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From Ordinary to Extraordinary: 5 Steps to Outsource Content like a Genius

From Ordinary to Extraordinary: 5 Steps to Outsource Content like a Genius

There’s no doubt, online content rocks! But creating it is another ball game.

Why? This is because on the internet, there are only two types of content: crappy content and EPIC FAIL. Crappy content is created with little to no research, poor grammar and is keyword stuffed. You can even smell the keywords from the article. EPIC FAIL on the other hand has much more time and work put into it. That’s why it’s epic in the first place.

So, as an entrepreneur who wants to create content that converts into traffic, subscribers or sales as the case may be, you need to know how to create content that rocks. But with the little time on your hands which should be invested wisely, you also need to know how to outsource that content and still get the same results or better as if you did it all by yourself.

But is outsourcing content all you need?

No!

You need to know how to outsource content like a genius, to a team that produces nothing but results for you. So, here are 5 steps to outsource content with little to no effort from your part.

1. Know the Purpose and Create Targeted Content

When the purpose of something is not known, abuse is inevitable. And there’s a lot of online content that’s been abused. The first step to creating epic content is to know its purpose. You need to know the “why” of the content (that is, why are your creating it?) before even thinking about who you will outsource it to.

Online content is written for different purposes: clients, traffic, sales, engagement, etc. Content that’s created for engagement must always appear interesting and should speak the language of your audience.

Content written for traffic should be optimized with specific keywords and should be of high quality, especially if it is a guest post. Content written for clients and sales must subtly sell your services or products to the reader while still giving out maximum value. Your services or products would just be an option or a faster way to solve the problem you stated in the content. All this would help you have a clear Call-to-Action that converts.

Outsource it: Knowing the purpose of every piece of content you create is very important. This way, when giving your content team instructions, you’ll be able to make things easier by saying, “The purpose of this content is to attract potential clients to my services page. So, ensure you write in a tone that gives me authority and credibility.”

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2. Know Your Audience and Streamline Your Language

Every industry has its language. If your audience is a bunch of tax consultants, mentioning words like tax, auditing, equity ratio, allocation, etc is acceptable. But please don’t use those words when writing for Work-At-Home moms.

You need to know exactly who your content is aiming. Once you know this, you’ll then need to speak or write in a way that they would understand. The aim of every piece of content is to get the message across in the simplest way possible. Don’t make things complicated for your readers by using technical language, all in the name of appearing professional.

Outsource it: Specify that you want the content to include the language used in a specific niche. This way, when giving your content team instructions, you can add that, “This content is written for people in the tax industry, precisely tax consultants. So ensure you use words that they use every day and that directly speak to them.”

3. Know Your Competition and Use Them as Leverage

Every business has competition and the goal is to not only be better than your competition, but to be different. Why is it important to know your competition? Well, this helps you and your content team know what qualifies as “quality content”. Here’s what I mean;

Communicating ideas with others can sometimes be hard because they may not understand what you qualify as a good result. What you need to do in this case is look for a quality piece of content created by your competitor that is worth emulating. This piece of content, which could be any of the different types of online content, must be the kind that you propose would bring the results you want.

The next step would then be to make yours’ different, using your competitor’s content as a benchmark. In other words, the quality of content you would create must not be less that of your competitor. This gives you some form of leverage for you because you’ll add something to yours’ different or better.

Outsource it: Do a little research to find content that’s extraordinary. It may not even be from your niche. This way, your content team would have a defined direction and know what you qualify as a good result when you add, “Use this guest post by company XYZ as reference for this content. Look at how it was crafted to suit their audience, the content structure, length and tone. I want you to create something like this but make it unique. Show that I offer solutions in a way that’s different from others.”

4. Use a Content Framework to Save Time and Effort

Every piece of content on the internet has the most basic form of a framework which is: Headline, Introduction, Body, Conclusion and Call- to-Action. However, if you want content that converts, you should go deeper than that and define each part of the framework.

After studying the content from your competitor, you would be able to outline the content framework used. You can easily do this by simply answering some specific questions such as, “What headline formula did he use?”, “Does the introduction include a story that outlines the problem or is it just engaging?”, “Is a pattern interrupt or cliffhanger used? If it was used, where?”, “How detailed are the sub points?,” “Is the conclusion actionable? If it isn’t, how can I make mine more actionable?,” “Did the Call-to-Action blend in with the content?”

Outsource it: Using a framework gives your content team a more detailed overview of how the content would be created. You can add to your instructions, “See how a story was crafted to show the problem that tax consultants face when auditing large firms. Ensure to include a pattern interrupt at the beginning of the body that hooks the reader to read the sub points afterwards. Although the conclusion was not actionable, make mine actionable so it takes the reader one step forward toward solving his problem.” Once the content is studied and a framework created, you can then assess it, make corrections and move to the next step.

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5. Use a Draft That Leads To Smashing Finished Content

The purpose of drafts is to simply guide you on what to write. It also makes content creation super easy because it allows you to just “fill in the gap” when creating the final content.

As an example, let’s pick the basic framework one after the other.

The introduction

After the headline, the introduction is the second most important part of an article. Miss it here and you won’t get readers to go through the rest of the content.

So, the best way to capture readers in the introduction is to appeal to their emotions. How?

1. Through stories.

2. By relating with their pain and giving them a solution.

Whichever one you choose, the main aim is to get the reader connected.

The draft could have an introduction like this:

————————————————————

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State the pain associated with [subject of article].

————————————————————

Afterwards, your introduction should also contain the solution; the magic pill that the readers want. But you don’t just state this directly. Saying it like, “the following are 20 ways…..” can make the reader lose interest. The best way to say it is using the “Pattern Interrupt” if this is the way you want to go.

The Body

It’s in the body that you directly state what the reader is about to learn.

As for the points, you must have thought them up even before creating your draft. Also, every point comes with an explanation and an actionable give away. However this could differ depending on the content framework and kind of article.

————————————————————–

1. [Point 1]

This is where we show the reader how to …..

Next, we give an actionable way the reader can implement [Point 1].

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2. [Point 2]

We show the reader how…..

Next, we give an actionable way the reader can implement [Point 2].

————————————————————-

[Point 1] and [Point 2] will actually be replaced by the actual points.

This is just assuming that we’ve 2 points in the article.

The Conclusion and Call to Action

Here, depending on the framework, you summarize everything you’ve discussed so far. But most importantly, you end the story that you started in the introduction. If your story, in the introduction, states the pain the reader faces and the solution you are providing, the conclusion would show how the reader’s life would turn out if he/she implements your points in the article. Remember, you are writing to appeal to the emotion of the reader, and not just their common sense.

Outsource it: Request for a draft from your content team. You can add something like this to your instruction, “After studying the content framework of the guest post, send me a draft of what you would include in the final content. This draft should give me a brief overview of just what you would write in each part of the article. Once I make any necessary corrections and approve this, you’ll be able to create the final piece faster.”

It’s almost impossible to receive crappy content after following these five steps. Outsourcing content has its headaches because not every team member can easily translate what you qualify as quality. Therefore, you need to give them something to work with.

By knowing your audience and creating a content framework that speaks to their needs, you’ll receive outsourced content that brings the results you want. The good thing is you don’t have to do the work yourself. This ultimately saves you time and gives you a better Return on Investment. Just ensure you outsource content to someone who can get the job done!

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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