One of the biggest beefs that print magazines and newspapers have with the online world, particularly the blogosphere, is a lack of substance. In many cases, they’re right — lots of sound and fury, but not much point or perspective.
That said, there are plenty of sites (both business/consumer and pure blog) that have plenty to say, and say it effectively. And they don’t just rely on short sentences, SEO-laden jargon and bullet points, either. These efforts are successful due to a solid strategy behind the production and implementation of their online content. You can also check out search engine optimization consulting services, if you’re new to SEO marketing.
There’s an alarming lack of discussion about how to actually develop that content —not only put it out there, but keep it fresh with updates and subsequent entries that either add to it, or use it as the basis for another level of reader engagement. Developing that content, and creating a pipeline for it, requires a strategy. That, in turn, is composed of:
- A clear purpose
- Themes and messages that define that purpose
- Topics that reinforce those themes
The first should be easy: For whom are you writing? Figure that out, and then you can begin to craft that message so that your intended audience is interested. That’ll take care of themes, and then you can drill down further to hit on specific topics that will further engage that reader.
Once the pieces are authored, then it’s time to insert SEO keywords and other web-friendly techniques to ensure that you get the widest possible distribution. Good content and web-friendly copy editing can live together in harmony. (Still, go sparingly on the bullet points.)
This is also the time to remember that posting the piece isn’t the end of the journey, but just another step. Do you have something coming along behind that will keep the information alive? If not, do you have something that will take that point and move it in a new direction? Are you archiving your articles, blogs or posts so that the reader can refer back to an earlier statement, or get caught up if they’re new to your site?
Good posts don’t die. They get borrowed, copied, cut-and-pasted and much more. But none of that happens if 1) there’s nothing being said, or 2) you’re not repurposing the information to keep the conversation going.
Remember, content first. The Internet is littered with sites that come up first in Google searches, and have thousands of visits that last less than five seconds. Your goal is not just to get visits, but also to keep those people at your site, clicking merrily through every single page that you want them to see.