Content Creation: Like Hosting Out-of-Town Guests

Content Creation: Like Hosting Out-of-Town Guests

Content Creation: Like Hosting Out-of-Town Guests

One of my friends on Twitter, Tracy Blevins (@TracyBlevins), put content creation this way: “It’s like hosting out-of-town guests–it never ends.” Is that how you feel about content creation? On many days, I feel that way, too. What will I talk about? Will people be interested? Also, what will you cook that they’ll like and haven’t had before? I don’t want to keep serving up grilled cheese every day, after all! Here, then, are some ideas for content creation.

Curated Versus Original Content

Probably the toughest part of my job is discovering content that not everyone in the world hasn’t already seen one billion times before. Word spreads fast on the internet. How can I possibly post something new? Putting my own spin on curated content is possible, but the best thing is to create my own content and images. For instance, recently all my friends were griping about Facebook’s new algorhythm changes, so I decided to write about that.

Search Differently

Try looking for your search terms on both Google and Bing–the results will be different. You can also search for the most recent articles. Another trick is to search for your search term from within. By that I mean that if you want to know about Twitter, search from within Twitter. For Pinterest, search from within Pinterest. You’ll be surprised at what you might find. Pinterest has beefed up its search lately, too. Facebook’s search? Eh, not so much.

Non-Human Guests

Your guests aren't always human.

Your guests aren’t always human.

Another part of creating content is that your guests aren’t always human. Sometimes your guests are the little bots that roam around Google, looking for new content. So if you’re publishing twice a week, the bots will come back like little puppies waiting to be fed on those two days.

Writing for SEO and Ranking Well

Another one of your “guests” is the person who will be searching for your keywords. For instance, if someone did a Google search on quitting Facebook, my post asking if it’s time to quit Facebook might come up. Here’s a terrific article about writing for SEO, by the way.

Ideas through Random Discovery

Sometimes you can discover a good writing topic by looking online or listening to people around you at the grocery store or hearing what your friends are griping about. Is everyone ranting about Google Plus? Well, what else is new? Is there something they’re talking about that you disagree with? Sometimes I’ve started backwards with an image and written a post that way. Here’s one that I wrote after I saw the image. I loved the image so much that I had to write a post around the image.

Creating Content on a Team

If you work on a team, having a process, even if it’s simple, is very important. Who will edit? Will you have a style guide? How many cycles of editing will you go through? Where will you find images? What will your publishing schedule be like? Whenever I’ve tried to work on a team the schedule has been the trickiest part. People at startups are busy and they have other jobs. You’ll have the most success when you’re only responsible for your own schedule.

Do You Need Help with Content Creation?

Have you tried to create your own content? What obstacles have you faced? Please leave me a comment below!


  1. You’re right.
    And I liked Chris Brogan’s advice from the Women In Business Today webinar.
    Find your own group of fringe people and treat them as “the experts.”

    • Hi Bridget,
      That’s funny. I’ve been thinking about Chris Brogan’s advice quite a bit, too, about finding people on the fringe. I absolutely loved that whole conversation. Thank you for the comment!

  2. With out of town guests, you put a pineapple in their bedroom when they arrive. When it starts to rot…two or three days…time for them to leave. The same it true of content…only has a shelf life of a few days…but if your content is unique and authentic, it can be recycled. Best to you!

    • Hello Allen,
      Hah! I like the pineapple-in-the-bedroom idea. I’d heard something about fish (it was also about 3 days). Some content goes stale quickly, and we’d all love to find that evergreen content that will last a little longer.
      And best to you, too!
      Carol Stephen

  3. Rebecca says

    I recycle content from my other blogs, no reason one can’t breathe new life into archived items. Always writing new content. I do book editing, PR and content writing and book promotion, so it’s hard to know what my audience is going to like. I’m currently working on articles for the Holiday Season in December.

    • Hi Rebecca,
      I love your idea of breathing new life into archived posts. And yes, it’s difficult to gauge ahead of time what your audience will read. Wow–Christmas in May? That is quite a leap! So that means you might be writing for July in December!
      Thanks for commenting.
      Carol Stephen

  4. Hi Carol,
    Thanks for the mention! All good suggestions for guests.Sharing our own startup story and experiences has created the most welcome and engaged guests. And a lot of ideas actually come from my peeps chatting. Just working on May journal and summer ideas now. Prepping for December in July reminds me of my retail management days!

    • Hi Tracy,
      I like the transparency of sharing your own story. People can relate to what you’re saying, for sure. And I love your Plantsmap accounts, especially on Pinterest. Thanks again for the inspiration!
      Carol Stephen

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