4 tips for becoming a content-producing machine and generating more organic traffic
Producing good content is hard enough, but creating lots of great content on a regular schedule could be overwhelming for many marketers. Contributor Jeremy Knauff lays out a solution you can employ to get your content creation goals.
Many of us know that amazing content is vital to success in digital marketing today — particularly when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). The difficulty for most people is finding the time to make it.
A lot of us already feel maxed out, kept busy running our company and serving customers, so it is difficult to find enough time to generate content that is amazing. And most find it almost impossible to find enough time to generate lots of it. Does that describe you?
I will share a little secret: At one stage, that explained to me, too.
Today, however, along with writing about digital advertising on my own blog & on two sites covering SEO, I donate to two publications for the building industry, and that I guest post regularly on a variety of other websites. So I think it is safe to say I have become quite efficient at it.
Now I am going to share the techniques I have used to become ruthlessly efficient at producing tons of amazing content. It will help you to create brand awareness & organic search traffic, not to mention the type of authority status which makes it easier to make those juicy links that actually move the needle on your ranking.
- Plan ahead
If you would like to efficiently produce a ton of excellent content that moves you toward your own strategic goals, then you will need a plan, because contrary to what majority of people think, we really do not work better under pressure.
At Spartan Media, the digital marketing agency I operate, we have a planning process that is crucial both to our success and the success of our customers. We begin by identifying strategic goals and then deciding on the best tactics to achieve those aims. Next, we plan & schedule the content development important to execute those tactics for the next 6 to 12 months.
Some people may feel that this kind of structure can stifle their creativity, but I do not. In reality, I find it allows you to get into a flow state, which helps you come up with more ideas for good content. Plus, with the strain of continually coming up with new ideas off your shoulders, your brain will be free to come up with new creative ideas on the way, which you could either add into the workflow or save for later.
Another benefit to planning is that it lets us hint at future content & gives chances to link back to previous content, thus we get more traction out of everything we produce. And because it is all planned out, we are never left scrambling at the last minute to come up with ideas.
If you would like to take this a step further, you could even use a project management system such as Basecamp or Teamwork to schedule all of the work associated with the content you have planned. It helps you manage everything effectively, and, if you are working with a team, supplies a rock-solid system for accountability.
- Batch content production phases
Speaking of flow state, you could apply the same principle to producing your articles. Many of us (myself included) have an inclination to edit while we are writing, but that is a terribly inefficient way to produce content.
You are far better off breaking content production into three phases:
I have found that the most efficient method to generate a piece of content quickly is first to make an outline, which transforms that rough notion floating around in your mind right into a structured document to arrange before you begin to write.
This helps keep your ideas on track and reduces time & energy wasted on wild tangents. You do not have to get overly complicated here — I usually only create a series of subheadings.
Then begin writing under those subheadings, however, resist the impulse to edit as you go. Ignore typos & poorly worded sentences for today, and instead, approach it more like a mind dump, just seeking to receive your thoughts onto the screen.
Once I have completed the content because of my subheadings, I go back & write an intro & conclusion. Writing these at the end, instead of linearly, means they will be more cohesive & will segue more smoothly.
Edit (and tune out distractions)
Lastly, edit your post — ideally, after taking a break from it for some time.
When I design or code, I usually have music or television playing in the background, but when I compose, I remove any distractions. I close unnecessary windows, log out of social networking, close my door, and that I even play white noise — typically rain, instead of music, to help prevent my mind from wandering as I get into my flow.
Collaboration could be employed for any category of material, and in addition, it helps to reduce your workload, resulting in more content for you & exposure for your collaborators, so it is a win-win.
Some examples of collaborative content might include:
- point or counterpoint
The idea is to approach collaboration not only as “free content,” but rather from the point of view adding unique value to your customer & making it worthwhile for your partners in content creation. This could include linking to your collaborators’ websites & social profiles, sharing the content on social media, and possibly also promoting it via paid ads.
If you do this well, your collaborators will likely be eager to work together with you again in the future, will share the content with their customer, will link to it from their own websites, and perhaps even introduce you to other people in their group who may be well worth working with.
If you are unsure how to locate partners to collaborate with & convince them to invest their time, I advise you to check out my recent article on the role of traditional public relations in SEO.
This awesome blog post you wrote that everyone loved does not have to solely be a blog post — you could repurpose it into a video or podcast, or even rewrite it as a guest article on other websites.
I did exactly this when I wrote a guest article titled, “How Even Great Web Designers Can Kill SEO,” that we then turned into an interview on Webcology, which I then further enlarged on in another guest post titled, “10 Dangerous Web Design Mistakes That Destroy SEO.”
That is 3 pieces of content that are amazing on 3 different authoritative publications, and I have not even touched video with this one yet. I can easily repurpose this piece each month for the next year without wearing it out.
The key here is to make it unique every time, tailoring it to the customer of the publication where it is appearing. It is also important to let some time elapse between publication dates because if it is used too often or in too many places, it is going to look spammy; and if links are involved (as in the case of guest posting), it is very likely to be viewed as unnatural linking.
We talked about planning sooner — if you have done that, you could produce blog posts according to your schedule, and simultaneously produce guest articles, videos or podcast episodes starting at the end of your schedule & working your way back, so that there is not any overlap.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author & not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.