When you first start a business, pretty much all your energy goes into dreaming up your new product or service.

You love it so much, it doesn’t even feel like work, and you’ll happily burn the midnight oil for days on end to make sure everything about your new offering is jussst right.

But now comes the hard part…finding people to actually buy the thing.

Unlike creating new products or services where you only have to come up with the idea once, marketing your business requires you to constantly be coming up with fresh ideas.

So you are bound to have seasons where you feel like you have nothing left to offer, and you’re hitting your head against the wall.

Or maybe your fear of eventually running out of good ideas has kept you from getting started in the first place.

Wherever you’re at, if you’ve landed on content marketing as your client-finding strategy, but are finding yourself in a bit of content creation rut, then this post goes out to you!

How to stay consistent with content creation

(Even when you don’t feel like it)

Tip #1:

Hard truth: Stop treating your business like a hobby

Imagine you owned a small boutique clothing shop.

You started your business because of your love of fashion, your desire to succeed financially, and to finally be the one calling the shots.

There’s just one problem…

Your manager doesn’t always show up to open the store in the morning…

Your bookkeeper only tracks expenses when she’s in the mood to crunch numbers…

And that sales associate you hired only engages with customers on days she’s feeling cute. ‍♀️

This wouldn’t fly in the sticks-and-bricks-business world, and running a legit online business is no different!

Yes, you have some incredible freedoms you didn’t have at your day job, and yes, you are getting paid to do something you absolutely LOVE…

But only creating when you feel inspired to create is not a business. That’s a hobby.

So if none of the usual sources of motivation are doing the trick, sometimes you really do just have to remind yourself that until you can hire a team to do it for you, you are both the business owner AND the employee…

And a business’s ability to be profitable relies on employees showing up even when they don’t feel like it.


Tip #2:

Schedule work ‘shifts’

‘Wait. Isn’t this the whole point of being my own boss is that no one is telling me when and how to work?’

100%.

But again, if you only do the work of building your business on days where you wake up feeling energized and bursting with confidence and ideas, the doors to your business would only open a few select days of the month right?

Showing up does not mean working 24/7. That’s not healthy or sustainable, and it’s doing nothing to grow your business…

Showing up means doing what you said you’d do (in this case consistently creating content) even if the only person holding you accountable is yourself.

This is where scheduling what you’ll do and when you’ll do it is super helpful!

This can look like batching the type of work you’ll do on a given day, so maybe Tuesdays are for content creation and nothing else…

…or setting a time limit for when you’ll shut your laptop lid for the day, so you are more likely to stay focused when you are working, rather than spending another 15 hour day getting lost in busywork that doesn’t really move the needle.

Or even better, getting to know your rhythms so that you can intentionally schedule creative work around the times and days when you tend to be feeling most productive and confident.

But don’t just schedule your work…schedule the play too!

You’ll be much more likely to feel like busting out valuable content one day if you know you’ve got a mandatory day of fun, relaxing, or even just doing non-work-life stuff scheduled for the next.

Your new found freedom also comes with great responsibility.

And if you know yourself, and you know you can’t always be counted on to keep promises to yourself in the moment, then creating an actual work schedule will help.

Because as the only employee in your business, if your boss hands you a schedule, and you want to keep your job, you always show up for your shift.

Bonus: Scheduling set times for content creation will also mean you’ll always have something prepped and ready to publish a few days or preferably weeks in advance, so you won’t be starting a blog post at 10 PM the night before when guaranteed you’d rather be doing anything else. ‍♀️

Suggested reading:

Tip #3:

Prioritize

Ok, so obviously if your time is currently split between trying to grow your business and trying to keep tiny humans alive, you aren’t always in charge of when you work.

Your toddler doesn’t give two flying f***s about your fancy new schedule…

..so scheduling may not be a reality for you in this season, and it is what it is.

BUT, when you do get a moment’s peace to sit down to devote to your business, you do not want to spend even a millisecond of that precious time hemming and hawing over what to be working on.

Decide the most important thing you can be doing to move your business forward (whether that’s content creation or some other goal) and commit to doing that first, no matter what.

That way if you run out of time to work on your business, at least you did what you set out to do.

But prioritizing is not just for the time-poor among us.

Let’s go back to our shop owner analogy for a minute…

Say your employees do show up for their scheduled shifts, but they spend the whole day pencil-pushing, appearing generally busy but never actually accomplishing anything.

Again, not a very useful employee to the business, right?

We all have tasks we enjoy more than others, or that seem easier to muddle through on days we are feeling a little less ‘Rah-Rah’ about our business…

But the low-hanging fruit on our to-do lists are rarely responsible for the results we dream of seeing…the kind of results that will actually help us stay more motivated in the long term!

Pick a time when you are excited about your business and in a positive frame of mind to create some boundaries for yourself about how you’ll work when you’re not feeling motivated.

Suggested reading:

Tip #4:

Do work that matters

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every single day for the past 7 years, I’ve opened my eyes and thought “Oh boy! I can’t wait to write another blog post about Squarespace!”

No matter how much you love your topic, sometimes you’re just not feeling it.

But it’s on those very days when I’ve thought “this post I’m writing stinks” or “who’s going to care about yet another video about how to set your prices as a web designer?” someone pops into my inbox to say:

“Oh my gosh, Paige, you have no idea how much I needed this! Your advice came at the exact right time!”

And suddenly that blog post I had to force myself to sit down and write has completely changed the course of someone else’s journey.

If I hadn’t created it, that person (and probably many other people in my audience in the same boat) would still be feeling stuck.

So morale of the story:

That bit of content you’ve had sitting in draft more for weeks now? Or that idea that you’ve been putting off altogether because you worry it’s not good enough or you haven’t felt motivated to write?

It could be the piece of the puzzle someone in your audience was missing. What seems simple and underwhelming to you, could be the bit of advice that changes that person’s life!

If your only motivation in creating content is to hack the internet algorithms, get your business found, and make lots of money, you’re going to struggle to stay consistent, and you’ll always have some excuse not to commit.

But if you ask yourself “how can I use my content to serve?” you’ll never run out of reasons to create!

Suggested reading:

Tip #5:

Find community to keep you motivated and accountable

You work from home (possibly even in your jammies)…

Your chances of running into a new friend at the water-cooler are slim.

Nobody is waltzing into your living room (*ahem* office) and announcing: “Here I am. Let’s be business besties.”

So you have to go against the belief that you’re in this alone and that you mustn’t speak to the competition, and commit to reaching out to actual people.

That Facebook group you’ve been silently lurking in hoping to decode other people’s secrets to success?

The next time someone posts a comment or question you can relate to, ask their permission to DM them to chat. Or post a little invite to form a small mastermind group where you hop on a weekly call with women who are working towards similar goals.

Accountability from someone else can go a long way when you aren’t feeling motivated to show up for yourself!

It’s also extremely helpful to have other people to bounce ideas off of.

Even if I was previously feeling stuck, just by talking to someone about it, I usually walk away from those chats with a great big list of ideas I can’t wait to create content around!

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How to motivate yourself to create content when you don’t feel like it