Defining your Project: Tips for Successful Content Strategy

When you create content for your business (whether it’s blog posts, press releases, newsletters, or any other type of writing), it’s very easy to get overwhelmed. Feeling overwhelmed could be from having way too many ideas or not enough ideas, both are frustrating and can lead to being unproductive. If you run a small business, being unproductive is not really something you can afford.

The tips I’m going to share with you will work whether you have too many ideas swirling in your head or you are banging your head against the wall trying to work an idea loose.

Do you have a roadmap?

The number one thing you can do to ensure whatever content you create is useful and powerful is to have a goal in mind when you start a project. Your goal should be as specific as possible. It’s far too easy to say, “I need to write a blog for my website because that’s what everyone says I should do.” While I do believe that a blog is a great way to connect with clients, if you don’t have a clear purpose in mind you could waste too much time churning out articles that are, quite frankly, useless.

You should ask yourself, “what’s my goal,” for big and small aspects of the project. It’s a great way to make sure you stay focused on the endgame. When you sit down to write your newsletter (or an email to your writer asking them to write your newsletter) ask the following questions:

What do I want to happen when my audience sees this?
Who is my audience?
What is compelling about what I am sharing?
Why would someone want this information?
What is the best way to share my message?

Keep these questions close by and when you sit down to lay out your content strategy (or your next blog post), review these questions and make sure you can answer them. Not only will this help narrow your focus, it’s also a great way to generate ideas when you’re feeling a little blocked.

Does it work?
Having a goal and creating the content is only one-half of the equation. If you want results, you must do more. Find out what works and what doesn’t and make tweaks as needed. There is a simple four-step formula to ensure that you are getting the most bang for your buck.  I’d recommend keeping these on a sticky note near your computer to remind yourself you aren’t finished working when you hit publish.
Create it
Promote it
Follow it
Evaluate it

The first two steps (create and promote) are common knowledge. You create content for an audience to see it, so promoting the work (via social media, email blasts or snail mail) is the logical next step.

But, don’t forget steps three and four: follow it and evaluate it. You’ll need to implement a system to find out how effective your content strategy is. Whether that’s tracking views and comments or monitoring sales, having some way to determine what people want and what they don’t is a simple way to show you where you need to make tweaks.

Like a good story, the beginning and the end are the most important. Ensuring that your project has a purpose and stays focused will help ensure the content you create is useful and attracts more viewers. Following up by tracking your views and making changes so the work you do in the future is even more powerful.

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