How do you go about choosing the topic for the piece of marketing content you wish to create? How do you decide what to say? Most people don’t want to write just any old stuff. They don’t simply seek to inform and educate. They also want to create impact, inspire and intrigue. To do that, to create true wonder in the minds and hearts of those you wish to move, you must choose the right topic first and foremost. Talking about the right thing opens up the conversation. Getting your topic right has the power to open minds.
My experience working with successful entrepreneurs in any sector is they know they have a lot to say, but when it comes to starting that presentation/book/blog post/video, they blank. All of a sudden, they doubt the quality of their stories and worry that what they have to say isn’t that good or interesting enough. Here are 4 things you can do right now to move past your topic-choosing roadblocks and create new content that your audience continually wants to consume.
1. Nurture Confidence
Now first of all, in order to choose a topic that is going to really resonate with your audience, you must ignore that self-doubt. It’s natural, but it doesn’t serve you. It will prevent you from making a real connection because your doubt will come through in your content and that will switch people off when they might have otherwise become a ‘lead’.
When people search for content, they want to hear from people they believe know what they’re doing. Not people who doubt themselves and need validation. Us entrepreneurs must create and protect our own confidence and the same is true of content creation. Writing in particular, as it’s such a powerful medium and is a fundamental form of human sharing.
If you’ve been in business for any decent amount of time, particularly if you are already relatively well-established in your field and you already have a good reputation within your professional space, then actually, you have a lot of knowledge that you’ve accumulated over probably quite some time. You have a lot of experience you could share. And a lot of people will be out there wanting someone to step up and cover those topics because they don’t want to spend years figuring it all out from scratch like you probably had to.
So the question goes from being, “Do I really have anything to say that people want to hear about” (yes!) to how do you differentiate between the stuff that’s going to genuinely move someone right now and the things that might be for a future date or not at all?
2. Purpose & Values
When choosing your topic, when you’re in a state of confusion, overwhelm or of course, underwhelm, the first thing you need to get really clear on is your purpose. And I know it’s a bit of a catchphrase now – “What is your why?” – and we all talk about Simon Sinek and sharing your why. But to get to the crux of it, the reason that is important is when you know what you want to accomplish by doing what you do and by creating content around that, then you can start to get a better idea of who it’s really for and what within that, specifically, what they are going to really want to know.
To get clarity on your sense of purpose, write it out in as much detail as you possibly can. Realistically, it’ll be a paragraph although I know some people, particularly those predisposed to write, who might go into several pages describing their purpose and their future vision in vivid detail. Once you’ve done that, see if you can give your purpose or vision a theme or sum it up in one sentence. And then mind map out from there.
3. Know Your Audience
Next, you need to identify who aligns with that and from there, outline what they need help with. Where is the alignment between your why and who you’re targeting? What challenges does that person, does your audience, face? What are the questions you’re frequently asked? And out of all of those things, what is it you’re actually prepared to go to work helping people on?
There are probably loads of things you could help them with, but if it’s actually not going to align with your purpose and your mission and where you’re going in life, quite simply, you needn’t bother. So be discerning with choosing your topic. And in order to choose wisely, make sure that the reason that you are creating the content in the first place and the people you are targeting are alignment with each other. If you’re still stuck, try asking yourself what really interests you about your work.
4. Leverage Available Resources
One tip, if you really would like some inspiration, is to go on a site such as Answer The Public for inspiration. You can actually put in certain keywords and it will show you internet searches related to that word which can really help you get a head start on choosing your topic. There are other sites that let you search keywords, some of which are listed here on Wordstream’s blog and sites such as SimilarWeb allow you to search competitor sites which could provide inspiration when you check out their blog.
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