Writing content is an investment. Here’s how to get your best return.
This isn’t a blog about why you should write a blog, or how to write a blog. This is a blog about how, once you’ve decided it’s worth it, you can make the most out of your efforts. Because writing, sourcing images, optimising and uploading a blog takes valuable time, and that time should be rewarded.
Like any investment, you want to get the best return possible. But after 15 years in the business, I’ve seen an awful lot of poor investments that run at a loss. The main culprit? A lack of strategy.
The Stock Exchange wouldn’t work if all it did was sit there with a load of money in its coffers. It’s strategic trading that churns that money around and amplifies its worth. It’s the same for content. Content needs well-considered planning and action to make it valuable.
So what do you need to do?
1. Optimise your content
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) of your content means that even while it’s sitting there, it has potential to increase in value. The further up the search engine rankings, the more likely it is to be consumed, fulfilling its purpose in life and making an impact.
Make your content work harder by optimising its meta title (the page title that appears on the search engine results page); meta description (the page description in the SERP) and meta tags (for the sake of brevity we’ll call these the subheadings), adding alt text to its images, internal links to other relevant content on your own website, and links to external websites considered an authority on your subject matter.
2. Include call to actions (CTAs)
Internal links aren’t just good for SEO, they help to direct readers towards more content or towards taking action that helps them to achieve their goals on your website. Your content should include a call to action that is clear for the user, whether that’s to read more content or to sign up to a newsletter or contact you directly. If you don’t add these, they’ll have nowhere to go and will surely exit your website.
3. Create a channel strategy
Don’t just hit publish and move on. I’ve seen it time and time again. The relief of hitting ‘publish’ takes over and obscures the very important need to promote what you’ve just written. Have a ‘channel strategy’ ready in advance to plan out where you’re going to share your content.
In your strategy you’ll need to think about who you want to engage with and what channels are appropriate to use – Is it for a business audience or a consumer audience? Is it too informal for LinkedIn? Is it too business-focused for Facebook?
You should also think about when is the best time to publish, taking a look at what’s worked well in the past. And, of course, what the posts will look like to encourage the most engagement.
But a channel strategy isn’t just about social media. To get the most out of your content, consider where else you can share it, for instance…
4. Include your content in your newsletter
If you publish a regular e-newsletter, use it as a channel to share your content. Your newsletter readers are potentially your most ‘hot’ leads, those who are most interested in your services and information. Don’t leave them out of the loop. Instead reward them with your quality content delivered straight to their inbox.
5. Publish directly on Medium, LinkedIn or other publishers
There’s no reason why your content has to exist only within the confines of your website. Publishing natively (directly into) publishing sites such as Medium and LinkedIn, or on relevant websites for your industry has its benefits.
Decide if, on balance, it’s more important that people read your message or if they read it on your site?
Of course the ultimate goal should be to attract and keep people exploring within your own digital environment, but one of the benefits of using third party publishers is visibility.
The potential for your content to be seen grows when it is ranked on websites that have high footfall, if that footfall is specific to your target audience, all the better. It may well be worth the investment of your time copying and pasting or submitting to the website’s editor. It’s a small time investment and you can usually include links back to your website.
6. Use content multiple times – but in different formats
Your content and your social platforms should work in symbiosis. Content can be broken down or reframed in lots of ways to furnish your social media calendar and as it all links back to your article, you increase readership of your content.
For example, you can pull out quotes and turn these into graphics, or break down top tips into individual social media posts with or without commentary. The more creative, the more visibility
7. Tell people directly
If you know people specifically who may have an interest in the subject of your content, reach out to them.
Whether they’re direct contacts or influencers, if it interests them, they may just help you to amplify your message. Just make sure it’s relevant to them and you’re not spamming in the thousands.
Time is precious, and so you probably won’t want to implement all of these steps every time. But focusing on just a couple areas for each blog can help your content accrue interest.
About the Author
Niki May Blane is founder of Big Bee Content – our ‘Queen Bee’.
She can most commonly be found buzzing around her computer, delivering virtual workshops, creating copious amounts of copy and drinking coffee to combat the ill effects of non-sleeping children.