Here’s one reason why we suffer – We measure the wrong things.
We measure how much weight we can deadlift and get distressed when our gym buddy can lift more than us. But didn’t we join the gym to stay fit? If the goal is to be fit, showing up at the gym matters much more than lifting 5 kgs lesser than your gym buddy.
It’s seen everywhere. We compare our income with our managers, knowing we wouldn’t want to work as hard as her. And then we also measure the wrong things when we create content.
Measuring the content is nuanced
How do we measure if our content is working? Likes? Comments? Shares? Impressions? What is the right metric?
There is no right metric
Okay, that’s not true… There is a right metric depending on where we are in our content creation journey. Each stage has a unique tracking mechanism. In this article, let’s look at the different stages of our content creation journey and how to measure our progress at every stage.
- Measure the input
If you are just starting your content journey, here’s what you should measure – How many people are liking your Instagram post?
I am kidding.
Yes, I have been there and done that. It’s a slippery slope. Don’t go there.
The fear is real
When we start writing, our routine changes. We are expected to make time to write. This means you must squeeze in some extra writing time before starting your day or sleeping at night. This change can be drastic and creates uncertainty.
The fear doesn’t end there
Our deepest insecurities and fears rise to the surface, preventing us from showing up daily. Perhaps it’s the fear of not knowing different ‘storytelling frameworks’ or ‘writing formulae.’ Or it could be the fear of getting judged by others.
This uncertainty and fear prevent us from building a writing habit. So then, where does this leave us? How the hell should I set a goal?
We can be gentle with ourselves
Which brings me back to my point – if you are just starting your writing journey, measure your input.
What does ‘measuring the input’ mean?
Here’s an example of a bad goal – “I want to get 100 likes on my Linkedin post”
Here’s another example of a bad goal – “I will publish a daily blog”.
At this stage, a better goal is – “I would show up every day for 20 minutes and write poorly.”
This lifts the pressure. If you write for 20 minutes and produce something of low quality, that is still okay. It’s still a win. Measure your input and be detached from the output.
2. Measure the output
If you have been able to build up a writing habit, it’s time to graduate to the next stage.
What does ‘measuring the output’ mean?
Let’s look at the wrong goal: Measuring likes and comments. It’s entirely possible that your writing is still not up to the mark and is not striking a nerve with the audience.
And that’s fine. We will get there… but It’s not the priority right now. Right now, we focus on the output.
What does it mean to focus on the output?
You must choose a publishing platform (Linkedin, Instagram, blog, etc.), and decide on a publishing frequency. (Publishing frequency is how many times you post on your chosen platform. Example – Once a week, twice a week, 5 times a week.)
Once decided, your goal is not to miss this publishing frequency.
The question is no longer – Am I writing for 20 minutes daily? That mountain has been conquered.
You need to ask yourself – “Am I adhering to the publishing frequency that I decided?”
This is how we measure the output.
And when we get comfortable with this, we move to the last stage – Measuring the resonance.
3. Measure the resonance
If you have successfully hit your publishing goals for a while, you can move to the last stage – Check if your writing resonates with the audience.
As we go on publishing, our positioning keeps getting crisper… and our brand story keeps getting stronger. The little birdie is finally learning to fly. Here’s when we can start paying close attention to how the audience responds to our content.
The right questions to ask here –
“Which content is resonating with the audience?”
“Which content is not resonating with the audience?”
“How can I improve?”
Pro tip: One way to capture resonance is by looking at thoughtful, passionate comments by your audience on your content.
You need to measure your writing based on the stage you are at. If you choose to be perfect from the get-go, it could get overwhelming. When you are just starting out, measure the input – the amount of time you spend writing. After that, measure the output – Are you hitting your publishing goals? And lastly, start measuring resonance – Is your content resonating with the people?