Michelle Mckinley is the senior director of growth marketing at CareerArc, a team that offers technology-based social recruiting and outplacement...
Sometimes creating content is easier said than done. Business owners and bloggers get busy, and it’s all too easy to leave a blog idle for a few weeks or even months. When this happens, your business can suffer.
Customers, site visitors, and readers expect to see consistent activity, indicating that a blog and business are up and running. When a site is idle for too long, customers can lose interest, and site traffic can drop.
If you find that you can’t get a handle on consistently creating and publishing content, this post is for you. A worthy goal is to publish up to three posts a week: two blog articles and one evergreen source.
Though perfect consistency might not happen every week, you can still come close. With the following 10 ways to write content consistently, even the busiest bloggers and businesses can fall into a steady rhythm.
10 Ways to Write Content Consistently
1. Assess Where Your Content Is Currently
All good writers are self-critical, even to a fault. My old high school English teacher said it best: “Nothing written is ever done, only due.”
Especially in the digital marketing space, the content we create is constantly in need of innovation and optimization. Tactics we wrote about last week may not work next week – Google is a fickle beast. It’s important that you are constantly analyzing your content strategy and campaign on a holistic level (as you go) to make sure you are heading in the right direction.
Set aside time every week to brainstorm alone or with colleagues. Come up with at least 5-10 topics you want to create, and plan out which you will write each week. If you aren’t sure where to start, your keyword strategy can offer some ideas.
Your main goal is to create both headlines and subheadlines from these ideas. Once you’ve got a good list, you can take a step back. Try not worry about brainstorming and drafting on the same day.
2. Create Writer’s Templates
Your average blog/evergreen site post usually looks like this:
- 2-5 Relevant Content Paragraphs
- Pictures and/or Videos
- Concise Conclusion
- Call to Action
Using these categories, you can create templates for your content pieces. It’s easier to plug content into a pre-prepared document than to start from scratch each time. If you’re shooting for 2-3 blog posts and one evergreen source a week, creating templates can save you time.
If you don’t know how to make your own templates, there are sites where you can download quality templates for free.
3. Always Be Doing Keyword Research
To make sure you blog topics are relevant, always do your research. See what other sites and blogs are saying. Focus on business blogs that offer the same services and products you do. In the case of B2B marketing, reading blogs by and for B2B marketers is a great place to start. Take note of what your competitors are saying.
Ask yourself the following questions while researching:
- Are they raising relevant questions?
- Are they catering to their (and your) audience demographic?
- How can you take this research and apply it to your content?
If you find that other blogs and sites are hitting certain points, find ways to do this in your own content, too.
4. Build a Content Calendar
Keep yourself on schedule by drafting a calendar. This calendar will remind you when to post from week to week. When filling your calendar, be sure to mark writing days and publishing days. Content Marketers usually combine their keyword research and their publication queue to keep all of their resources in one useful asset. This is what we call a Content Calendar:
Writing days should fall on days when you know you have ample time to write up a blog piece or two. Publishing days should be on days where you have had enough time to proofread and edit your content to make sure it’s perfect.
Building an extensive content calendar will help organize your strategy as well as keep you on track. Keyword research and blog writing can send search marketers down the rabbit hole. But we only have so many hours in the day – it’s important we know when it’s time to cut and run and move onto the next writing task.
5. Use Tools to Track Your Content’s Progress
You can track your progress two ways: how much you’re posting, and how much your audience is responding. There are tools to track both kinds of progress.
Trello, for example, is a useful tool that works something like Instagram or Pinterest. It allows you to visualize your content and ideas and keep them in order. Trello is also good for keeping track of the different pieces that make up a whole project.
To track the impact of your content posts, Google Analytics is a useful tool. It measures how many visits a blog post or article receives per day, week, or month. It also reveals which topics resonate most with readers and site visitors. With this information, you are able to capitalize on content that interests your audience. When you output more relevant content, your business will grow.
6. Read, Read, Read
Part of writing good content is reading good content. Writers can hone their skills by reading regularly. You can read your competitor’s content to start, but don’t leave it here.
Pick up marketing books, studies on B2B relations, scholarly articles on business, and more. There are even some databases that house pertinent content to read and study.
The more you read, the more you study different writing styles. Website content should be well-written and concise. Reading a wide range of information can show you this style in action as well as others. Invest time in reading, and watch your writing improve.
7. Invest In Freelance Content Writers
You may find you have more content to write than time to do it. If you want to write content consistently, hire writers to tackle your heavy load.
You can delegate scheduled content creation to writers, freeing you up to focus on other duties and making sure content stays consistent. Also known as freelance writers or independent contractors, hired writers typically work for a fixed or hourly rate.
You do not have to worry about benefits such as healthcare or retirement plans when working with independent contractors. This set-up gives both you and the writer more independence in your working relationship. Usually, a contract is ended once the amount of writing requested has been completed. You can also hire writers for long-term positions.
To find writers, you can advertise your need on trustworthy freelance writer sites. These include Fiverr, Freelancer, Upwork, and even LinkedIn. Make sure to figure out your rates before you begin searching for writers. Keep in mind that more experienced writers usually work for higher rates. In short, you get what you pay for!
8. Update Older Content & Out-of-Date Posts
If you have old blog posts backlogged on your site, they might need updating. The information in older posts may no longer be relevant or accurate. Take time to go to your archives and read through your older posts. If you find some pieces that are no longer up to snuff, make a point to rewrite them.
“Rewriting” blog content can consist of more than just updating any tactics that may not work anymore. You also need to make sure that you are continuously updating the keywords your posts target as well as the pages they link back to.
Some weeks you won’t have time for entirely new content. During these times, updating old blogs will suffice for your content quota and de-clutter your site.
9. Try Guest Bloggers
If you’re short on time or want a fresh perspective, a guest blogger is a great way to write content consistently. Guest bloggers not only offer a new perspective, they also give you a break from writing.
Perhaps you’re traveling, taken ill, or have a vacation planned. Instead of letting your blog or site sit idle, you can schedule a guest blogger to fill in while you’re away. If you aren’t sure how to find a guest blogger, think back to your research.
During your research, you’re sure to come across various bloggers, B2B marketers, business owners, and more. Consider reaching out to these people via social media or email. Once you have a connection going with them, you can request a guest blog every now and again.
The more connections you make, the more chances for new voices on your blog!
10. Promote Your Content
To write content consistently, you must also promote your content consistently. Once you publish a blog post or article on your site, share it on social media as well. Social media marketing is a must for bloggers and business owners. It allows you to connect with your audience and effectively reach them where they are.
Also, add “promotion” to your calendar. Once you publish an item, set aside time on that same day to share it on your social media handles. The wider you share, the more awareness builds around your business.
For a more in-depth guide on promoting and syndicating the content you create – check out Directive’s Step-by-Step Guide to Content Promotion.
Once a rhythm of posting and promoting arises, your audience is more likely to expect the next post. This will push you to stay on top of things, saving your blog from becoming stagnant.
Understanding how to write content consistently will position you to capture all the benefits of content marketing. While it won’t be easy, writing content consistently is not impossible. The more consistent your content, the more your business will draw in customers and an audience. The above 10 ways will help you avoid complacency and stay active on your blog week after week.