If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Content is King.
“I get it,” you think. “I’m supposed to be blogging.” So you dutifully write your blog post every week, and put it up on your website and share it to Facebook.
But nothing really happens. You get a few likes, a few comments, but it feels like nobody is really reading, nobody is listening. You can’t trace a single sale back to your content.
All hail the king?
The problem is with the phrase "Content is King."
Those gurus who beat the “content is king” drum? They’re not wrong. But they’re also only giving you half of the picture.
Content is king, but strategy is queen. (And, in my opinion, the power behind the throne.)
The same way that you need to have systems set up to support your business, you also need systems to support your content creation to make it easier and more effective.
Content is king, but strategy is Queen. (Tweet that!)
I’ve developed a system for brainstorming ideas and planning your editorial calendar that takes all the guesswork out of creating content that actually serves your business, but more on that in a moment.
Here are the five things you need to develop a system that works for you:
1. Know Your Why
Sure, you’re blogging, but why are you blogging? What do you hope to achieve from it? It’s important to know your overall goals, but also why you’re writing each individual post.
Are you hoping to entertain, inform, or inspire? Do you want to drum up interest and desire for your products? Are you teasing your next launch?
So how is your content supporting your sales and marketing efforts? If your answer is, “I’m not sure,” or frankly, “It isn’t,” don’t feel too disheartened. Read on.
2. Fill Your Buckets
In order for your content to support your sales, you have to put a little thought into planning it out. It doesn’t just magically happen — or, at least, not very often!!
That’s why I like to start by defining a few categories or types of content I want to create.
- What category of information does it cover?
- What is its purpose in your sales cycle? I designate four options here: does it attract attention, pique interest, generate desire, or ask for an action?
Once you know what your buckets are, it becomes much easier to fill them with relevant content.
Just these first two systems will make planning your content a lot easier. But if you really want to kick your systems up a notch, keep going.
3. Start with the Big Rocks
I like to think of EPIC blog posts as your big rocks in content marketing. When I say this to people, they tend to get a kind of glazed look. (Check a mirror: do you have it?) The first thing they think of is how much work it’s going to be to create a post like that! And they’re not wrong.
But the important factor that many people overlook is that once you’ve got the big rocks, the small stuff is much easier. You can easily get 20 Facebook updates from the content of an epic post. You can pay someone a few dollars on Fiverr to turn it into a presentation to share on SlideShare or an infographic. You can record it as a podcast or turn it into talking points for your next speaking engagement. You can create a series of Pinterest or Instagram graphics with tips from the content.
And that’s just a few ideas off the top of my head.
You’ll also find that once you define your big rocks in your content strategy plan, planning around them becomes much simpler. Which is why you need to…
4. Use an Editorial Calendar
It doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. An editorial calendar is basically a list that tells you what you’re going to write and when.
In my Blogstorm course, I actually go a little further than that and tell you how to apply the 5 Ws of journalism to your editorial calendar and give you a template, but all you really need to start with is what, why (as we’ve discussed above), and when.
5. Pre-schedule Your Social Media
Finally, you can’t just have a “if I write it, they will come,” philosophy about your content; you have to actively promote it.
Social media is one easy way to do this. (Notice, I said one way — it shouldn’t be your only way of promoting!)
Of course, there’s benefit to interacting on social media in real time, but by pre-scheduling a few posts each week, I know that even if I get too busy to tweet, I won’t be completely absent from my followers’ radars.
If your goal with your blog is to turn readers into customers, you have to actively plan and work to make that happen — it doesn’t just happen on its own in any consistent way. Doing the work to create a plan makes doing the work to create content much easier and more effective.
And if you have any questions about streamlining your content creation, hit me up in the comments below. I’d love to help make your life a little easier.
What does it take to have an immensely popular blog that actually drives sales for your business? It’s all about strategy. Lacy Boggs is an innovative wordsmith who teaches business owners how to zoom out and look at the blog big picture first by helping them develop streamlined strategies and writing rituals that make blogging efficient and effective and put their content to WORK converting readers to clients. Get FREE access to all her valuable insights at lacyboggs.com/library.