This week we experienced some technical issues with wifi because I was on the road, so it's split into two parts. As usual, we didn't have enough time to cover everything, so there are a few more things I mentioned in the notes.
Content – It Will Make You or Break You
When you are creating content for business it is important to remember that the ultimate goal is sales. However, people are much more likely to want to form a relationship with you before they make a purchase. Content creation is the bridge between you and the customer and will reflect the relationship that has been established.
SEMANTIC SEARCH – It’s here and as a content creator you need to understand what it is and how it affects search.
What is Semantic Search? It’s complicated but in a nutshell it’s the algorithm Google is now using in its search engine. Google is hyper focused on relevance. Not that it always gets it right…but in theory Google tries to understand the intent behind the search you have initiated. For businesses the bottom line is you want to be strategic about the content you put out into the universe because it’s relevance along with your level of engagement will impact how you are discovered.
Nate: This is just another reason to ignore algorithm updates and write what you want, how you want it. For as long as you can chase what’s ‘hot’ in search and guess at what Google wants, it’s going to change later on. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t pay attention to updates, but it is important to focus on content for the user, not for search engines.
I like to think of google as a machine. This machine can only read data. With a lot of computer, and with Google in this case, the more data you give them, the more accurate their analysis can be. In order for Google to understand your website/blog, you need to give it a lot of data. That’s why content creation is so important in the beginning. Some folks like to speculate that Google can see if your content is ‘high quality’ or not. I disagree.
I think there are number of factors you can control that will tip google off as to whether your content is worth reading. Retention rates, bounce rates, exit rates and time spend on sites linked to from your site, action taken on your site like clicks and comments, and probably more!
BUT WHAT DOES GENERATING GOOD CONTENT MEAN AND HOW IS IT DONE?
Our 7 Step Program for Creating Content – hint – It’s not just about the content
Know your audience so you can target the content appropriately
The “R Word” You have to research your audience and understand the demographic you’re targeting. This is where Nate’s tip from last week comes in. If you can visualize the person you are trying to reach and create a dialogue with that person it will be much easier to do the research and create good content for them.
Nate: I start with keyword research, alphabet soup technique, forums, Yahoo Answers, and top rated people/blogs/websites. When I get familiar with a niche, I can usually think of some awesome topics on my own, which means I have exclusive access to the info! But watch out for copycats.
Decide on a topic to be delivered
Buying Cycle – Awareness, Research, Comparison, Purchase
Nate: I like to mix it up between keyword targeted posts and non-targeted posts. This means I get a mix of traffic getting kws and posts that will be useful for internal linking or reference at a later date.
target repeat buyers and visitors, build a brand. That’s why you need to build a brand around a good niche
What is the message/ objective?
Nate: Writing with intent. Not necessarily a specific keyword density, but a keyword focused post can be incredibly powerful in the beginning stages of your site. Focus*
How does your audience engage with you?
Nate: Most of my audience is on blog comments
Nate: I do a lot of reviews because they are typically low competition and can rank easily. In my current phase of One More Cup of Coffee, I’m looking to get people in the ‘comparison’ phase of the lifecycle. It’s not the best strategy, but it’s great for traffic. Ideally I should target more ‘ready to buy’ people, but that space is so competitive and filled with scams that i want to stay away from it for now. The ‘buy’ phase might work better for other niches. Either way, when you are building an authority site, you need to hit several points of the purchase cycle.
How will you manifest the content?
- Video/ Podcast
- I do a bit of everything, but my suggestion is to focus.
- Video is good, but I find that people just consume and leave. You really have to push the “visit my website” thing unless you are strictly a video creator.
- Podcasts have been mildly successful for me, with a few faithful listeners, but there is definitely a negative ROI for them so far.
- I would love to do a webinar or workshop. That’s next-level stuff for me.
Create amazing content
Entertain – ie tell a story – Jimmy Fallon is doing an excellent job of creating good content that is entertaining. There were two hilarious videos that kept showing up in my stream all week. One was JF and JT mocking the whole hashtag thing. The other was with the epic lip sync battle with JF, JGL and Stephan Merchant. They are both entertaining and generating a buzz ie over 10 M and 3 M hits.
If a tree falls in the forest AKA if a new blogger creates a high quality post
go back and revise content – it takes 5 minutes and improves post quality. (I don’t do this)
the content production mill – is it worth it? Quality vs Quantity. Both have advantages
writing posts for readers – is grammar and spelling a big deal? Why waste my time with things that don’t matter? But words are the way to communicate with readers, and what type of impression am I give them of me?
Lots to say and not that much time to say it (related to points iii and iv)
***SHOW people how to do something, don’t just tell them***
new niche takes more research, experience can wing it (don’t necessarily need to hit on this point)
Create empathy ie show that you feel their pain
Is your audience hungry? Do you know their pain points? On the moral side of things, what is knowing your audience and what is manipulating them?
Leave them wanting more…less is more, one or two main points is what the average person can digest and remember
Have a long post and not sure how far down people read? Look in Google analytics to see how much time people spend on the post, place a link at the spot where they leave to keep them on your site longer
Stay true to the brand
If you don’t like what you’re doing, you’re doing it wrong
Distribute the content across the appropriate channels
Nate: Content distribution is a big ? for me. In order to distribute your content, you need to be distributing other people’s content as well, or no one will listen. Sharing your own stuff all the time is a good way to get ignored. But if you are constantly creating content, how can you have time to read and comment on others? Time management is huge, and knowing how to balance your own work with community participation is tough.
Cross Promote – get SME’s and influencers to help you promote
hard to reach until you ‘become one of them’
can’t get SME’s? connect with someone your level, create something new from the ground up
engage with them, don’t ASK for sharing or beg for exposure
Review, rinse, repeat
How often should you create new content? How often should you share old content and revive it? This is a pet peeve of mine – people that share old content and pretend it’s new, or be vague about the date it was published. Updating old stuff and sharing is legit, but be honest about it.
Take Away – Ultimately you are publishing content to generate sales. Google is encouraging content with its search engine update so generate content that your audience can relate to, that will elevate your level of trust, and will encourage engagement.
Take Action – Challenge anyone who’s listening to take our 7 step program, implement it at some level when creating your next bit of content and report the results back to us. You can find the 7 steps in the show notes.
Next Week please be sure to join us where the topic will be… Building Your Personal Brand