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Sustainable Content, Healthy Habits, and Best Practices

The perseverance of good content and its slow-burn benefits
Content campaigns play the long-game. Blog posts and pieces are on your website to stay (provided you keep paying your domain subscription). With a little routine optimising they continue performing and driving traffic.

Content is king--during your time as a business owner, you may have heard this phrase dozens of times, but what does it mean to create content that helps your business flourish? While some marketing techniques spark an immediate flame, content marketing is a slow burn.

Rather than expecting immediate results, the key to success in this area is staying consistent, following a strategy, and crafting a diverse body of content that serves your business.

Start as you mean to continue

When you’re ready to test out a new strategy, it’s easy to set yourself up for burnout. You might be tempted to commit to five posts a week, a schedule that would be difficult for most business owners to maintain for longer than one or two weeks. This is the type of thinking that often leads to abandoned blogs and publishing accounts.

Instead, set up a realistic content schedule that respects your other obligations as a business owner. For example, you might start by publishing one blog post per week on your business website and one post every two weeks on a third-party platform. There is room for growth; if you find it easy to keep up with your initial schedule, you can always build up to more.

Consider the posting habits of leaders in your industry while creating your schedule. Following research by the consultancy agency Impact, roughly 66% of bloggers post less than once per day but more than once per month, with most respondents favoring a weekly posting schedule.

Nearly half of all buyers read at least three to five pieces of content before making a purchase, so having multiple related pieces published works in your best interest. Among B2B marketers, those who blog get 67% more leads than marketers who do not blog.

Playing the long game

One of the primary errors in content marketing is wanting results too quickly. It is difficult to put the effort in when it doesn’t seem to be yielding results, but nurturing a growth mindset can help you avoid this trap. The foundation you lay with your content now can benefit the business for weeks and months to come.

In the meantime, it’s all about consistency. There will be days you don’t feel like reviewing or drafting content, particularly if your last post has just a handful of views. Push through it and keep creating. A positive mindset, combined with patience and persistence, is essential. The effort put into content creation builds on itself. The more you post, the more your pages get indexed by search engines. This naturally increases your organic traffic.

As your posts gain traction, they may benefit you in other ways; companies that blog get 97% more inbound links, according to Hubspot, than companies that do not. These links increase your trustworthiness in the eyes of search engines, helping you bring in even more traffic.

Building your content repository and network

In the world of content marketing, there’s always something new to learn. This is the ideal time to find out what is working for others and how you can use new techniques to your advantage. As you explore websites, blogs, and third-party websites, figure out what stirs a response in you.

Is there a call to action that makes you want to sign up for a newsletter, even if the newsletter isn’t necessarily relevant to you? Their compelling writing could help you find ways to tie your content marketing to your email marketing campaigns. Were you looking for a quick read when you got pulled into a 4,000-word article?

Content that draws you in is an excellent learning opportunity. Consider saving a document of well-written sentences, taglines, or CTAs, as well as a bookmark folder of content that speaks to you.

Effective content: next steps

Finding effective content is just the first step of enhancing your own content strategy and style. This is where some people stop; they find a great CTA, swap out a couple of words, and use it as their own. This isn’t recommended; rather than copying those who have found their content voice, use it as inspiration.

Try working different techniques into your existing content strategy and explore how different structures, calls to action, and content types affect your results. For example, your content doesn’t have to a long block of text broken into paragraphs. 43% of people claim they skim-read blog articles and 36% prefer list-based ones, according to opinion polls by the conversion optimiser website Optinmonster. You may want to try a “top ten” list or listicle that’s broken down into bite-sized chunks of information.

Changing up your styles also has the power to impact your social media shares; some of the most commonly shared content types include infographics, lists, and posts that answer a “why” question.

Uncover new opportunities

Additionally, don’t limit yourself to learning from a distance. While digging into successful content into your field, you could uncover networking opportunities.

Reach out to those who have built audiences in your field and those who seem to be up-and-coming. This could lead to valuable guest blogging and collaboration opportunities.

People love hearing that their content has resonated with readers, and you could build long-lasting connections simply by emailing a creator you respect or giving them a shoutout on social media. All of these efforts tie back into your content strategy.

Daily habits build great content

Right now, you’re likely ready to start writing. You may have a dozen blog ideas in your head and a hundred more lurking just below the surface. This excitement will not last, and you need to have strong habits ready to keep you going after the initial burst of energy fades away.

Set aside time to create every single day. It doesn’t have to be a lot; one day, you might do some mind mapping, and the next, you might brainstorm content titles. Carving out space for content creation in your daily schedule builds a solid habit that will carry you through tough times. Consistently feeding your creativity will hone your skills, uncover exciting new ideas, and take your content to the next level.

Content compared to other marketing channels

Maintain your positivity as you create. Try to set aside self-limiting thoughts. It is difficult to put everything into your content creation when it doesn’t produce immediate results, but it helps if you remember that content creation simply doesn’t work that way. Try to avoid comparing it to other marketing techniques.

For example, paid advertising is a strategy that often leads to a sudden bump in traffic and customers. Content creation is a completely different entity, and you have to measure it differently than you do other strategies. Content creation and promotion is the baseline, of sorts, to your marketing strategy. It’s the organic traffic brought in by blog posts and other published pieces that roll on steadily provided you keep up your posts and maintain them.

Putting out high-quality content strengthens your role within the online community and adds value, which pays off when people begin to trust your expertise. Compare this to paid advertising, which produces a sudden spike in traffic whenever you run a campaign. Typically, people combine these methods to create an effective and powerful campaign to maximise traffic, leads, and ROI.

Building the habit; maintaining your mindset

The longer you stick to your content habit and the more consistent you are about where and how you work, the easier it will be to drown out distractions and focus on your work. Taking the time to establish healthy, sustainable content creation habits and a functional schedule is one of the best things you can do for your business.

Committing to producing high-quality content shows your audience your expertise, builds your brand’s image, and develops consumer trust--all of which lay the groundwork for a business that lasts.

You can start right now. Think about what you want to achieve with your content and how much time you can realistically dedicate to creating content each week. Craft a schedule, jot down a few ideas to get started, and then find the willpower within you to start working toward your goals.

Published on 18 July 2019

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