To Be Successful With Web Content You Need a Plan

With your web marketing, one of the WORST mistakes you can make is to just throw out content into the web, or your site, willy-nilly, randomly, with no overall purpose or web content strategy in mind.

As a good starter recommendation, if you are operating a blog, and it is a new blog site, we would recommend posting perhaps twice a week, and then tweak that frequency going forward. Below are some further thoughts to help you with your content planning and strategizing

A Suggested Web Content Strategy That Will Work In Most Markets/Niches

How Far In Advance Should You Work? All other things being equal, you should work at least 2-3 weeks in advance of your actual publishing date, and if necessary you can work up to 12 months in advance.

Why work so far in advance? Well, for one thing, you will need plenty of time for you (or your assigned staffer) to research the assigned topics. As well, you should consider any upcoming break times, holidays or vacation seasons, and allow extra time for those. Also, you need to consider your overall available time and resources — if you are a smaller shop, it is going to take longer to do everything, so you need more advance time before your live publishing date.

What Are Your Goals? When formulating a content strategy plan, consider first what your goals are. Are you aiming to get lots of visits to your website? Are you looking for an increase in SERP’s position rankings? Increased customer loyalty? Different goals require a different focus, and consequently a different approach to preparing content — and this will require a different approach to strategizing your content needs, a different finished plan.

How Can You Get Ideas for Content? The tried-and-true approach is to do some basic keyword (anchor text) research. But in addition to that, you need to “branch out” and look for related words and phrases which can suggest additional topics to be covered.

You should also take note of what your competitors, industry/niche peers and influencers are writing about. Be unique and be yourself – but find a way to address the topics currently under discussion in your market.

Also be aware of the things being discussed on various online forums and social channels. Make note, when you run across a post, tweet or chat where someone is asking for information that they need, or an answer to a question, or a solution for a problem they are experiencing — that you can provide.

Reading widely in your industry/niche is the KEY to having something to say later on — When you run across something useful, copy and save it to a digital clip file. When it’s time to write, dip into that clip file for some inspiration.

What Format Should You Use? How Long Should Your Content Piece Be? There is no hard-and-fast rule. Some content channels seem to favor quick, easy-to-read snippets, list and charts (Facebook and Twitter come to mind here). Other channels — like YouTube — are more visually-oriented. As you post your content, keep a careful eye on your social likes and shares — this will help you to learn, over time, what engages your readers most on various content social channels.

How Often Should You Publish? In general, you want to publish often enough to keep your readers interested, but trying to implement a content publishing schedule that is too ambitious and overly-aggressive can cause issues down the line.

The best procedure is to start small and slow and work out the initial kinks. You can then gradually ramp up your efforts as you go, rather than to attempt to do too much initially and be forced to scale back, which always discourages people.

Once you have built up audience interest, your audience will be looking for new content, so be careful not to disappoint them!

Exactly When Should You Publish? Your exact publishing days will be up to you, of course, but there are certain times of the year when you might want to consider publishing content — or not:

Traditional Sales Periods: If your industry has “traditional” times when sales are held.

New Product Releases: In conjunction with the release of new products/services.

Tradeshows: Publishing during your attendance (live blogging) or after attending (recap blogging) a tradeshow.

Webinars: In conjunction with an announcement of a webinar, to offer some “teaser” help.

Shopping Seasons: Like Christmas, when people are interested in buying over an extended period.

Holiday Weekends: This is usually a national holiday that falls on a Monday or Friday.

Vacation Season: When people are out-and-about and traveling during the summertime.

Whatever final form your web content strategy takes on, the important thing is that you do have a plan in place, that it is accurate and reflective of your situation (i.e., realistic) and that you FOLLOW it.

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