Marketing and content in the age of information (or 6 ways to create more headspace)

Marketing and content in the age of information (or 6 ways to create more headspace)

content writing and marketing

What does it mean to create content online? As a writer, I struggle a bit with this question. I write books for children but beyond that, there is the expectation to create more, to post on social media as often as possible. The more the better. Regularly, even if you have nothing to say. There are marketing content plans out there to fill those awkward silences. This is what it means to market your book or business, to put yourself out there.


I don’t know about you, but I find the internet a noisy, crowded place. There are so many voices: the yells of click bait, the quick fix prophets of “5 ways to live more joyfully” (lol – see what I did with my title there?), the vacuous yet insistent news articles that could have been a sentence. It feels like all this content is sticking out its elbows, taking up space and jostling for my attention. And it’s kind of exhausting.

This is not to say there isn’t anything of value and substance online. To the contrary, despite this onslaught and noise, there are poetic posts that strike a chord and insightful long form pieces and helpful podcasts and informative websites. The problem is that I find it quite a mental effort to hack through it all to find a quiet clearing to absorb these gems; to really read, to really listen.

To really read needs breathing space and a bit of peace and quiet, which, with this frenzy of content production, is harder and harder to find. I’ve realised a lot of this is about headspace: a certain amount of emptiness is necessary for creativity to take root. It’s also about learning to limit the input; to filter, sort, curate. These are the skills I need to practice.

Which is to say, these thoughts have formed into the following six guidelines for me:

  1. Not all space needs to be filled. Seize those empty moments, don’t fill it with mindless scrolling.Just be.
  2. Go for a walk to clear my head of content.
  3. Be active rather than passive when it comes to seeking out online content: actively seeking out quality content rather than the first vaguely interesting thing that pops up in my feed.
  4. Follow and engage with those people that create the kind of content I like and value. Trust their recommendations.
  5. Have a limit on the time spent absorbing online content because it’s exhausting. Rather switch to the printed page and embrace the gentler tiredness that comes from reading that.
  6. Give up. Accept you can’t read it all. Accept you will miss things and be unaware and that’s okay.

So, my point is simple: less is more. Quite a while back I stopped posting things if I didn’t feel like I had anything to say or share. This used to make me feel as if I was doing “being an author”  all wrong. To be successful, authors were supposed to post frequently, loudly and use their elbows more.

This year, I think I will let go of that. What do you think?

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