Content Creation Mindset: How to Blast Through The 7 Barriers Preventing Your Success

Content Creation Mindset: How to Blast Through The 7 Barriers Preventing Your Success

What is a content creation mindset?

A content creation mindset is a set of beliefs that shape a person’s attitude towards creating content.

Psychologists define attitudes as a learned tendency to evaluate things in a certain way. Whether we do this consciously or unconsciously, it influences our behaviours, beliefs, and feelings.

Loathe it or love it, content creation, like any other business activity, relies on your own energy and drive to make it happen. And when you are solely responsible for creating content for your business, the biggest threat to success can often be yourself.

In the early days of my business, I experienced my own subconscious barrier— something I couldn’t put a finger on was holding me back.  I learn that it was imposter syndrome and set myself on a path to overcoming it. I did some research to define what it was and to understand why I was feeling that way. But what made the most significant difference was the realisation that I wasn’t alone, and once I grasped that understanding, I could begin to overcome it.

It turns out that most content creators have barriers to break through when they start their content creation journey. You may recognise some of them in the following list.

The 7 biggest barriers to hitting that PUBLISH button

Barrier #1 Imposter Syndrome

This is the biggie, the top of the list and the biggest hurdle I had to overcome. It turns out that I was in good company – Tom Hanks, Serena Williams, Arianna Huffington, Maya Angelou, Michelle Obama and Albert Einstein have admitted to having struggled with imposter syndrome. All had feelings of being ‘found out’ — either as not competent, skilled, talented or deserving as people perceive them to be.

Imposter syndrome is tied to self-limiting beliefs and poor self-confidence. To tie in with content creation, it can be related to worrying about your credibility. Often expressed as a nagging doubt, a little voice that says, “Who do you think you are to being doing this?” (or versions of that). It can be a subconscious fear of what people think or a fear of being discovered that you’re not good enough, that you can’t write or because you aren’t expert enough to express your opinions, no one will read your content. Imposter syndrome is widespread among women and stems from the old-world narrative of ‘you’re a woman, you shouldn’t be doing this’.

Mindset Quote on Vulnerability

One of the best ways to overcome imposter syndrome is to understand it for what it is and talk about it. When you put these feelings out in the open, you’ll realise that you’re not alone, and you’ll get positive feedback on your abilities, which will give you strength. You’ll recognise that these self-beliefs are not true because you wouldn’t be doing what you’re doing if you didn’t belong where you are.

So when that little voice rears its ugly head, acknowledge it, then tell it to naff off.

Here’s a thought: Imposter syndrome is so universal – they gave it a name!

Content Creation Mindset Barrier #2 Worrying About What People Think

If you’re new to publishing blogs, videos, podcasts or images of yourself, then you’re going to be pushed beyond your usual comfort zones. The hurdle to overcome here is the fear of doing it in public.

Putting yourself ‘out there’ can be daunting. But if you’re hesitant to hit publish, then there could be more to it than that. I’d like you to consider something.  Are you someone who needs approval from others?  Are you a perfectionist, so much so that it hinders your performance? Are you honestly worried about posting selfies because of what you look like? If you answer yes, then this could relate to imposter syndrome. Michelle Obama discusses this candidly, in a quote from this video when, with feelings of imposter syndrome, she had to show up as the first lady in a boardroom full of men

Michelle Obama quote on Imposter Syndrome Mindset quote

It’s important to acknowledge that you’ll go through a period when you start to publish content when you feel that hardly anyone is paying attention because very few people are reading your blogs or engaging with you. But it won’t always be like this. Because when you show up consistently, publishing content that you know your audience wants, you’ll gain confidence every step of the way— and your audience will grow. It takes time, but it will happen.

 

Mindset Barrier #3  Being Too Busy

If I had a dollar for every time I heard this…

Yep, you’re busy. You’re a business owner. To be fair, this isn’t an excuse. It’s a fact. People are busy.

The only way to overcome this mindset hurdle is to make it a part of your routine.  Set aside a couple of hours first thing in the morning for content planning and creation. Use a content calendar to map out your content and a social media calendar to schedule your posts.

While you’re planning your content, think of the benefits of why you’re doing this. And just to remind you of those benefits, here are 7 of them:

7 Benefits of Blogging

  1. More potential clients
  2. Higher profile
  3. Greater trust & influence
  4. More connections
  5. Strong website traffic
  6. Larger email list
  7. More social media content

Content Creation Mindset Barrier

#4  Giving up Too Early

This is where you need to draw on your resilience to keep going. The main reason new businesses fail is that they give up too early, and if this is something you often feel like doing, then reading Kanter’s Law may help. Keep it on hand and read it often.

Kanters Law Everything can look like a failure in the middle

It’s about showing up consistently

When creating content, know that recognition leads to brand confidence and that confidence creates loyalty, so if gaining loyalty is one of your goals, it’s essential to show up consistently. When you post a blog on your website, you get traffic, when you post on social media, you get engagement. When people engage with your content, their friends see it. All of it is eyes on your content, so you are on their radar, and as a result, your audience grows.  Statistics say that it takes at least 8 touchpoints before a potential client reaches out to you. So make it easy for them and show up regularly.

 

Make it enjoyable for your audience to read your content

Is the format of your content scanable? Most readers  scan the content first, particularly if it’s a long article, then if it piques their curiosity, they’ll then go back and read it. It’s important that your article looks inviting by being easy on the eye? A lot of newbie content creators publish walls of text which turn readers off. There are some tricks to laying out content which you can easily learn.

 

Barrier #5  Fear of Technology

There’s no way around this. If you want to get good at something, anything at all, you must build up your skill level. And if you’re going to DIY your online marketing, that means learning software. This usually involves several hours of learning and in the beginning, a fair amount of frustration. People call it a learning curve. And it’s always worth it because you’ll have control and save money. And it’s nice to know that it always comes with support.

When you choose a reputable piece of software, there’ll be tutorials on how to use it and communities of users that offer advice and problem solve. This is the norm. It’s doable, and it’s learnable. Case in point – remember when you first got a smartphone?

Back in 2012, I had an online jewellery store, and I needed a website. For $250 (so cheap back then), a start-up website company built a 4-page website for me using WordPress. As it was a jewellery store, I had to regularly upload a lot of content, which meant an outlay of money to the website company every time I needed it done. Having had a bit of experience managing websites before (in an ancient program called FrontPage), I decided I’d learn to use WordPress, which is NOTHING like Frontpage. If any of you have been on a similar journey, then you’ll know what I’m saying when I say – it was a MASSIVE LEARNING CURVE. But learn I did. Fast forward to today, and I’ve built my own website; I upload my own content and save a lot of money. (I’ve even learned SEO).

You must get over your fear of technology

If you want to make your business more streamlined and content creation more productive in the future, then you’ll need to learn new software programs. Accept it because technology here to stay.

Mindset Quote

Content Creation Mindset Barrier #6  Procrastination

“I don’t have time now; I’ll do it tomorrow.”

“Have you seen that document I was working on last week?”

“I’ll just check my Facebook page for a sec.”

Any of this sound familiar?

Another big hurdle for most people. Procrastination – derived from Latin to mean to put off until tomorrow, is one of the main barriers blocking people from living the life they dream of.

Lack of willpower is often blamed for our tendency to procrastinate. But the new thinking is that it’s our motivation that’s to blame.

If procrastination is holding you back from achieving your goals, there’s a couple of excellent books that I recommend you read

  1. The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

Based on the concept of doing the one thing that will get you closer to your goals, it discusses the dangers of multi-tasking and the truth behind trying to live a balanced life.  It will completely rewire your thinking to get more productivity from your work and life, master what matters, and have less stress and a better lifestyle.

  1. Atomic Habits by James Clear

This book shows you how you can change your life by thinking big. The precis is that by forming habits to become a part of your daily routine, you can accomplish more by focussing on less.

 

Content Creation Mindset Barrier #7 Forgetting your Content Strategy

Sometimes we get drawn towards new things. There’s always a bright shiny object in the distance beckoning our attention, and it’s easy to get distracted from the path we’re on to achieving our goals. We put aside our strategy,  try new tactics and reach for new opportunities.

When you often change tactics or publish random content unrelated to your business or target market, it can confuse your audience and dilute your message. But when you go off strategy, you’re in danger of losing your direction.

In Gary Keller’s book The One Thing, he identifies what makes people successful. After studying the careers of numerous highly successful entrepreneurs, he found that it’s their ability to prioritise and set goals, and then to focus on that one thing that moves them towards achieving that goal.

If you find that you often stray from your strategy, then perhaps it’s time to review it. Have your goals changed? Is your business moving in another direction? If so, then it’s time to develop a new strategy.

If not, then it’s crucial to get back on track.

 

It’s important to take action

Content is such a massive part of marketing a business online, so it’s crucial to approach it with a positive mindset. Should you recognise some of the unconscious barriers in this list, try and face them head-on. Because only then can you confidently move towards achieving your business marketing goals.

 

How to fit blog writing into a busy schedule (without compromising time)

How to fit blog writing into a busy schedule (without compromising time)

Does this sound familiar?

Yesterday, you promised yourself you’d write that blog post. You even allocated time to fit blog writing into your busy schedule. But it didn’t happen.

If this does sound familiar then join the club, because it happens to us all. We get super focused on a different task, or something unexpected pops up and before we know it, another day has gone by.

The fact is that writing a good blog post takes a lot of time. And time is something in short supply, particularly when you’re running your business as well as doing the marketing.

Woman holding clock with clockface of business woman running

However, if you want to get serious about publishing your blog more often— to reap the benefits, then you may need a blog writing schedule—one that doesn’t interfere too much with your day-to-day.

Now, I’m not waving any magic wand here (nope, no fairy dust on this page). You still have to do the work, but a schedule will make your life a whole lot easier, and you’ll be hitting that publish button more consistently.

The impact of Not Posting Consistently

If you want to be known as a go-to in your industry, it’s essential to be top-of-mind with your audience. With millions of content pieces published every day, it’s easy to be forgotten if you don’t post consistently.

You will also be forgotten by Google. Neglecting to add fresh content regularly to your website means that Google will stop sending their website bots to scan and update your content as often.

It can be difficult to fit blog writing into a busy schedule. Doing so depends on what kind of writer you are.

So what ‘kind’ of blog writer are you?

How you approach writing a blog post is dependent on what type of writer you are. Typically, you may fall into one of these categories:

 

Do you start writing only stopping when finished?

Sitting down and writing it in one hit can have its drawbacks.

With this approach, it’s challenging to maintain momentum over a long period of time. Do you get tired, lose your focus and become easily distracted? I’m guessing you may be nodding here, because this approach is hard work!

 

Are you a perfectionist writer?

Do you edit when you write? Do endless rewrites? Obsess over spelling mistakes and grammatical errors? No doubt, you dislike the process immensely, because it takes up so much of your time.

 

Are you a distracted writer?

You like writing, but it’s challenging to get started and stay in the zone. You’re easily distracted. Even starting involves a great deal of procrastination. But once you get into it, the words begin to flow. But eventually, you get there.

 

 

Creating a Schedule  helps make writing less of a chore and more of a delight

Blog writing is a creative activity with benefits— an outlet for your opinions and thoughts— the perfect opportunity to educate your client prospects and draw them into your world.

When you think about all the benefits a blog gives your business, you know it’s worth the effort. Plus, there’s the bonus that you have a supply of content to share on social media when you repurpose the post.  (Download the ebook ’10 Ways to repurpose one blog post’ on how to do this—The link is in the sidebar next to this post.)

 

Have you every wondered how the world’s greatest authors write so prolifically?

There’s no real secret, only real dedication. And a routine. Every successful writer sets aside time to write—every day—until it’s done.

I’m not suggesting that you have to write every day, nor am I suggesting that you write a tome, after all this is about writing blog posts, but they do have a point. If you publish your business blog haphazardly, because you struggle to find the time to write it, then setting up a blog writing routine may be your answer.

“Routine, in an intelligent man*, is a sign of ambition.”

~ W.H. Auden, Pulitzer prize winning poet

* quoted in 1958

Transform your haphazard blog writing routine into a passion

This isn’t going to be a long process, honestly. The concept behind fitting blog writing into your busy schedule is to break the tasks up into segments over a couple of days.

 

How to put a Blog Writing Routine into Practice

Have you read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear? If not, I highly recommend it. He writes about setting up routines and practices to achieve goals.

 

“You do not rise to the level of your goals.

You fall to the level of your systems.”

~ James Clear

James suggests deciding on a goal and implementing regular daily habits that progress you towards that goal. 

By fitting those habits into your lifestyle, they become, by their nature, so ingrained, they come to be a part of your lifestyle.

Habits, that because of the action, result in self improvement and become motivation.

Writing Habit Formation

The 3R’s of Habit Formation, James Clear

 

If your goal is to be regularly publishing content, the best, most positive way to achieve this, is to incorporate a blog writing routine into your monthly schedule and make it a habit.

How to Fit Blog Writing into your busy Schedule

DAY 1

SET UP

Choose your time.

Time may be a four-letter word around that can involve a lot of emotion—but we all have the same 24 hours. Ask Beyonce. Ask Stephen King.

The majority of writers find writing first thing in the morning to be the best time. I tend to agree. Even though I’m not a morning person, I find that if I don’t do it first thing, the day gets away from me and it doesn’t get done. (Bit like going to the gym).

I’m not suggesting getting up at 5 AM and forfeiting your morning walk or gym session, but how about scheduling time when you get back home, after dropping the kids off at school or when you first arrive in the office (before checking your emails!) Which brings me to dealing with distractions…

“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”

~ E.B. White

Author Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little + more

Turn off anything that goes beep, has a ring tone or knocks on the door. If you’re in a boss-office tell someone near you that you don’t want to be disturbed. So they can dive tackle them  before their knuckles hit the door. (In my previous life I an Exec Assistant – I did a lot of dive tackling).

Day 1 : Plan and Outline the Blog Post

Planning your blog post keeps you focused and will prevent you from from going off on tangents and getting distracted.

  • First up, set a deadline for the date you’ll publish your blog post— a deadline keeps you accountable.
  • Second, plan the content. Planning involves researching the topic for information that will support and strengthen your content—things like quotes from experts, statistics and visuals. It also involves doing keyword research.
  • If your post is quite in-depth you may like to take the research phase a bit further by reading and analysing 3-5 other published posts on your topic. This can help you discover what you can improve on or how you can add to the conversation— a different perspective perhaps?

To make the process easier, download the blog post planner template to start planning your post.

 

Outline your Blog Post

This task is an extension of the planning phase and involves drafting your:

  • blog title*
  • opening sentences
  • subheadings, and
  • wrap up:  conclusion, CTA and links.

As this is still a draft stage, it’s easiest to use bullet points.

Download the Outline template to start outlining your post.

 

*A Note about the Blog Title (Headline)

It’s not necessary to have a blog title written in this stage. Just use a draft ‘working’ title that contains your keywords. This will keep your writing focused.

If you prefer, you can start working on your headline during this stage, but please don’t get stuck on it for hours. Sometimes headline inspiration doesn’t come when you’re tired. Sometimes they come to you when you’re doing something else – like walking the dog.

That’s it for day 1.  Your job is done. Now you can get on with the rest of your day.

Never underestimate the importance of taking a break

Taking a break gives your mind time to re-energise and engage in passive thinking. Inspiration can strike when you’re doing the dishes, but not when you’re tired and trying to force it. After taking a break, you may return to your writing with a different perspective.

Even a brisk walk can make all the difference.

Day 2

The goal for today is to write the first draft

A big old brain dump.

Using your outline as a guide, begin expanding on those bullet points.

Try not to edit as you go and ignore word count. You’ll get to that later.

The goal today is to get it down on the page. A big ugly first draft.

Approach the First Draft with a Content Sprint

Writing a first draft is hard.  Some days it can feel like you’re on a mission to conquer a steep hill— you can feel the burn in the back of your legs and all you want to do is lie down.

The only way to face it is head-on. As the Nike slogan goes – Just Do It!  I tackle my first drafts first thing in the morning —it’s the time of least resistance. I may read it back and recoil in horror, but it’s usually something I can work with.

Setting a time limit helps. Even going so far as using an actual timer. Poise pen, start writing, end when beep goes off. First draft done.

Leave it and get on with your day.

 

Avoid the temptation to edit

The perfectionist in some of you will be itching to edit the work. Please don’t. Not at this stage. You’ll increase the possibility of getting bogged down in rewrites and spend more time on it than you need. Besides editing requires fresh eyes and a clear mind. Best leave it until the next day.

If you are close to your deadline, leave it for a few hours otherwise, return to it tomorrow.

No one ever publishes a first draft.

When Issues with Writing become Excuses

There are many excuses for not writing.

It’s too hard.

I’m not in the mood.

I don’t know what to write about.

But really, these are just excuses. The reality is that excuses are the result of a lack of preparation.

Here are some ways famous authors face these excuses head-on.

 

Got Writer’s Block?

“I don’t believe in writer’s block. Think about it — when you were blocked in college and had to write a paper, didn’t it always manage to fix itself the night before the paper was due? Writer’s block is having too much time on your hands. If you have a limited amount of time to write, you just sit down and do it. You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page.

You can’t edit a blank page.”

~Jodi Picoult

Author of 24 novels (8 NYT best sellers)

Not in the mood for Writing?

“I only write when I’m inspired, so I see to it

that I’m inspired every morning at nine o’clock.”

~Peter De Vries, author of 26 novels

Lacking Motivation?

“A lot of people feel like they lack motivation, when what they really lack is clarity.”

~James Clear, Author, Atomic Habits

Don’t know what to write about?

“I made a decision to write for my readers, not to try to find more readers for my writing.”

~ Seth Godin, Marketing Guru

Author 19 books &  1 hugely successful blog

Day 3

The Goal for today is to Proofread, Edit and Format your Post

Step 1

Read your post. Read it out aloud. Check for the following:

  • Does your writing flow, does it have rhythm? Or do you stumble on words or phrasing?
  • Does it make sense, is it easy to understand?
  • Do you get your point across clearly?

Tidy up where necessary.

 

Step 2

Format Your Post

This step is about making sure your content is easy to read and scan.

  • Break up long sentences and paragraphs into short sentences and paragraphs. This will give your post its rhythm.
  • Ensure everything on the page stands out by surrounding text and visuals with plenty of whitespace.
  • Help readers scan your post using bold text or italics.
  • Put items into bulleted lists.
  • Indent quotes or important points.
  • Ensure that you have included alt tags on your images.
  • Upload the post to your website.

Resist the urge to obsess over perfectionism…

“Done is better than perfect.”

 ~Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook

Day 4

The Goal for today is to Promote Your Post

The hard work’s done. Now it’s time to get it out into the world.

Promote your post on social media by lifting pieces of content from your blog post and turning them into quote posts, 30-second videos or information snippets – infographics, statistics, interesting facts etc.

(Download the ebook ’10 Ways to repurpose one blog post’ on how to do this—The link is in the sidebar next to this post.)

 

Will this blog writing schedule work for you?

Don’t stress it if the 4 days spread out to 5. Some days we have more time than others. After all, this routine is a guide only— to get you into a routine.

“[There is] evidence that environments, schedules, and rituals restructure the writing process and amplify performance… These practices encourage a state of flow rather than one of anxiety or boredom. Like strategies, these other aspects of a writer’s method may alleviate the difficulty of attentional overload.”

~Ronald T. Kellogg, cognitive psychologist

The Psychology of Writing

Work that isn’t scheduled doesn’t get done

Try to approach blogging with the mindset of— write like a writer and act like a publisher.  A publisher publishes consistently.

Even though it’s hard to find the time to fit content writing into a hectic business schedule, breaking it up into chunks makes it more manageable and less overwhelming.

Don’t let blogging fall to the bottom of your to-do list. Keep focused on why you’re doing it.

Each blog post is an opportunity to grow your audience. To strengthen your profile. To get more website traffic. To win more business.

Publish…and be proud of your work.

“Never, never, never, never—give up.”

~Winston Churchill

Author of 43 books. Including the Nobel Prize for Literature, 1953

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