teach to my Wow School Global students is the Hourglass Word Styling Framework.
- Restyle what you’ve already got or done. If you know your focus is on planning, goal setting, resolutions, new year/new you, or some other topic, every January, go back and rewrite what you’ve already done. It will save you a heck of a lot of time. The beauty of having a plan and content map from last year is that you can go back and easily see what you have written and the date you wrote it, so you can easily find it in your nicely organised and neat files.
- Start to build a team around you. I was talking with one of our content writing clients, Mark, recently and he asked what his next steps were, especially for social media. His next step is to start building his team. The first person you want when it comes to your content (when all the strategy and planning is done) is a content VA, someone to create images, post on your behalf and promote for you. Start to build the team you want. It may include a content strategist, writer, video editor, graphic designer and VA, for example.
- Get help. If you can’t manage it all, call in the reinforcements! That’s what your team is for. Your job is getting sales, and doing what you love and enjoy!
Conclusion – Why should entrepreneurs learn content writing?
Content is an integral part of the marketing process and your business in general – and there are no signs of the power of content slowing down.
So your best bet and strategy is to get really good at it.
When you can create content that your audience wants and needs, and create it in a way that is structured and strategic to help you meet your business goals, you will feel rewarded with the time and effort content takes.
Smart content creators and business owners don’t make the mistake of being unorganised with their content. Instead, they are organised, disciplined and writing content that is helpful and useful.
Next logical steps – the steps to content writing success
There is only one thing you need to do to be successful at content writing – get smart about it!
Engagement and conversions from your content might seem too hard, but I swear to you, there are plenty of people having super success from their content online to get more leads, sales and clients (us included!).
They are the three things people tell me they want more than anything else in business.
So here’s what SMART content looks like:
S – sharp and strategic (no waffle!)
M – memorable (use stories, stats and quotes)
A – amusing (add entertainment wherever possible)
R – Relative to your audience (research what they want from you)
T – Timely (how will it benefit them right now?)
Are you ready to write SMART content that helps get engagement and results?
If your mission is to help and serve more people this year…
If you would also like to grow your business…
If you enjoy writing and want to learn how to get more clients from your online words…
If you are ready to learn a skill that will keep paying you forever…
We are ready to serve you.