You know I’m a huge fan of content marketing. It really is one of the fastest ways to build up your credibility, solidify your brand, and give your business a bit of personality – all with a few words a week. But so often, that’s exactly the problem. You need a few words a week. What the gosh darn howdy doody are those words supposed to be?
If you’re looking for a content marketing platform that’s relatively easy to maintain, blogging might be right up your alley. Not to mention, your website gets some serious SEO cred every time you publish new, relevant, keyword specific content. But back to the problem at hand… What do you even say?
In this case, let’s say your business is all about dogs. Grooming dogs, training dogs, caring for dogs. Great! Write “dogs” at the top of a piece of paper. But "dogs" isn't nearly a specific enough topic for a blog article so lets break it down a bit.
Let’s look specifically at little dogs, puppies. Because who doesn’t love puppies, right? Our topic is getting a little more focused, but still isn’t nearly specific enough. Break it down two or three more times until you have a shockingly specific topic. For example:
See what I mean? Crazy specific.
Now that you have a few ideas for crazy specific topics, write down a few dozen more. This might seem excessive, but after 10 or 15 your mental wheels really start to break free. This is when your best creative thinking happens. The best part is, when you’re done with this exercise, you’ll have months of content ideas already brainstormed. How do you write a good headline? That's an article in itself for next time, but here are a few pointers...
Headlines that contain numbers tend to perform well
Headlines that explain how to do something or make big promises also perform well.
I have kids at home who need attention and have activities to go to and homework to complete. When I sit down to write, I’m not always guaranteed a large block of time, so I plan ahead. For every blog post I write, I start by putting my topic idea at the top of the page.
I then outline what I want to say to make sure I stick to an organized, structured flow. It might look something like this:
How to clean up after your puppy using natural cleaning supplies
With this outline in place, it doesn’t matter if I have 15 minutes or an hour – even if I just focus on one section at a time, I know I’m making progress toward completing a well-organized, useful article. I'll need a bit more than 15 minutes at the end for final proofing and posting, but this time-saving trick seems to help me get far more blogs written.
There are two kinds of writers – those who edit as they go and end up with a mostly-perfect article by the end, and those who write down all of their thoughts and go back and edit later. I am the later of the two and it works for me. Whatever your style, don’t fight it. There is no wrong way to write as long as you’re actually getting words on paper/computer screen.
The bloggers I know who plan out their content two or more months in advance are the bloggers who stick with their schedules. Don’t try and come up with new topics and new research each week. You’ll quickly find yourself stuck in the trap of falling behind and scrambling.
The biggest thing to remember is that no matter what type of content marketing you decide on, it only works if you do it consistently. Keep up the good work and your current and future audience will love you for it. Happy writing!
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