Starting, Sharing, Starting Again: How to Thrive in the Content Community
by Kate Kearns Views: 1679
Here on the Mash Blog, we’ve come up against the same question again and again with many different, personalized answers: In today’s world of social media and self-promotion, how do writers participate and engage successfully without giving up golden writing time?
Garrett is a self-proclaimed “serial starter”. He believes in achieving growth through testing, quantifiable results, and trust built on permission-based marketing. In 2010 he co-founded Todaymade, a still-thriving web agency that builds web and mobile software.
If you think about it, software development isn’t all that different from writing when looked at as a living craft that is honed and revised. Garrett Moon embodies many of the core similarities and has used them to create the platform listed #1 on Entrepreneur’s “23 Best Business Tools Built By Startups”: CoSchedule.
So what is CoSchedule? I’ll let Garrett Moon tell you about it:
CoSchedule is an all-in-one editorial calendar that lets you schedule blog and social media content from a single drag-and-drop calendar.
“It helps users do three main things. First, it is an amazing editorial calendar. If you are looking to blog consistently or use content marketing as a way to promote what you do, then you are going to need to get organized with an editorial calendar. You should have a consistent plan and tool to keep things organized. CoSchedule is built right into WordPress so we do this well.
“Second, CoSchedule helps users promote that content via different social media platforms to make sure they get the traction that they deserve.
“Third, CoSchedule is an amazing tool for simplifying the workflow if you work with a team. We help simplify this entire blog publishing process so it happens right every time. It’s a powerful tool that helps many users grow traffic and save a ton of time.”
Garrett is invested in the “do what you love, love what you do” philosophy, that we as writers also share. Yes, CoSchedule coordinates blog articles and allows them to be shared consistently and effectively, but it doesn’t put you ahead in the content quality race. How does one voice stand out? What is the magic element that makes your work go viral?
“It may sound clichéd at this point, but quality is the difference. Sometimes going the extra mile is all you need to do in order to stand out.
“I think of it like this – If everyone is doing it, and you are going to jump in with them, then you need to figure out how to get yourself into the top 20%. Everyone else is just making noise.
“I’ve written about the framework that we use to think about this. It’s a process called the Blue Ocean Strategy and it works for both business and blogging.”
Like a writer, Garrett must recognize when a creation hasn’t turned out right….
“We shut many of our tools down and learned valuable lessons along the way. Looking back, there wasn’t anything that we built or shut down that I would consider a waste of time. They were all necessary steps of the journey.”
With every draft, you learn something new about your story, your characters. Every draft focuses the themes and brings you closer to what the story wants to be.
In a blog article about “Killing Your First Product,” Garrett’s concluding insight resonates with any writer who reads a draft and knows it isn’t right yet:
There is a growing argument about whether or not creative writers should write blogs and manage their own social media. After all, the words used up on such ventures could have been the beginnings of a short story or novel. But all kinds of writings polish your tools. If you’re like me, you think best when you’re writing. If you write content that engages your writing brain and brings you to new discoveries about the craft, you’re not wasting time. Why not share the wealth?
It’s all about a progression. Show people who you are, what your work is all about, why it’s special, and your following grows. As your work spreads to other journals and platforms, your readers will find you there. Guide them to your books. The blog or website you create grows with your career.
When approached properly, and with the assistance of an organizational tool to do the time-consuming legwork for you, blogging is more than sending your words out into the ocean. If you take Garrett Moon’s expert advice and create quality content and share it regularly, well-managed content becomes a conversation, a community – and CoSchedule can help you get there.
Kate has a Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Lesley University. She enjoys all the equipment on the writing playground, evidenced by her many simultaneous projects. She is a freelance writer and editor, author of the poetry collection How to Love an Introvert, and is working on a piece of non-fiction while dabbling in children’s books and flash fiction. She’s the Platform Manager at Mash Stories and the owner of Black Squirrel Workshop LLC.