If you’re starting a business and need an online presence, then you can’t ignore content marketing. Once you determine who your audience and you align your content topics with your search engine optimization strategy, you need to produce and publish the content.
Businesses that find success with content marketing all have one thing in common — they are consistent. It doesn’t matter if you publish monthly, weekly or daily blog posts; you have to stay consistent and not skip a beat. Here are six ways to help you source content for your website, allowing you to publish content that meets your marketing needs.
1. Outsource your content needs.
Not every business owner is going to have the time or experience to create high-quality content on a regular basis. Hiring an internal writer isn’t always an option due to the cost, but there are plenty of qualified freelancers out there that you can hire to handle all of your content needs.
It might take some searching — and sifting through some marginal content — before you find the perfect writer who has knowledge of your industry and a voice that matches your brand. Herbert Wright, CEO of GreatPaper, has a great tip for finding qualified writers: “There are a lot of freelancers out there that will simply find an article online that is similar to your requested topic, and re-write it slightly, in an effort to pass it off as original content. When testing out new freelancers, give them obscure topics related to your business, even if you don’t plan on using the content on your website. This will give you an example of their true writing capabilities and style.”
2. Allow guest posts from within your industry.
Everyone wants to guest post these days. We receive dozens of requests every week on my company’s contact page, even though it specifically states that we don’t accept guest post submissions. If you do open your blog up to guest post submissions you will be flooded with requests, and most won’t be relevant to your audience.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you decide to do this:
- Only publish content from contributors that are actively involved in your industry and have sizeable social media followings, as this will help you drive more traffic to your website via their social shares.
- Make sure any links in contributor bios are to quality relevant websites.
- Hire a freelancer to proof-read and edit all of your submissions — remember, anything you publish is a direct reflection of your business.
3. Conduct interviews using Help a Reporter Out (HARO).
If you have an audience that would be interested in reading expert-level interviews, then you will want to create a HARO account. This is a great option for businesses that already have some content marketing traction, as your website and blog needs to be high-quality and already receiving decent traffic numbers in order to submit queries.
You can submit queries on any topic and then sort through the replies to find subject matters that would make a great interview. I use HARO on a regular basis — just be prepared to receive a lot of unrelated replies.
4. Create your content internally.
Some businesses prefer to create their content internally, and if you have the resources to do that, it’s a great option. “Our blog content is really focused on news and topics related to the solar industry, specifically in California. We found that creating our content in-house resulted in much more locally-focused solar articles,” explains Kelly Shawhan, co-founder of Semper Solaris.
Turn to your employees for content — you never know if you have a great writer on staff unless you ask. You could even create fun contests, awarding a gift card to the employee who publishes the blog post with the most views and social shares each month. Also, content that comes from your team has a more authentic feel, helping consumers connect with your brand.
5. Open a forum to start discussions.
There are a lot of industries that have a huge followings and endless amounts of topic possibilities. Including a forum on your website sparks discussion — allowing your website visitors to start new topics and become involved with current discussions.
This is a great option if you have a large audience because you will have new content posted around the clock. As long as your forum is optimized and set to be indexed in the search results, you can attract a lot of organic traffic. I’ve personally seen businesses increase their organic traffic ten-fold by launching a forum.
6. Re-write old content.
Removing old website content can actually help increase your website traffic, but instead of removing it entirely, you can re-write it. Years ago, it was standard practice to throw up 500-word blog posts that were heavily keyword optimized. Quality of the content wasn’t considered — things like keyword density were the main focus.
If you have old content on your blog that isn’t up to today’s standards, you should consider re-writing it. You already have the topic and main focus of the content, so it will take less effort than it would if you were starting a new post from scratch. If you re-work all of your older sub-par content it will greatly improve your content marketing results.
by JONATHAN LONG