January 15, 2021

Founder Led Content Marketing: How I Published 15,000 Words in 30 Days

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Founder Led Content Marketing originally appeared on Medium in September 2019

My wife and I had a kid 4 months ago. (Sup, Miles?!) I am fortunate enough to have taken about 8 weeks (mainly) off, plugging in where/as needed.

It felt good to jump back in full bore and get back up to speed and fully engaged my first month back.

Then something happened: a creative rush the likes of which the world has never seen before.

You see, creating content is something I enjoy and know is of long-term benefit to us, but it’s not mission-critical work. So, I wasn’t doing it for 3 months.

Maybe I need to take more content sabbaticals because I’ve been on a tear the last 30 days, cranking about 15,000 words of content across 15 articles. This is a bit of an estimate as I have not gone back and word counted, but I’m generally putting out 800–1200 word posts.

I won’t claim to have developed and deployed some bulletproof process that will supercharge anyone’s content creation, but I FWIW here’s how I think I did it.

I needed a release

As I mentioned, I hadn’t been creating (other than a child) for a bit. So, as a creator, I needed to well…create.

My primary mode of creating is as an “author.” I can’t create music, and I’m terrible at visual art. But words, words I like.

It’s as simple as that, I need to write. So, write I did.

I needed ideas

I have a pretty consistent flow of content ideas, some business-oriented, some not. I like having that mix as it’s fun to think about and write about different kinds of stuff.

For this burst, I think what really helped me was coming back to a desk with a healthy array of sticky notes and an inbox of self-induced email drafts that I needed to work through. Some got killed (late night in bed emails to myself), others I turned into publishable content.

Point being, I didn’t have to sit down and come up with a lot of ideas. I already had them. When I wasn’t creating, I was ideating. I think this is important. This jumpstarted me

I got into the flow

Once I start creating, I want to do it more, at least for a while. This is exactly what happened.

My frame of thinking changed. Now rather than just consuming content, I was consuming to create.

This means I was leveraging content I ran across and found interesting to crank out new content. Typically, this content was relevant to our audience. So, rather than just social posting a link, I wrote a more comprehensive “our take” piece. This kind of piece shows we have opinions, and honestly, they’re pretty easy to write. I probably banged out 5 of these in the span of 3 days, bombarding our marketing lead with emailed posts.

I only focused on the writing

Thankfully, I have someone much better at marketing than me on our team. This means, I can focus on writing (what I believe to be) high quality, thoughtful content. I don’t concern myself with loading up Buffer to share, optimizing the post (or even putting it on our blog), weaving it into our newsletter, or any other number of things that could distract me. That’s what Tim does, among other things. Thanks Tim!

I got data’y with it

I like data. I like when people write utilizing data. The Internet likely knows this, so I see a lot of data-driven or data-supported posts. I tend to engage with these naturally. They make me think and dig and crunch numbers and come up with thoughts I want to share, which means more content created.

I just did it

On average I wrote about 500 words/day. That’s not really that much. That’s, say, 30 minutes of work.

I was not maniacal about blocking this off on my calendar. I did not use some browser silencing plug-in or blank sheet “this will help you write!” app. I had my email open most of the time. I was, after all, emailing myself and Tim blog posts.

And there you have it. I did not overthink this. I didn’t even mean to do it. I just did it because I enjoyed it. It didn’t feel like work. I think that’s important.

Will I sustain this? I don’t know. Not sure I need to. Maybe I’ll have another sabbatical, think up some ideas and then put them to paper. I do know that we’re sitting on about 3 months of content to push out right now.

Note: this is about an 800-word founder led content marketing post, and I spent probably 40 minutes on it starting with a calendar invite to myself with a high-level description, which I pretty much abandoned and just free flowed.

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