We all by now know the importance of content when it comes to SEO. Whether it is using content to ensure our blog is fresh and exciting and boosts our targeted keyword rankings, or putting out detailed pieces of research that is going to earn dozens of natural links, we’re more aware than ever of the need to have a well-planned editorial calendar and a variety of features that we can produce.
At the same time, most of us recognize the difficulty in producing high quality, unique content every time we sit down to write. In fact, if you don’t recognize this difficulty, then it’s likely your content isn’t as good as it could be.
That said, if you make the time to sit down and plan a clear, meaningful content strategy, you’ll see there are many ideas and solutions you can use. As you’ll see throughout our ideas for creating unique and shareable content, if you keep an open mind and are willing to be dynamic and create content based on what’s happening now, that’s also a great way to be successful.
Here are 5 ideas to help you populate your editorial calendar and create unique and shareable content every time you post.
If the comments section of your blog is popular, you ought to be using this free resource to generate editorial ideas all the time. Rather than answering every question or query below the line, tell your blog subscriber that you’ll address it in a future blog post. This way, you’ve generated a new idea for your blog, are showing people that you’re happy to answer questions, and are guaranteeing that people come back in the future, as long as you actually produce the article as promised!
You might not even need to answer a question. A comment might look to explore another idea or inspire something you hadn’t thought of yet which you can then look into and write up as a blog or article.
While much of your content strategy will centre around what you post on your own site, it is worth remembering that content elsewhere that mentions you and is potentially going to be shared many times can be just as strong as an SEO and increasing brand awareness tool.
Why not reach out to customers or experts in your industry? Point them to something on your site, offer them a complementary product, or give them an insight into what you do, and then ask them to write a review. If a potential customer stumbles over a recommendation of your company on another website, they’re far likelier to take some action than they would be after seeing a promotional tweet from yourself or reading a piece of sales copy.
The internet population is your biggest asset: do whatever you can to make the most of it.
The old saying goes that you can never have too much of a good thing. This is certainly true when it comes to content. One easy way to develop your content strategy is to look at the things on your site that people love the most. What works for you?
Whenever you write a case study, you may get far more social shares than you do from a regular blog, for example, or every infographic you produce earns a number of high quality links that sees increased traffic to your site in the days after publishing. Every content related blog out there will talk about the importance of producing varied content. That is great advice, but you should be prepared to tailor yours to what your audience loves, without falling into the trap of producing the same thing every few days.
Social media has the potential to write your editorial calendar for you. You can gain truckloads of inspiration from social media in two ways:
Look for the most common questions that people ask through social media that relate to your industry. Reach out to the person and explain that you’re currently writing a blog, producing an infographic, or putting together some other form of content that will answer the question. Inform them when you’ve posted the content on your site, and maybe even mention or credit them in your post. This will gain you a reader and a social share instantly.
Use groups functions on social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Find the best ones and get involved with them. Use the discussions and debates that occur within these groups to trigger ideas for new posts. Again, once you’ve produced a piece of content, you can share it within the group, and because it appeals directly to the interests of people who are active there, you’re again sure to gain reads and further shares.
In addition to these social media platforms, you should also consider using sites like Yahoo! Answers to discover the big questions that people want answering.
These two things can work together or be mutually exclusive, depending on what you’re looking to achieve and how you want to promote your content.
We’ll start with surveys. A survey is great as you’re able to interpret the results in whatever way you wish. Obviously, it is best to avoid looking like you’re deliberately spinning a survey for your own ends, but everyone knows that statistics can say what you want them to. In any case, try to stick to offering objective writing, even if you simply write from two perspectives and conclude that one is better than the other; at least you haven’t simply produced a single piece of propaganda in a futile effort to drum up sales.
Infographics often stem directly from surveys, and are a fantastic opportunity to highlight your expertise without a reader having to digest 2,000 words of intense writing. Infographics can quickly go viral and generate many backlinks, too, so they’re definitely something you should be thinking about within your content strategy.
Have these five ideas in mind as you look to develop your content strategy further over the coming month. We’ll return to this in early October, with five more ideas for creating unique and shareable content, which will round off your editorial calendar and leave you with a diverse, rich range of features on your website.