Producing content may be easier than ever, but does that mean every company should be turning on the hose? Online marketing expert Lee Odden reveals the key to determining the best publishing schedule for you.
The temptation is strong. Once your blog posts start gaining traction in search results, and you see the organic visits creeping north, you feel the urge to start cranking out content as feverishly as Stephen King or James Patterson. It’s difficult to know when enough is enough, let alone which topics to prioritize and what channels to focus on.
Lee Odden, SEO expert and CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, sat down with OpenView to discuss the best way to achieve a balance of quantity and quality with your content marketing, and how to point your content compass toward the topics that are going to resonate most with your audience and earn you new business (listen to the full interview here).
Is There a Magic Number?
While Odden makes it clear that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the how-much-content question — “It’s on a case-by-case basis,” he explains, so saying that one post every day, week, or month is the right amount would be “making a sweeping generalization” — he does recommend a method for zeroing in on the optimal publishing schedule for you.
Before you get distracted by arbitrary quotas, it’s important to establish what you hope to accomplish with your content in the first place. After all, just because you can publish x number of articles a week doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to or should.
“The most important thing is to start with what’s reasonable according to your goals, not your resources,” Odden advises. He suggests that you “forecast what kind of percentage increase do you want to actually achieve and work backwards to identify how much content it will take to get there.” That way, you’re not blindly churning out content in an endless drive to push the organic search needle up.
If you are not entirely sure how to get started with your forecast, or you don’t know how much content will push you toward your goals, Odden recommends that you work with a consultant for some direction. Once you have an idea of what your realistic goals are, and how much content you need to achieve them, then you can make the commitment to start creating content and pick an interval — whether it’s once a week or once a month — to get content out there.
After your content gains some traction and you start to collect data on how your audience interacts with it, you can then refine your strategy to “optimize frequency or velocity of content creation going forward.”
Tips for Launching Your Publishing Schedule
Once you have your goals in mind, an idea of the amount of content you need, and an initial publishing schedule, now it’s time to flex your fingers and start writing. As a good entry point, Odden suggests you first answer the question: “Why do customers buy from you?”
It’s important to keep that answer in mind when creating any piece of content, since you should always use your customers’ needs and interests as your foundation points. “Think about what’s happening in their life or in their business that’s causing them to need your product or service,” Odden says.
For more topics to write about, Odden recommends that you talk to customer service for commonly asked questions, or ask your salespeople about the kinds of questions they hear. “The gold of ideation when it comes to initiating content and defining your content marketing strategy is tapping into the actual Q&A dialog that’s occurring between frontline employees and the folks you want to do business with or who you are already doing business with,” Odden says.
For more help getting started with your editorial plan, Odden recommends paying a visit to Content Marketing Institute, where you can get an amazingly rich education along with lots of advice and templates for getting started with content creation.
You can also visit Odden’s site OptimizeBook.com, where you can download an editorial plan template along with a keyword glossary template as ungated Excel spreadsheets.
Take the Next Step: Download the Free eBook
In today’s online world, the best way to attract and retain great customers is by developing a steady stream of highly targeted content.
Download OpenView’s eBook, It Takes a Content Factory! and learn how to:
- Develop a strategy to align your content with your buyers and drive the array of conversions necessary to reach a sale
- Assemble the team you need to operate your content factory
- Produce high-quality content that is optimized to get the greatest return on investment.
- Amplify your content by delivering using a combination of vehicles and programs
- Maximize your conversions and manage, measure, and continuously improve your content factory
- Get started right away by implementing an easy five-day plan to bring your content factory to life