The “Epic of Gilgamesh” was written in 2100 BC. Since then, there has been a myriad of stories told all around the world. From chilling tales of hell such as Dante Alighieri’s Inferno to beautiful tales of cruelty and triumph like “Snow White” and “Lord of the Rings.” Although the narrative in all of these stories may vary, the one thing they have in common is that they are all very well written (well, the best of them are).
As a content creator living and working in a world where 90% of all successful businesses heavily depend on your ability to sell their brand to their target market with your storytelling skills, being able to write and write well is key to your and their success.
Suffice it to say, storytelling, just like selling, is a learned skill. Yes, you might have a natural flair with words, but unless you deliberately adopt habits that help you perfect your writing skills, you may never reach your full potential (earning potential) as a gifted content creator.
Common Habits of Successful Content Creators
While it is true that there is no known formula for success, it is also true that there are some habits that do greatly increase your chances of achieving it (whatever success might be in your eyes). That being said, here are some habits that you can adopt to become a successful content creator:
Educate yourself on industry-related trends and news
The best content creators are those that entertain as well as educate their readers. To do that, you need to know what is happening in your chosen niche. Staying up to date with industry news and trends is one way to get content. It is also an excellent way to get into the mindset of your reader.
- What is it they are currently interested in?
- What news can you bring them?
It is also an easy way to ensure that your content is relevant to your readers. The best way to stay up to date is to come up with a list of websites that share industry-related news and trends on a daily basis. You can also set up an industry-related RSS feed on apps such as “Flym News Reader” or “Feedly” to keep you updated.
Additionally, you could join a forum or social media group of like-minded content creators and see what it is they are reading to stay ahead of the game.
Always look to improve your craft
People who are excellent at what they do are always looking for ways to be better. They read a lot, practice a lot and seek out constructive criticism from people they deem more knowledgeable in their particular subject matter. As a content creator, there is a good chance that you have writer’s you admire within and without your industry. Try to network with these writers and see how you can help improve each other’s craft.
- Go to meetups
- Take courses online
- Go to seminars
Most importantly, however, is to keep writing on a regular basis. This way you become more comfortable with your craft and develop a rhythm that could end up making you more productive.
Write with your audience in mind
It is one thing to be a great writer in your own mind and quite another to be a great writer in the eyes of your audience. The crazy truth is that you might even have slightly better than average grammatical prowess, but if you can’t find a way to speak directly to your audience and capture their attention, a significant percentage of them won’t even notice your semi-wanting writing skills.
This is why it is important to stay current on industry-related news and trends. It is also why you need to be an active member in forums that host your target readership. This way you will get to read and see their concerns; concerns that you can, later on, address through your writing.
Come up with a rigid schedule
A rigid schedule doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to write for 8 hours every single day from Monday to Friday (although if that works for you, well and good). This only means that you have to come up with a highly productive schedule that you adhere to no matter what happens.
Let’s be honest, content creators like most creatives are artists at heart. This means that they are often more comfortable “creating” when they find their muse.
However, as a content creator who is dead set on being successful, you cannot sit around for half a year waiting to find your muse. You need to write every day or at least every so often to be productive and useful enough to your clients.
It is therefore imperative that you come up with a rigid schedule to follow. You can batch your writing (take one or two days every week where you do all your writing) or you could come up with specific hours in the day when you are most productive to go somewhere quiet and write. It is all up to you, but you MUST come up with a schedule.
Break your projects down into little chunks
Which one do you find easier to do? One big 2,000-word article or 10 little 200-word articles? Most people would prefer the ten little 200-word articles. They seem simple enough to take on as opposed to the imposing 2,000-word mammoth. If you look closely, you will see that the ten little 200-word articles come up to 2,000 words in total anyway.
Breaking your projects down into little chunks is a great way to make a huge article seem very little and easy to do. With every project, be sure to write an outline with as many subheadings and bullet points as possible. This will make it easier for you to write, keep you on track when you really get going and digress a lot as well as make it easier for your readers to skim and digest. Win-win-win!
Of course, all these are just pointers on things that have already worked for the best in the industry. You have to find a formula that works for you in particular, but these tips are a good place to start.