Whether you have a personal or a business blog, creating content is a part of building your website. Your content helps you build your brand’s voice and authority, market your brand, and build a relationship with your audience. Whether you’re trying to improve your content strategy or are just getting started writing content, here are some ways to optimize your content creation strategy.
Review previous content
When you set out to plan your content strategy, you should start by reviewing the existing content on your website. Some of your content may be out-of-date, meaning there’s an opportunity to see what articles can be updated and republished. You should also see what content performed the best in the past and where you can further expand on those topics or republish them to regain that traction on your post.
The content you published in the past will also serve as inspiration for future articles. You can use the topics that garnered the most attention to produce subtopics that relate to your best-performing content. You can also look for topics within your niche you haven’t discussed on your blog yet and use those concepts when you enter the title ideation phase.
Create your timeline
After you’ve reviewed your existing content, begin to come up with your projected timeline. Timelines for projects, including content creation, need to be planned and can help keep everyone on track and aware of their role in the content creation process. Whether you’re writing content for your website or working in an agency, you need a timeline to help you prioritize due dates and assess the progression of your projects.
You should also coordinate your timeline with your content scheduling. For example, if you have a holiday post coming up, you don’t want to wait until December to begin creating your content. Instead, you want to be aware of deadlines months in advance to ensure you have everything you need when it’s time to publish. Your timeline doesn’t necessarily have to be firm. You can reorganize your project timeline to fit your needs as you go through your content strategy.
Jot down your ideas
After you have a rough timeline for your different content projects, you need to start thinking about your posts. For some, coming up with ideas is the hardest part of your content strategy, especially if you feel like you’ve already covered everything. To find inspiration, start by jotting rough ideas and then expand on those topics. After you have an idea you want to stick with, play around with multiple different headlines. Not all headlines are created equal, and people on the internet certainly judge a book by its cover, so it’s necessary to land a good one.
Having multiple ideas for your content can feel tedious. However, this will assist you in reassessing your strategy should you later want to cancel another topic. A brainstorming session helps you find inspiration and prep for the writing process.
Map out your content
After you have your topics set, you’re ready to begin mapping your content. Mapping out your content helps you identify keywords and optimization strategies to allow your content to perform better online. Your content strategy only works if people read and click through your article. If you can’t find your content online, that’s a big problem.
Mapping out your content before entering the writing phase helps to plan out how to set your content apart from the rest. There’s an infinite amount of content on the internet, and you likely won’t be the first to cover your topic, so you’ll need the help of a personal touch. You can achieve this by creating infographics to help visualize points made in your post, linking readers to a relevant ebook, partnering with a popular content creator in your niche, creating a quiz to go along with your content, and more. All it requires is skill and creativity to bring a unique touch to your content.
Review your content schedule
Now that you’ve mapped everything out, your next step is reassessing your project timeline. Did any projects move up in priority? Do you have the bandwidth to get everything done in time? As you move through your content creation process, circumstances will naturally arise, and you’ll need to adjust. You should also know what pieces of content will go to each platform. Furthermore, coordinate a time for publishing your articles to ensure your content gets in front of your audience at an optimal time.
Get to writing & editing
After you’ve created your content strategy, reviewed your project timeline, and mapped out your content, you can enter the writing stage. It might seem counterintuitive for the writing to be towards the end of your content creation process, but the strategizing process will support you in hitting your word count and meeting deadlines. All the planning and thinking about your content will help prepare you once you’re ready to write. By the writing stage, you’ve thought a lot about your audience and what they want to read about, aiding you in preventing writer’s block. Don’t worry about grammar and making your article look and sound pretty during this phase. Just concentrate on jotting everything you can down.
After you’ve got a piece to work with, you can begin editing. You want to weed out any spelling or grammar errors, but you also want to think about the voice of your content and clean out any unnecessary fluff. As said earlier, writers need to focus on jotting down everything they can that relates to the topic, and it’s the editor’s job to make sure it looks and sounds good while staying true to your branding. During the editing phase, take your time and take it in different sessions. You want a fresh pair of eyes on your content, so if you can, try to assign the editing to someone other than your writer and take breaks as you edit.
Review your metrics
You might think once your content is published, you can move on to the next piece, but the work doesn’t stop there. You should review your content performance for valuable insights. Metrics help you determine which topics garnered interest and which you might want to avoid in the future. You can also evaluate your return on investment to help you make better budgeting decisions. If you worked with a content creator or influencer, it likely was expensive, and you don’t want to put the budget towards another project in the future if it didn’t perform well. Reviewing your influencer marketing metrics and other content metrics will help you determine whether to partner with another creator in the future and what projects to plan moving forward.
Content creation can be a lengthy process requiring you to plan. Although the process entails various steps, you must take the time you need and re-strategize your timeline to fit your needs. Avoid rushing through each step of your content creation process to enable producing higher-quality content. Whether you work with an influencer or create a custom infographic, your content should provide value to the reader. So get to planning and writing!
Ashley Nielsen earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration Marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. She is a freelance writer who loves to share knowledge about general business, marketing, lifestyle, wellness, and financial tips. During her free time, she enjoys being outside, staying active, reading a book, or diving deep into her favorite music.