11 Tips for Great Content Marketing
So, you’ve been asked to write the company blog. Whether you sell widgets or watermelons, this is likely a daunting task. Where do you start? What do you write about? And exactly how do you get it up and on your website?
Today is writing day, and for me that starts by getting the juices flowing – in this case, drafting a quick post for savvy marketers like you to enjoy on the Ampersand blog before tackling client copy. Here are some tips to help you develop and wordsmith your own blog… hope they help!
1. Keep a digital blog topic list
Sitting down at your computer and choosing a blog topic is a surefire way to get frustrated. While inspiration strikes from time to time, it’s helpful to keep an ongoing topic list to help trigger your creativity. I suggest doing this digitally, allowing you to keep important web pages, add to it on the fly, and delete topics that may be overused or irrelevant. Content marketing is all about education. Be sure to feature information that your readers will find helpful, as well as keyword-rich content that will help you get found on Google!
2. Write when you’re in the mood to write
Everyone here at Ampersand is a little tired of hearing this truth, but it is my number 1 writing tip! (Or number 2 in this case.) Yesterday, great content wasn’t coming to me, so I balanced a client budget instead. Today, however, bring on the coffee and the character count, because this girl is in the mood to write! Writing a blog when you are in the mood to write will help immensely, and the reader will feel your energy in return.
3. Use subheads and lists in your blog
Lists, bullets, subheads, sections. Whatever you call them, giving your blog organization and structure helps the reader to consume it more quickly. Subheads like this list format allow the eye to scroll the page, picking the content area that is most relevant to them. Content marketing has the most value if it is easily found and easily consumed. Also, Google loves subheads. Capture these as H2 or H3 tags in your code, adding content-rich keywords to your website as well.
4. Work on your typing skills
If you are a freak of nature typist, chances are you enjoy writing a bit more. If you want to become a great digital writer, as opposed to pen and paper, keyboarding skills are incredibly helpful. Your brain should be able to focus on your thoughts, not on the keys. While this is more difficult to learn as an adult, there are a lot of simple tutorials and “games” out there to help improve your typing speed. Let your fingers do the talking!
5. Save editing your blog for later
While you might be tempted to edit each sentence, perfect grammar often stunts creativity. I always write blogs in their entirety first, coming back later to hone and correct any misgivings along the way. And, use the buddy system, relying on a coworker or friend to edit and proofread your work. If you love creating content, chances are there is a better person to help you polish it, giving you more time to write!
6. Turn off the distractions
If you aren’t a natural writer, you will find dozens of things to do instead. Check email, skip to the next song on Spotify, chat with a coworker, look at your Facebook notifications. Don’t Do It. Once you are in the swing of writing, keep it going. Close email for an hour while you write – it’s ok, the world won’t end. Ask that people come back and talk with you later – they won’t be offended. And unless you are using your browser for blog research or the thesaurus, the internet should be set to “mute” as well.
7. Find a great and legit photo
Pairing your content with great photos or other visuals will help spice up your blog. While it might be tempting to check Google images, this is a big no no. You are investing your time in content, so you should also invest in a quality, licensed stock photo to make it shine. Simply stealing an image from Google search is just that: stealing. Instead, try sites like iStock or Getty Images which offer affordable image packs and some great search tools to find the perfect photo for your blog!
8. Get your website blog ready
If you are new to the world of content marketing, chances are your website blog isn’t setup yet… or at least not in the proper way. Getting your website blog ready means setting up the appropriate authors with photos and bios, setting up blog categories to organize your work and determining the overall style and functionality of your blog. Building out your blog page also means reviewing your content and adding links throughout your blog to other areas of your website. Perhaps we can persuade our website developer to write an in depth article on this topic in the future!
9. Don’t forget your meta data
If you worked with a marketing or website firm to build your website, they probably did a great job optimizing your content pages for search engines. Often, company and user published blogs drop the ball on this, but it is a simple step that will give you more traction in the world of SEO. Plugins like Yoast SEO will walk you through creating snippets and keywords, helping you optimize your blog content for search. No coding skills needed!
10. Promote your blog
Content development is time-consuming and a labor of love. Once you write, make sure you share it with the world! Just as you wouldn’t produce a TV commercial only to air it once, your blog should be distributed far and wide. Start by sharing your blog on social media, but don’t stop there. If you are running Google Pay Per Click, consider a paid ad spend on your blog topic. Repurpose it as a leave behind for your sales team. Submit it to industry publications for consideration. When it comes to content marketing, distribution is key!
11. Get blogging off the back burner
Last but not least, don’t let blogging be a back burner item on your to do list. Great content marketing relies on consistent delivery. It’s ok if you can’t get to it for a week or two, but don’t let months go by without a blog. If you find yourself regularly behind the 8 ball on blogging, consider working with a writing professional to generate the content you need to be continuously relevant to your readers.
If you are looking for a partner to help you find your blogging voice, contact us and let’s work through it together!