Overcoming the Blank Page with Evernote

blank parchmentSo you cannot think what to write!

Generating fresh content on a regular basis is the challenge that faces every content creator whether it’s written, video, images, audio or even a combination of all these.

I have heard many online business experts mention the need for an editorial calendar but I had always dismissed them, as you cannot have an editorial process if there is nothing to edit!

This all changed when I started the Quick Start Challenge as it forced me to take a closer look at my online adventure and the inefficiencies I had created.

Over complication is the disease of the beginner.

Rather than add new platforms, apps or plug-ins into the mix, I thought it would be better to utilize what I already had and master each of them fully.

However the issue of what to write still remains.

With ideas coming from people you meet, random thoughts in your head, questions on forums, comments on your blog, incomplete solutions in online content and many more sources that are unique to you.

The real problem is catching all these great content ideas before they slip through your grasp.

As you saw in the last post, I often use scraps of paper however this is only due to the restrictions of where I work which is in the military aircraft industry. Bombs, ejection seats and mobile phones remain a banned combination for good reason on many military aircraft types.

If you do not have such a technology limitation where you work or spend the majority of your day, you can swap scraps of paper for your cellphone.

Thus when you have a content idea, you can record it in on your cellphone using the Evernote app.

Should the idea come from a site you have visited, you can add this page into Evernote with their browser extension.

Which ever option you choose, recording your ideas in this way means you can return to it later and develop it further ready for publishing.

So how do you use Evernote for post creation.

Take a look at the ideas you have recorded and arrange them into a logical content order for publishing, taking into consideration how well developed the content is.

You can then map this order into your time management platform, I use Teamwork for this and next weeks post is scheduled to discuss this service.

Next set aside, say 30 minutes each day for content development.

I never actually used to do this, due to a fear of wasting time in development rather than actual production.

How’s that for mixed up thinking!

Content does not create itself.

Thus fr me, it was always a mad rush on the Sunday night to get the post developed, proofed and scheduled for the Monday morning. In fact as it’s still early days for this routine, this post is being finalized on the Sunday night with one eye on the clock!

However by doing this routine consistently, you will eventually get ahead of your publishing schedule and be able to start making more polished and adventurous content. Even perhaps preparing for publication at the same time the complementary video and audio media, we know really stands out online when it’s all published together and interlinked.

With all this talk of Evernote.

Why not just do your writing directly in WordPress?

I have found over the years the WordPress admin area is too distracting for imaginative and focussed content creation.

This area is where you do your blog admin, whether that is responding to comments, approving updates, resolving site issues or all the demands that WordPress and your plugin portfolio create.

Therefore whilst you enter this area with the intention of developing new content you are all too soon drawn into undertaking all these other tasks.

Finally there is a technical issue with developing content in WordPress.

Every time you edit your content, you create a revision and each of these revisions is stored in your WordPress database. This means that when these become too numerous, your site could become slow to load or unstable in performance.

Returning to Evernote.

Here is a very quick overview of how I organize Evernote.EvernoteScreenshot2015-07-26211523web

  • I have NoteBook Stacks for my sites, personal stuff, my solutions and training.
  • Inside these stacks are Notebooks, one for each site,topic, solution and courses.
  • In each Notebook are the Notes containing the content ideas, in various states of development.

A blank page is as you know all too well, an intimidating sight when it comes to creating content, even when you have the seed of an idea for content in the Note.

Therefore to make my life easier, I now use a template to format my content creation.

With this template it becomes simply a matter of creating the relevant content for each section such that you get the best out of the entire post.

You can download this template using the link below

Your Free Content Template

By following this strategy for content creation, you can develop better content in a more timely manner that can be re-purposed for multiple media formats.

Alongside this you may find you have more spare time to devote to other areas of your business.

And by using a system like this you can ensure all of your content ideas are captured regardless of where you are, ready to be developed further into valuable content for your readers.

As I said this process is still in it’s early days, so any suggestions you leave in the comments below on how to improve it would be greatly appreciated.