Ever wonder what separates you from your favorite bloggers?
Why are their posts so much better than yours? What are they doing that you aren’t? It turns out that just a handful of daily habits might be the difference between creating mediocre content and creating colorful, inspiring content.
What’s better is that these habits are easy to implement. Most of them don’t require much time or energy and will make all the difference when you sit down to write your next blog post.
Compile a Quality RSS List
An RSS compiler that is set up correctly can provide you with endless amount of information to create the best content possible.
Follow a combination of the major players in the industry as well as the smaller ones. This blend will allow you to come up with new and better ideas. After all, you need to know what is going on in the industry to write about it.
I use the free version of Feedly for my RSS needs, but there are many options out there. Just spend a little time following content creators in your industry and you’ll find all sorts of fresh ideas to inject into your own content.
Observe Marketing In Your Daily Life
I cannot stress how important this is. If you want to be a great marketer, you need to pay attention to marketing outside of the office. Look at the ads you get while streaming music, look at the placemats at the diner, read content where you are the target audience.
I personally critique everything I look at. I’ll be driving down the highway and determine that a certain billboard has too many words, since I couldn’t figure out what it was supposed to be selling from a quick glance.
When I get Subaru’s Drive magazine, I get excited, because it’s a great example of content marketing and I’m the target audience.
The key is to not just note that something is marketing, but to determine why it is effective or not. Figure out what works for them and what doesn’t. You’ll be surprised on how many of these marketing lessons apply to your own work.
Which leads to my next point…
Keep a Notebook on You
As you begin to look at the world through the context of marketing, you will find that ideas for content just keep coming.
Don’t let these ideas pass you by. You may think that your memory is great and you’ll remember all those great ideas. You won’t.
That’s why it is critical that you keep a notebook with you at all times. It doesn’t have to be a large one – it doesn’t even have to be specifically dedicated to marketing.
This post on cause marketing was dreamt up in the shower from a bottle of face wash. I wrote the idea on a waterproof notebook that is there for that purpose. This might seem a bit extreme but it works.
Inspiration is everywhere and will often hit you when you least expect it. Don’t let amazing ideas go down the drain, keep them inside a notebook instead.
Write Daily to Keep Organized
After you settle into work in the morning, block off 10 minutes with a blank sheet of paper. Use it to write about the day you’re expecting to have.
In my case, this usually means addressing any concerns I have that will hinder my work, then writing out exactly what I need to accomplish. Sometimes, it is broken out into tasks that need to be done in the morning and those that need to be done in the afternoon.
This part diary, part to-do list helps me stay on track as I move throughout the day. Instead of tackling a blurry set of asks, I have clear cut goals for the day. You will notice a distinct difference in your own productivity on the days you write and the days you do not.
Break Down Tasks
Speaking of tasks, make sure when you schedule tasks for the day, you break them down appropriately.
Say you need to write a blog post today. But just writing, “Create blog post,” doesn’t encompass all the sub-tasks you need to accomplish that. Instead of one bullet point, write out each of the tasks that it takes to finish the post. For example, my task list might look like the following:
- Brainstorm idea
- Write proposal
- Research blog post
- Plan/outline post
- Write post
- Talk about cover image
- Edit post
- Upload post to WordPress
- Add image
That’s a lot more tasks than the single “Create blog post.” But it is also more approachable and makes it easier to get the post out on time. There is also some psychological value to checking off a lot of small tasks compared to spending hours to check off one large one.
These habits require only small changes to your daily life, but will have a big impact on the content you create. You’ll have better ideas, will get them out sooner, and they will come out better for it. Try implementing each habit one at a time, slowly incorporating them into your daily life. It takes anywhere between 21 and 66 days to solidify a habit, so you may as well start today.
Let us know what you think:
- Do have any of these habits?
- Do you have ones that work better?
- What are they?