Some of the top websites in the world use a content strategy to boost their traffic and conversion rates. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, and you can learn the basic principles behind content marketing. All it takes is a little bit of patience and a lot of consistency. Here are five major tips you can implement in your online content strategy right now.
1. Start with a Plan
To get any kind of results, you’ve got to have a solid plan. It’s a simple concept that’s never going to change, and it applies to your online marketing strategy. You might be able to improve your plans later on down the road, but the first thing you need to do is get started right now. Don’t wait for everything to fall perfectly in place. The only way to get moving is by taking a step forward in the right direction. Here’s a basic plan you can put into action today without waiting for any great ideas to fall into your lap.
Get Your First Post Out of the Way
You might not have a clue what you’re doing, but don’t worry about that right now. Everyone starts somewhere, and you’ve got to get your content in front of people. It doesn’t matter if you write it yourself, or if you’ve got someone else to do it for you. Forget about finding the perfect topic to cover. Just get it done. No website goes viral on their very first blog post, and you probably won’t even remember your first little article in a few weeks. The goal of this step is to just get you rolling. Momentum is the key to gaining a solid following online. Don’t get it done by the end of the week, and don’t wait till next Tuesday to work out the details. If you haven’t published a single piece of content yet, then that’s your top priority. Do it today.
Follow a Basic Schedule
The whole point in using content to promote your business is getting people engaged. If you write topics that interest your target market, then you’ll get the attention of the people that matter most. That’s simple enough, but the biggest hurdle you’ll come across is being a perfectionist about it. It’s easy to fall into the trap of searching for the ultimate online hack to build your traffic. You might find yourself putting off publishing new content while you go out looking for that magic ticket. Stay calm, and keep your eyes on the target. You have a slim chance at best of uncovering the next big idea online. There’s no ace in the hole. The real advantage you need to acquire over your competition is a steady content publishing schedule for your site. Use the schedule below as a starting point.
Your First Month
If there’s one piece of advice you should stick to for good, then you’ll find it in these next few sentences. Publish an article every single Monday at 11 AM no matter what. That’s the golden rule of content marketing, and the idea is that you’ll get the most possible views on average by posting at that exact time. That’s the best day and hour to post something new online. Obviously, there can be exceptions to that rule, but this is your best bet going in blind. Post at least one article every week, preferably on Monday right before lunchtime. That’s square one. Accomplish that for the first month, and then worry about moving beyond that.
2. Analyze Your Data
You’ll want to track all the traffic data to know exactly what’s giving you the best return on your investments. That includes knowing what type of content is giving you the results you want. The first statistic you should track is the amount of traffic brought in from search engines. Curating your blogs and articles to attract free visitors from Google can give you a slight edge, and it might be worth knowing how much it’s actually helping your business. Once you have an established following, then it’s time to focus entirely on content creation for them. Your die-hard return readers are the most profitable asset on your website. Don’t neglect them. Make them the priority over everything else.
Create a Demographic Profile of Your Ideal Readers
The main goal of content creation is to get readers interested, and it’s all about getting the right kind of people interested. The reason you’re bringing in new traffic from around the web is to discover who you should be targeting. Then, you’ll be able to use that reliable data to scale up. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to generate sales or affiliate traffic. The real key to success in content marketing is getting regular readers. A dedicated following is far more valuable than one-time visitors. Be on the lookout for any stats that will help you answer these important questions below.
- What content is yielding the most results that you want?
- How are those visitors finding your website?
- What are their interests/age/location?
- How can you put your content in front of more people who are similar to your best readers?
3. Niche Down and Divide Your User Base
It’s easy to miss out on great opportunities by appealing to a broad audience. The traffic numbers may look better with general topics, but conversion rates are the only numbers that really matter. What percentage of people are taking the action that you want them to take on your website? That’s the real question you should be asking yourself. You’ll usually get the best results by personalizing your blogs and articles to a select group. Once you’ve defined your demographic profile of your ideal reader, then you can create content that’s specifically intended to peak their interests.
Sub-Grouping and Dividing Your Traffic
One lesser-used technique is to divide your readers into subgroups. It’s almost like competing against yourself. If you discover overlapping interests between your regular readers, then you can create a second website and push traffic to it. That way you’ll have multiple shots at getting your desired response from the visitor, and you can tweak the content even further on the second domain. This type of strategy is very popular with subscription news media websites, but it can work for any online business model. Get the most out of your existing traffic by being your own competition.
4. Get the Most Out of Your Content
You never want to publish the exact same content on multiple websites. It will drastically harm your search rankings. That being said, you can always turn around and beat old topics to death on your blog. People make the mistake of always wanting to publish brand new material on their website, but you’ve got to look at it from the reader’s perspective. You might think that you’re overdoing a certain topic, but that’s just part of being a publisher. You’re familiar with every topic on your site, and there’s nothing special about it. It’s a completely different story for your readers. New traffic won’t be familiar with your content, and return readers have already found a lot of value in your content already. There’s no reason to try inventing the wheel all over again every time you post an article. If you chased after a new topic every single time, then you’d probably run out of ideas pretty fast.
Building on Topics You’ve Already Covered
The idea is to keep adding value with each post, and you can do that by going more in-depth with older topics your website has covered in the past. Take a look at any of your popular articles. Try to pick out several sub-topics from the content. You can have a brand new article that elaborates on that single subsection of the existing post. For example, this article you are reading is broken up into 5 subsections. You could easily have dozens of articles written about any one of these topics, and you could probably point out a few subtopics within each subsection, too. Take all of the existing articles you’ve published that are popular, and put them under the microscope. There’s usually a lot more left that you can go back over again in greater depth.
5. Consistency is Everything
If you don’t publish content, then you won’t have a content strategy. It sounds redundant, but that’s the truth. The most crucial step is getting your content out there consistently. Every article you publish on your website is an opportunity to get more results. If you wait for the stars to align perfectly, then you’ll be waiting forever. Don’t wait for the perfect idea. Just keep moving forward. Continually post on a regular schedule, and don’t miss out on opportunities to keep readers interested.
You Will Make Mistakes
Your content marketing strategy isn’t going to be perfect, and there are going to be times when your content doesn’t do what you want it to do for you. You might have a great article that you think will do really well, and your readers might absolutely hate it. One day you could get thousands of new readers and lose thousands on the next post. It happens, and readership will fluctuate all year long. You can’t let those spikes and dips in traffic have any effect on you. Consistency is the single most valuable skill you can learn in content marketing.
Get Started Now
You’ve got all of the information you need to begin your content marketing journey. Posting every Monday is a great plan to start out with. Just remember, that’s the bare minimum. Posting more frequently will always be better in the long run. Use the information you gather on your site to target specific groups of people. Find out why they like your content, and find out where they are coming from. Then, you’ll be better prepared to go out looking for more readers like them. Niche down, and divide your readers into subgroups. You’re not stuck on one website or blog. Create the best alternative to your blog, and be your own competition. There’s nothing wrong with covering old topics the right way. Just don’t spin content, and never duplicate your posts. Instead, find ways to cover the same ideas on your most popular articles with a fine-tooth comb. In other words, go more in-depth with topics you’ve already covered in the past. Lastly, don’t miss a beat. You’ve got to publish content consistently if you want a better chance of succeeding. Don’t let anything get in the way of your routine, and post everything on schedule.