Here are four tips for creating interesting, unusual, even fabulous content—the kind that’s going to get you finally ranking on the search engines and staying competitive in your field.
Tip #1: Analyze
Check out popular pages and search questions; look at analytic tools. See what has worked well in the past. What type of content has proven popular and what phrases did people use to find it? Analyze social media performance with tools such as Addthis. Now you’re ready for step two.
Tip #2: Plan Ahead
So Friday’s the day you post your weekly blog entry. It’s Thursday at 5 pm. You’re sitting at your desk scratching your head, wondering what to write about. It’s been a long week. You’ve used up all the good topics. No brilliant ideas are coming to you.
Here’s how to avoid this common scenario: Make a content calendar. Sit down when you’re focused and energetic, which is probably not Thursday at 5 pm, and list, research, strategize, brainstorm, and come up with 25 topics. Set aside a pocket of time every week to write 3-5 posts. That way you’re always ahead of the game.
You can also consider seasonal topics and plug them into the appropriate week and month, instead of realizing too late that you’ve missed an opportunity that won’t come around again for another year. This calendar is the place for guides, e-books, and reports as well.
Tip #3: Trends
While you don’t want to be writing exactly what everyone else is writing, you also don’t want to miss the boat on the hot topics of the day. Keeping up with the latest, also known as newsjacking, can position you as savvy and in the know. Twitter and Facebook have trending topics available.
The good news: everyone else is also seeing that these are trending topics, so they know you’re cool, with-it, and up-to-date. The bad news: everyone else is also seeing these topics and writing about them. To stay competitive, you’ll have to put your own spin on them, using your words and stories and examples.
Trendsmap looks at trending news overlaid on a map, for a local view. The data is from Twitter.
Tip #4: Ask Them and They’ll Tell You
Survey your target market. Find out what they’re interested in and what they respond to. This will be a great source of material for future content. Tools like Survey Monkey, Google Consumer Surveys, and others are affordable and simple ways of taking the pulse of your potential clients.
Using any one of these ideas could help you generate more business. You can start small and implement one at a time. It’s not easy to do all the marketing and do what it is you actually do. The payoffs, though, are big.