Sunday, November 1, 2015

Having Trouble Getting Content Seen? Maybe You Need to D.R.O.P. it!

Here is a content production work flow acronym that I use for blog posts and other content I publish, maybe it will help someone to get their content out there. So, get ready to D.R.O.P. Everything!

D is for “Develop”

This is a pretty big chunk of what we do, really, development. It includes ideation, curation, and referencing our material. This is where the creative work comes in.

Things to remember in developmet: work to develop content that is unique, but not TOO unique. If you can find a twist, or new perspective on something people are already talking about, you will have a built in audience. How?

      Take ideas from your social media news feeds
      Rip them straight from the headlines
      For content that is slightly more evergreen, go to the bestseller list for topics

Much like a quality paint job, the quality of your content lies in good prep, so don't skimp. If you're smart, you'll do your research and sourcing for more than one piece at a time, here's another hint, look for potential spinoffs into other related topics to develop later.

Use an outlining plan, like this one:  (link) to give yourself a template to build posts on. It makes it really fast and simple, gives your work a uniform look and makes it possible to work on multiple ideas at a time. If you are good with a word processor, you can set up an actual template to use.

R is for “Rewrite”

 Once you know what you want to say, it is time to figure out how to say it! This is the fun part. But why do I say re-write, instead of just “write”. Well,  first of all, it does not start with R, duh, but seriously, writing is rewriting. If you start into a piece with at least a second draft in mind, you will be more likely to take the time to produce serious, high quality work.

Plan on taking at least two passes at every piece, three is preferable. Here are the steps I use to edit my posts, when I am not rushing out the door and think, CRAP! No post yet today!

1.      Make a pass for obvious problems with spelling and grammar.
2.      Make a pass to edit for readability
3.      Make a pass to edit your work down to the fewest possible words that still convey your message
4.      Make a pass with this idea in mind, what links, or other content can I add to reinforce this message?
With most blog pieces (300 to 1000 words) all of these passes can be done in fifteen to twenty minutes, with practice, but here is the payoff, they make you look like a great writer!

O is for “Optimize”

SEO, what a fun little word. Search engines can be bane of your existence, or a golden ticket to the good life, depending on how you handle your content creation. There are several things you can do to make it easier on yourself.

Hopefully, you have already done good keyword research and have a nice list, of often searched terms that fit into your niche. If you don't, you should. Finding the right way to talk about the things you talk about is a huge key in getting traffic, other than friends and family.

      15 to 20% of your content, should, ideally, be keywords
      Integrating them into your text, so that they make sense takes times, but will give great results
      Using keywords in the right way is also important, especially in your anchor text and descriptions
      If you use Wordpress, get Yoast SEO plugin, it's free and will help a lot

In addition to keywords, you will also want to use good images, and other media to make your content sticky. The more value you give, the more likely the search engines are to index you highly, which is what you want.

P is for “Promote”

Location, locations, location! As the old adage goes, is the best way to build a successful business. The internet correlation to that is giving people great ways to find your location. There are too many great sites with awesome content around today to expect that your catchy domain name alone, will do this.

You need a plan, and I highly suggest you take a look at this post here,  (link) about tools you can use, and pay special attention to the IFTTT section. This thing is a free powerhouse filled with wonderful promotional tools.

      Automate as much sharing of your content as possible. (yea, automated sharing is marginally less effective, but come on, were you seriously going to build those links manually?)
      Work to build sharable content to enlist your audience as “brand evangelists” who will share and link to your work for you!
      Integrate social media, your other websites, any listings you have for books for sale, etc, to include your blog address.

Every little bit helps and paid traffic from Google ads, Facebook ads, and the like are good too. Work every angle you can, on  a regular basis and you will see your audience begin to grow over time. The harder and more consistently you work, without giving up, the better it will be.

So, now you have permission to DROP everything, go do it!