As a website owner, creating website content can be one of the most difficult tasks you face. Without a structured content plan, it’s difficult. Whether you build your own website, or have an expert design it, you’re still going to be faced with the need for content: lots and lots of content. Frequent content updates keep your website fresh, and turn visitors into returning visitors, who turn into customers. Regular new content is the holy grail of building a website; and with a content strategy you can do it easily:
How to Build a Content Strategy:
1. Write consistently
Nothing looks worse than a business blog with two posts that hasn’t been updated since 2013. That conveys exactly the opposite of what we’re hoping to communicate: that you know your stuff, and that your website gets attention and time put into it.
It’s crucial to establish a writing schedule and stick to it. It doesn’t have to be often — only once or twice a month, even — but there should be new posts regularly. Keeping a consistent schedule will not only help you stay disciplined about producing new content, but will also show your audience that you’re serious about your website. If you are constantly putting out helpful articles, interviews, and tutorials, your visitors will notice — and they’ll come back for more.
What this could look like:
- “Friday roundup” with links and news from your industry.
- A weekly series on a specific topic
- Regular interviews with your customers
2. Write what you already know about:
This might be the most over-used piece of advice in the writing world: but it’s absolutely true. If you’re looking to start a blog, make sure it’s over a topic that you can write about knowledgeably. Again, this sounds self-explanatory, but why spend time and energy on a topic you know nothing about? Ideally, you’re picking a topic that’s already very close to your core business, and something you can talk about in your sleep.
On the other hand, research can often be a fantastic way to start a new blog post series. If I want to learn some new website design techniques that will result in better websites, blogging about those techniques is both a great way to learn and produce content for my site. If I want to brush up on my SEO knowledge, blogging about SEO tips is both useful to my customers and useful to me.
Whichever way you take it, you want to make sure that your articles are well-researched and worthwhile. If you’re writing a tutorial, make sure it’s something that your customers care about. If you’re doing some research and writing about it, make sure that the topic is interesting and useful to your visitors.
3. Make use of content you already have:
Many businesses have content that’s already good for a website, and they don’t use it. Your goal should always be to provide value to your visitors, and fortunately, there’s a lot of content that you can already use. For example, this very blog post is just a rewrite of informal principles I already use for my own blog. It’s valuable to me, so I’m releasing it out in the wild in hopes that it will be valuable to my customers and readers, too.
If you have internal training materials, like handbooks or process guides, these can be adapted into excellent resources as well. Clickminded releases tutorial guides called “Standard Operating Procedures” or SOPs. These are internal documents that they use, and sell collectively as a library. Releasing a free one is a great way to show off the product, as well as provide actual value to their visitors.
Or consider your clients, if you work in a service industry like me. You probably already collect some information from them, or a short testimonial. Why not expand this material into a case study over the project? Case studies make excellent resources because they show your visitors what it’s like to work with you: and hopefully, that’s a good impression!
What this could look like:
- Rework internal training materials into tutorials
- Give visitors a peek behind the curtain of your business
- Take advantage of existing client material to create case studies or testimonials
4. Invest in your content
Again, this seems obvious, but most of these are! If you spend half an hour writing a post, and send it out there just to have another post on your blog, you will defeat yourself. Nobody is better at detecting lousy content than people who are suspicious of being advertised to.
The point is, you need to invest in your content for its own sake. My blog needs to be helpful to entrepreneurs, regardless of whether or not they are my customers. This content is an outpouring of my own work starting my own business, and that should make it useful to other folks in the same boat.
If you just post a post because you’re supposed to post a post, you won’t drive traffic. You’ll look like a spammer. People are already hit with so much information: they’re not going to give the time of day to an article that looks poorly done, or rushed, or uninformative. Take the time to write something helpful, though, and you might pick up some social media reshares from readers. You’re not doing this purely to drive traffic or business: you’re doing this to create a valuable resource that will stick in peoples’ minds. Make sure you’re taking the time to really invest in that resource: that will elevate your business in the minds of your audience.
5. Promote your content
There are so many ways you can expand the reach of the content you write. Doing so helps get your post to a broader audience, and taps into word-of-mouth sharing, which can be so powerful. Just dropping the post on social media and calling it a day isn’t good enough.
What this could look like:
- Send out a weekly email to your subscribers with new posts
- Mention the post in a flyer or handout (if you have a physical location)
- Mentioning customers — this doubles your chances of them sharing the post on their social media platforms
- Post on social media accounts (cover all your bases). Try asking a question when you share it, and respond to any interactions you receive
- Consider paid promotion on social media or search engines
No content strategy is perfect, and every content strategy takes time to build and develop. Even so, with time and investment, you can build a blog that looks professional, is full of valuable content, and attracts readers to your website.