I cannot seem to get enough content about content! (say that 10 times fast)
It’s as if I turned on a light switch in my head and I realized there’s SO much more than I ever imagined.
Bear with me here because I’m going to get more specific and promise I won’t be talking in circles (and I’ll do my best not to repeat what I’ve discussed in my recent posts about overhauling my site and content as the foundation of your business. I may however repeat a few points because they bear repeating).
Back in my Overhauling the WordPress Chick post (Part 1), I mentioned the book Content Machine by Dan Norris (which by the way is absolutely fantastic). I’ve been working my way through the book and accompanying resources while I craft my new content strategy for my site. Even if ALL you do initially is start looking at content from a different perspective, then the book is worth every penny.
The goal of course is to implement what you read and learn (I know, novel idea, right?), but for me, it took a little percolating to really “get it”.
Trust me, I’m all about doing the work but I’ve also learned that I set myself back a few steps whenever I try to force something. It just doesn’t work, I waste time and end up really frustrated.
It’s not like content is new, right?
And it’s not like I haven’t been creating content since I launched this site.
Where I missed the mark though was that I never created a content strategy.
I know, part of me thinks “should I be saying this out loud?”… but I kinda sorta had a content strategy. It was just that I only had a few pieces to it. Now I’m creating the entire map, GPS, and all. My ‘kinda-sorta’ strategy was to check keywords, comments, and feedback from my audience and create content from that. I also created content around what I was loving at the time and why. Then I’d make tutorials or share it in a way that was easier for the everyday user to understand (no boring code snippets here! 🙂 ).
Then I realized what the problem was.
I never sat down and started with the end in mind.
Not the end of my business, but what was the ultimate goal of my site. What was I trying to DO with my business?
What did I want to create?
Who do I want to serve?
All of that is changing now… and I couldn’t be more excited. I can’t quite reveal what this all means, but I’m crystal clear on one thing… my content strategy is at the core of everything I’m doing moving forward.
Here’s the beauty of creating a solid content strategy…. you can measure its effectiveness and tailor it so it meets your objective.
When I decided to fully step into this I started working with my ‘secret weapon’ (you’ll hear more about him this month, I promise) before I created any new content or spent any time deciding if I wanted to re-do my theme (which I’ve since decided I want to update my theme… originally I wasn’t going to. It won’t’ be a totally new look, just a little different style) we got on a skype call and started with the end in mind.
What do I want to do with my site (products and services) and who am I serving?
How we approached this:
After our initial skype call, he went and did some analytics digging and keyword research (the stuff I hate but know is ridiculously invaluable). From there we started a notebook in Evernote and started digging in. You can see in the screenshot below some of the notes and areas we’re focusing on:
And we’re just getting started (kind of fun, huh?).
Now let’s talk a bit about Metrics
It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of doing this myself, but I know it needs to be done. I like knowing the numbers, I just don’t want to have to go in and collect them and analyze them.
Hence my ‘secret weapon’.
In order to grow your business and provide value to your audience, you have to track and measure what’s working, what’s not working, and what they want more of.
I’ve had Google analytics and webmaster tools set up (although something is wonky with webmaster tools) since I started this site. I haven’t gone as far as setting up goals in Google Analytics or using the tag manager. All of that is changing now. 🙂 And I’m going to share it with you as I do it (er… we do it).
If you’re new to tracking and measuring I would start with a few basic stats:
– Traffic (daily visits, organic)
– Top traffic sources
– Top pages & keywords
– Top blog posts
– Number of subscribers currently
– Number of new subscribers you get in a month
– Conversions on your site (how many new visitors become leads by opting in as subscribers)
– Squeeze page leads conversions (if you have a stand alone squeeze pages to build your subscriber list)
– Numbers: followers, likes, etc.
– Insights: if you use one platform more than others (ex: Facebook), look at the insights for that social media channel (start with one then move onto another when you feel you have a firm grasp on what is working on that channel)
– Most shared content: Look at which posts and content is getting the most bang for your buck (retweets, shares, comments, etc.)
Simply start with these items so you can get in the habit of tracking and measuring (I would create a Google doc and measure monthly at first while you’re setting up campaigns to increase all of the above).
For starters, I just want to reiterate that building a list isn’t some smarmy Internet Marketing ploy. It’s creating an asset. You’re in business.
Businesses need customers and they need those customers to buy, right?
You create something of value, you offer it to your customer, and your customer purchases it because you’ve to solve a problem. AND… drumroll please… your customers are making a CHOICE to invest in their business.
In the podcast, I talk about different ways you can build your list to segment your customers and find out what they want most from you. Give your audience the opportunity to do business with you. Don’t make that decision for them.
Start thinking about different ways you can create valuable lead magnets that will target your ideal client so you can build a relationship with them and provide them solutions to their problems.
I want to end with a quote from one of my mentors, Toby Alexander:
“Don’t be the needy beggar. Be the diagnosing doctor.”
Links mentioned in this episode:
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