Content creation is an essential part of any online business, but let’s face it, written content is still king. I believe that there are three forms of written content essential to market your business, grow a relationship with your community and show off your expertise. And I also want to share some ideas on how to create all this written content day after day and week after week.
Let’s start with blog posts. When people think about online content most people think about blog posts. Blog posts can by any length you need to convey your point, long or short. You can share tips, ideas, customer comments, pictures, stories and just about anything else related to your online business on your blog.
When you are creating content to share on your blog, you should keep two goals in mind. You want to share content that attracts new visitors that might be interested in your products and services, and grow your relationship with your existing readers. Of course, not every blog post will be able to that, but strive for a balance.
For example if you’re a personal trainer, you may want to write some posts about how hiring a trainer will push you to the next level or help you lose weight and get back in shape. At the same time you may also want to share nutritional tips that will help your current clients. Mix and match and get it the habit of blogging on a consistent schedule.
The best way to reach your potential customers directly is through email marketing. These are people that have signed up to be contacted by you. In other words, they are asking you to share information. You want to offer information and make recommendations for goods and services that truly assist your target market. For many businesses the bulk of their purchases are a direct result of their email marketing campaigns.
And those emails are content combined with offers.
There is no right or wrong email schedule, but you can look at what is working for others in your same target market. A restaurant may offer daily specials, so that is a good reason to email on a daily basis. Your business may be better suited to a weekly or monthly email schedule.
Just remember, email is primarily written content.
Ebooks, Short Reports or any PDF
Lastly, are PDF’s or any type or report or ebook. This is content that is usually downloaded vs being consumed directly on the webpage (blog post) or in an email. Your goal in creating these PDF’s is to share your expertise, grow your reach and get more eyeballs to your website, or whatever your end goal is.
As a marketing tool, short reports make great opt-in offers. You offer information in exchange for someone’s email address. This is how you grow a list of people to send that above mentioned emails to.
Longer ebooks can be used as a paid product. An easy way to create and ebook is to look at some of the popular posts on your blog. Do you have a few related blog posts you could compile into a report? Or maybe you have a popular blog post that you can expand upon the topic.
These days it is very easy to use software to make your PDF, long or short, look professional. My personal favorite software is Designerr. It is very easy to use and offers a lot of choices and the ability to customize your ebooks and short reports.
These are the three types of written content you will need to create for you online business. Of course, you can and most likely will add audio and video to your website and your emails, but those usually include even a brief amount of written content.
The more content you create and share the more likely you are to be found by your prospective customers.
How Do I Create All This Content?
But don’t think that you always have to be creating new content, sometimes you just need to freshen up something you have already created. Not everyone is going to have read every one of your blog posts from the beginning of time. There are many people’s emails that I look forward to, but guess what, sometimes, I don’t read every word of every email I receive. Shocking, I know.
The point is, you have a duty to your readership to update and refresh your existing content as well as creating new content.
The truth is, things change. Depending on your niche, that change may happen often and quickly. Other niches may be more evergreen, but either way, you can freshen up old content.
First take a look at previous blog posts, is there any outdated information? Do you have links that no longer work? Are any of the products or tools mentioned in the post outdated or no longer available? Have you changed your stance on a particular issue? Or is there just new information on the topic?
These are all posts that can and should be updated for the benefit of your community, and to keep your status as the leader. You really don’t want to delete your old posts, if at all possible just update the information and share it with your email list and social media followers.
Next, read through the content again. Is there something you can add to it to make it even more helpful? Can you explain things differently to make it even better? Can you include some examples or illustrations to make it easier to understand?
Always be on the lookout for ways to improve your content. Your blog posts are often the first impression people get of you and your business. Make sure to make a great first impression.
Now depending on how old your blog posts are, you may not have used images in your older blog posts, but these days, people expect images. I like to use multiple images to give my readers more opportunities to share the post on Pinterest, they are welcome to share it on other social media sites, but Pinterest is my personal preference.
Now what about the format of your old posts. Can you make use of some sub-headings, break up the length of your paragraphs? Add bold and/or bullets and lists to create more visual appeal.
Now I have been talking primarily about making sure your written content appeals to your readers, but there is another consideration too – SEO. You want to make sure that you understand how you readers will be looking for you, meaning, you know the keywords and keyword phrases they are typing into the search engines to find your website.
I’m not an SEO expert and I don’t play one on TV, this is how I understand SEO and how I use this knowledge in my own business. SEO means, Search Engine Optimization. You want to make sure your written content includes terms that people are searching for, and those terms are used strategically in your blog post title and throughout the post.
In addition to the actual blog post content, you can use categories and tags to further help with your SEO ranking. You want a high SEO ranking to improve your traffic. And this is free traffic, the best kind.
Written content is so important for your online business. Each piece of content should have a goal. What do you want your readers to do when they are done reading it? Should they engage with you via comments? Join your email list? Buy a product you created or just one you’re recommending?
Be clear on what your intent is and learn to use your words to your advantage and you will be a winner in the content game. Share your content wins or struggles in the comments below or if your prefer, you can use the contact form.