Content Writing for the Non Writer

Writing ContentGoogle’s move away from old school link building as the cornerstone of search engine optimization, to a more content friendly algorithm, places the importance of content creation front and center for many companies. If you are a marketing consultant, work in a marketing department, or own a small business you must understand how to create the types of content that your clients will benefit from and continue to support. Here are some ideas that may help you.

Where do I start?

Blogging: Before you begin formulating your content, you must have a publishing platform that matches your goals. For people tasked with writing for their brand, a well positioned blog sitting on your website’s domain is the ultimate place to begin. Blogging software, most notably WordPress, provides marketers with the platform to begin creating messages (posts) that will support your product(s) and service(s).

Where do I create my content?

Setting: Many people will disagree with this statement but the fact is there is no correct setting, place, library, office, or dungeon that fits every person. If you need total silence and privacy you know a place that works best for you. On the other hand, if you thrive on social noise and chaos a local coffee house may suit your needs. Think about the most comfortable place you enjoy thinking; that may be your spot.

How do I get my ideas?

Dreaming: One of the best places I find ideas for content is while dreaming during a restful night’s sleep. I have  dreamed about writing ideas and acted upon them the next day. If you are passionate about your company, sleep is the perfect launching pad for ideas. An important tip is to keep a pad of paper and pen on your nightstand. If you awaken with an idea write down notes documenting your ideas.

Niche: Another place to research is your business niche. What is the latest news? Who are the most influential players? Why has the niche moved in a certain direction? Where is the next trend coming from in your niche? Look for evidence of something new or developing.

Experience: Detail your experience(s) that have an impact on your business. Tell a customer story that illustrates the impact your product or service plays in their life. Testimonials are great but you don’t necessarily need a testimonial to write a great piece of content

Social Media: Twitter is my leading idea engine! The shear volume of content I can tap into at any given moment is amazing. Whether mining my real time stream, my lists containing tweets from niche specific accounts, competitor’s lists, trending subjects, or hashtags, Twitter is the mainstay of fresh breaking news and information.

Events: Networking events, conferences, lunch and learns, business trips, and client meetings are some of the live in-person events you attend each year. Look for great stories to tell from your experiences.

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Blog Strategies: Revisit Your Library of Content To Create New Articles

deansguide 10-16 top 3

The top 3 articles for 30 days ending October 16, 2009 on deansguide are

  1. “Twitter Strategies: #FollowFriday To Recognize and Attract New Followers” with 909 pages views
  2. “Hearst Mansion: Nation’s Most Expensive Residential Listing-$165,000,000 and The Godfather Too!”
  3. “Immigrant & Social Order: The Oakland Chapter of the Hell’s Angel’s 50th Anniversary”

My deansguide blog has 573 articles published to date. That library of content will be buried and unbeknowst to the reader if I do not do the following things to ensure it’s continued readership.

Leverage and Repurpose Your Content: Revisit Your Past

The content you write on your blog builds a library or reference point to your past. The following are strategies that will continue to add new readers, gain exposure for past articles, and provide you with an easy to write blog articles when necessary:

  • Internal Linking: make sure to create internal linking to your past content library of articles. By linking past articles to current work, you open the gates to new material for readers unfamiliar with your past works
  • Categorization: categorizing your articles makes it easier for readers to find your work;  another benefit of categorization-you can create an article on the best of a particular “category”
  • Retrospectives: if you have written a past article or series of articles, you can write a retrospective aka “look back” article to analyze where that particular subject matter has progressed today
  • Repurpose: if you have articles in your content library that were too long, losing readers in text, you can repurpose an important point creating a new “tighter” succinct version of the old content
  • Listing: like so many great bloggers, see BeingPeterKim.com, you can write an article based on your best articles from any time frame ie. quarter, month, or week

Conclusion

The Top 3 articles by page views this week for deansguide were written:

  1. September 25, 2009 Twitter article
  2. July 10, 2007               Hearst Mansion article
  3. March 30, 2007          Hell’s Angels article

Your content library will serve you well if you understand how to link back to it, create new versions, and make the content easy to access.