There is too much content in the world. And most of it is utter rubbish. Which is why creating content for content’s sake is a total waste of your time and resources. Content should be quality over quantity every time. Let’s put this into perspective: there are 5.63 billion pages on the internet at the moment. Or there was at the time of writing this. I’ve added a new one right here and there’s probably a few million more added to that pot in the time it’s taken me to write this article.
There’s a couple of things at play here:
1. That number is so overwhelming it’s like the national debt. Our little human brains can’t cope with such massive amounts like that. It’s meaningless to us. Much like most of the content on the internet.
2. How, in all of that cyber junk, do we find what we need? Or get customers to find us? We need to go back to basics here – why are we creating content in the first place?
If you can’t answer that question with the thing it is that you’re making, just STOP. Stop right now and don’t waste any more of your time.
Your content needs a purpose. Without one it’s a bunch of zeros and ones plummeting into oblivion. You might be creating content for any number of reasons.
It could be:
- forming part of an SEO plan
- because you have something you want to say or get off your chest
- your online marketing strategy
- giving your customers what they want or need
- part of a series that creates some kind of transformation
Or because you are compelled to do something and it makes you happy.
Your blog is your starting point
The average blog takes around four hours to create. And the more you invest in a blog, the more you will get out of it. Tapping up 500 un-researched words in an hour is never going to get any return for the investment in time. It’s a waste for everyone involved, including any poor soul who tries to read it.
Then there are those people out there who tell you there’s an awesome formula for writing a blog in 20 minutes. Sorry but it’s not true. Of course, there is a structure you can use to make the process easier, but you still need to lay the groundwork and research what you write.
Then after you’ve written it, you need to edit it. Chucking something up and hoping for the best will mean it’s littered with errors, mistakes and isn’t the best representation of what you do at all. And you need to consider graphics, images, multimedia. That’s a whole extra process on top. Plus, if you want your blog found organically, then you’ll need to invest more time and energy on SEO research.
I’m pretty exhausted thinking about all of this, and this is how I make a living. When you’ve put all that thought and effort into blog creating, then you want it to work hard.
The last thing you need is for all that time and energy to be all forgotten about a week later. This is why it is more important than ever to make your blog content work as hard as possible.
There are a few ways you can do this:
1. Blast it out on social media
You’ll see this a lot. Someone writes a blog post, then pushes it out on social media along with a line like: “hey, I wrote this thing. You should probably read it”.
It’s quick; it’s easy; it gets zero results.
2. Bung it on your newsletter
You know that rambling email you send out when you remember? You can stick a link into that thing. The eight people who bother to open may click on the link although you can be pretty sure one is your mum.
3. The Facebook Group Spamathon
Post the link in all those lovely networking groups you’ve joined. Goodness knows you’ve not actually interacted in any, but this could be a great conversation opener with a few hundred strangers who’ve not read your blog yet. Oh and Julie, who asked the question two months ago in a now-defunct group, I’m sure she’ll be pleased to get your take on it finally.
4. Have an actual content repurposing strategy
This takes time and effort. If you put as much effort into your repurposing strategy as you do your blog, then you might find that people actually read it. And interact with you. Fancy that.
But what does this look like?
Go back to basics again. If you’ve created your content with some sort of purpose and thought about who your audience is then half the hard work is done for you.
Research what good content looks like on the social media channel where your audience hangs out. Is it a pretty image? A video? A conversation starter? Are there new features you can have a play around with?
Test what works and what doesn’t.
And remember it is always better to have a conversation then throw some links into the ether. Think about how you can approach your subject from another angle? What questions can you ask? How can you truly help someone make a small transformation? How can you stop them in their scroll and make them think?
Examples of doing more with less
The Good Trade is a sustainable living online magazine. They create a daily digest from their content and research that’s delivered to your inbox in bite-sized chunks. And you can see a system of content repurposed from the main publication across all of their social media platforms.
What I like about this is that it’s not telling you to click and read the post on everything. They ask you to read their site very little. Instead, they ask questions about the subject and collaborate with others.
Tilly and the Buttons have also got their content repurposing all sewn up. Their blog, newsletter and social media channels are all working together to tell a coherent story. And one that is relevant for their audience.
Here’s what we can learn from these accounts:
- Use one piece of content differently on each platform.
- Ensure your content tells a story
- Keep content on brand even when it’s from a collaborator.
- Have conversations – do more than tell people to click and read
- Talk to your audience; have conversations.
- Be relevant
It is a lot to think about when all you want is to get some content out there because you ‘need to do content marketing’. But if you do something well, you’ll get more back in return and waste less time. Getting this right will save you faffing around on social media and thinking what to write about in your newsletter. Unless you enjoy that, then as you were.
Find out how you can improve your content writing skills with content writer training.