Whenever I talk to someone about content marketing or why they should start their own blog, company blog, or personal blog, I often see these three excuses:
- “I don’t know what to write about”
- “People aren’t interested in my content. I’ve tried to start something and received zero traffic”
- “I don’t have enough time to write great posts”
Because content marketing is so important and valuable in today’s largely media-based market, I’m here to convince you that you do know what to write about, you can write great posts, and you will have time.
Content marketing is significant in the aspect that everybody is trying to get customers, users, or referrals though search engine optimization. Because each market is becoming impacted, it’s getting more and more challenging to stand out amongst competitors, which is exactly why companies and individuals are pushing their marketing budgets towards content marketing. They know and understand how important it is for them to be able to reach a potential customer and say, “Hey, I’m an expert. I can assist you better than anyone else and this is why you need my service.”
This post will show you how to effectively use your time and energy to make content marketing easier.
Choose a topic that you can write a book about
The first move to breaking the barrier is deciding what you want to write about and making sure you are 100% comfortable with the subject. In order to test your knowledge, ask yourself if you’re comfortable enough to write a detailed novel about your chosen topic or industry. Once you’ve figured that out, you need to be ready to produce valuable content on a consistent basis. Valuable content ranges from anything that is good and detailed in length, but is simultaneously engaging and simple to read. Your posts should vary from 1500-2000, but shouldn’t be too overbearing with information. It’s important to watch the length of posts because in today’s saturated market, writing 600-word posts that many SEO firms do for their clients just to rank doesn’t quite surpass the standards needed to stand out.
Choosing something you’re passionate about makes sense. Even if you’re not quite an expert in your chosen field, you want to make sure you have an infinite amount of passion for it. That way, you won’t mind the excess research in order to eventually become an expert.
When we first started RewardMe, a digital loyalty platform for restaurants and retailers, I was not an expert on customer loyalty, but I was extremely invested into learning about it. Because of this interest, I started reading books, blogs, subscribing to them, and participating in the community. This engagement and commitment led to me becoming an expert and eventually a speaker at franchise conferences for restaurants. Just by staying invested and building my expertise in the topic, we were able to gain a pool of clients.
The checklist for captivating content
The second principle you need to focus on is making a checklist for captivating content. There are certain tricks to creating posts that captivate your audience and draw them into reading your post.
Build a connection through real people
The first trick with blogging is to focus on a real person so that you can build a connection with your reader. When readers feel they can relate to someone who is following the same aspirations or paths, they project the actions and lessons of the blogger onto their own life and want to read more into the life of the blogger.
In order to apply this method, we can refer to Adam Baker, who uses this effectively when he wrote a post about a regular guy named Luther. Luther sold random items he no longer needed, earned $6,000, and used that money to go backpacking in South America. As the reader, I could then apply Luther’s methods toward my own life because now I am aware that it is achievable. Like Luther, I could sell stuff I no longer need, make thousands of dollars, and use it to go backpacking. Or I can use that money to pay off debt, or do an abundant of other things that I couldn’t do before – and this was all sparked by reading Luther’s story or experience. The blog became personal and applicable to my own life, which is what engages a reader into your content.
Make it a guide so people know to tune in
The second trick is to make a guide that allows readers to know exactly when to tune back for the next post. Once you engage readers into your post, they’ll already be anticipating the next time you’re going to release new information. Letting your readers know exactly when your post will be up helps them schedule the time to come back and remain updated. If invested, readers will remember that your blog is a several-part series and will make plans to periodically check your blog. However, letting them know specific dates and times of new posts makes it even easier for them.
Yu-Kai Chou, does this very well with his 90-part guide on the beginner’s guide of gamification. Every week, he makes sure he publishes a new post in video form. The consistency of his posts builds up an anticipation for his readers who are eager to know the next need-to-knows about gamification.
If all else fails, build a list
The third and final trick is to consider is creating a list that clearly identifies everything you plan on discussing. Lists are concrete and resonate with people who like to have a solid outline of what to expect. Ramit Sethi’s post, “Instant Irresistibility: The Seven Keys to Advanced Social Skills” is a good example of using a defined list to gain readers. When readers know what to expect, they will more than likely think, “Okay, this post is concrete. I’m going to read the seven key points and learn from it.”
Invest in a virtual assistant
Managing your time and figuring out how to make time for yourself is of course, necessary, but can also be difficult for many people.
When dealing with time, I always find it helpful to make a roadmap of all my posts with bullet points to hit. The first thing I do is brainstorm several topics, title my post (which can be altered), and create a roadmap. In my roadmap, I make sure to address the key points that I want to cover, followed with bullet points that summarize the main ideas of the topic. Once I complete my roadmap, I prompt my virtual assistants to research information that I may need or will be useful for my post. My virtual assistants sorts out any graphs, statistics, or information ahead of time so that I can later incorporate that information into my post. Because photographs can also be hard and time-consuming to sort through, they also research images that relate to my blog post.
Alongside roadmapping, I also set aside 10 to 15 minutes to do a voice-recording of myself talking about the topic and going through the bullet points. The program I find the easiest to use is GarageBand on my Mac. After I complete the recording, I send it out to my virtual assistants who will then construct, transcribe, and organize my thoughts. Once they’ve completed this step, they send it back to me so that I can write my own blog, send it back to them to edit and revise it, and they will post it once it’s 100% ready and completed.
This is ultimately how I keep my blogging manageable and consistent. It helps tremendously when trying to remain productive, and also allows you to cover different aspects of everything needed for a blog: research, images, and clear and concise content.
When you’re on a crunch for time, your first priority should be to remain productive.
If you’re searching for a virtual assistant, a good website I often refer to is Zirtual. It’s a great way to find a verified assistant in the United States that can help you produce your blogs and help you manage your time.
Content marketing can be time-consuming, but is essential to you and your company. Utilizing these tricks can be really beneficial in helping you start up your own blog in the most efficient way possible, while expanding your expertise in your industry.