How to Manage and Organize Content for Blog Campaigns

Launching a blog campaign is an effective way to grow your business’ influence online. By posting regularly, it allows you to provide value for your customers by educating them on specific topics. More than that, it establishes you as an expert in your field, which can draw more attention from potential customers or clients.

Indeed, blogging has proven to be a very effective tool for businesses, but there must be a method behind how you manage your blog posts. This is where the blog campaign comes into play.

Sort the Fine Details Before You Write

Before you jump into organizing or even writing the content for your blog campaign, start by sorting the fine details you want to include in your posts. Jumping directly into the writing process will lead to confusion, both for you and your readers.

People who know a lot about something often want to say a lot about something, which can lead to providing information in a very unorganized fashion. Preplanning helps you bring your thoughts together on specific topics so that you don’t forget anything, and so you can organize it into a system that helps others learn.

Start by working through themes for your campaign. For example, a technology company would want to teach customers about the latest technology on the market. This may take several blog posts to cover all of the information, such as:

  • What the new technology is
  • How different it is from other options
  • Its history and how it became what it is
  • How to use it or what it is used for
  • Why customers should want it
  • Specific things that only technology aficionados would know
  • How to get the new technology
  • Why they should get that technology from you

From this list alone, there are a lot of specific things to cover about this new technology that will be interesting to clients and help companies get a boost in sales. To get the most out of this content, it needs to be organized into a campaign that follows logical steps. That way, you can effectively educate clients while creating an effective sales funnel so both sides benefit.

Pro Tip: Make a List of Content Points for the Year

An easy way to organize your content is to make a list of content points that you need to address throughout the year. Some of these will be easily predictable, such as holidays or special events. Industry trade shows and similar events also make great content points to write about. Here are some content points that are commonly used to organize blog content:

  • Industry-specific themes
  • Specific products or promotions
  • Product launches, sales, or other special events
  • Major business changes like an expansion or merger

Develop Your CTA

One of the most important parts of your blog to develop is your CTA or Call-to-Action.

This is the part that asks the customer to do something, such as buy a product or schedule an appointment. It is usually found at the end of the blog post with links to landing pages or other sales resources.

The CTA is important because it takes a reader from being passive to being active and engaged with your company. Without it, your blog will not drive sales.

Creating a CTA does not have to be complicated, but it does require specific pieces of information. Before you create any content, create a CTA.

Information for Your CTA

There are specific pieces of information that need to be included in your CTA. Otherwise, it may not be effective at directing your potential customers. Your CTA needs to include:

  • Your company name
  • Company primary contact information
  • An invitation to what you want customers to do (i.e., “call us” or “click this link”)
  • A link to a landing page or the business home page

Once you have this information, you can compile a CTA using a basic formula for each blog post. This formula will change slightly based on the topic and where the post sits in your sales funnel.

If the post is about general information about the business or is early in the sales funnel or campaign, your CTA will focus on getting clients to your website or a specific landing page to learn more.

If it is deep enough in your sales funnel to ask for the sale, then the CTA should focus on getting clients to the sale through a product page or a landing page that asks for the sale.

Your CTA should follow a template and look like the following:

  • Sentence 1: Introductory sentence to transition from content into CTA.
  • Sentence 2: Sentence on how the product can be valuable to the consumer.
  • Sentence 3: Request for a specific action, with contact info or link.
  • Sentence 4: Sentence on how the company can support the consumer.

Example (Early Sales Funnel)

Replacing your outdated TV with a new 80-inch flat-screen will make watching the game more enjoyable, but taking your old TV to the dump can be a challenge. It is much easier if you can find a service to pick up your TV and take it to the landfill for you. [Company Name] can help you get that old TV to the dump without you having to lift a finger except to call us at [company phone number]. Let us help you make every game special by making it easy to install your new TV.

Example (Late Sales Funnel)

Replacing a broken TV shouldn’t be a hassle, but large TVs are hard to get rid of. You want to order a new TV to watch the game with your friends, but your old TV Is standing in your way. Call [Company Name] at [phone number] to get that old TV out of the way. We’ll drag your old TV to the dump and let you enjoy your new TV without getting off of the couch.

Organize Content by Relevance

Once you know what your content will be about, put it in order of relevance for the goals of the campaign and the subject matter. There are several ways to organize your content by relevance.

Relevance to the Reader

Your content should be in the order of relevance to the reader if there are multiple subjects or the content becomes progressively more complicated. This is common on education websites where the content starts basic and becomes more complicated over time.

However, it is not always that straightforward since some parts make sense to go out of order. Businesses use this method when introducing multiple products or services. They may introduce them as a whole so that customers have a frame of reference for all of the options, then start to go through them individually.

Relevance to Time

Content can be organized based on chronological events.

History classes do this so that everything develops in a logical progression.

And companies use this when they are guiding readers through tutorials.

Every post builds on the one that came before it, so doing them out of order does not make sense for the reader.

Relevance to Topic

Another way to organize content is to organize by topic. This works best when the blog posts may seemingly have nothing to do with each other.

For example, writing blog posts about bananas, oranges, and apples that do not compare them means that each post has nothing to do with each other. However, you can combine the posts into a campaign that teaches readers about different kinds of fruit to make them better shoppers at grocery stores.

Group content based on your themes so that content related to a topic is treated in a single series of blog posts.

Build a Storyline

Having a method for organizing your content helps you get a feel for what posts need to go where and when, but that is not the end of the process. Once you have an idea of how to group your content, you need to organize it so that it builds a storyline.

For the most part, consumers do not make a purchase based on the technical specifications of a product. They don’t even buy because a product solves a problem for them. They buy because they connect with the narrative of that product.

You can use this to connect with readers and make asking for the sale more effective.

For this to work, every piece of content in the campaign must support a narrative in some way. Instead of focusing entirely on features, talk about how the product was developed and why customers enjoy it. Paint a picture of how customers can use it to make their lives better.

Once they can imagine using your product to resolve a pressing need for them, they are beginning to buy into the storyline.

It is important to remember that although the posts are working toward a common goal, every piece must be able to stand on its own.

Every blog post is a self-contained story of its own, and you want to make sure that customers get a good understanding of what you are writing about, even without access to other posts.

That way, readers can keep up with what you are writing without having to read back through old posts for everything to make sense.

Develop a Simple Tracking System

As you launch the campaign, it is important that you track the success of each post. Without a tracking system in place, you won’t be able to effectively evaluate your campaign strategy.

The good news is that your tracking system does not have to be complicated. A simple system could be to track KPIs on every post to see which ones perform the best.

If you have posts that do well and others that do not, figure out what makes some perform well and change your process to make the others more effective.

Try Different Campaign Strategies

Campaign strategies can always be changed to fit your needs. If you try to develop a successful campaign and don’t get the results that you want, pivot and find a strategy that works. You can try as many strategies as you like until you find the one that works best.

Successful companies make sure they can track the performance of their posts in a meaningful way. When they find a specific element of a post that works, they integrate it into their strategy and apply it to every post.

Even if you only get one thing that works out of your campaign, that is an improvement. Collect these little improvements and you will eventually create a campaign strategy that works reliably. All it takes is effort over time and a desire to consistently make improvements.

The Content Publishing Storyline

Every blog post campaign needs to tell a story. Customers buy based on the narrative of a product more than any other factor, and this is your key to making more sales.

For help building your campaign storyline, just use this helpful checklist.

Do I Need Permission to Use a Logo in my Blog?

You’re writing an article about your favorite cereal – the origin of the flake shape, the ingeniousness of the ingredients, the history of the brand name – and to fancy up the copy, you decide to include the company’s logo.

But then, you wonder: Is this permitted?

Are Logos Copyright-Protected?

The answer isn’t cut-and-dried: Some are; some aren’t. Sometimes a logo may be copyrighted. Or it may be trademarked.

What’s the difference, you ask?

Both actions are taken to protect intellectual property. But legally they are very distinct. In general terms, copyrights (©) apply to intellectual or creative works, while trademarks (™) protect commercial names, logos, and phrases.

In general terms, copyright gives exclusive rights to the owner of a literary, artistic, educational, or musical work.

Trademarks, on the other hand, are used to help companies represent their unique brand.

Corporate logos, therefore, are typically trademarked. This provides the company some amount of protection against someone trying to pass off a product represented by their logo.

But many corporations also opt to copyright their logos for additional legal identity protection because copyright law and trademark law each have some gaps.

According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, “A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods.”

A completely different office, the United States Copyright Office, handles copyright issues. They explain, “Copyright commonly does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases. You will have to look into trademarking. Copyright protects works of original authorship such as text, artwork, photographs, sound recordings, screenplays, music, lyrics, etc.”

Are All Logos Protected?

Regardless of whether a logo has been registered or not, the creator still has certain protections.

Graphic designer, Stephanie Asmus, points out that a logo doesn’t actually need to be copyrighted or trademarked to be protected: “The moment a logo is created, so long as it’s justifiably original, the owner has protectable rights to that creation under what’s called ‘common law’.”

This means that even if a logo has not been registered to an “owner,” it can’t be usurped for use by another entity. Common law provides legal protection to guarantee that the “owner” is the sole entity permitted to use the logo as an identifier in their industry.

What really matters is protecting the integrity of the graphic.

As Elizabeth Potts Weinsten, founder and lead attorney at EPW Small Business Law PC, puts it, “Trademarks are designed to protect customers from confusion… If you use the logos in a way that won’t confuse customers or the public, then you probably are not infringing the trademark.”

So… Am I Free to Include the Logo?

According to upcounsel, “You need permission to use a logo unless it is for editorial or information purposes, such as when a logo is used in a written article or being used as part of a comparative product statement.”

This type of use is called fair use. Basically, as long as your intent is not to profit from the logo, you should be able to replicate it to accompany your article.

So, this is great news for, say, bloggers just wanting to spruce up the page with a splash of color.

But there’s a caveat.

Keep in mind that the company likely toiled long and hard to come up with the image that graphically represents their brand. As such, they might have very strict usage guidelines – from the exact colors that must be used and whether it can be recreated in black and white to size restrictions and any accompanying tagline or words to even the required white space around the image.

As a general rule of thumb, don’t make any changes to their image.

Your best bet is to check with the company’s website or media relations department to find out what their specific brand usage guidelines are and how they relate to using their logo.

What Are Infographics?

Infographics are visual representations of quantitative and qualitative data and other types of information. Infographics provide clear and easy-to-understand formats that enhance an audience’s ability to grasp patterns and trends in a topic.

Infographics are highly visual. As such, they contain minimal text. Mainly, images are attached to numerical data to facilitate comprehension of large or complex data sets.

Their aim is to engage the target audience by providing interesting and useful facts. Because of this, opinions are not commonly represented in infographics.

Infographics may be standalone documents or part of a larger document. Infographics can also summarize an entire document, thereby facilitating its distribution and readability.

Photo by rawpixel.com form PxHere

Uses of Infographics

Infographics have the following uses:

  • Provide a quick and easy summary.
  • Facilitate complex processes.
  • Visually present research information or survey data.
  • Sum up a long text.
  • Compare and contrast analyses.
  • Generate awareness on a topic or issue.

Types of Infographics

  • Thematic. Used to raise awareness of an issue or topic.
  • Reference. Used to present data from  research or to support claims.

Governments commonly use infographics to provide information, while companies often use them as a sales and marketing tool.

Parts of an Infographic

While there is no specific format for infographics, they contain the following parts:

  • Visual elements (colors and graphics)
  • Content (data and other information)
  • Key Points  (main takeaway)

Often, a simple statement summarizes the main takeaway of the infographic. Nevertheless, the main focus of the infographic is the presentation of data. Interesting color schemes and layouts serve to highlight the data and facilitate comprehension.

Image by Muhammad Umar Hamzah from Pixabay

8 Reasons Why You Really Do Need a Business Blog

In this day and age, people spend a lot of time online reading blogs. After all, they are an excellent source of entertainment and information. Some make you laugh, while others help you understand complex concepts or even products.

Following the blogs of your favorite businesses keeps you in the loop and makes you feel like you’re a part of its inner circle.

You know all of this to be true, but for some reason, you’ve never created a blog for your own business. The questions are: Should you? and Why?

The short answer is: Yes, a company blog is a great idea! While it’s not as simple as it may seem at first glance, having a blog for your business, any business, has a lot of upsides.

Here are 8 reasons why 2021 should be the year you dive in and start blogging for your business.

8 Reasons Why You Should Start a Blog

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

1. It Reinforces Your Brand Voice

Your brand has a unique voice. If it doesn’t, it’s time to change that. Every ad, product description, and webpage should reinforce that voice. It could be friendly, funny, authoritative, or any other voice that fits what your brand is all about. It needs to be consistent in everything you do.

A blog is a perfect way to hammer that home. Longer blog pieces allow you to let that voice shine and give your brand not just an identity but a personality.

2. It Increases SEO Rankings

If you own a brand and have a website, you know the importance of pleasing those search engines, especially Google. One of the most important factors for great SEO rankings is to make your website relevant and useful to consumers. Your blog does just that!

Think about the questions your customers might have and build your blog posts around them. As your blog grows, it will become a trusted resource in your industry, and your SEO rankings will climb higher and higher. That’s just smart business.

3. It Increases Website Traffic

This goes hand-in-hand with reason number 2. If your blog is full of information that people want to know, you’ll climb in the SEO rankings, and you’ll get more website traffic as a result.

:

For example, let's say that you sell Earth-friendly baby products. You carry cloth diapers, and some people come to your site because they know you have them. But if you add a blog post titled 'Should I Use Cloth or Disposable Diapers?' new parents who are researching that very question will be led to your site to learn more. Once they are there, who knows what else they'll see, love, and buy!

4. It Provides an Opportunity to Establish an Email List

You don’t always want to wait for your customers to come to you. When you create a blog, include a CTA (Call To Action) to give your readers an opportunity to sign up for emails or newsletters from you.

These communications can let them know when you have new products or even new blog posts. This keeps customers connected to your business in a fun and meaningful way.

5. It’s a Platform to Introduce New Products, Services, and Events

When you introduce new products or are hosting an event, there’s only so much you can say on your product page or advertisements.

A blog gives you the bandwidth to delve into the background, provide case studies, and flesh out the reasons you are promoting this product, service, or event.

Even if you don’t want to do a whole blog about something new, it can find its way (with a link to where the reader can find more information) into the copy. It’s a great way to highlight new items or events that you want your customers to see without spending a ton on advertising.

6. It Establishes Your Subject Matter Authority

If you stay consistent and write about your subject with proper research, you’ll grow to become a web authority on the topic.

Think of any topic or product you enjoy. Chances are, you can name one or two people or businesses that are your “go-to” sites to learn more about it. Those are your subject matter authorities.

Becoming a subject matter authority boosts your status in the eyes of your customers as well as search engines. It’s a goal every business blog should want to reach.

7. It Goes Hand in Hand with Social Media

You know that social media is a critical part of your business plan, but what do you put on it to engage your customers? Your blog is the perfect way to keep things fun and fresh on social media.

Think about that diaper blog post. If you shared it on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media posts, do you think it would get people talking? Probably. The new parents who are asking that question will find a whole lot of experienced parents weighing in, and your company and your blog post will be at the center of that conversation.

Nothing keeps your business active in your customers’ minds better than a fabulous social media presence, and a blog can help make that happen.

8. It Keeps People Coming Back to Your Website

When you put it all together, from becoming a subject matter authority to establishing email lists to social media and more, the real result of creating a great blog is that it keeps people interacting with your business and coming back to your website over and over. That means you stay relevant and top-of-mind for your customers.

New customers are great, but returning customers are the foundation of any business. 

But, what if I’m not a writer?

As you can see, the benefits of a blog for your business are many.

But we can’t forget to address the elephant in the room: You may be hesitant to start a blog for your business because you aren’t a great writer or simply don’t have the time or desire to write the blog.

That’s just fine. You can hire a professional writer to do that part. In fact, unless you are a superb creative writer, it is a smart idea to let a pro handle it.

As the insider for the business, your job is to figure out what to write about. New products, your brand’s mission, fun and exciting stories about customer interactions (with their permission, of course!), and how-tos are all great ideas.

Just come up with some topic ideas, and let your writer take care of the rest.

Conclusion

These days a blog is expected from your business page. Customers look for it to learn about your business, your products, and your brand’s identify. The best part is that it can work wonders for your brand with minimal investment.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that your blog needs to be done well. If you want to build up all of those things we just talked about, your blog needs to look good with a well-built webpage and eye-catching photos, be consistent, and most important, be well written so that people will actually want to read it.

And remember, it’s OK to hire out any of those tasks if you don’t feel comfortable doing them. Compared to traditional or pay-per-click advertising, you can build your blog for minimal investment and boost your brand’s web presence exponentially.

So, what are you going to blog about?

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a marketing approach that’s focused on delivering valuable and relevant content to a target audience. It aims to consistently attract followers by engaging them with content that addresses their particular needs.

Brands use content marketing to generate leads and improve profitability by converting more leads into sales.

While traditional marketing focuses on pitching products and services to a target audience, content marketing is about providing clients and followers with valuable content. This content should help the target audience solve a relevant problem or issue in their lives.

Content marketing is good for both companies and clients, as it:

  • Drives sales higher by engaging clients consistently.
  • Reduces costs by honing in on a specific market niche.
  • Fosters client loyalty by creating a clear narrative.

The following tactics make content marketing highly effective:

  • Makes use of brand content  in social media marketing.
  • Boosts Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  • Bolsters inbound marketing by compelling users to engage with the brand.
  • Improves brand position by delivering “free” and relevant content.

Content marketing also covers a wide range of media:

  • Email marketing campaigns are highly effective through the use of newsletters and bulletins.
  • Social media profiles are key to driving text and visual content.
  • Video streaming platforms enable brands to deliver high-quality content.
  • Print materials can provide a classic touch, especially with older clients.
  • Traditional media such as radio, print, and television are perfectly suitable for all clients.

The most important thing about content marketing is that it’s not about selling a product. Instead, it’s about engaging clients as much as possible, so the brand is always present in their minds.

Copywriter Q&A: Diving into Company Blog Campaigns with Melanie Green

The Writers For Hire (TWFH) team member Melanie Green has more than 15 years of writing experience and specializes in digital marketing content. With TWFH, Melanie is the go-to expert on blog campaigns for businesses.

For this installment of Copywriter Q&A, we asked Melanie for her insights on the best practices for launching an effective blog campaign.

TWFH: We hear a lot of hype about blogs being an important aspect of company websites. In what ways can having a blog help a business?

MG: Blogs can help businesses in a lot of ways. A blog creates more content that can be found and linked to. It gives businesses more opportunities to utilize SEO keywords in an organic way that can help search engine rankings. It can even be used to answer common customer questions.

A blog gives credibility to the company and positions it as a thought leader or expert. It can also ensure that a business’s website comes across as up-to-date and relevant. Who hasn’t gone to a website to see that its last blog post was two years ago and questioned whether the company was even still in business?

TWFH: Those are some really compelling arguments for starting a blog! So, if someone is considering launching a blog campaign for their business, how should they get started?

MG: First, they need to have a platform available on their site to upload blogs on. I’m preferential to WordPress because of the plug-ins that are available, including the editorial calendar and Yoast. The editorial calendar lets you plan posts with a month-long view, and Yoast is a free tool that helps with search engine optimization.

Next, they’ll need to make decisions about who will write the posts, how frequently they’ll post, and what the topics will be.

TWFH: What is the best way to come up with a theme or topic for the campaign?

MG: I’m not sure that there’s a single “best way,” but there is a process that I follow. To find blog post ideas, I would:

  1. Answer common questions my customers have
  2. Provide information that would overcome sales objections from customers in the sales process
  3. Find frequently asked questions online related to my topic
  4. Review recent news to see if there’s anything that’s relevant
  5. See what my competitors are writing about
  6. Use topic generator tools like Answer the Public and Buzz Sumo
  7. Use keyword tools like SEMRush and Google Keyword Planner, aiming for relevant keywords that have high search volume and low competition
  8. Create variations of my most successful posts

TWFH: How frequently should blogs be posted? Is there a rule or best practice?

MG: Consistency is the key. If you can only commit to one post a week, then it should be every week, posted on the same day. It’s worse to post two in one week and none for three weeks.

Technically speaking, websites benefit the most from two posts a week. More can be better, especially for more competitive search terms. However, I always recommend that clients start by posting two posts a month and work their way up toward twice a week. Since quality is just as important as consistency, you don’t want to sacrifice quality.

TWFH: Do all of the blogs have to be new content, or can old content be recycled (if it’s relevant, of course)?

MG: The same content can’t exist in two places at once. So, it’s okay to update old blog content, but you wouldn’t want to re-issue it as a new post, even if the content has many little changes to it. This could hurt a website’s search engine rankings. If it’s a part of a monetization program, such as Google AdSense, having duplicated content can end the monetization agreement.

In general, it’s a good idea to only post new content to a business’s blog, while updating past posts for accuracy and keyword usage. Keyword performance changes over time, so this should be reflected in past posts.

TWFH: Should blogs be written in-house? Or is it OK to contract them out?

MG: I’m not sure that it matters where the content is written as much as who is writing it. If a business wants to invest money into hiring a staff writer with experience writing blogs, then it’s perfectly OK to have blogs written in-house. Writing is one of the most interesting fields, in that most people are capable of writing words down on a page. However, it doesn’t make them a writer. It’s still important to hire someone with experience that understands online writing and keyword usage and has the ability to turn work around to meet an editorial calendar.

For many companies, getting this expertise in the most cost-effective way is by contracting blog writers. Not all blog writers are the same, though. You can find a very inexpensive blog writer and end up with low quality or plagiarized content that you have to spend a lot of time to edit and fix. Finding the right set of writers can take time and you’ll need the budget to do so.

What often happens is that companies try to get blog content out on their own first before hiring blog writers. They’ll get busy working on other tasks and blog writing for their own site takes a backseat to other work. That’s when we’ll often see companies looking to collaborate with contract blog writers.

TWFH: What other components should a successful blog campaign have?

MG: Successful blog campaigns have 100% original blog posts of at least 500 words, consideration to keyword targets and usage, relevant pictures with alt-tags, and meta descriptions. The most successful campaigns are also well-advertised. Simply writing a post isn’t enough to drive traffic to it. It’s important to also share it with the world.

TWFH: What is the best way to distribute blogs?

MG: The most obvious way is through social media. This is low hanging fruit and should always be a part of the process. It’s also helpful to embed links to posts on relevant Quora or forum questions and to ask other blog owners to include your post on link round-ups.

TWFH: How will you know if your campaign worked? What is the best way to measure success?

MG: The success of a campaign depends on your goals. Is it to gain new traffic? Measuring success could simply mean more page views with a lower bounce rate, which means that they’re more engaged and didn’t immediately hop off your page.

TWFH: This is all great advice! Is there anything else that you’d like to add about blog campaigns?

MG: If companies want to get started with more content marketing, blogs are a great way to go. There’s no limit on how many you have, and it adds to the value of the site itself.


Content Audits: Why Your Site Needs One and How it’s Done

You’ve worked tirelessly on creating the perfect website for your business and have even added some great content to beef up your blog section. So, how do you know if your site is performing well?

That’s where the content audit comes into play.

A content audit is the process of going through all the content on your website and analyzing it to better understand what’s working and what’s not. Then, once you have all of the data, you can use it to make your website the best it can be.

Let’s get real—websites aren’t made to hide in the crevices of Google or drive away users with boring or hard-to-use content. Without web traffic, proper user engagement, and simply results (which can vary depending your goals), churning out content is fairly worthless.

So yes, content audits are as important as they seem. But how do you conduct your own?

Content Audit How-To

First, let’s understand the various metrics you can use to measure the performance of your website.

SEO

You may be vaguely familiar or intimately acquainted with SEO. If you’re the former, here is a crash course.

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is the process used to make sure your website is seen by your target audience. A website or page that has very little or poor content, or hasn’t been updated in years, will most likely have poor internet traffic, and hide in page 72 of Google’s search results.

Since people tend to click on the first few results that pop up on their internet search, you want to make sure that your site is easy to find and accessible. If you’re not paying for your site to pop up first, you want to optimize your site so that it will appear early on in an “organic search” (non-paid search engine results).

Here’s where SEO comes in. Search engines hold a database of all available internet content. They get all that information through crawling and indexing pages available on the web. Once there’s an index of all pages, videos, pictures, etc., the search engine ranks everything in order from most relevant to least on the results pages for any given search.

Say you’re looking up “panda bears in the wild.”  Based on SEO, sites that are the most relevant to that search will come up on the very first page. Relevance is determined by many factors, the most important one being keywords. So, in this case, a site that has the phrase, “panda bears in the wild” multiple times will surface at the top of your search results.

While there’s a lot more to SEO, even a basic understanding can help you to conduct a content audit that measures your website’s visibility and ranking on search engines. If you find through your audit that your site is hard to find or not using keywords in an optimal way, it’s time to implement some SEO best practices.

User Engagement

SEO is only one factor in the complex web of content auditing. User engagement tells you how interested users are in your content. Lots of clicks, shares, and a low bounce rate, (when people stay for a while on your page as opposed to visiting and immediately leaving), demonstrate high user engagement.

High user engagement means your site is getting attention and appreciation from users. No one wants their site to be found via SEO metrics (using the words “panda bear in the wild” 1,000 times) but then dumped after one second because the user experience is so poor (which it would be, in that case).

That’s why it’s important to strike a balance between keyword usage and giving people a positive experience.

If your site is found on a search engine and enjoyed by its intended audience, your user interaction and engagement will be quite high. To measure these factors during a content audit, you’re going to focus on the number of shares, likes, comments, and page views, and length of average visit, to name a few.

You can also compare different types of content to see which got the most user engagement.

Looking at variables like type of post, length of post, and content of post and comparing them against each other can give you a good idea of what’s optimal and what’s falling flat.

For example, if you compare blog posts at 2,000 words vs. 500 words by looking at the number of likes and shares they both received, you can tell whether a larger or smaller word count is more popular. You could then either restructure existing content to make it more optimal or create more of what’s popular.

Sales Metrics

Sales is its own beast. Sites that sell a product (an item, a downloadable, or something else), are probably most interested in finding out what generated the most business.

While you might be tempted to focus solely on sales-related metrics, you do need to consider SEO and user engagement as well. After all, if your site is unfindable or unusable, you won’t be selling much of anything.

Beyond these factors, you can analyze business-related metrics by tracking leads, revenue, and conversion rate.

Leads are important because they are the site visitors who can potentially purchase your product or service. Several metrics can demonstrate how many leads you have—like how many people visit your site every day, or how many email subscribers you have.

Leads can also inform you about conversion rate: how many of your page visits turn into customers, or how many subscribers end up making a purchase.

The difference between number of leads and number of consumers becomes your conversion rate and helps provide insight into your return on investment (ROI).

Image by Mediamodifier from Pixabay 

As you can tell, there are a lot of factors you can look into when auditing your website. So where do you begin?

Narrowing Down What You Want to Know

If this all seems a bit overwhelming, start with focusing on what you actually want to know and eliminating what’s just extraneous.

It’s hard to make a general guide to content auditing since each website, company, or individual is looking to find out different information and reach different goals. So, first outline what you’re looking for based on who you are.

Not sure how? Who are you? What is your company?

If you are selling something, it’s important to look at sales metrics like leads, conversions, and revenue.

If you want more visits/views, look into SEO and engagement metrics.

Maybe you want to attract new viewers/visitors, or you want to nurture leads you already have. In that case, focus more on sales or engagement metrics.

Since analyzing your content is a means to an end, come in focused on that end.

Conducting Your Audit

Gathering Your Data

Now for the technical how-to: Roll up your sleeves, settle into your chair, and consolidate all your URLs into one spreadsheet.

If you only have a few URLs, you can do this manually, but if it’s a big site with many pages, download a crawler like Screaming Frog (free up to 500 URLs) or URL Profiler (paid service).

These downloadable programs will search your whole site (known as “crawling”) and set up a list of your URLs along with some basic criteria to get you started.

Your list will look something like this:

As shown in these pictures from Screaming Frog’s site, you’ll get a list of your URLs accompanied by certain criteria, like what kind of site it is (text, image, or something else).

Exporting is the next step, and you can do this in a few different ways. One, pictured above, will export the sites you select. If you want all of them, do a bulk export by selecting “Bulk Export” on the top menu, and then choosing “All Inlinks.”

For more information, visit the Screaming Frog or URL Profiler websites. With their comprehensive instructions, downloading and setting up shouldn’t pose a problem.

Next, export your list as a CSV file and create a spreadsheet, using a program like Excel or Google Sheets.

On your spreadsheet, use the filter feature on the top left of your list to filter out the unnecessary pages, looking only at your HTMLs.

Congrats! You have everything in one beautiful, confusing document. Now it’s time to analyze what you have.

Analyzing Your Data


Google Sheets or Excel Docs:

Using conditional formatting through Google Sheets or Excel allows you to arrange the cells so you can visualize the information easily.

For instance, if you’re analyzing word count and comparing longer and shorter articles, you can color code cells above and below certain numbers of words to make it easy to spot longer and shorter posts.

To set conditional format, select Format > Conditional Formatting from the top menu. It will look like this picture from Google Sheets.

Now it’s time for the fun part: understanding your data. Drawing conclusions from the tables, graphs, and charts generated on your Excel or Google Sheet is the whole point of the audit, so don’t take it easy just yet.

Sorting the data into various visuals like graphs and charts, and using conditional formatting in your lists, you can now begin to answer questions like: “Which article length is most popular?” “Which type of post gets the most shares?” and, “Which posts have utilized best SEO practices?”   


Google Analytics:

You can either make your own inferences with your sheets, or you can go a different route and use Google Analytics, which is very helpful for content audits and understanding your website, as well as helping to track user behavior.

Importing your website information and data into Google Analytics automatically generates various charts and graphs and sets you up to track different parameters. Instead of creating a spreadsheet that you can manipulate yourself, Google Analytics feeds directly from your site and tracks it, boiling down information it collects into digestible statistics and graphs.

Here’s how to get your data into Google Analytics, via their informational site:

Once your site’s information is in the system, Google Analytics will do the work for you, providing insights into your data. Your job is to find it and understand it.

First, you can check out user engagement metrics by going to the “Behavior” Tab on the left-hand side menu. In this screenshot from Google Analytics’ demo page, you can see the “Analytics Intelligence” on the right.

By clicking on “Insights” at the top of the page, the “Analytics Intelligence” sidebar pictured above pops up with information on the implications of your data. You can click on these succinct reports to further explore and solve any issues.

In addition to the “Behavior” tab, the “Conversions” tab is useful, as it allows you to set and track goals. These tabs can be customized to track specific values. For instance, you can set a goal to find out how many leads on a certain page turn into customers. This is a way to identify and understand your conversion rate.

To set a goal, select the “Admin” option on the bottom left (the one that looks like a cog or “settings” button), then select “Goals” in the “View” column on the right, pictured here.

You can create a custom goal or use an already generated template goal. Once you set it, Google will track your site and create a report for you. It’s best to wait at least a few days, if not a couple of weeks, for results to be meaningful–one day will not give you enough information.

To track your goal, you simply choose the “Conversions” option on the left side and open Goals > Overview. You will see how many goal completions were achieved (like how many products were sold), conversion rate, and abandonment rate, to name a few.

On the “Audience” tab, you can view other metrics of user engagement, including bounce rate and average session duration. You can even see the most popular places your views come from, displayed in a pretty pie chart to compare social media to organic searches to direct searches. Or, like the view pictured below, you can see graphs demonstrating percentage of new users vs. returning users.

For more help using the extensive tool that is Google Analytics, we suggest watching the great tutorial videos they offer.

Wrapping It Up

Whether you’re using Google Analytics, Excel, Google Sheets, or a different online template, you can explore options of displaying, tracking, and reading your data for your content audit. And now that you have answers in front of you, it’s time to optimize your website.

If videos are doing better than articles, for example, publish more of those over their wordy counterpart.

If you’re losing leads when you wait too long to send a follow-up email, fix your funnel system. If SEO isn’t strong, use more keywords and put in headings.

And if certain types of pages are getting a ton of views, maybe consider adding a ‘call to action’ to them.

The possibilities are endless, and sometimes small changes can have big effects. So, go forth and conquer!

Avoiding the Copyright Police: Ways to Find Free Images for Your Blog

Remember story time as a kid? While the story was great, you have to confess it was the pictures that drew you in, right? Looking at the pictures was the best part of the entire experience.

The same applies to digital and printed communications.

Visuals, including photography and infographics, play a significant role in helping people take action, become inspired, or grasp a concept.

But you need to be careful about where you obtain your images.

Some imagery, including those on Google Images, are more often than not copyrighted and could land you in hot water if you use them without written permission.  

“One of the issues we often see is clients using what they find on Google as images for a blog, website, or social media post. This is a dangerous game as many images are protected by copyright, or creative commons license, which limits their usage without proper payment or permission from the owner,” says Charlie Ewing, creative director at CGS Digital Marketing.

Before you get in haste to copy and paste, here are a few tips to tell if something is copyrighted or not:

  • Credit or contact details – If an image is copyrighted, take a careful look at the caption. You might spot the name of the photographer or whoever created the image. You might also find that person’s email address in the caption. If you really like the picture, you can contact them to see if you can use it; however, don’t be surprised if you will need to pay a small royalty fee.
  • Watermark – Many times, when an image is copyrighted, there will be a watermark or a faint design in the background of a logo or image. No matter how much you love the photo, don’t attempt to remove the watermark. It could cost you later on. 
  • Metadata – You may want to check an image’s metadata. Sometimes referred to as EXIF data, metadata is described as a set of data that gives information about other data. The website “How to Geek” provides a good explanation of how to do this using a PC or Mac. 
  • Reverse image search – If you are adamant about using the image and are determined to find the creator, you can use Google’s reverse image tool. You can upload the image there, and it will trace the photo back to where it resides online. From there, you might be able to determine the owner and contact him or her. 

If you can’t find the owner to ask for permission, err on the side of caution and don’t use the image.

Photographers, illustrators, and graphic designers need to protect their livelihood and, as such, often check to see if there are situations where their images are being used without their approval. 

It’s probably a smart idea to familiarize yourself with the different types of copyright laws and what they mean. Here is a list of the most common licenses:

  • All Rights Reserved
  • Royalty-Free
  • Public Domain Work
  • Attribution
  • Attribution-ShareAlike
  • Attribution-NoDerivs
  • Attribution-NonCommercial

If I can’t use Google images, what can I use?

The consequences of using a copyrighted image can be, for lack of a better word, unpleasant. 

“Copyright is always something to be mindful of in the age of information,” says Emily Glass, director of marketing for Because Marketing. “With free services such as Unsplash and Pexels, there are plenty of stock photo options that won’t break the bank. Still can’t find a photo that fits? Adobe Stock or Shutterstock are great paid options.”

Below is a roundup of some of the best websites out there that offer royalty-free use of images: 

Pexels.com 

Pexels provides unlimited downloads of beautiful photos, and you’re bound to find something to match the subject at hand. Here’s an example of a beautiful picture you can download for free on this site:

Photo by Sebastian Voortman from Pexels

Burst.shopify.com 

This site provides thousands of free images for websites and commercial use. Here’s a sample:

Reshot.com 

Reshot says it is a “uniquely free,” “non-stocky” source for photos. Here is a great example of something that you might not find elsewhere:

Photo by Waldemar Błażej Nowak

Pixabay.com 

This expansive site provides over 1.8 million stock photos you can download for free. Here’s a sample:

Image by Tài Thiện from Pixabay 

Gratisography.com 

Gratisography markets itself as “truly unique, usually whimsy, and always free.” Here’s an example of what you can find on this site:

PXhere.com 

Another full site that states the photos are free of copyright, so “do whatever you want.” Here’s a cool photo we downloaded from PXhere:

Image by Konevi

Unsplash.com 

Unsplash has a robust collection of images ranging from pets to interiors to places of worship. Here’s a picture-perfect puppy we found:

If these sites don’t have what you’re looking for and you’re willing to pay, there are a few sites out there you can subscribe to for a reasonable price, including:

“We go through hundreds and thousands of stock photos with our clients every month. Stock images provide clients and writers with affordable, high-quality photos at their fingertips, and they have plenty of choices to pick from. Not only that but you can test and try the images before you purchase them. Photos are easy to license so you can be assured that you will not infringe on the copyright. A few of our favorite resources are freepik.com, pexels.com, unsplash.com, stock.adobe.com, and shutterstock.com,” says Sami Khaleeq, president of CGS Digital Marketing.

Creating Your Own Images

Maybe these sites don’t provide precisely what you need. If you need a quick photo and don’t have time or the resources to hire a professional photographer, you can always take advantage of your phone.

You can capture stunning images with your iPhone or Android. Digital Photography School provides some quick tips: 

  1. Light up your subjects.
  2. Get close to your subject.
  3. Hold your phone steady.
  4. Save the editing for later.
  5. Don’t delete your mistakes.
  6. Don’t use the digital zoom feature.
  7. Experiment with white space.
  8. Take lots of shots, have fun, and experiment.
  9. Learn some basic composition rules, and then don’t be afraid to break them.
  10. Keep your lens clean. 
  11. Practice camera phone etiquette 101: Obtain permission to take photos of others in public.
  12. Use the highest resolution possible.

Creating Graphics and Infographics 

What if you need a quick graphic or infographic to explain a concept or present information? There are several great tools available for this purpose. Here are some examples:

Canva.com 

Canva allows you to create professional-looking graphics that will make you wonder if you shouldn’t have pursued that degree in graphic design.

It’s user-friendly, intuitive, and provides a wide range of backgrounds, colors, and design elements.

You can use the basic version for free or pay a little extra to use the professional version.

Canva lets you create everything from business cards to social media posts, posters, flyers, infographics, and restaurant menus. Below are images of designs made in Canva:

AdobeSpark.com 

You can choose from millions of free photos from sites such as Unsplash, Pixabay, and Pexels to create your graphics in Adobe Spark.

It lets you add text animations and stickers, and also has a library of exclusive fonts.

There is a free version, which provides the basic usage, a $9.99 per month individual version, and a $19.99 per month version for multiple team members.

Below is one of the templates you can edit and use as your own:

Picmonkey 

This online photo editing and designer program can be accessed via the web.

It provides graphic design and editing tools and design templates for wedding invitations, announcements, business cards, and more.

You can use the basic features for free, but to get access to all the bells and whistles, you’ll have to pay a membership fee.

Here’s an example of what you can make using PicMonkey: 

Visuals are an essential element of your blog post, website articles, and social media posts. With these resources at your fingertips, you’re sure to steer clear of copyright infringement, while at the same time creating something engaging and compelling for your audiences.

Partnering with Writers to Create Great Blogs

You spent the last few weeks researching, interviewing, and selecting a professional writer to assist you in drafting the company blog. Now, you’re ready to send them on their way to develop compelling copy that will take your company to the next level. 

But, before you have your new writing team start churning out content, follow these five steps to make the most of this partnership — and its ability to impact your organization’s bottom line.

Step No. 1: Define your communications objectives.

What exactly does your company want to accomplish with its blog? In other words, what do you seek from your audience?

For example, does your new company want to become more visible in the marketplace, or is it an established organization that wants to reinforce its market leadership?

Do you seek to rebuild your reputation after a crisis, or are you working to distinguish your company from a competitor with a similar product or service?

In The Art of Digital Marketing, Ian Dodson emphasizes the importance of defining and setting tangible, measurable goals that can help you create plans and direct your day-to-day tasks.

Sure, a company blog can serve as a valuable tactic to increase customer awareness or as a call to action, yet it must be part of an integrated effort to truly increase market share.

Thoughtfully considering how your blog integrates into your overall marketing strategy will help you determine the type of content to feature and who in your company are the subject-matter experts to involve.           

Once your objectives are defined, a solid writer or team can help you develop the appropriate content.

Step No. 2: Draft — and use — an editorial calendar.

If you’ve watched the popular television program Shark Tank, it’s likely you heard the business-owner “sharks” first ask each entrepreneur presenter this question: “Do you have a business plan?” 

The mega-successful sharks figured out long ago the truth in this question: Proper planning prevents poor performance.    

In Step 1, you defined your objectives. Now, you must determine how frequently you prefer to post and then plan your content.

Do you have sufficient information to post weekly, every other week, monthly, or quarterly? Consistency is key, so endeavor to keep to your schedule.

To stay on top of deadlines and information, some companies use an editorial calendar or timeline. This document typically shows your blog’s posting dates and writing deadlines, topics, proposed headlines, photo sources, and a notes section that includes additional pertinent information about each post.

Of course, you can tailor your timeline to fit your specific needs.

If your company is just launching the blog, you can easily set up an editorial calendar in a simple Excel spreadsheet or Google document that can be shared and updated among those on the project. This typically includes the company representative, writer, editor, and any other pertinent individual. 

Other companies may already be using project management software like Wrike; if so, you may prefer to integrate with that.

Whatever you choose, use a tool that helps you stay on track of deadlines and information, and be sure to update the information regularly. This will provide a framework to effectively target your audience and produce quality blogs in a timely manner.

Digital marketing expert Neil Patel says if you’re rushed to produce content, you won’t produce your best work. Why waste the opportunity — and the money you spend for a writer or team — with poor or non-existent planning?

Step No. 3: Communicate consistently with your writing partner.

All solid relationships are built on strong, consistent communication.  So, how can you ensure strong communication between your company and your blog writers?

First, provide your writer with regular opportunities to learn about your business and get used to your management style. TimeDoctor.com suggests that you:

  • Establish a fixed schedule of meetings to provide information, review progress, and track deadlines. Weekly often works best and, if conducting the meeting through a conference call, consider using the video function. People seek connection — even in their professional lives.
  • Be cognizant of appropriate hours to contact folks. If you’re on the east coast, wait until mid-morning to contact someone in San Francisco or Seattle!

The Writers For Hire (TWFH) copywriter Dana Robinson believes regular communication can improve accountability to deadlines and timely feedback. “I find it extremely helpful to set up a type of communication schedule at the outset of any project.”  

Second, work with the writer to set realistic deadlines: Remember, they have other clients. An overly ambitious timeline with unreasonable deadlines can affect the longevity of the relationship — and your blog’s effectiveness.

Finally, let the writer know when and how you prefer contact – be it email, text, or other means. Then, support the writer by responding to their inquiries in a timely fashion.

Step No. 4: Provide access to your subject-matter experts and source materials.

Once a solid relationship is established, the writer may become a key part of the organization’s communications team — and know exactly whom to turn to for content to be featured in blog posts.

For smaller organizations, information may come from an individual, typically, the owner or manager.

In larger companies, though, it’s rare that all subject matter comes from a single company liaison, so it is essential to provide the writer access to your organization’s experts.

Email an introduction to the appropriate colleague, providing details about the blog topic and a general idea of what the writer needs. And be sure to copy the writer on the email.

A word of caution: Be careful about having too many layers of review and approval for each blog post. While your organization may possess technical experts, they often are not experts at crafting messages to appeal to your audiences.

Typically, one subject-matter expert and the communications liaison are sufficient to ensure the content is accurate and well-targeted.

Additionally, furnish the writing team with any background that may help them compose compelling copy. “Arming the writer with company materials can help them grasp the voice and overall tone your company wishes to convey,” says TWFH copywriter Laura Frnka-Davis, APR.

Remember, you hired the writer for their expertise and ability to convey a message. It’s your job to provide them with the information needed to cater the message to your specific business. As Karen Mazurkewich asserts in the Harvard Business Review, “The freelance journalists and editors we hire serve as sherpas, helping us find interesting narratives in the labyrinth of angles and ideas across our ecosystem.”

Step No. 5: After the writing project, evaluate what went right and what you can improve.


You posted the blog, and the team is ready to begin working on your next topic. Before you move on to the next post, there’s a final piece of the puzzle to place: evaluating your effort. This goes for both the project and your working relationship.

Here are a few questions for you and your writers to consider and discuss:

  • Was the deliverable what you expected?
  • Did your writing team meet their deadlines?
  • Did you provide timely feedback?

Review the notes section of your editorial calendar: Do you see any holes in information gathering or in the materials you provided the writer? Could you streamline any processes, provide additional data or visuals, or otherwise enhance the next effort?

Ideally, your company has a mechanism for gathering data about who opens and reads your blog post. If so, be sure to share this data with the writing team. Let them know whether the piece resonated with audiences and examine what could be done differently.

If your company plans to place resources in a writing team, these tips could help you develop a healthy working relationship — and a larger return on your investment.

Coronavirus Response: How and Why to Ramp Up Your Blog Content Quickly

As more and more Americans self-quarantine or are asked to work from home, online activity is skyrocketing. In fact, from January 29 to April 8,  usage rates rose 105 percent (from 22.6 million people to 46.2 million people in the U.S. using the internet during peak hours).

While the circumstances aren’t ideal, most business owners are asking themselves how they can capture the attention of all of those online browsers. In other words, it’s time to think about how you can attract those new visitors and grow your business (or brand). Even though it’s true that more people are surfing the web, it’s also true that how you approach your content during this sensitive time can determine the future health of your brand.

To Pivot or Not to Pivot

People’s interests have shifted during the pandemic, and content creators should consider this shift when creating their content over the next few weeks or months.  In general, content creators have two choices: pivot or don’t pivot. For some, pivoting will be easy because virus-related content easily fits in with their current content. For example, a business that focuses on working from home could write articles that include information about overcoming social isolation.  For others, pivoting their content may be more difficult.  Or, perhaps, your company believes pivoting to coronavirus-inspired content feels unnatural, contrived, or just downright tacky. 

Pivot

Those who can easily pivot their content may have an advantage during this unusual time. For instance, hunker.com typically publishes articles about home design and improvement. But the site has recently changed its content to keep up with the new demand trends. Today, you’ll find articles like “Grocery Stores Empty? These Cleaning Solutions Will Help” and “How to Disinfect Your Washing Machine After Being Sick”.

Royal Caribbean is publishing articles such as, “Fun, Royal Caribbean Indoor Activities for Families”.  Verizon Wireless’ latest post is titled, “Everyday heroes help us all, Verizon supports them.”  Amazon has gone so far as to devote an entire blog to coronavirus.

Don’t Pivot

Some companies will continue business as usual and keep putting out the same type of content that they always have.  As of this writing, for example, you’ll find little to no COVID-19-related content on the Costco Blog. Exxon has decided to keep its Energy Perspectives blog content true to its original purpose without straying into coronavirus territory.  Even if you decide to (mostly) ignore the pandemic in your content, you can still ramp up quality content production, which will help your site to take advantage of the global increase in internet traffic.

What Not to Do

Whether or not you decide to write a lot of COVID-content or just a few paragraphs, you will need to learn to be sensitive with your wording and approach.

Here are three things you should avoid in your content:

Don’t Pretend the Pandemic Doesn’t Exist

People’s lives are being affected by the virus, and companies that come off as insensitive may experience a negative impact on their brand. If you completely ignore the current situation, you could publish content that may be considered inappropriate. For example, an article about the best local places to eat out may fall flat, as will an article about arranging travel plans to Europe.  Publishing content like this could cause you to come across as tone-deaf during this crisis.

Don’t Blatantly Use the Coronavirus as a Marketing Tool

It’s natural to want to reach out to your customers and the general public to offer support. But even if your products or services can benefit them in these times, you should be careful in how you approach them through your content. For example, a blog titled “How to Take Advantage of the COVID-19 Quarantine by Using our Data Organization System” will come across as insensitive. Instead of trying to sell consumers something right now, try creating content that helps them get through these trying times. For instance, if you’re the data organization software supplier, you would do better by writing a blog entitled, “5 Ways to Be Productive While Quarantined” and subtly mention your data organization system as one of the talking points.

Don’t Spread Rumors or Criticize Politicians

These are polarizing times, and the last thing you want to do as a business is to take sides or spread rumors that may prove to be false. For example, if you don’t agree with a politician’s actions related to managing support efforts, keep it to yourself. Otherwise, you could end up offending the readers who don’t agree with you.

 You should also be respectful of the consequences of the virus when mentioning it. Only use official sites to relay information and stick to the facts. Some of the official sites you can use for reference are:

What to Do

Successful content creators will focus on a few strategies during the pandemic. Here are some key points to keep in mind as you create your content.

Talk About the Things Important Your Customers

Don’t try to fit a square peg into a round hole.  You still need to stay relevant to your customers.  Don’t write about the phases of coronavirus on your pottery website, even if it does show up is an oft-Googled search trend. However, if you run a financial blog, you could write about stock market tips for today’s unruly market. A real estate blogger could publish tips about house showings during quarantine, or a dating site could write articles about how to maintain relationships during social distancing.

Inform People About Your Business—Subtly

Being sensitive doesn’t mean you can’t subtly promote your business. As with the example above, data organization content is helpful and lets consumers know about a product that could help them in this time.  Hunker is continuing to establish its brand as an expert on how to live well in your home, but the content shift is interesting to today’s reader. The key is to give readers the information they want, while in a non-salesy way, informing them how your service or product can help them.

Be Consistent

As we established earlier, people are online a lot these days, and they are establishing new browsing habits. They are looking for sites that offer the most relevant content and are likely visiting those sites again and again. Your goal is to create content that keeps them coming back to your site. Publish daily or weekly, but stick to your schedule so your visitors will know when to come back for more.

Use Content to Strengthen Your Brand

Finally, if you create a page on your website that tells people how your business is responding to the coronavirus, it can give your customers a sense of security regarding your business continuity.  For instance, everyone understands that gig workers are being financially impacted by the virus. Uber did a great job of addressing this problem by creating a page on its website outlining the steps it’s taking to ensure the financial well-being of its drivers.

A “coronavirus-response page” can also showcase how your business is helping your local community.  If you are donating medical supplies to your local hospitals, talk about it on your website. If you are organizing a food drive for the local community, be sure to mention it on your site. Or if you are taking care of your employees by allowing them to work from home, let the public know about it.  Just be sure that when you mention these things, you don’t come across as self-serving. Instead, focus on your community and the people you are serving.

5 Ways to Quickly Ramp Up Your Content

Now that we’ve talked about the do’s and don’ts for content creation during the pandemic, let’s talk about how to ramp up your content to reach all those people who are online most of the day.

Here is a 5-step plan to help boost your content fast:

1. Think About What Your Audience Needs Right Now

We’ve talked about the topics people are searching for right now, and if you can write content to match those needs, you are ahead of the game. You will first need to understand your customers and then determine how your brand can help meet their needs. For instance, if you sell pet supplies, you can write articles about how to exercise your dog during quarantine, how to keep your pets clean and, using the latest scientifically backed research, whether pets can transmit the disease to humans.

2. Create an Editorial Calendar

It’s always a good idea to create an editorial calendar when running a blog, but if you’re going to ramp up your content, it’s even more essential. First, determine how often you want to publish, and then begin thinking of the topics you will cover. This will require some brainstorming and research about what people are currently reading. Use Excel to create a spreadsheet or just make a list of your content for the next month or so. When you use an editorial calendar, it reduces the time spent on each article and allows you to concentrate on the writing.

3. Use Social Media and SEO to Increase Your Reach

If you want to bring more people to your blog, expand its reach by posting your blogs to social media. This will allow others to share your content. You can use any social media platforms you want—but the bigger your audience, the better this tactic will work for you. For instance, you can create a live steam on Twitter to talk about the highlights of your article or post your blog to Facebook or LinkedIn.

Also, using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a great way to drive traffic to your site from the search engines. Use a keyword tool to determine the best keywords for your article and then use them in the title, headers, and content. And if you use more than one keyword, it will increase the visibility of your article.

4. Open Up Communication with Your Readers

Everyone is isolated right now and craving communication with others—even if it’s online. One way to offer that is to open up the comments on your post and interact with your readers. Starting conversations with the people who leave comments is a great way to build your brand and readership. In addition, use your social media accounts to communicate with your readers by encouraging comments and then responding to them.

5. Hire Professional Writers to Keep Up with Content Creation

If the thought of creating additional content seems overwhelming, think about hiring professional writers to do the job for you. If you’re not used to writing, creating a daily or weekly blog can take a lot of time. But experienced writers have it down to an art—and they will make you look good without your ever having to write a single word.

Are You Ready to Ramp Up Your Content?

Even though more people are online, only savvy business owners will benefit from increased internet traffic. If you want to get more eyes on your blog and build your brand, be sure to follow the above steps and advice!