What if I told you there’s a tool that could bring in hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars into your business over the next several years? And, by the way, it costs about the same as a latte at your local coffee shop …
Relax. I’m not about to try and sell you a cheap online course on Creating Your 7 Figure Business in Twenty Four Hours. I know that’s not your style. Mine neither.
I’m talking about a tool a mentor of mine taught me when I first started my business. It’s called the CONTENT JOURNAL.
Why a Content Journal?
I was recently on a call with 3 of the website designers I refer to most. It was a great call!
One of the things that stuck with me (and many of my clients) was a statement by Rachael Kay Albers. Rachael told us that in 2016, there are over 200,000 websites being launched every day. That’s sobering.
Now, take a breath. Many of them are created by people like Aunt Sally who gets excited about starting a cooking blog but only puts up 4 recipes and then loses interest. The majority of website owners give up quickly.
Still, the internet is a much fuller place than it used to be. There are more people doing work similar to yours than there were 10 years ago.
So what makes a website stand out?
Let me be more specific.
Ideally, FREAKING GREAT CONTENT. 🙂
And the best tip I’ve ever gotten about creating freaking great content is to start a content journal.
What is Content Anyway?
A few years ago, a man emailed me. A friend had referred him to my site because he was looking for help to grow his spirit based business.
This man got to my site at about 9pm. He looked at my home page, then my about page and liked what he saw. Then he read my most recent blog post. And then he read another. And he kept on reading. I had over 100 blog posts up on my site at the time (more now). He read every single one.
He sent me an email at around 4:30am that he HAD to talk to me. That he had read every blog post I had ever written (while I was sleeping). He “knew I was the coach for him”. And he turned into a fantastic client.
Content is the generic term for anything that puts your ideas out in the marketplace and gives potential clients the opportunity to “try before they buy”. In other words, they are exposed to your work and the approaches you use BEFORE they hire you. In fact, even before they ever speak to you.
Content is what powers your client attraction engine. Unless you already have a incredibly well developed network, you want to be creating great content on a regular basis.
You can share content via:
- Blog posts
- Social media
- In person talks
- and more.
3 Tips to a Freaking Great Content Journal
A content journal is a journal where you write down ideas for podcast episodes, blog posts, videos, free talks, articles or whatever your main content marketing strategy is.
The first tip is make it a DEDICATED journal. That means that notes you take on a napkin or in a random Google doc doesn’t count. You want it to be special space. A zendo of content. An temple dedicated to sacred business stories.
Imagine you were growing a valuable crop. You wouldn’t want to scatter the seeds of that crop on any old soil with lots of other seeds – like weeds. Instead, you’d want a seed bed with good soil and proper growing conditions set up to optimize that specific crop.
So the first tip is, make your content journal a DEDICATED space. You can do this by either going out and buying a nice paper journal and pen or setting aside a specific folder or project in a notes taking app (Evernote works well for this).
The second tip for making a content journal work is to make it something you are CONSISTENT with. You can’t just write an idea in the journal once a year and expect anything interesting to happen.
Instead, make your using Content Journal a practice. I would suggest starting with a minimum of 1 hour per week. You can break that up into whatever chunks make the most sense to you. Just make sure you are consistently spending at least 1 hour a week writing down new content ideas and further developing previous ones.
Again, the second tip is make your relationship with your content journal a consistent one. That’s when interesting things start to happen.
Lastly, I want you to make your relationship with your content incubation process a PATIENT one. If you are consistently writing down new content ideas and developing previous ones, you will ALWAYS have something to write blogs, make videos, create podcasts about. With much less stress.
For instance, this topic of what a content journal is and why it’s important has been in my content journal for over 18 months. Over that time, I’ve written down bullet points and some core ideas. But if I wrote about it before now, it wouldn’t have been ready.
It’s like composting. That’s what the ideas in the post were doing. You see, though there is a TON of content that goes out into the world every day, much of it isn’t fully composted. The basic ideas are good, but they weren’t fully digested. And have you ever smelt compost that’s not fully done yet? Not pretty!
We want your content to be that rich, chocolate brown, earthy smelling, fully nutritious stuff. And the way that happens is, in good part, by having PATIENCE.
You see, 18 months ago, I knew that content was important.
But I didn’t yet know how to articulate these 3 key principles of what allows a Content Journal to output exceptional, nutritious, soul feeding material. PATIENCE was what allowed that clarity to emerge.
So, a quick summary:
- Create a DEDICATED space in the form of a journal for your content to incubate in.
- Develop a COMMITTED relationship with your content journal – at least 1 hour per week.
- Allow yourself to learn to have PATIENCE with the content creation process.
Where to Get Ideas for Freaking Great Content
Once you have these 3 simple steps going in your business, where can you get a never ending source of content ideas?
Here are my 5 favorite ways:
- What are your clients talking about or struggling with?
- What are the conversations you are having on social media?
- What are other leaders in your space NOT talking about that is important?
- What an image or a metaphor that’s been powerful for you lately?
- What’s been happening in your self care or spiritual practice?
What’s your experience?
So that’s what I’ve got about content journals. It only took me 18 months to write 1300 words or so. But along the way, I also wrote 10,000’s of other words and made more videos than I can remember. And it’s been MUCH less stressful and more fun than before I learned about the magic of the content journal.
What’s your experience with creating FREAKING GREAT CONTENT? What questions do you have about using a Content Journal? I would love to hear about them in the form of a comment below.