Want to learn how to go from one-off content to creation to consistent content habit in 90 days or less? I know creating content consistently doesn’t come naturally to everyone—believe it or not, it certainly didn’t always for me. I once struggled with crippling perfectionism and overthinking which made it impossible to feel satisfied with anything I wrote.
But now creating content is the bright spot of my work—and the part I look forward to the most. I see my content as a way of exploring new ideas, being creative with how to articulate them and being generous with my know-how. And if a typo sneaks through the editing process? There are better things to worry about.
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So what got me from “my writing can’t see the light of day” to embracing done is better than perfect and loving content creation? Well, in 2016, I gave myself what I thought was an impossible challenge: Write a new blog post every single day for 100 days (you can read more about it here).
What I discovered was that the hardest part of content creation is just getting started (as long as you already have the idea because if you don’t the hardest part is figuring out what to write and staring at that blinking cursor). But once you start, it becomes almost impossible not to finish even if it is far from perfect.
So in this post, I’m going to show you how to start a daily content habit and challenge you to stick with it for 90 days. Because if you do, you’ll see a complete 180 in your view of content and your skill and efficiency at creating it. Plus you’ll also learn 10 tips I’ve learned the hard way to make a daily content habit much much easier.
What is the Content Habit?
If the word “content” instinctively makes you tense up a little, you’re not alone.
Most people think of content as a task or a project that pops up again and again—something that urgently needs to be squeezed in amongst a long list of other priorities.
But it’s much more accurate (and helpful) to change your perception of content by thinking of it not as a task but as a habit instead. Content is rarely a one-and-done task (unless you’re adopting my minimalist content strategy approach), so the more you see it as a habit or routine, the more you find opportunities to streamline and elevate it
My content habit is something I do every single day for about 25 minutes before I begin my work day. I pick a prompt from an ever-growing list (or tackle the next one if I’m working on a pre-defined list for a bigger content project) and set a timer for 25 minutes. Once I’m finished, I consider my content creation job for the day as done.
At the end of the week, I process all of the writing from my content habit. Editing things, deciding what to publish and saving it so I can come back to it later.
What I love best about the content habit is that:
- I start the day creating something before I consume other people’s ideas
- I start the day with a big giant checkmark so I feel more productive right away
- I set the tone for my day and instantly feel more creative and inspired
- I never run out of things to share on social media or other content channels
- I get quicker and quicker at creating content (I can whip up a pretty good blog post now in around 25 minutes)
- I can make massive progress on huge content projects (like my book, a launch, a new freebie) in tiny little 25-minute blocks
- I create better content (practice makes proficient)
And so so many other perks.
We’re just putting the finishing touches on our daily content habit app. So if you want endless inspiration, a way to track your progress and make getting started easier, sign up to be the first to know when it drops here.
And if you want to test out the content habit, I put together a free journal for you here to take on a trial run this week:
So while you’re testing out the content habit, I wanted to share my top 10 tips for getting started and sticking with it:
Content Habit Tip #1: Decide what you're going to write before you sit down to write
Before you open the floodgates of creativity and see where your content flows, it’s important to decide what you’re going to write about beforehand. Why? Because the part of your brain that’s used for planning, strategy, and decision-making (the prefrontal cortex) is different from the creative side of your brain that deals in creativity and expressing yourself (generally thought to be the left hemisphere of the brain's frontal lobe).
So by planning a topic in advance, you save yourself from having to make that mental shift. This also saves you time because it allows you to show up and start writing or recording right away instead of wasting valuable time deciding what you’re actually going to create. This is why it can be helpful to have a list of ideas or prompts handy for those times you feel stumped on content ideas.
For example, when I’m planning my week, I spend some time coming up with a list of weekly writing prompts for my content habit. All the planning happens in advance, so when I sit down to write, I don’t waste any time not writing. I’ve put together some prompts for you to test out in the free Content Habit Journal.
Content Habit Tip #2: Decide on the How
When it comes to building content consistency and routine, the how is just as important as the what and when. The HOW is the method by which you create your content.
You can use word doc or writing software like Scrivener or 750 words, or go with the classic pen and paper option. Another option would be to speak your writing into a tool like Otter.ai Or you could test out my content habit app that’ll be launching in a few weeks (get on the wait list here).
It’s important to choose a method that suits you and your content creation process, but that doesn’t mean you’re tied to your first pick. Whatever you choose, try it for a week. If it doesn’t feel like the perfect fit, switch it up.
Content Habit Tip #3: Give Yourself a Jumping-Off Point
When it comes to creating content, just getting started is often the hardest part. This is where giving yourself a jumping-off point comes in. By giving yourself a sentence starter, you don’t technically need to begin—just keep the sentence going.
For example, here are a few jump-off sentence starters…
- The most important thing to remember about (topic) is….
- The biggest thing I’ve learned about (topic) is….
- When I was first getting started with (topic), I realized…
It’s also helpful to have swipe files—a collection of your favourite marketing ideas and examples—on hand to inspire you when you get stuck.
One of my favourite strategies for giving myself a jumping-off point is to break down the topic into a list of questions. Then when I’m writing, I simply focus on answering the question. This is how the Content Habit App prompts are broken down too—a series of questions you just answer that can be assembled into posts to share!
Content Habit Tip #4: Set a Timer
Parkinson’s Law states that a task will expand to take the amount of time we allot for it. This is why it’s important to set time boundaries—because if you don’t, the task could take you all day. Setting realistic time constraints will help you stay focused, on-task, and often helps you get more done in a smaller time window.
You can set a timer on your phone or use a timer app. My go-to is the Pomodoro method. If you aren’t familiar, the Pomodoro method is a time-management strategy in which work is completed in 25-minute stretches, and each stretch is broken up into five-minute breaks (after four or five ultra-focused stretches, you can take a longer break). My favourite app is BeFocusedPro:
This can relieve the pressure of expectations because you don’t need to accomplish something monumental every time you create content—you just need to show up and complete the time.
This is exactly why I’ve built timers into the Content Habit App!
Content Habit Tip #5: When You Get Stuck Think Questions
If you get stuck during the content creation process, there’s one strategy you can always fall back on: Questions. You can break up your topic into questions about said topic and simply answer each question.
For example, maybe your topic is “How to Write a Blog Post”. Here’s how you might break that up into the questions the piece of content needs to answer:
- Why does writing blog posts matter for business owners?
- How do you pick a topic and why is this the first step?
- How do you create an outline?
- How do you write an introduction?
- How do you write body sections?
- How do you write a conclusion?
- What is the process for editing the post?
- What are my final parting words or things I want my reader to remember?
This takes the pressure off of thinking about what to say because all you need to do is answer each individual question.
Content Habit Tip #6: Try Speaking
Do you think and articulate better when you’re not strapped to a keyboard? Then when you’re creating content, consider ditching the writing. You can talk through your post points and record yourself using a voice recording program like Otter.
Once you’re done, you can access the transcript, edit it, and clean it up into paragraphs or sections. This is also ideal for people who articulate better when they’re moving or pacing—so don’t be afraid to take your content creation on the go!
Content Habit Tip #7: Turn Off Your Inner Critic
As you work on building your content habit, don’t let your inner critic get the best of you. Focus on the routine you’re creating and emphasize the value of your input: you’re showing up, you’re completing the timer, and you’re finishing the prompt.
You always have time to finesse during the editing process, and the more you get into this habit, the greater quality content you’ll create over time. All that’s required of you is to show up and meet the time commitment you’ve set.
Content Habit Tip #8: Bookend Your Day
When is the best time to implement a content habit? I highly recommend doing this at the start of your work day. It makes a great warm-up and sets this habit as a top priority in your day, which means it won’t get lost in the shuffle.
That said, I’m a morning person, so it’s always going to be morning for me. If you feel more creative later in the day, schedule it for the afternoon or as the last task of your day. The most important thing is that it’s at a time that suits your BPT (aka your biological prime time where you’re the most productive, focused and creative).
Content Habit Tip #9: Track It
Tracking a habit is an important part of building it up, especially in the initial stages.
There are many different ways to track, but an easy option is the Seinfeld method. Put simply, the Seinfeld method tracks a habit using a calendar, and each day the habit has been completed you cross the day off with an “X” (or a checkmark, smiley face, whatever works!).
This provides a visual representation of how committed you’ve been and also provides a little motivation to keep going on the days you might be struggling with consistency.
One of my favourite features of the Content Habit App is the progress tracker where you can see how long your current streak is!
Content Habit Tip #10: Organize Your Writing
Organizing your content is key to keeping the wheels of your routine moving. Plus, it helps ensure that creating content consistently pays off for you. At the end of the week, set aside some time to process your writing by…
- Going through and picking pieces to share (add to your content bank)
- Choose what content needs to be edited (and send for editing if needed)
- Coming up with your next prompts
This habit has a happy little byproduct (Bob Ross approved!) which is a lot more content to share with little noticeable effort. You’ll have tons of content to use and share. But making time to process and go through your writing is key.
Creating Content, Simplified
Content doesn’t have to be the worst part of your business. When you start looking at it as a habit and build a strong routine around it, it can become something you actually look forward to and enjoy. Plus, the more consistent you are, the easier it gets to create content over time.
You can start today by committing to 90 days. By then, you’ll have solidified your content habit and be creating it with ease and efficiency. Take it on a test drive by downloading the Content Habit Journal today.