Every Monday at about 10 or 11 am, I sit down to write my weekly eZine and blog (actually the same thing, through two different channels).
The question that everyone asks me is, “How do you decide what to write about?”
Good question! Let me answer it here and give you a few tips as well. First of all, my weekly ezine/blog is always something about marketing professional services. That’s pretty broad, so I l have lots of options.
Here’s how I generate ideas, but don’t make them absolute rules. Be open to inspiration and even out-of-the-blue whims.
My 6 Primary Idea Sources
1. My work with clients. Every week, I have interesting conversations with several clients. Ideas from these meetings – both my ideas and the clients’ – are often excellent topics. If this conversation helped the client, why wouldn’t it help those on my list?
2. Ideas from something I’m reading. Often an idea strikes me and I look it up online in places such Google, Amazon, and Wikipedia. Eventually, the idea develops into an article.
3. Ideas from things I notice in the world. I observe businesses, both online and off, people who are doing interesting things and all kinds of situations where I see great successes, dismal failures and even flashes of brilliance.
4. Ideas from my personal experience and expertise. When you’ve been in business for more than 30 years, you’ve accumulated a lot of strategies and how-tos. Even if you’ve been in business only for a few years, you know more than you realize.
5. Ideas from my own internal process. Sometimes I’m struggling with something or trying to figure out a problem, so I’ll often post a question on Wisdompreneurs or search Google and get several good insights.
6. Ideas from the shower or hot tub. Warm and running water seems to stimulate new ideas and gets them flowing. No effort required, just accepting ideas as they come.
My Writing Process
With these idea sources, I usually come up with enough of them to write an article every day. Then I select one randomly or one that pulls me the most.
I don’t worry if they are perfect articles that will get me SEO positioning or lots of comments. I just write what I’m interested in and hope it will help others with their marketing.
Recently I’ve tried a little harder to include stories and get away from being too conceptual (that is, boring)!
I write the best I can but never trust myself enough to catch all the typos and grammatical errors I make. My amazing proofreader and editor, Daphne Gray Grant, finds those for me and gives me ideas for expressing myself better.
I’m not overly self-critical. Yes, I want to write a good article that makes a difference and often put a lot of work into it, but I’m not caught up with perfectionism.
Oh, yeah, and I almost always have jazz music playing in the background. Most of my attention goes to the writing, but having instrumental music playing tends to drown out my critical, noisy mind.
Length: I try to do about 500 to 750 words.
Time to write: 30 minutes to one hour.
I’ve been writing every week for 17 years. It’s the single best thing I do to attract clients. I highly recommend you give it a shot. It won’t hurt you; you’ll survive it and ultimately it will help your business thrive.
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My Marketing Plan Workbook, 7 Principles of Professional Service Business Marketing, the Mindset Oracle, 12 Videos on the Essentials of Marketing for Self-Employed Professionals, three Expert Interviews, the Marketing Score Card, and, oh, yeah, the infamous weekly More Clients eZine.