by Barney Whistance, Contributing Writer
In the world of content marketing and SEO, there is a growing group of professionals that realize that quality content has become king.
When the internet first revved up and search engines like Google created their algorithmic programs, strategic keyword mentions were enough to get a website high ranked and well-noticed; now all that’s changed. As the filters grow more refined, and social media sharing explodes, we’re learning that it’s not the words we use, but the meaning and value that we create for our others that gets our organization or company noticed.
This means that it’s important to take the time to craft elaborate content webs stretching from printed materials, to guest posts, to featured articles and interviews on high-ranking news websites and blogs, to our own website content, blogs, and social media posts. First and foremost, content needs to tell our organizations’ story – and for that, enter the experienced storytellers.
The next wave of online marketing and writing will become more nuanced, more elaborate, and also, yes, more creative – making it easier for creative writers to find professional well-paid jobs as corporate content writers.
As you set off on this new journey, it’s important to keep a few pointers in mind about creating these new content webs filled with original and provocative content that will keep your readers coming back for more. Here are eight tips for creating valuable and engaging content to your readers:
Read and relate. Make an effort to read books, magazines, quarterlies, and other periodicals on a regular basis. Summarize your readings and document your ideas. When you share your thoughts with others you clarify your own passions, spread your new-gained wisdom around, and introduce your readers to interesting concepts and ideas.
Join a Mastermind group. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase that two heads are better than one? Well, try three, four, five, six or more! When you brainstorm with others on a regular basis by forming a team of trusted advisors, you boost your creativity and launch your ideas forward or create a website or an app for your brand. You’ll also get great feedback on new concepts as well (before you share them with the world).
Invest in developing yourself. Conrad Hall, the American cinematographer born in Tahiti, French Polynesia, once said “You are always a student, never a master. You have to keep moving forward.” Developing yourself means that you will have more of yourself and your unique insights to share with others, so if you always invest in yourself you will never stagnate and run out of new ideas.
Question assumptions. Pulling apart your own assumptions, and those of your clients and advisors, will help you gain new insights and formulate new and innovative solutions to existing problems.
Play devil’s advocate. If there is a hot topic to be discussed, don’t jump on the bandwagon too quickly. Discuss both sides of the issue and demonstrate that you have a thorough understanding of all points of view. Most of the time we’re here to educate our clients. We should want to help them make reasoned and informed decisions that will help them improve their business - not just tell them what to do.
Use the power of story. Terrance McKenna said “The engineers of the future will be poets." When you use a personal or professional story to illustrate a concept or idea it lends personality to the message and makes the delivery more effective.
Conduct interviews. Interviewing others is a great way to both learn and explore new ideas and also harness the marketing potential of those new connections. It’s also a great way to develop audio and video content for both your website and that of the person you’re interviewing.
Utilize social networking. Join smart and effective online communities to keep a pulse on current trends, gain inside industry knowledge, and be of help to others.
Each piece of content we put out on the web is potentially valuable real estate. However, more than seeing them as their own unique entities it’s important to craft and create value in both the meaning and message of the content we create, as marketers and as writers.
by Richard Rowell, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Whatever it is that you may do, the first major thing to establish with any online presence is your thought leadership in one or a few given subjects related to your field. Of course, this is much easier said than done. There aren't a ton of resources that actually can help you figure out just what those right topics are. That's why establishing your own thought leadership on the internet and social media seems to be a matter of trial and error.
It can be difficult to alleviate some of the complications that come along with gaining a foothold in this all-important aspect of online visibility. Simply writing about your field isn't always enough. Just watching the popular keyword phrases and writing to the trends isn't always enough. You need to build a fan base before you truly start producing. Yes, you have to have content for your potential fans to go to. But the worst possible feeling is to produce tons of well-written and pertinent content, then have no one view it.
At first, it's very common to receive very little interest in the articles on your blog. But you can't give up. Taking a short break is fine, especially if you find yourself burning out and needing to regroup. So what's the best way to find help if you're struggling to build your thought leadership in your field?
No matter what that field is, building your network of like-minded people in your field and related fields is key. It's important to be in contact with thought leaders in a wide variety of fields, as well. Oftentimes, one thing can lead to another even if it doesn't seem related. By building your network, you can help both yourself and others become better thought leaders.
Each individual has a special angle to offer the online community. Sometimes you just have to find someone who gives you the right prompt or simply the attention and motivation you need to keep your online and social media efforts on the right track. Whatever you do, don't give up. Giving up just makes things worse!
Unfortunately, "write it and they will come" are not the words to live by. You do have to keep writing, but you also have to make sure that you have a strong network to both share your ideas and help others spread theirs. In the end, it can work for everyone. Invest the time and energy into both cultivating relationships and providing the best possible content.
Photo credit: Pixabay, Public Domain
Lyn Lomasi & Richard Rowell are life & business partners. Owners of the Write W.A.V.E. Media network, they are your content superheroes to the rescue! Running their network, tackling deadlines single handedly, and coaching fellow writers & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is their top priority. While rescuing civilians from boring content and marketing, they conquer the world, living the RV life and making Crafts For A Purpose with their awesomely crazy family while recounting The Nova Skye Story, along with Kymani’s Travels. They also strive to one day cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, they’ll settle for furry rescue kitties and doggies.
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