Every Friday, we’re answering your questions about business, startups, customer success and more.
This week’s question comes from Matthew D., who asks:
There are actually three separate questions here, so I’ll break them down and answer each one separately:
I’m finding it challenging to come up with unique content.
This is a very natural thing to feel when you’re starting out with content marketing, and the best way to overcome it is to change your thinking on what unique means.
Creating content that’s unique doesn’t have to mean solving problems that have never been solved before by anyone.
If you study topics like entrepreneurship, personal finance, cooking, travel, you know that many of the basic problems in these areas are the same as they were 20, 30, 50 and even 100 years ago.
In business, for example, these problems have always existed:
- “How do I increase revenue?”
- “How do I increase my margins?”
- “How do I make my customers happier?”
- “How do I make my team happier?”
Thousands of books and blogs have been written addressing these problems. The problems still persist, yet many of these new books and blogs are still getting tremendous amounts of traffic and readers.
Just because a topic has been covered before doesn’t mean that you can’t cover it.
But to be unique, cover it in a way that connects with your specific audience better than anything else written on the topic.
That’s where customer development comes in really useful.
Talk to your audience. Find out what their biggest challenges are, and what words they use to describe those challenges.
And then, use those insights to create content that’s unique in that it addresses the problem in a way that’s better than they’ve ever seen before because it speaks so directly to them.
What makes me qualified to speak about a subject?
The fact that you’ve done your research, know your audience well, and are offering them a solution.
Imposter syndrome is a problem that kills many blogs before they ever get a chance to start. We think that just because we don’t have the right experience or official credentials, that nobody will listen to us.
But guess what?
If you follow the steps above and do the hard work of talking to your audience to learn about them, simply the fact that you know them and their problems better than any blogger they’ve encountered before (and that it’s reflected in the language you use and the solutions you offer in your content) – will give you credibility far beyond what any professional certification could.
What are some tools to better organize multiple writers and subjects?
We use Trello for our editorial calendar. Here’s a look at how we manage blog post ideas and upcoming content.
Really, I’ve seen dozens of systems that work. The key is picking one and sticking to it religiously. No system works well if everyone involved isn’t 100% on board.
Trello, Google Calendar, Basecamp… there are a lot of different tools that top content marketers prefer. Give a few a try and see what feels like you’ll use it the most.