10 ways to help your content succeed

It all comes down to good timing, doesn’t it? Whether it’s meeting the love of your life or making the train, or just getting your blog read, the world is now run on a New York minute.

This is doubly true for publishing, where there is a tiny window of opportunity for some pieces to be read before it’s quietly forgotten about. That piece you wrote about hipster Halloween costumes is best read just as people are getting pumped for the holiday. Just like that piece you wrote about the best places to surf as massive tides are happening in Southern California.

Whatever it is you are writing about it, it’s when you market it that will make a difference to your readership. If you write good content, eventually it will be read by at least someone (hi mom!). If you write good content that is marketed at the right time? It will be loved.

But often, an event will come and go that you don’t have content tailored for. So you can scramble to write this fitting piece and then promote, which may delay other projects or expend more resources than necessary. More often than not, it’s your strategy that can make the difference. And that strategy should all fit in with what you want to accomplish with your blog or site and should reach towards a goal. Do you want more social media followers? More time spent on site? More CTAs in your content?

You need goals in order to formulate a strategy. Maybe even several strategies. More importantly, you need to execute them. Let’s say that the goal for this week is to send two tweets a day in order to gain more readership. There are several ways to attack this strategically. Will you be promoting your blog with each tweet with choice hashtags? Will you search Twitter for similar conversations around your content for retweets? Will you do all of this simultaneously?

For this goal, you’ll probably need a calendar to organize all of this. Editorial calendars are especially useful the more you update your site and the more you promote it. Publishers will want to plan in advance to lock down events they know are coming up. For instance, TV bloggers know the date of the Emmy nominations. Sports bloggers know the game schedules for the NFL. If you as a publisher can prepare content for this in advance, you’ll have more time to write about things that happen in real time.

And once all of that content is written and timely promoted, it’s important to think outside of the box. Sometimes it’s as simple as being a contributor to an online conversation. Message board sites for niche interests and places like Reddit can help promote good content, even if the conversation gets dragged down by internet trolls. Again, all of this comes back to good timing, which is really having a good, flexible strategy.

10 Ways To Help Your Content Succeed

By Emily E. Steck

Publishing is half creating and half marketing. You’ll need a plan to execute them both. Here are 10 ways to help your content succeed.

  • Get Your Content Out On The Internet (And Read)

    By Emily E. Steck

    Scouring for images can take time, perfecting the written word even more time. Use your social networks, your friends, your resources. (Sacrifice your first born. Just kidding.).    

  • Set Goals

    By Emily E. Steck

    What do you want to accomplish? Gain 100 new social media followers? Increased time spent on site? More content? Set goals to help clarify the time put into making your content awesome.

  • Strategize These Goals

    By Emily E. Steck

    Plan a flexible strategy to make these goals, but leave room to accommodate for what works and what doesn’t work. Have an editorial calendar. Kill your marketing darlings, so to speak.

  • Take Risks

    By Emily E. Steck

    Mention famous bloggers, people, organizations in your social media promotion. Use confident language in your promotion and content. Seek out your competitors and befriend them. Be bold.

  • What’s Trending?

    By Emily E. Steck

    You cannot predict what will be trending on social media except for those planned events around your related industry. Sports blog? You have game schedules. Plan content to backlog for these events.

  • Niche Is In

    By Emily E. Steck

    The internet is a vast place with vast interests. Scuba diving? Living in Vancouver? Target these niche communities by writing content that caters to their interests and posting to subthreads.

  • Engage & Connect With Community

    By Emily E. Steck

    This could be through subthreads in Reddit, Twitter, Facebook about similar content you publish. Don’t always link back to your own stuff in these convos, but link when it is organic.  

  • Write for Skimmers (and Your Audience)

    By Emily E. Steck

    People skim more than they read. Make sure to write for them this way. Use lists, bold text and subheadings to break up content. Oh, and right about what they are interested in.

  • Develop Your Voice & Brand

    By Emily E. Steck

    How you approach stories and articles is just as important as the content in them. As a content creator, you need to develop an original voice that sets you apart from the pack. This is your brand. 

  • Check In With Your Audience

    By Emily E. Steck

    You can’t just rely on analytics. Pose a question on social media asking your followers what kind of content they love to see on your site. Check the comments and chime in. Understand your audience.

Image credit: Sean MacEntee via Flickr 

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