The web is a massive publishing empire full of content that is updated every minute of every day. To be seen amongst this cacophony of noise you have to produce lots of quality content yourself. Get used to it.
The problem that I repeatedly hear as I visit businesses is this: we cannot produce enough content. Companies complain they either don’t have the time, the ability or the ideas.
These are the same people who write an average of one novel a year just in email messages. One recent study found that the average number of words in email messages we send each year is 41,638 – a mere 114 words a day. It is probably a low estimate. If you wrote or replied to just 10 emails a day that’s just 11 words per email. I imagine you write more than that. The chances are you write a good couple of books worth of text each year, just in email replies.
Then you have to consider the text messages and the social media postings you write. Even if you only wrote one Tweet a day that would amount to around 6,000 words.
Never before in human history have people written as much. We write more each month now than people did in their entire lifetimes just a couple of decades ago.
Yet, the people who are now writing volumes of material each month are the same people saying “I don’t have time to write”, or “I cannot write” or “I cannot produce any ideas to write about”.
If that were really true, how come they manage to do so much writing?
The real problem is that some elements of writing in our daily life have become routine. For instance, you may well start the day checking your email inbox and replying to various messages. Many people then go on to social networks and see the latest info, adding to the stream of material, before knuckling down to the rest of their day.
The problem is these people who are actively producing words are doing so as part of their everyday activities – something they do not then do for producing web content for their business. The issue is not that people cannot produce content – it is that they have not made it part of their routine.
Email is part of your routine, so is using social media in many instances. But web content production? Well, for the majority of businesses I meet who do not have dedicated staff doing this task, it is generally done on a whim, when the muse strikes or when there is a “spare five minutes”. All of which means – it doesn’t get done.
So how can you produce web content so that you will be noticed online? Make it a daily routine. Set a time aside in your diary and stick to it.
And don’t tell me you won’t have the ideas. You have enough ideas as to what to write in emails, enough ideas about what to say in social networks – but you generate those ideas because you have to, because you have made it all part of your routine. If you want to produce more ideas for blogging or other content production take a tip from your own experience – set up a routine and the ideas will flow.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+