In the world of inbound, content is king. Without content, you’re headed upstream without a paddle. It is your vehicle for helping your buyer persona solve their problems, and achieve their goals. It’s how you attract, convert, close and delight them.
You know that content marketing works well, but you also know that content creation can be time-consuming. Thankfully, the wonderful Ann Handley had this great infographic created. It goes over the step-by-step directions to creating your next piece of content. The information comes from her book "Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content".
Have A Goal In Mind
You need to keep in mind what you want your buyer persona to get out of your piece of content. What does the big end result have to be? If it’s just to put another piece of content out there, because your marketing team said you need to write a blog post every Tuesday and Friday, that is the wrong reason.
You need to serve your buyer persona with your content. You need to be helping them. No content is better than low-quality content, but don’t let that be an excuse.
You know that person that is always asking you “So what, who cares, what’s in it for me?”. Don’t you just hate that person sometimes? You need to be that person, sorry.
You need to ask yourself “so what?” then answer, “because…”. Then put your reframed idea in a clear statement and keep it somewhere you can easily refer back to.
Seek Out Data Examples
Nothing will back you up better than data. Look in your bookshelf for the book you read that backs up your idea. Find a quote on the Internet. Do you have relevant experience? Cite a case study of yours (which, btw, is another great type of content).
What format would be best to communicate your point? An infographic? Maybe a case study or a checklist would be optimal?
Write To One Person
Write like you're talking to a person. Using the word “you” and avoid the words “people” or “they”.
Produce Your Ugly First Draft
The key here is to just get your thoughts on paper or in a document in your word processor. Write like you’re the only person that will ever read it. Write so your English professor needs another red pen (if my editor ever saw my first drafts…).
After your first draft is done, leave. Go do something else. Ideally, you want to sleep on it and come back the next day. You need fresh eyes for the next step.
Now go back and shape the first draft into something your reader would actually want to read.
Write the Headline/Title
You should spend as much time writing your headline or title as it took to write the content. Sometimes taking longer is better. This is what will get your content read.
Have Someone Else Edit
Ideally, you would want an editor with excellent grammar and punctuation skills. You can actually outsource editing for quite cheap. As strange as it sounds, grammer can make or break your readership. I know it has been a factor for me.
One Final Look For Readability
This should be a look-through for cosmetic reasons. Are there subheadings? Do you have good white space and short paragraphs (seriously, walls of text=bad)? Do you have bulleted lists? Make it look inviting to the eye.
Call To Action & Publish
Tell your reader what the next step is. Your content should move the reader down the buyer’s journey. Insert your call to action (don’t forget to split test!).
Publish your content and then start your promotion steps. Maybe you need a press release. Talk about it on social media. Send out an email to your lists that would be interested in this content.
Do you think this will help you create better content more easily? What was your biggest takeaway from this post? Let’s talk in the comments.
We help home builders and developers upgrade their marketing, sales and operations processes so they can grow and scale their business, and sell more homes.