Editor's Note: These days, the best way for writers to develop a following is through an online presence, particularly with websites and blog posts. And that just so happens to be an area of expertise for today's guest writer, Elizabeth Greenberg. While she might not seem like she's speaking directly to you authors and authors-in-the-making out there, that doesn't mean she can't teach you a thing or two.
The greatest asset that digital marketers have is content. Content can:
Create Lasting Relationships
Attract New Visitors
Improve Your Reputation
In this article, we’ll review five steps that lay the groundwork for a strong content strategy.
Step 1: Define Your Website Goals
Any time you set a goal, you want to follow the guidelines of “SMART” goals. Each one should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Be specific about what you want to do, and benchmark your progress with goals that you can reach.
A common issue for first-time bloggers are lofty, unattainable goals that become discouraging. Be kind to yourself and start slow so that you can maintain a positive growth experience.
Step 2: Know Your Audience
There is a positive relationship between the number of blog posts on your website and the amount of traffic you receive. Yet, as a single person, you may not have the time or ability to write five to ten blogs each week.
Before you begin writing, create personas for your audience. Each persona should include professional experience, family life, personality traits, and internet preferences.
Determine the following:
Where does your audience get their news? What type of platform is it?
What content format does your audience prefer? Do they like video, audio, infographic, long-form, or short-form content?
Where does your audience exist online? (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.)
Step 3: Clarify Your Abilities
My personal recommendation for posting frequency is at least one post per week. However, if you are short on time and can only handle one post per month, then start with that. When it comes to blogging, quality is more important than quantity for both your audience and search engine optimization.
“Know your limits when it comes to producing content, and use them to shape your content goals.”
It’s taken me almost two years to become comfortable with using video and audio in tandem with my writing. In that time, I’ve slowly learned how to create graphics and edit multimedia materials that I feel confident sharing. The lesson here is to know what you’re capable of and take it into consideration
Step 4: Strategize to Optimize
Consistency is key when publishing anything online. Regular posting schedules let your audience know that you’ll always be there and tells search engines that your site is current and trustworthy.
Your goal is to post at least once per week, after you feel comfortable with your writing and other multimedia content.
You’ll also want to strategize your promotion schedule. Too many people spend 70% of their time on writing, and 30% of the time on promotion. In fact, it should be the opposite, with more of your “project” time spent on promotional activities.
Finally, create your content with keywords in mind so search engines can find it. Use a content calendar to organize topics and keywords that will help you write for your audience while also ranking better among search engines.
Step 5: Analyze the Results
As with anything in life, you want to be growing and moving forward. To do that, you need to analyze the results of your work and see what went well and what didn’t. Analysis also allows you to see what days you have the most traffic, what types of posts perform better, and which keywords you rank for.
There’s a lot to learn and work with here. Though there are only five steps listed, I recommend taking the time to break them down, step by step, to discover how each one pertains to your business or blog.
As always, if you have any questions or want to continue the conversation, feel free to ask in the comment section or contact me!
Meet Elizabeth Greenberg
Elizabeth is the co-founder of Non-Scents Flowers, and works as a content marketer for her freelance business, EFG Marketing. She is a content writer, business consultant, public speaker, and presentation trainer. Whenever you pay her a visit, expect fingers to be flying across the keyboard with a snack at the ready. She’s a New Englander with a love of bagels and fashion. When she’s not working in her at-home office, you can find her at the barn, teaching horseback riding lessons or training horses.
Connect with Elizabeth on social media!