Research, Research, Research: The Most Important Element of Content Strategy

When I first looked at the long list of deliverables that I would eventually need to complete for the content strategy of Making Music Magazine, I had no idea which element would take the longest, which element would be the hardest to find or complete, which elements would be easy or which elements were most important. There was so much information packed into 10 deliverables that I knew they’d all have importance and they would all take serious effort. There one most important thing I learned during this whole process was:

The more research you do, the better the overall content strategy will be.

As far as I’m concerned, there’s no such thing as too much research. This is a lesson that every student hoping to pursue content strategy should be taught. But the most interesting thing about this project is that only two of the deliverables were researched-based, the quantitative audit and the analysis summary document. But I can honestly say that those two elements, mostly the analysis summary document, took up 80% of my time to complete. But good research makes my job easier.

The research I completed for this project was:

  • An interview with the client
  • A complete audit of the website and content
  • A complete audit of each social channel and their content
  • Monitoring online conversation around the brand using Sysomos
  • Monitoring competitor conversation and determining share of voice
  • Using Google Analytics for website insights
  • Using Facebook insights for Facebook data
  • Using Twitter analytics for Twitter insights
  • Demographic information searches

And I’m sure I’m forgetting a few things. But this research made the rest of the job so much easier, and this is a great lesson going forward while I pursue a career in content strategy. The more I research, the easier my job will be.

makingmusicmag.com

makingmusicmag.com

One of the biggest challenges of this project was that in order to develop a strong content strategy and really know what’s best for a brand and its content, you really need to be an expert on the topic being covered, the brand and even the industry as a whole. I was certainly not an expert on the music magazine industry and I had never heard of Making Music Magazine and time was extremely limited. So I became as much of an expert as I could possibly have become in that amount of time and I can name more music education social media influencers than I ever thought I’d be able to. But becoming an expert and doing that research isn’t just something that makes the job easier, it’s a requirement in completing the job.

The easiest part of developing a content strategy was connecting insights to strategy. Once the research was done, there was a lot of information in place and and not much sense could be made of it. But it was a lot like a puzzle, all the pieces were there but they had yet to be put together. I grabbed those pieces and aligned them in a way that made sense. One thing to always be sure of is that you’re always connecting a strategy to both an insight and an objective. If strategy isn’t based on an insight than it’s not going to accomplish an objective.

This process was eye opening and a great exercise on how to build a content strategy. But the most important thing to come out of it for me was the value of research. If I would have been light on my research, this would have been an entirely different, more difficult experience.

A Guide to Creating Your First Content Strategy

Developing a content strategy from scratch is no small feat. It takes quite a lot of time, effort, and thought to create a cohesive and effective strategy. But it’s certainly worth it.

Once you’ve determined that content creation is the best strategy to achieve your business and communication goals, it’s time to dive into all the deliverables of a content strategy. But here’s where the stress sets in. There are so many! Where do you start? Which ones need help from the whole team? And how do you know when you’re done?

Content Strategy Deliverables

Photo by dwonderwall via Flickr CC.

Let’s start with what needs to be created as a part of your content strategy. Here’s the deliverables most organizations will need to develop. This could change depending on the size of the organization and team, and the budget and scope behind the content strategy.

  • Quantitative Inventory
  • Qualitative Website Audit
  • Analysis Summary Document
  • Core Strategy
  • Topic Map
  • Workflow Diagram
  • Editorial Calendar
  • Content Evaluation
  • Content Guidelines

But now comes the actual work. I’ve just completed my first content strategy plan for a local travel agency. Yes! Through this experience (and my struggles and successes), I’ve come away with 3 takeaways to help complete your first content strategy without a hitch.

1. If you’re not the owner or an employee of the company, spend lots of quality time with them.

The more time spent at the company learning from the employees, determining their processes, and understanding their daily responsibilities, the easier the entire process will be for you. There are countless decisions you as a content strategist need to make that will affect the way the company works and runs part of their business. While anyone can make these decisions, they’ll likely only be useful and successful if you’re fully immersed in their company.

Immerse yourself within the company

Photo by dwonderwall via Flickr CC.

2. The first content strategy will be the most difficult and time-consuming. It gets easier!

This sounds obvious–I know. However, it’s not only because you’re going to get better at developing content strategies and will gain more knowledge throughout the process. But it’s because you’re going to develop lots of templates and guides the first time around that will likely only need to be edited for the following strategies. It takes quite a lot of time to create an editorial calendar or an analytics tracking spreadsheet. Good news, now you have them ready to go. Just swap out the content and maybe add/subtract a couple columns to customize it to fit specific business goals.

3. Schedule time for edits and then more edits before you deem it complete.

I know how it goes. You finish the workflow diagram on a Monday and pat yourself on the back for a job well done. That deliverable is done. However, on Wednesday you begin working on the content guidelines. You’re developing an exceptional set of organizational policies for the company. That is, until you realize you’re now contradicting what you set forth in the workflow diagram on Monday.

A content strategy needs to be seen as a work in progress until it’s been delivered to the company, they’ve been implementing it, and it has been successful. So until that point comes, be flexible. Things will change often, so make sure you schedule some buffer time for this.

Allow time for edits

Photo by Wiertz via Flickr CC.

Content strategies differ greatly from one to the next. Or at least they should since companies are all different and have varying business and communication goals. Due to this, developing a content strategy is never going to be a breeze in the park. Though, I’m certain that by implementing the 3 tips above, your first strategy will be slightly less stressful than mine and hopefully very successful.

Are you a seasoned content strategist? If so, what other tips can you give to someone just starting out?

So Many Elements, So Little Time

Who would have thought a few weeks ago that I’d have any idea about content strategy? On top of that, I had absolutely no clue how many facets there were to it. This blog will concentrate on some of the people behind the scenes of content strategy and their individual roles in making it all happen.

So much of what we do is group work and it can be challenging at times. The folks I’ve listed below all need to collaborate and work well together but unlike some other industries, they have incredibly small amounts of time to produce and execute their work.

  • User Experience
  • Design
  • Information Architecture
  • Copywriting
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Marketing
  • Business stakeholders

User Experience

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 8.17.48 PM

This work is so freaking cool. Mostly it’s research to figure out people’s behaviors and motivation. User-Centered Design is what drives this research. It ranges from basic interviews and surveys to first click testing and prototypes. This type work can be very impactful on design and content based on the results.

Design

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 8.28.28 PM

The design for your project is incredibly important and giving the designer a clear understanding of what the vision is for the project is the key. The designer needs to know the who/why/what/when/how in order to produce that integral piece of the puzzle.

Information Architecture

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 8.33.54 PM

Information Architecture provides the backbone to the project. It gives the project structure and form that no other piece can do but of course they all need to intersect to truly come to life. Seems to me that IA needs to use the user experience data to create a highly functioning product.

Copywriting

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 8.39.38 PM

So it’s probably horrible to admit that I didn’t even know exactly what a copywriter did until earlier today? Well, there, I admitted it. So the learning outcomes for this blog is now I know, woo hoo! Copywriting is the execution of ideas; content strategy is their organization and measurement. Seems like these jobs can blend together at times but also need to be separate to have great success.

Search Engine Optimization

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 8.48.58 PM

So I didn’t have time to read everything out there on SEO and I’m getting the feeling like there could be a whole college degree created around the topic.  SEO is all about hits and visibility.  How many people can you get to your product.  It’s just like in the old days when companies would try tricks like AAAAAA Moving Company just so they would be the first listing in the ole phone book.

Marketing

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 4.12.15 PM

The marketing piece to the puzzle is there to support the content and to push it out there for all to see.  Content is always most important but if it’s not marketed well, you’re sunk!

Overall, each area needs a strong team or at least one person’s focus to be successful.  I can’t see where you can cut out any of these areas at all.  What kills me is how I didn’t know anything about all these huge fields that are out there until I started this class.

 

Two Reasons to Use a Content Calendar

Content can be overwhelming. There’s typically a lot of it, if a content manager is doing his or her job correctly, and it’s consistently being pushed out to the masses. When developing a content strategy, a lot of elements are involved like meta data, message architecture, keyword strategy and some sort of plan to attack search engine optimization. When just starting out, an element of a content strategy that is sometimes overlooked is a content calendar, also occasionally referred to as an editorial calendar.

Here are two reasons why a content calendar is a must for every content strategy:

1. It keeps you organized:

With so much content flowing in and out, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of it all if not for a content calendar. This is exceedingly helpful when there are multiple people contributing content. If it’s a blog with multiple bloggers, the content will be coming in from all over the place and it can’t just be published as soon as it comes in. A content strategist must make sure there’s an equal amount content coming out daily. There can’t be 10 posts on one day and none the next. All of this is far easier to keep track of when there’s a content calendar keeping track of these things all in one place. Many content management systems, like WordPress, have a function like this built right in. This is most likely because these services realize the extreme importance of a content calendar.

screenshot-1

 

2. It’s easier to keep strategy aligned:

Keeping the content strategy on track is extremely important because when brands sway away from their strategy, they often lose track of their brand voice as consistency, as well. A content calendar lays out your content and allows you to place it and distribute it in ways that make sense and will contribute to the message you’re trying to get across before you don’t have the ability to control it anymore. What I mean by that is, if you’re just pushing out content that you think aligns well with your brand message, you can’t identify any potential problems until all the content is already out there. With a content calendar, it’s easy to have foresight before the content is published to be sure the message you’re sending is strong and effective.

Content calendars can be helpful for a variety of different mediums, whether it be social media content, blog content, or any other types of content.

Hanging with Margot, Georgy, and Niketa

For our last class, we had a great Google Hangout with three content strategists: Margot Bloomstein, author of Content Strategy at Work and founder/CEO of Appropriate, Inc.; Georgy Cohen, Associate Creative Director, Content Strategy at OHO Interactive, and co-founder of Meet Content LLC; and Niketa Patel, Managing Director of Rebel Media Labs at RebelMouse.

Margot Takeaways

In terms of being a content strategist, Margot solves the same type problems she faced as a designer not through color, typography, and density of information on the page, but now verbally through style, tone, and different content types. When talking about the importance of writing as a content strategist, it is naturally a large part of her job and she considers it a form of problem solving. However, she also uses her artistic background to visually solve problems. Also coming from an artistic academic background this definitely resonated with me.

Niketa Takeaways

It was great hearing how Nikita reached out to others (in particular AJC and RebelMouse) to talk about what they were doing and how she was able to talk to them about what was happening at the organization’s content strategy-wise. Niketa also stressed the importance of setting aside time to as we say in the creative world, “work your craft.” She sets aside time to write and to learn more about what is happening in the industry. It is easy to get bogged down in the minutiae of a project, but a content strategist must also keep up with what is happening within the content strategy community.

Georgy Takeaways

Despite the overabundance of buzzwords nowadays, Georgy reminded us that storytelling is not “a dumb buzzword.” As she so eloquently stated, “Writing isn’t words on a page, writing is in how you think, how you construct, how you have that sense of inquiry, and that sense of narrative.” As a writer it is important to be able to communicate to the audience to create a meaningful impact.

Content Strategy in a Mobile Environment

Based on the Mashable article “Why having a mobile site is now even more important,” my question concerned how does mobile affect how a content strategist performs their job. Niketa pointed out that it was very important to deconstuct a story and tell it in a more concise way. With the growing emphasis on visual content, it must also be created with mobile in mind.

Margot also brought up the fact that the current editorial/publishing culture will play a large part of creating a mobile content strategy. Traditional long-form content creators may need to learn how to adjust their writing to fit a modular platform. So although Margot thought that content did not necessarily need to be short, she agreed with Niketa the importance of creating chunks of content that is more suitable for mobile devices.

Georgy brought up a great point that mobile platforms force content strategists to revisit core questions like what content is being created, what is important, who are we talking to, and most importantly, what does the content need to reach the audience. These are issues that were not a problem a few years ago. Georgy doesn’t think that this is a problem and as Margot brings up the mobile web forces brands a chance to go back to the fundamental questions that should be asked at the beginning of any initiative.

Final Thoughts

As emphasized by all three women and even what I’ve seen reading the occasional Twitter chats, the content strategy community is friendly and willing to share their insights with others. Sometimes, it may lead to future employment, but it will always make you a better content strategist.

Post Script

I also enjoyed this chat on a more personal level–Margot was a fellow creative, artistic person; Georgy was a fellow nerd who geeks out about the Internet and technology; and Niketa was my fellow South Carolina and Atlanta connection (yes, I have heard about Francis Marion and was actually accepted there). Thank you Kelly and Jenn for getting such a great panel.

Content experts emphasize the growing importance of mobile, technology

As a panelist pointed out, content strategy isn’t something new. It’s not something like social media strategy that has emerged with the popularity of technology and online brands. Content strategy has been around for a long time, in its simplest form helping brands deliver their messages to consumers. But the oncoming importance of mobile and technology has certainly changed the ways content strategists thing and how brands are delivering content.

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 2.49.07 PM

A panel of experts recently discussed this emergence of technology and mobile. On hand was:

Georgy Cohen

  • Associate creative director of content strategy at Oho Interactive, a digital agency that develops strategies for brands in higher education, travel and healthcare.
  • Co-founder of Meet Content, helping brands in higher education develop successful content.

Niketa Patel 

  • Managing Director in the Rebel Media Lab at  RebelMouse, a content curation platform that allows brands to bring content from all over the web to one landing page.
  • Formerly worked in social at CNN Money and ABC News.

The question about a mobile emphasis was greeted by Margot with a groan, as mobile has certainly given content strategists headaches, but Niketa chimed in, calling it “an incredibly exciting time to be working in content strategy.” She discussed the shift from telling stories in current media to telling stories on mobile and how those two things were different. On mobile, in order to reach an audience the content has to be short, concise and to-the-point. Niketa recommended deconstructing a story in order to tell it on mobile. Rather than just putting content from other media on mobile, it’s important to repurpose it, making it visual and something that the audience will actually want to consume.

But it’s also about the technology that’s helping make it easier to think “mobile-first” as Nikita said. She talked about BuzzFeed’s CMS and how there’s a mobile preview as well as a desktop preview before posting. It’s important for companies to adopt technology like this or they’ll never truly be putting mobile as a priority. For too long, brands have been putting mobile to the side and it’s finally come to a point when audiences are demanding mobile as a first option.

Margot brought up an interesting point about how it’s about more than the technology, it’s about the editorial process and culture that supports that technology. If the entire process doesn’t emphasize mobile-first, it can’t be successful. “In order for content to be mobile-friendly, I would argue that it doesn’t just have to be short… but it needs to be modular,” she said. “It needs to be in chunks, not blobs… And to do that, the back-end content management system needs to support that type of content creation.”

But is this really any different that what content strategy has been since its early days? Georgy argues that going back to the core principals of content strategy is all you need to be successful on mobile. You must continue to ask the question like:

  • What’s important?
  • Who are we talking to?
  • How are we reaching them?
  • What does the content need to achieve its goal?

This is the key. While the medium of content strategy has changed over the years, the core principals have stayed the same. Mobile is just another medium content strategists are finding ways to deliver messages on.

4 Tips for Becoming a Content Strategist

Despite the fact that content strategy has been around for many years, content strategist positions have recently become a highly sought after job as the phrase ‘content strategy’ continues to garner buzz across industries.

Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, what’s content strategy? The Content Strategy Consortium defines content strategy as “the practice of planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content.” So, as a content strategist, you’d likely have some hand in the organization’s online messaging and branding, information architecture, editorial strategy and writing, search engine optimization, metadata strategy, content management and channel distribution strategies.

Does this sound like something you’d love? If so, let’s keep going.Content Strategy Panel

Based on a panel between Margot Bloomstein, author of Content Strategy at Work and founder of Appropriate, Inc.; Georgy Cohen, Associate Creative Director, content strategy at OHO Interactive and co-founder of Meet Content LLC; and Niketa Patel, Managing Director of Rebel Media Lab; there were 4 recurring themes that would help anyone seeking to become a content strategist.

 

Tip for becoming a content strategist

1. You must love (and be good at) problem solving. Content strategy’s purpose is to solve a business problem. Depending on the needs of an organization and the business goals they have, your role as a content strategist will look differently. Margot regularly solves business problems through style, tone, and different content types, and Georgy explained the importance of asking the right questions and acting like a journalist so you can fully grasp the business problems at hand.

Tip for becoming a content strategist

2. You need to be able to synthesize information and create order out of chaos. You may not be the one writing daily public-facing content, however, there’s certainly a lot you’ll need to write. Once you determine how content strategy can be used to solve a business problem, Georgy explained how it’s up to you to synthesize the information and convey it to your team as well as your clients. Some common content strategy deliverables include a message map, editorial strategy, style guide, workflow diagrams and much more. All of these require a strong writing ability to convey the proper strategy.

Tip for becoming a content strategist

3. You’ve got to have an open mind and be hungry for new challenges. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to land your dream job right away, so you’ll need to be open to other positions. Margot’s advice is to take a position at an agency and learn from those who have been in the industry for a while. You should work with several clients from different industries so you can see how content strategy differs depending on the business problems at hand. After you have quite a bit of varied work under your belt, perhaps you may be interested in consulting. If that’s the case, make sure you’re well networked as Georgy mentioned that it’s likely the only way you’ll earn work once you first get started.

Tip for becoming a content strategist

4. You’ve got to network and reach out to those within the industry. People are very well networked within content strategy. This means you need to be as well. Fortunately, people within the industry are incredibly friendly and most are happy to give advice and point you in the right direction. Niketa explained that she got to where she was today through her network. Her biggest advice to someone seeking a position in content strategy is to be open to meeting new people and to be the person at the table with the ideas. You won’t make it very far within the industry being a wallflower.

These are by no means a fool-proof or full list of how you could become a content strategist, but these 4 tips are certainly a good start. Now it’s up to you to take the first step.

Are you a content strategist? What advice would you give to someone seeking a position in content strategy?

 

Last class: Content strategist on content in mobile platform

On the last day of the class, we have the chance to hear a panel of professional content strategist to share their experience in the content industry. They told us about how they started in the business and many valuable key factors to be successful to stay in the content business. One of the key factors I learnt from this experience is their opinion on content in mobile search. I will reflect upon their idea and provide some of my insight in the novel content ecosystem.

Once upon a time, if you wanted to use SEO to increase your rankings, you simply crammed your website as full of keywords as possible. Some less scrupulous web designers crammed their sites full of popular, but irrelevant, keywords. Of course, that only worked for websites who only wanted to display ads and were not concerned with getting visitors to come back.

mobile-app-development

Mobile users are different from desktop users. Just as you don’t get to decide what platform your visitors use to access your site (they do), the same philosophy applies to your content development.

Let your users tell you what content they want to see. How can you do this? One great way is by leveraging query logs. Look at what those logs tell you about what users want to see. Just as Google will look at query logs to determine what questions to answer next, Britton applied the same strategy to his website and let user traffic tell him which celebrities the users themselves wanted information about. When queries came in and he had no corresponding content, he created that content. In essence, user demand drove the content creation.

Perhaps the most important SEO factor after creating good content is good keyword research. There are a variety of tools that allow you to discover the specific ways that people may be searching for your content.

You want to create content using those keywords, the actual search terms people are using, so you can produce content that effectively “answers” that query. Quality content should produce meaningful interactions with users. Search engines may try to measure this interaction – engagement – in a variety of ways.

For example, how long do users stay on your page? Did they search, click through to your listing but then immediately “bounce” back to the results to try something else? That “pogosticking” behavior can be measured by search engines and could be a sign that your content isn’t engaging.

Conversely, are people sending a relatively long time reviewing your content, in relation to similar content on other sites? That “time on site” metric or “long click” is another type of engagement that search engines can measure and use to assess the relative value of content.

Mobile has a drastically user experience from desktop, however, from the ideas of the content strategist in our panel session, I learn that the core factor regarding whether a page is interesting enough to attract tractions is not too different from the desktop market. I believe that as a content strategist, our job is to find the subtle difference and recreate our content layout to cater to the readers in the most friendly way.

 

 

 

Publishing is Hard: Make it Easier on Yourself

You’ve thrown yourself into the exciting industry of content marketing and social media. Hooray! But wait, that means you’re also now a publisher since publishing content is a big part of your new daily responsibilities. And here’s a secret for you—if you didn’t realize it yet, you soon will.

Publishing is hard.

Consistently creating quality, effective content takes a whole lot of work. And this work certainly doesn’t end after you click ‘publish.’ But no worries, it’s time to make it easier on yourself—starting now.

Content Creation

Keeping up with your content creation needs is tough. Photo: Dawolf, Flickr CC

Plan, Then Plan Some More

The more time spent on creating a cohesive content strategy for your web content in the beginning, the easier the entire process will be for you. Don’t forget to include the following elements into your planning. This is, by no means, an exhaustive list but is an excellent way to get started. Be sure to write all this down into a content strategy guide for yourself, as you’ll want to refer to it regularly!

  • Messaging
  • Brand tone and voice
  • Target audience and personas
  • Keywords
  • Distribution channels
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Metadata

Create an Editorial Workflow for You and Your Team

Now that you’ve got a pretty good sense of what your content will be about, who it’s for, and how you’re going to get it to them, it’s time to create some procedures, policies, and a workflow. This will help you to gain momentum and keep up with the complexities of frequently publishing content.

Developing an editorial calendar (Contently has an incredible guide to creating one), a customized content management system (CMS), and your newly developed content strategy guide is going to be what sets you apart from everyone else.

An editorial calendar will keep you and your team focused on creating the right content, for the right people, at the right time. And a CMS customized with page and post templates for your specific needs is a tool that will keep you and your team publishing efficiently. Margot Bloomstein, author of Content Strategy at Work, says it best. “Above all, make it easy for your internal users to produce, publish, and manage great content.”

Kanban Wall For Content

A workflow strategy will get you and your team regularly producing content. Photo: DeanoPower, Flickr CC

Don’t Publish Your Content in Just One Place

Most organizations don’t need to create content for only one channel; that’d be too easy. They have to share their content across several platforms in order to effectively reach their audience. If this is you (and I’m sure it is) make sure you’re not publishing your content in just one place. Instead, take your topic for a blog post and rework it to fit across other appropriate channels as well.

Can that blog post work well on the main website? Should it be a microsite? Or what about a digital magazine, email newsletter, podcast, video series, webinar, ebook, or infographic? And don’t forget about your social channels! You’ll be surprised how much additional content you can create when you’re thinking creatively about its form. Fortunately, Hubspot has lots of ideas for not letting your content go to waste, which is definitely worth checking out.

Like I said, publishing is hard. But the above strategies to plan a cohesive content strategy and develop a workflow will surely help you to create content more regularly and efficiently.

Do you have any strategies to add? What helps make your life as a content manager oh-so-much easier?

4 Steps to a Killer Blog Post

4 Steps to a Killer Blog Post

You’ve got this awesome idea for a blog post, right? Now all you have to do is write and publish the post then you’re going to get thousands of views and incredible engagement. Man, I wish it was that easy.

Actually, there’s quite a bit that goes into a blog post and it’s not just about the writing. It all revolves around having an excellent content strategy.

 

1. Develop Your Organization’s Content Strategy

First thing first. You need to make sure your content strategy for your organization, company, or personal blog is good to go. According to Margot Bloomstein, “content strategy is the practice of planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content” (2012). Oh, and while developing your strategy, make sure you’re addressing the following:

  • Creation: What will it consist of? Why? Where will it come from? Who will be in charge?
  • Delivery: Where will your new content go? How are you going to post and share this with your users?
  • Governance: How are you going to update your content and keep it fresh? How are you going to evaluate its effectiveness?

2. Design Your Website to be Easy on the Eyes

The best content you’ve ever created is worthless if no one spends time on your site. So make sure your website is easy on the eyes and easily navigable. A mess of unrelated advertising, too many colors, and too many links (just to name a few) can easily distract the reader and get him or her lost within your site. When that happens they’re going to quickly click away. And no one wants that.

Great Blog Web Design

Keep it clean and easily navigable to keep your readers interested.

3. Write an Easily Scannable, Highly Engaging Blog Post

Yes, a well-written blog post is still critical for success. This is going to be what keeps your readers coming back for more. When writing a post, keep these ideas in mind:

  • Keep it short and scannable. Because we’re all short on time.
  • Mix up your content a bit. Words are awesome, but don’t forget about video, photos, graphics, polls, podcasts and more.
  • Keep it engaging. Pose a question or call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your post.

4. Follow-Up With Your Blog Post

Lastly, your new piece of content that you just published needs a bit of help to push it over the top. The proper distribution, search engine optimization (SEO), and following up with some analytics will ensure that you’re getting the most out of your posts. Come back to your content regularly and actively engage with those who post comments on the article and your social profiles. You can also refurbish any of your content that isn’t time sensitive. If that lengthy article you posted 6 months ago can easily be turned into a sweet graphic or video that can easily be consumed and shared, why wouldn’t you do it?

Share Blog Post on Social Networks

Great content will want be shared—make it easy for the user to do.

This will surely get you on your way to writing a killer blog post. Each of the 4 steps must all work together and none can stand alone. Start by focusing on your content strategy and when in doubt, always refer back to it. This will help to ensure you’re creating useful and usable content for your users that’ll stand out among the rest.

Think you have it down? What other steps do you take to create a killer blog post?