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November 01, 2013

Squirreling Away Your Words

November 01, 2013

If you’re anything like me (you probably aren’t), you find the act of creating new content for your website to be arduous, even when you want to do it. You know that your site will suffer, and so will traffic and readership, if you don’t keep things fresh. Then again, some days just aren’t good days to write. The words don’t come, or worse yet, the inspiration just isn’t there.

Those are the days when you feel like this: Content Producer Teresa

Don’t worry. It’s normal. Even the best writers (like Teresa, pictured at right) have trouble putting thoughts to paper sometimes. Here are some easy things you can do to make sure that you always have fresh content to post to your site.

  1. Evergreen blog posts – Take a day – a particularly creative day when possible – every few weeks to just remove yourself from your normal environment. Walk around your ‘hood, grab a beer and a bite to eat, and set your laptop up in a foreign location. Then, just start typing. Let all of your crazy-fun ideas, those thoughts that are tangential to your work and your website (but still related!) run out on to the page. Have another beer. Once you have a handful of interesting things to talk about, start refining them. Expound on them. Push the limits of what you would normally say. Have another beer. Then, save them for when you are struggling with relevant, creative, fresh content. Chances are that those rough ideas will relate to something you’re working on, and give you a bit of inspiration.
  2. Voice to text – I have lost more content ideas in the ether of my life-haze than I care to dwell on. I will inevitably come up with the most ingenious (I’m biased) ideas when I am otherwise indisposed, which means I almost always forget the ingenious ideas. Always, always, always have your phone ready and by your side. You never know when you'll have a brilliant idea. When those moments strike, grab the phone and send yourself a voice to text message so you don’t forget it. When you get home or have a moment to check your messages, scribble the idea into your evergreen blog posts folder (see #1, above).
  3. Recording conversations – Some of my favorite content opportunities come in the form of conversations. I’m fairly disagreeable, so there is no end to the number of debates and discussions I will participate in during the course of a week. These inevitably lead to a great idea for content (usually from the person that I am debating). I often find myself wishing I had recorded those conversations. The great thing is, most of us have the technology in our pockets to capture these moments, then save them for later when we are lacking in creativity. So, do that, with permission of course!

The moral of the story is this; bank your words. Squirrel them away when you find them. You know you'll need them later, and you also know that if you don’t store them, you’ll forget them. So do the right thing and start saving them now. Share your "squirreling away" content strategies below!

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