You've chosen a platform, built a fancy website, and now you're ready to amass a loyal following. Are you forgetting something? Ah, yes. Content! A shiny blog means nothing if you don't furnish it with hearty content to make your readers feel at home. (Remember your college flat with the cardboard box coffee table? We've all been there.) This week's newsletter is all about content strategy that will keep your work smelling piney-fresh. Let's go!
💬 In this week's issue:
- The new wave of content-led products
- Using your content to build an audience
- Keeping your content evergreen
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If you create it, will they come?
The art of marketing yourself and your content is all about juggling between attraction, engagement, and retention. You appeal to your readers by developing products you think they want, like articles, videos, or guides, and you keep them around by making them feel understood and valued, like allowing them to submit direct feedback or providing a space for conversation, like a comments section.
But how do you know the products you're offering are speaking to them? Are you wasting creative energy throwing things at your members to see what sticks? And why are your customers so sticky in the first place? Gareth Davies at Animalz believes you should let your content lead when brainstorming your next idea.
There's a well-known mantra in product circles: "If you build it, they will come." But if nobody finds your product in a saturated market, how will they come to you? Content-led product challenges this wisdom and says, "If they come to us, we will build it." – Gareth Davies
Why are content-led products an excellent approach?
- Building and finalizing a product can take months, but generating content can only take weeks or even a few days. This saves you time and money. Starting with content first also gives Google time to index and helps you discover if there's a market for your new product/feature.
- Starting with content gives your product time to generate an audience before it even launches. If the audience feedback is going well, you can launch without worry. If feedback is negative, it's easier to pivot in a different direction before everything has been finalized.
What content should you create?
- Some of the best content you can create is for readers who are looking for a specific tool or who are looking to problem-solve. This can result in early access sign-ups for users who can beta test your product before it launches and can help you determine who is interested in what.
- Once you discover what topics interest your audience, you can create supporting content that will help validate your ideas. You can even use existing, high-performing content to help support your low-performing content. All of this can lead to a more open-minded customer when new products are introduced.
Content-led products are all about people first and products second. By inviting your customers into the creative process, you're allowing them to connect with who you are so you can give them what they need without squandering resources. If you're doing things right, your audience will always be your best asset.
Interesting stories & ideas 📚
- Switching platforms and gaining new followers – HubSpot
- People are using X less – SocialMediaToday
- How women helped save the economy – Tubular
- Should you delete Instagram? – Low Energy Leads
- Membership pricing strategies – The Tilt
The grateful eight
In our humble opinion, creating great content is the #1 secret to audience growth. You can spend all the time and money in the world building a website, but until you fill your space with captivating content, your followers won't care. That being said, certain types of content can make more of an impact.
#1 Teach - Online courses, how-to guides, and recipes are all problem-solving content that is very easy to consume while adding credibility to your niche.
#2 Entertain - Be informative but also be funny. This shows a human side to you and your content that sucks people in. Learning is boring. Laughing is fun!
#3 Inspire - Content that's inspirational can turn passives into long-lasting advocates. Don't be afraid to get personal. Oprah™ wasn't built in a day.
#4 Engagement - Try connecting with your audience by speaking directly to them. Encouraging engagement also leads to content boosting.
#5 Curation - Your content doesn't need to be original to stand out. Try giving existing content fresh perspectives using your unique voice.
#6 Personal story - Injecting your life experiences into your content is something nobody else can do. Content creators, they're just like us!
#7 Analytical - Turning complicated topics into something edible is a valuable skill. This also builds trust and great word of mouth within your community.
#8 Build in public - Being fully transparent shows your followers that it's not all flowers and sunshine. Celebrate your wins and be open about your losses.
...do you need them all? The answer is: it's up to you. Pick 2-3 types of content and make those your main focus. After that, you can sprinkle others here and there, but more rarely. Decide what content resonates with you the most and start experimenting with it. Then optimize based on that. – Alex Llull
As the world moves a million miles a minute (200 kilometers per second, actually) it's more complicated than ever for you and your content to stay relevant. The article you wrote a month ago is now severely outdated, and the content you created last year might as well be about millennials and avocado toast.
How do you create evergreen content?
- Try using tools like Google's Keyword Planner or Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer to catch rising and declining trends. Feel free to cross-reference using Google Trends. Topics on heavy decline aren't evergreen.
- Show Google that you have the most relevant content by identifying and matching search intent. Why are searchers searching for your content? Take a look at your target keyword's top-ranking results.
How do you stand out?
- Revolving your content around popular topics emphasizes the importance of injecting your distinctive voice into your work. If the heart of your content is the same as everyone else's, there's no reason for readers to click.
- Try writing from personal experience to offer your unique take in a saturated market. Giving your point of view will make your evergreen content more relatable, creating repeat customers.
How do you achieve longevity?
- Avoid angles with short lifespans, like pop culture references. You'll also want to sidestep any words or phrases that date your work. These aren't musts but are worth a try if you're not seeing consistent traffic.
- Don't be afraid to update your content. Because things are constantly changing, and your topics are consistently popular, keeping up with the "now" is extremely important. Evergreen content is also accurate.
Creating evergreen content around evergreen topics generates consistent growth, rather than watching your trending topic traffic plummet once interest dissipates. Think of evergreen content as the meat on your plate and fads as the dessert. You can't live off of dessert for the rest of your life. God knows we've tried. 🍩
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