Why Content Matters

Creating content is one of the most critical parts of putting your membership site together. It can be overwhelming and brings up fear that you will run out of ideas.

Likewise some people end up creating content that is low quality and thrown together with little thought. If you want to build a strong community that grows over time you can’t go down any of these routes.

You need to keep your content consistent, interesting, and novel. It does take work but once you systematize the process you can save yourself, time, energy, and money. (Did you catch my acronym for S.Y.S.T.E.M. there?)
 
Here’s a brief overview of my 5 step system for creating great content.


 

Step 1 – Choose A Content Category

Now a content category means the general form that the content will be in. Will it be video-based, audio-based, text, or a graphic? These are most popular types that can be produced relatively quickly.

I don’t mean this is the form you have to stick to all the time, variety is absolutely welcome. In fact, different segments of your audience will prefer different forms so it’s best to switch it up. But one at time, right? That’s the point of step 1.
 

Step 2 – Choose A Content Type

This is where we get more specific about what type of content within the broader content category we’ll choose. Here’s some examples for the 4 most popular types.
Audio – Podcasts, Interviews, Audio guides, Teleseminar.
Video – Interview, Explainer videos, Animations, Screencasts, Live-on-camera interviews, Live streams.
Text – Articles, Reports, Surveys, Quotes, Newsletter, Cheat sheets, Whitepapers.
Graphic – Images, Cartoons, Infographics, Slide presentations.

Obviously, that’s not a comprehensive list, but it’s a enough to get you thinking. The point is now we have narrowed it down to a specific form and type. That takes care of a majority of the feeling of overwhelm right there.
 

Step 3 – Choose DIY or DFY

(Do-It-Yourself or have it Done-For-You)

This step is also simple. Decide whether you are going to create the content yourself or have it done for you. What I recommend to people is to create the type of content you enjoy creating. So if you’re a writer, then do your own writing!

If you hate it, then maybe outsource it to a freelancer. You could outsource all the content creation, but it’s my take that you should be creating some of it considering it is your membership site after all.

You want to have a personal stake in what’s being communicated, right?
 

Step 4 – Research What’s Out In The World!

You’re not the only one who needs to consistently produce content! You don’t need to start from a blank page.

There are ideas that are already out there that have been proven to be enjoyable and effective pieces of content by an audience. Magazines and newspapers are amazing resources to browse what’s working in the mass market. You can also look into publications that are specific to your industry and niche.

Setting up Google alerts or a content aggregator for relevant keywords will give you a daily email of what content is currently being produced.

Remember, this is just for your initial research and ideas, don’t copy the content exactly.
 

Step 5 – Adapt The Content For Your Audience

The last step is to take ideas from content that’s inspired you and turn it into unique content adapted for your audience. Rewrite articles into your own words, riff on the themes used, don’t make a carbon copy, but use it as a jumping off point.
 
Using this system you can create quality original content on a regular basis without needing to lose your mind over it.
 

Action Steps

  1. Choose a type of content, video, audio, text, or graphic.
  2. Choose a format of content for that type. (See the list above for reference.)
  3. Choose whether you will produce it DIY style or outsource it DFY style.
  4. Research content that’s seen in mass market publications and online.
  5. Adapt this content to work for your specific niche and audience.
  6. Repeat for each new piece of content.

 

Result You Will Get

A step-by-step system to create content for your membership site.
 

Mentor: Andrew Lock

Creator of Help My Business. Andrew has created 7 membership sites in a wide variety of consumer and business niches, with more than 30,000 members.

 
This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.