01 Mar 14 Content Marketing Habits that Will Help You Get Ahead
Content Marketing Habits that Will Help You Get Ahead.
Whether you’re a mom blogger or a marketer, you ARE a content marketer. Content marketing is the cornerstone of an online business—whether you’re selling beanie babies on a blog or high-end coaching.
According to the leader in Content Marketing appropriately named Content Marketing Institute:
“Content marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior. It is an ongoing process that is best integrated into your overall marketing strategy, and it focuses on owning media, not renting it.”
Super fancy terminology, I know. Basically, it means you create something: a blog article, a podcast, videos, infographics, etc. You create for the purpose of creating a community that cares about your cause.
The only type of content that doesn’t count as content marketing is social media posts. While content marketing has a wide variety of mediums, the habits of successful content marketers are consistent across the board.
Here is a list of 13 daily content marketing habits to master this year.
Create a Content Marketing Creative Habit Routine
Routines are important. Routines help you maximize your productivity by allowing your body to get into a “state.” This is why warriors and athletes pump themselves up before battle. You have to create a mindset of success.
My creative habit routine looks like this:
- Consume the latest news and content from industry leaders
- Look at my content calendar on co-schedule
- Drink my Bulletproof coffee and brainstorm topic ideas
- Do some Google Keyword research
- Put my headphones on and listen to my “creative” playlist
- Crank through an outline for an article, and then fill in the rest
That particular routine works well for me and is by no means the standard. There are many ways to stay constantly creative. The key is to create a routine that always keeps you inspired and motivated.
When the music playlist doesn’t work for me, and I need an extra dose of inspiration I watch a motivation playlist on youtube.
Consistency is Key
It doesn’t matter if you write a daily blog, do a weekly podcast, or post on your Youtube channel. Being consistent is the number one habit you must have.
“Goals on the road to achievement, can not be attained without discipline and consistency.”
– Denzel Washington
Being consistent in your content marketing efforts allows your audience to know and predict when you post content. On the other hand, if you post at random times and random amounts during the day, chances are you will have a low amount of success.
Personally I found when we became consistent with our content marketing efforts we saw amazing results. We used to post a new blog article a couple times a month. When we focused on posting 3x a week (every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) we saw more than three times the traffic.
Our daily traffic went from a 0-10 unique hits a day, to over 100+ unique hits a day within the first month.
Consistency sends signals to search engines to rank your content higher than other content. Google is well known for loving fresh content. That being said, all search engines love fresh content. Except maybe Medium.com because their focus is on quality not when it was made.
Quality + Quantity
This is a debate that has been going for a long time. Should I have more content or focus on higher quality content? The answer is both.
The more content you create and distribute the more traffic you get.
However, the rule doesn’t apply if you pump out thin, low quality content. The idea here is to create tons and I mean tons of high quality content around your niche.
I hear you, this is easier said than done—especially if you are a one man operation, and a first time writer.
Here is a few tricks I use to make better content.
Work on Your Headlines
On average 8 out of 10 people read your headlines and 2 out of 10 actually read your article. If you want people to read your content make a better headline.
For every article idea I write 20 headlines out and test them on Coschedule’s headline analyzer. If it is under a score of 70, I reject it. The one caveat to this, is if I am trying to hit a certain SEO keyword.
Second, write outlines first. Any writer will tell you that all ideas are not created equal. Some you know will be an instant huge success, like the DIY guide to being an SEO expert.
Others, are complete flops. When you have that headline you just love, create an outline. Run through your arguments and add your support documentation right in there.
If you know your subject matter really well it is easy to flesh out the concepts. If you don’t have enough data, or experience your outline will show you before you invest too much time.
Create from Experience and Passion
If you are pulling from theory and have no backing in actually implementing the work, you will come up with thin content at best. On the other hand, real experience and passion for the subject creates massively successful content.
Every audience wants one or both of two things: they either want to be entertained, or they want a problem to be solved.
If you can speak from experience and with passion you usually can entertain and solve real-world problems.
Produce Content Every Day
Let’s assume you want to blog 3x a week. How much do you think you need to write? If you answered every day, you would be correct.
Producing content every day does two things. One, it forces you to get out of your own way and complete the project. You don’t get stuck in the “perfectionist” mentality. You spend more time executing than you do thinking about how great the blog article is going to be.
Second, it gives you ample room to breath with your content.
After you bang away at a blog article, video series, or podcast, take the time to sit with it and re-consume it. I come back to every article 24 hours later with a fresh set of eyes. When I read the article again I find all sorts of typo’s and sections that don’t make sense.
Usually my brain thinks faster than my fingers can write. Once I go back and re-read the article I can take the article from a mediocre piece of work to something out of this world, everyone wants to share article.
Network Online and Offline
Networking is really important when it comes to building your brand on and offline. Every single website is built through a community of people.
This is how you can get guest contributors to your blog, make connection that will get you business, and just about everything else in business. Networking is a revenue generating activity if you do it right.
Networking online is easier than ever.
Here is an easy trick, go into Facebook and search your niche. Let’s say it’s surfing.
- Under the groups section you will see all the groups around surfing.
- If you join those groups, you can talk to people about a topic they love.
- Every day, jump in and network for 30minutes to an hour.
This goes right in line with networking.
Whether it is sending emails to other people in your niche, blog commenting on other blogs or engaging in social media’s—content marketers like you and I also are part time community managers.
We create content, and use those pieces of content to fuel a conversation.
The way you create a community though is to first join other communities and engaging in conversation. Building a community is a marathon, not a sprint. Focus on building deep relationships one member at a time and in time your community will be built.
Blog Commenting at Night
It baffles me how few people comment on blogs. Statistically less than 1% of all website traffic leaves comments. This could give you an area to stand out on a blog.
Imagine if you want to guest contribute on a major website, or get the attention of an influencer in your space. Sending an email isn’t likely to work, they get hundreds a day.
Why not set yourself apart by leaving engaging comments on other blogs?
What every website LOVES, are the members of the community discussing the topic in the comments. Not only do you have the great fortune of setting yourself apart from everyone else, you also get lovely benefits.
Blog commenting is a fantastic strategy to generate backlinks to your website, gain traffic, and build a community.
Every night I try to write at least 5-10 thoughtful, engaging comments before I go to bed.
Here is what doesn’t work: “Hey, great post.” Sure, that is nice to read as an author but it doesn’t add to the discussion.
Spend 5 minutes and read the article, than leave a comment about the subject and what you would like to add.
Ask questions for follow up.
Listen to the Market
It is inevitable that the market shifts.
People lose interest in topics, people want to communicate in a new way. Make a habit of listening to the market.
For instance, if you decided to create a blog about beanie babies around 1995 when they rose in popularity, your website would’ve been a hit. Fast forward to today. If you were still blogging about beanie babies in 2016, you would be well past the market trend and probably struggling.
Listen to the market and shift with the times.
Instead of only niching on beanie babies (I don’t think that’d be a great strategy) niche into a collectables website. When a fad hits, you get to capitalize on the opportunity. Then when the fad leaves, you can shift to the Furbies, Pogs, and Pokemon.
Measure Your Results
The reason we create content is to make an impact (usually on the bottom line of our business). Know what your key performance indicators are (KPI). Maybe it’s traffic to your website, leads to your website, or sales.
The key is to pick the right metrics and measure them, that being said if you don’t know what metrics make sense pick one. It is better to make a habit of measuring something than nothing.
If I may make a personal recommendation, become intimately familiar with Google analytics.
Goal setting is a key habit to build in any business and especially in content marketing. You are 10x more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. Your goals can be how often you blog, how much traffic or social share they get, or any other KPI’s.
Whatever it may be, create S.M.A.R.T goals and write them down. If you need we have a free goal setting worksheet.
Plan Content Ahead of Time
Running around last minute trying to figure out “What should I blog about?” is not an effective solution. Take the time to sit down in advance and make a content schedule.
I recommend using Co-schedule as a content calendar. That is what we use, and we are 5+ weeks ahead in content.
Content takes time to produce, and if you make a habit of always planning ahead you can spend more time creating quality content. If a breaking news story happens, you can always slip it in as needed and push back other “evergreen” content.
Use the Right Tools
The tools you use really do make or break your success. Imagine trying to build a house with only a screwdriver. Could it be done? Maybe, would it be a flimsy house at best, heck yes!
Skill and talent will always trump the tools you use.
That being said, experts in their craft use the best tools possible. We recommend these 13 tools to make your life easier. That being said, you might need different ones depending on the medium of your craft.