Does Constantly Creating Engaging Content Feel Like Treading Water? 9 Lifeline Tips

Does Constantly Creating Engaging Content Feel Like Treading Water? 9 Lifeline Tips

When I am optimizing blogs and websites with my content creation, I often feel like someone has placed me on the deck of an old, but capable sailboat has haphazardly pointed toward a horizon and then has suddenly thrown the line at my feet and shoved me off. A compass and a map, with coffee stains covering vital areas, is all I am holding in my hands. Even though l adore sailboats and writing, content creation and optimization can feel daunting, confusing and hard to direct.

Now, why would someone who is a professional content writer admit that optimizing and content creation can, at times, leave the creator feeling lost and disoriented? Mostly, because it is true (and if I am about to drown in the Atlantic I really need to start living an honest life.) SEO and content creation will never be completely figured out; I always say it is an art and a science. But like any true adventurer at heart, the unknowingness is thrilling and a huge part of the attractiveness of the job.


1. Be Sea Worthy — You can’t fake good writing, just like you can’t fake swimming. Work hard at your writing. Don’t write just to arrive at your desired word count. Content creation isn’t just about working in those all-important SEO phrases and plugging your blog into WordPress. It is about conducting research and interviews so you can give your readers something worth reading.

2. Trust Your Crew — Rely on people who are smarter than you. Being able to find worth in the thoughts and ideas of every member of your crew is the mark of a successful captain. We all have something to bring to the table. If we are unwilling to hear and be heard we are missing out on some remarkable opportunities.

Writers can be introverted and stubborn; like most artists, they can carry that endearing quality “if you don’t like my work then you are wrong.” But this is a destructive habit to fall into when you are creating content or employing SEO tactics. Things are constantly changing and if you can’t adapt you will fail. Remember, you never know what the tide is going to bring in.

3. Weather the Weather — Like rowing against the wind, sometimes you can work  hard to tackle a specific or high-value SEO key phrase and then eagerly glance at the numbers only to see no movement or even a drop of improvement. This can be extremely disheartening. But you just have to keep rowing toward that horizon until you start seeing that tiny strip of land.

As a content creator, a digital marketer or as a part of a SEO team, it is important to correctly manage the expectations of your clients in the beginning phase of your relationship so they know what to expect. Getting results through content writing takes time, even if luck is on your side and you are doing everything correctly. As long as you communicate this inherent limitation and set reasonable expectations, the waters will be clear and calm.

4. Stocking the Hull — Proper preparation is important before you set off on a long voyage. In fact, it can very easily be the difference between life and death. It is important that you educate and arm yourself with the correct knowledge before you embark on the exhibition of content creation. Here are three elements you should have in your writer’s helm before you embark:

  • You have to know your audience: Get a clearly defined buyer persona for each of your clients.
  • You have to know your clients: Not simply just what they do, but their voices. Remember, you are writing on the behalf of a company.
  • You have to know their customers: Be a detective and think about if you were looking for this service/product what you would like to read about.

5. A clearly indentified key phrase — Make sure you know your destination and what you are working toward and with; have this key word in your mind and cut and paste it at the top of your Word document so you can continuously glance at it. Don’t write a great creative blog and then try to force and jam the key words in, it will be obvious and it will turn readers away.

6. Your First Mate — Your clients shouldn’t be merely online connections. You should have their phone numbers and have established the type of relationship with them that you feel comfortable picking up the phone and asking them a question about a blog or an infographic you are working on. The worst and most disastrous word a writer can hear is: re-write. But having free and comfortable communication between yourself and your clients means you can ensure you are all on the same page.

Also, you might be a great writer with a Pulitzer waiting in your future, but that doesn’t make you the authority on every single subject you are writing on. To establish your clients as thought-leaders in their industries, you need to tap into their years and often decades of experience. Then your content will be engaging and smart, making your clients, and you, look knowledgeable to your online audience.

7. More Like Guidelines Anyway — Remember to be flexible and follow the signs — things are always changing. Don’t doggedly keep doing the same thing if it is not getting you the results that your clients need. Be adaptable, not frustrated. Be proactive, not stubborn. Like the sea, SEO and content creation will always be rising and falling and changing. Learn to flow with the tide.

8. The Captain Stays with the Ship — Anyone worth their salt knows that. Stand behind your work and make sure it goes live. If you write a blog but it never goes live because it’s gotten lost in the approval process or in the scuffle of digital paperwork, all that time and effort was wasted. Make sure to fill out the SEO titles, tags and meta descriptions out properly as well. There is a lot to blogging that goes on behind the scenes, make sure that you fill out all the details so that your page or blog will be properly optimized and be set up to do its job.

9. Davy Jones’ Locker — Sinking under the weight of a million tasks that need to be completed yesterday, you can feel like you are sinking deeper and deeper. Demanded and scheduled creativity doesn’t usually flow as fluidly as we would like. One helpful tactic that I apply is to give myself a set time. “By 3:30 I am going to have 500 words written.” By setting this small, simple and obtainable goal you do two things: You do yourself the favor of keeping yourself focused and on track.

The second helpful tactic I can offer so that you don’t feel like you are drowning will take you back to college. Write an outline. I know, I know, you don’t write that way, but if you can tweak your processes just a little bit, you might find it extremely helpful. Fair winds and a following sea, my friends.

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