What story do you want your website to tell? With your content, what is the message you are trying to pass on to your readers or subscribers? What are you trying to solve in any of your videos?
Depending on your niche and your offering will determine what type or types of content you will offer. Most people setting up a blog or website will usually start with a blog post however some may have a video-based strategy or may even start their online journey with a podcast.
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Examples of the types of content you can offer your community include (you can also provide paid versions of the above forms of content as well):
Emails to your list
Social media posts
The first form (and the one most people start with) is a post. Blog posts can be short form (about 500 words) or can be longer form complete with pictures and/or infographics. The length of the content is really up to you however many believe that for the purposes of SEO writing longer form content (at least 2,000 words) is better for your Google rankings for your relevant keyword.
What is the aim for your blog or website? Are you looking at creating an authority site (which means you will need a lot of posts or articles for your site) or are you looking at adding a post each fortnight or month whilst you learn about blogging?
You also want to have a bank of completed content, so you aren’t continually up against the clock on your publishing schedule. This also helps if you are looking to go on holidays and don’t have any else to provide content to your site. With your bank of content, you can schedule this content to be published whilst you are on holiday or taking a break.
A couple of suggestions for writing your blog posts:
1. Create a content calendar for a period of at least 3 months
By having your content pre planned when it comes to your writing time, you know what you are writing about, so you can focus on the writing, not wasting time trying to determine what to write about.
You want to be as efficient with your time as you can (particularly for those who also have a full-time job and a family).
By having a content calendar, you can also lead your readers down the path you want to. This could be in the form of a series of posts about a particular topic or your posts could be about leading up to a product or service you are looking at launching to your readers and subscribers
This same content calendar approach goes for videos or podcasts that you may provide your readers, viewers or listeners.
So, what can you write about? Anything you feel the readers in your niche want (and need). As mentioned above, have a reason for what content you will be writing. What problem are you trying to solve for your reader?
2. Don’t come up with your idea, then write, edit and post your content all in one hit!
Break down your writing into several areas, come back to your writing
Title of Post
Ideas/Structure for post
Have a writing time
Have an editing time (at least a day apart from the writing time)
This gives you a different time frame to decide whether the content you wrote previously still works or needs editing. Also use this time for adding pictures, videos or graphics to your content.
3. Have a blog template structure for your post
Again, on the time saving theme, if you have a structure, this makes it easier for your readers and is easier for your when editing and posting to your website.
This could be set up through Google Documents or Microsoft Word (or whatever writing program you use) and after the post is edited and ready for uploading to your site, using a plugin like Wordable or Mammoth which uploads your formatted posts as they were formatted on your Google or Word document.
It’s a lot easier to edit within Google or Microsoft than it is inside the WordPress editor.
4. Add in a picture or diagram to your post
This not only helps your content become more social shareable it also breaks up the words in your post and if you use an info graphic can also help get your point across easier.
Try and have at least one picture or graphic added to all of your posts and make sure that they are optimized for search engines.
5. Have a social media plan as well
Now that you have published your content on your WordPress site, how are you going to promote it? Make sure that you are utilizing your social media following to promote your content.
Find out what is the best time to not only publish your content but to advertise this content on your social media channels. Look for social media scheduler programs such as Buffer and Hootsuite to help you. You may find that some social media channels are more popular than others on different days of the week so make sure you test this to maximize the audience you are trying to reach. Always be testing!
6. Track your stats for each piece of content
To help form your future content offerings, track the rates of reader engagement. Which topic had more engagement, a lower bounce rate, etc. The better the stats the more you can focus on topics similar to this.
You can also add this to your social media times and email open rate days/times (as mentioned below) for your stats to determine the most effective publishing times for your blog or website.
Don’t underestimate the power of an engaged email list. I’ve discussed email lists before how they offer a great potential qualified sales target for any new product or service you are launching, and they can also help you build it.
When someone subscribes to your blog or website the initial email they receive from you should outline what they can expect from you and your blog or website in regard to how regular you will send emails and the type of emails they can expect to receive.
Similar to blog posts you should also create a content calendar. If you’ve outlined to your subscribers how often and what type of emails they will be receiving, you will want pre planned topics, so you can get straight into the writing and not waste your writing time. Also, with similar blogs have a plan with the direction you are taking your subscribers. If for example you are going to release a product on How to Create a Podcast, then you might schedule your emails around the topic of podcast stepping your subscribers through steps so when it comes to selling time you have qualified your email list and improved your sales position.
Add the email writing times to your writing schedule as these emails are content and you will need time to write and edit these similar to your posts. Don’t forget to test which times are the best times to send your emails. What day gets you the best open rates and what time of the day provides the best stats for you. Get to know your email service provider.
When launching a product or service to your email list you may also want to send out more emails to your email list and they may more tailored or specific than previous emails you may have sent. Again, outline the potential for this in your initial subscription email to your new subscribers.
Examples of emails you could send subscribers is additional content not available to readers or viewers, a weekly wrap up email, best of email, information email or update email or what you are building or planning for the future regarding products or ideas for your blog or website. You could also subscribe to authority sites in your niche or a similar niche for ideas of what they send their subscribers though be careful not to rip off their content.
Video is one of the most powerful tools available to spread your message. Depending on your niche, creating a short video could be as impactful as a 2,000-page piece of content to your viewers.
You can also market your video on YouTube which is the second most popular website on the planet and you can also use video to tie into your other content or to help with launching or offering a product.
On top of the content ideas mentioned above with video you can offer to your viewers:
Q & A about a certain idea or topic
Product review or product comparison
Weekly wrap up
Free section of paid product or service you have created
Some basic tips for creating your videos
- Know what outcome you want your video to provide in advance
Similar to writing a blog post have an idea of what you want the video to achieve and plan out your video outline into points or segments that you want to discuss. It will make your videos more coherent and easier to follow.
- Have good lighting
Even with the best equipment if you have poor lighting your videos will look bad. So, get some tips on lighting for your videos. If possible use as much natural lighting in your videos.
- You don’t need expensive equipment for good videos
Further to the previous point, by using a well-lit area equipment such as a basic phone camera or a simple laptop camera can provide good quality videos. Make sure that you also make sure your audio is of a decent quality which can be taken care of with a cheap decent quality microphone.
- Get familiar with YouTube SEO and titles, thumbnails, etc
As mentioned above, YouTube is the second most popular site in the world and is a search engine!
So, learn how to get your videos featured in your relevant niche or topic, learn what titles and thumbnails work best.
Set up a YouTube channel to build your subscribers and have a plan for what you want your YouTube channel to do for your blog or online business. Try and convert as many viewers as you can to subscribers not just for your YouTube channel but also for your blog or website.
I’ve included this under the Video section as it shares similarities to the above. Webinars are just a longer form of the videos above and you couldn’t even include your webinars in your YouTube channel if this fits into your video/YouTube content direction.
Webinars are usually used to access a large number of viewers for interactive purposes. This could be for a simple Q & A session regarding a certain topic (which you could use for future content such as a course), through to a webinar describing the benefits of purchasing your latest product or service.
When looking at using a webinar, make sure you know your topic back to front and plan out how you want your webinar to go. Outline the various points or suggestions you want to cover and have an idea of how long you want to go for your webinar.
Look at using the right technology and software for your webinars. A simple desktop or laptop camera would be sufficient (a Logitech C922 would be sufficient) with relevant audio and using webinar such as Zoom or GotoWebinar to host your webinar.
Also make sure you give your audience plenty of notice to accept any webinar invitations as well as reminders to login to the webinar (it’s easy to forget you have accepted an invitation when the webinar is weeks in advance).
Over the last few years the popularity of podcasts has exploded. It’s a great form of content that allows people to consume when driving, community to work or even at their work.
Depending on your niche or subject you can start with a podcast if you think there is a market and demand for a podcast with your unique take or style. Or you can use a podcast as a great add on to your current content channels such as your blog or video channel to help drive traffic to your online offering.
Like the previous forms of content mentioned above, there are a heap of ideas you can use for your podcast
You could use a Q & A approach on a certain topic
You could interview someone
You could review a product or service
You could have a daily or weekly wrap up around your niche.
There are many ways you can go with your podcast.
If you are looking at creating a podcast, similar to the above content channel suggestions have a content calendar of what you want to create. Make sure that you have a plan with this content, i.e. create a series or podcasts around a certain topic or create podcast episodes linked to a product or service you are looking to offer your audience.
You don’t need expensive equipment when creating a podcast. Essentially you need a microphone such as a Samson, Blue or Heil and you need software such as Audacity or GarageBand to record your podcast and something like Skype to record any interviews.
You will also need a hosting service for your episodes (I would recommend getting a host that is different to the one which hosts your website. A host such as Libsyn which does specialize in podcast hosting would be suitable).
Social media posts
Not only is social media a great way to drive traffic to your website it also offers you’re a way to build a relationship with your community. Through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, not only can you provide a more intimate setting to connect to your people you can also provide unique content via this setting.
Facebook groups allow you to provide shorter posts to your group, unique calls to action, polls or questions as well as your group members sharing their feedback or ideas in real time.
Twitter also allows a direct line to your community. Not only can you post short form content you can also use this content as a short story or a tweetstorm to communicate to your followers.
Of course, you can also advertise your existing content (blogs, video, podcasts, infographics) via these social media channels as well.
We touched on this in the blog post section above where you should add a graphic or picture to your blog posts.
Graphics or name infographics go a step further where you could build one around the subject you are writing, filming or creating a podcast about. The great thing about info graphics is they are great to share via your social media channels and can drive traffic to your website.
You could also use an infographic to lead a social media campaign or to drive traffic to a course or service that you are offering.
A good infographic can get your point across more effectively than a 500-word post might and allows readers to consume your content quicker and easier than if they have to read a detailed blog post.
Websites such as Canva allow you to create your own infographics with great templates and ideas.
You could also use an infographic as an opt in to learn more about your email list or to test the demand for a new product or service to offer your subscribers or readers.
eBooks have also exploded in popularity in recent times. They can range from 10 pages to a novel and you can self-publish or hire a publisher. They are also a great way to provide content for your readers, either free or paid.
eBooks can act as a great opt in to entice subscribers to your email list or they can be a great revenue source when marketed to your email list or readers.
Idea’s for eBooks could come from any subject or topic within your niche. You could provide instructions, study guides, how to guides. You could put together a grouping of your previous blog posts around a particular topic and add some new information and sell this to your community.
You could also use the eBook offering as the next step in a reader or subscribers journey in your community or it could function as the first paid product offering from your blog or website.
Courses are a great idea if you have a large following or subscribers. Courses are even better if your community constantly asks you to create one as you know you already have demand.
Courses could be free, or they could be paid and can be developed around the suggestions or ideas from your readers or subscribers.
You could offer a simple email course to subscribers or people who opt in to your offer or you could offer a detailed paid course through your website or an external marketplace such as Thinkific.
Your course could sell for $50 or it could sell for $5,000.
Course are also a great value add if you are looking to expand your paid product offering from eBooks or a coaching service.
Let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions for adding or creating content for your website or blog.
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