Content creation is the best way to stand out from the crowd and cut through the noise.
But there’s a certain approach that you have to adopt to make content creation a success, namely, these two things:
- SEO optimization (making it easy for search engines to recognize your website and your efforts)
- Optimizing user experience
But the real trick to attracting more traffic is to scale up your content efforts. Your goal should be to publish a truckload worth of content in a short span of time while staying true to the above criteria in mind.
In today’s highly competitive online world, it’s no longer enough to publish 500 words every month or so and calling it a day. What you need is a powerful content marketing machine that can churn out a minimum of 10,000 words per week. But how can a small business with just a few employees (or even a solo entrepreneur) take out the precious time during the day to make this happen in a way that ensures high-quality deliverables without sacrificing margins?
It’s not easy, but it’s 100% doable. And the end results are worth the effort.
In this post, we’ll go over the complete step-by-step guide to help you scale up content.
First thing’s first – it is absolutely critical to systematize your content marketing efforts. This is best done by developing a system that you and your team will strictly abide by. Every stage of the system can be scaled up, from brainstorming ideas to writing content and publishing new posts.
To streamline this process, you should create a well-documented content marketing strategy that aligns with your business goals. If you’re not sure what this means, here are a few things to keep in mind so you can get started:
- What does your website want to achieve in the next 1 year?
- What are the metrics that you want to measure during this time period?
- Does everyone on the team know their content marketing goals?
- Is your target audience searching for this content online?
It is important to make sure everyone on your team has a copy of the documented strategy and knows the role they will play in it. You should conduct weekly and monthly meetings to ensure everyone stays accountable for their roles. The meetings also give you the perfect opportunity to discuss new content creation ideas, measure what’s working, and see if everything is working as it should.
An editorial calendar, while not the most crucial aspect of the content marketing process, will certainly play a role in boosting productivity. The calendar should be adapted to suit your specific needs. The calendar’s schedule is not written in stone and is subject to change. Here are a few things to consider when creating an editorial calendar:
- Type of content: How diverse is your content? Is it meeting audience demand? What do your target customers prefer?
- Customer needs: Is your content addressing customer needs and pain points?
- Funnel content: Does your content address every stage of the customer journey? Hereis more information about the 4 phases of the customer journey.
- Call to action: What is the goal of each type of content?
- Major events: Have you accounted for major events, seasons, and holidays?
The benefits of a content calendar extend far beyond consistency and productivity – it helps your team stay on point. If you’re working on home maintenance, it’s obvious that an article on fitness isn’t going to do you any good.
A content calendar allows you to plan how the content fits into your overall strategy for the day, week, month, and if you plan ahead, the whole year. For example, if a major event is approaching, you want to make sure that your content complements it. This is particularly true if you are releasing a new product and want to take advantage of the event.
It is important for all your team members to voice their opinion. When it comes to content, two brains are always better than one. As we said earlier, the content calendar doesn’t have to be set in stone, it should be flexible and adjustable.
This is immensely important because by having their schedule well in advance of the deadline, your team will know exactly what’s coming up and what to expect. They don’t have to worry about things changing up at the last minute. Since they’re able to plan more efficiently, you won’t have to worry about rushed projects and posts that aren’t as well-researched as they could have been.
One great way to do this is by finding all the topics and keywords that you want to write in a single day, instead of doing keyword research every single time you plan on writing a blog.
Once you have your schedule planned out, you can map out your topics in your content calendar for the next couple of months.
Do keep in mind that the 4 to 6-month content schedule isn’t set in stone. It has (and should) have room for additions, subtractions, and last-minute shuffles. Just try not to do this every other day and make sure to keep your team in the loop each time you decide to make changes. It’s better to give your writers a heads up so they can plan accordingly – otherwise, they will deviate from the content plan.
Writing is not a one-man job. Not if you want to emphasize quality over quantity.
- There are many steps to content creation, these are as follows:
- Keyword research
- Finding the ideal content format
- Creating a content outline
- Writing the blog piece
- Editing it thoroughly
- Creating visuals for content and capturing screenshots
- Assembling the write-up with the visuals
- Quality checks and balances
- Publishing the blog post
- Sharing it through various outlets (newsletter, ads, and social media if need be)
It is important to realize that you don’t have to execute every single step yourself.
Share in the responsibility with someone in your team or outsource. You can focus on the things that you’re good at and delegate the things that you’re not good at.
Now that you have planned out the process for creating and scaling up content, your next goal should be to create a content outline for your blog posts.
This is purely optional though.
Sure you can start writing randomly and entertain every single line of thought (including distractions) but the results will be a hit and miss in terms of quality.
Also, freestyle writing is a little slow and could take away precious days (or week) from your content schedule.
It’s a much better idea to write blogs using a detailed outline (also known as the table of contents). This is much faster than writing on a blank canvas, and it makes your content super structured and organized. An outline also provides you with a complete overview of the things that you want to cover, giving you the chance to see if you’ve missed any important step or strategy.
For example, here’s our content layout for: “In-Depth Review of SEMrush”
This table of contents (TOC) makes it easy to find key points that were missed and need to be covered.
The advantage of creating a detailed outline is that once you start writing, you and your team won’t waste time on brainstorming new ideas. You’ll just fill in the blanks as you go along.
It can be very tempting to commit to a massive word count that deals in pure gibberish and publish at a higher frequency. But by doing so, you could be shooting yourself in your foot. If the content is average, or even worse, lower than average, it will drive away users. Search engines will pick up on this behavior and penalize your ranking as a result.
That being said, it is a good idea to focus on quantity if you’re in the early stages of setting up your blog. But once you’ve established a reputation or a reasonable level of domain authority, you’ll have to scale up quality. This is because readers don’t return to read average content. They want to invest their time into original stories that are worth reading.
This is why we recommend hiring experienced writers who may provide fewer pieces, but they’ll make sure each blog is well researched and of reasonably high quality. Not only will this blog piece need less editing but it will easily make up for the low word count when it generates more backlinks and SEO signals.
Once you have your team selected, you can publish blogs on a bigger scale than before without sacrificing quality. You can outsource content, hire your own team, or do everything on your own (not recommended).
It’s simple enough to closely coordinate with in-house employees, but things become slightly more difficult if you hire freelance writers. But just because your freelance writers aren’t in close proximity, they still need to be supervised like regular employees. If you do not have the right tools in place needed to communicate with them, you’ll struggle to use your freelance writers effectively.
To improve communication, you can use various tools such as:
Project Management Tools: Solutions like Asana, Trello, and Basecamp give you a bird’s eye view of the content generation process and your writer’s availability.
Messaging Tools: Use Slack, Skype, or Zoom to communicate directly with your writers irrespective of their current location. It is a good idea to use these tools even if your writers are nearby or just around the corner.
Content Management Platform: This solution lets you manage, assign, and pay your writers while streamlining your content operations and simplifying blog management irrespective of your team size.
You’ve got to play the role of mentor to your team, whether they’re in-house writers or freelancers. It is tempting to view your freelancers as dispensable since you can ‘always hire other freelancers’, but this attitude can prove costly. Businesses who develop this attitude fail to leverage the value of continuity that they can build over time by constantly providing feedback.
Hiring a new writer or outsourcing is not a magic bullet that will solve all your content generation problems. You have to engage and nurture your writers to mold their talent in your favor. Failing to engage freelance writers will result in an unhealthy amount of churn that will prevent you from scaling up your content.
No matter how experienced or talented your writers are, you two have to sort out your differences and start strategizing write-ups from a similar point of view. You have to take the time to provide clear feedback that will foster your team into a trusted group of writers that you can rely on for years on-end.
Sure you have to take some degree of turnover into account, but by reducing the turnover rate by streamlining your onboarding process and engagement through feedback and clear guidelines; you can build an efficient content generation process.
With so much content already out there, it can be a tad bit difficult to figure out how you can build your influence. In order to make your blog stand out, you have to put something that provides something unique to audiences.
A well-researched blog won’t cut it anymore. Instead, find a unique angle and focus on that. More like a journalist.
Here are a few ideas to help your next blog post stand out:
Case studies require an in-depth and up-close investigation of a particular topic. It could be produced to shed light on a complex issue, add more value to existing knowledge by building on previous research, or provide more contextual analysis around an event. The biggest advantage of case studies is that they’re incredibly difficult to write because a lot of data that goes into them is specific to you and your organization.
You can only write a case study on a topic that you’ve studied for a long time and have domain expertise over. It’s a great marketing tool that serves as evidence of your expertise. Do keep in mind that case studies are not at all like blog posts. You have to be thorough and detailed, provide stats, and in some cases, you’ll have to make use of technical lingo.
It’s a great idea to provide a case study at the end of a blog post. An insightful case study is one of the most effective ways to position your brand as authoritative.
It’s a good idea to write on topics that have been done to death, but you should diversify your blog posts by writing on something new (and relevant). This requires domain expertise.
Interviews with authorities in your niche are the definitive way of building up domain authority. Don’t be afraid to shoot out a few emails to an expert, they may be inclined to accept your offer for an interview if you ask nicely. At the end of the day, this is a numbers game and you’ll eventually find someone willing to spare a few minutes to help you write something unique. If they don’t agree to an in-person interview, you can always send in your questions via chat or email. This also works.
If nothing else, you can take permission to use their ‘quote’ in your blog post.
Many businesses operate like this:
They’ll send a few snippets of information and once you’re hooked, charge you for more advanced pieces of information.
You can leverage their unwillingness to share more in-depth knowledge and share information that your competitors would normally charge for. This will make you appear as a thought leader in your niche. This also requires a lot of domain expertise though and most freelancers may not be able to do this for you. You’ll have to either write such a blog piece yourself or provide this information to your writing team.
Before you hit the ‘publish’ button on your blog post, you should collect expert opinions from people you trust and ask them to provide you with a few comments and suggestions. This will encourage your prospects to participate in the discussion – and this will eventually translate into more social proof for you.
If you don’t personally know an expert, you can send an email to experts and ask them to provide you with suggestions.
It’s smart to repurpose your content into new formats to maximize engagement. This is an extremely efficient way of scaling up content because A) you already have a lot of content to choose from and B) you won’t have to a lot of time doing the research.
Here are the most popular formats that you can repurpose content for:
- Social Media Posts
More people watch videos, so it’s definitely a good idea to invest time and money in creating videos.
But you can’t just read your blog posts in front of a camera and hope it will have the same effect.
In order for content repurposing to work, you should tweak the original content so that it becomes more compatible with the new format.
For example, if you’re repurposing a long-form content (one with over 4000 words or more), only about 50% to 70% of the content will make it to the final reel. A good idea is to only cover the table of contents from the post and provide a brief overview.
- You can also use a statistic or a small snippet from the longer blog post and publish it into social media
- If you are dealing with a series of blog posts, you can convert it into an ebook (also builds authority)
- If the blog post has lots of statistics, you can create an infographic (these are very efficient at engaging users)
- If you’ve got a massive blog post, you can separate it into a smaller blog post (makes it easy for readers to digest content)
- Create press releases, whitepapers, email newsletters (use autoresponders like GetResponse)
People like colorful photos and visuals. The human brain just doesn’t like dealing with giant blogs of text that seem to stretch on forever. Don’t worry if you don’t have access to high-quality images, you can always use free sources like Pixabay, RawPixel, and Unsplash for access to millions of relevant pictures. Best of all, you won’t even have to provide any credit (it’s better if you do) for commercial use.
Plug your blog posts into your social media to improve your content writing efforts. Connecting with your prospects, coworkers, and even competitors help your blog stand out and look more authentic. If you didn’t already create social media profiles for your social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, then make sure to create one now. Social media is free and lets you cast a wide net to attract prospects from around the world. The more buzz you can generate around your blog pieces, the more authentic you will appear.
How do you know if your content marketing efforts are actually showing results? It is just as important to track your results and evaluate your website’s position. There are various free and paid analytical tools that let you measure progress and various KPIs. Our recommendation is to start with SEMrush and build from there.
Many businesses have realized the benefits of content creation and are striving to scale up content as part of their brand awareness campaigns. The sooner you board this bandwagon the better. You can either do content marketing yourself, or hire a team. Either way, you’ll be adding a ton of value to your organization.
Does your business have a content marketing plan? If so, we’d love to hear more about it. Please share your tips and insights into the comments section below!