The 7 resources that will change the way you think about content strategy
Dec. 4, 2015
Today, I want to get back to the most basic driver of all the content that you create and share: strategy.
Strategy is important. I’ve talked about it a lot on this blog, but here and here I offer up the why’s and how’s, and that’s what these resources are all about. Each and every one is a must-read. Read them now, bookmark them, print them up and annotate—whichever you pick, keep them handy and review them often to make sure that you’re creating strategy that resonates, executing your strategy, and allowing that strategy to evolve naturally alongside your business and clientele.
Source: Rand Fishkin for Moz’s Whiteboard Friday. Moz is the authority in all things SEO.
Every Friday, Rand creates an excellent video explaining an idea to his followers, of which there are thousands. In this post (from May—I know, it took my awhile to discover it), he discusses how the bar for content has been raised. Everyone is aiming to create what he calls “good unique content.” So, if you want to be an authority—and for that authority to show up on Google, Rand explains—then you need to do more than just blend in with the masses. And to do that, you need to go beyond “good unique content.”
Source: Nathalie Lussier, who is among the upper echelon of digital strategists for online entertainers
Before I read this post, I wrote off the whole business funnel thing as being a tool for MBA candidates and “real” businesses. I didn’t see myself like that, not yet, at least. But I read it and it seemed easy enough, so I pulled out index cards and I completed her exercise. And it changed the way I thought about my business. That was the start of me treating business strategically, and of me treating my own content as part of my business strategy. (Duh, right?) I know, business funnels are off-putting. But you can do this, and if you do, I guarantee it will change how you value your own content and how you see it fitting in to your overall business strategy.
Source: Hillary Weiss, founder of entrepreneur-boosting Canadian company Crew, which she built from absolutely nothing four years ago
I love reading stories that are honest, and Hillary is 100 percent transparent in the telling of her own path to building a viable and successful digital business. In this post, she explicates the strategies that made a different for her, and she doesn’t do it in a wishy-washy, 150 word “try this idea!” sort of way. While the actionables she suggests are business-focused, you can also narrow your purview and use them as content creation strategies, as well. Whichever way you take them, they’ll help you think bigger and more targeted, all at the same time.
Source: Regina, an infopreneurial entrepreneur whose focus is on creating content, building audience relationships, and gluing it all together with thoughtful, intentional strategy
Sometimes, you just need other people to tell you what questions you should be asking about your business and your audience and your products and your services. And in this post, the chick behind By Regina dishes out a lot of questions. She’s even made worksheets—10 of them!—to accompany this material. This post carries you through the essentials of your business with an emphasis on targeting your audience and reaching them through content. Regina covers trouble shooting your work-flow, building best practices, competitive analysis and loads more.
Source: Heidi Cohen, a top-tier business copywriter with a thing for strategy, branding, and actionable marketing fundamentals
If your blog is part of your business—and especially if your blog is your business—you need to work out your branding kinks. The sooner you do that, the better. Enter Heidi Cohen, whose post from 2012 remains one my go-to’s when I feel like I’m straying from my brand and my business. This piece will give you a lot of things to keep in the back of your brain while you plan your editorial calendar, structure your post, develop coordinating graphics, and write the darn thing.
Source: Leo Widrich, one of Buffer’s co-founders and COO
I have shared this piece everywhere since it was first published. It was/is/continues to be one of my very favorite things ever. What I love about it is not just the words that Widrich has offered up to his audience, which are so honest and passionate and come directly from an internal memo on Evernote. I adore the challenge the whole thing offers: Be transparent. Be uncomfortable. Be responsive to conversations happening around you. It’s so good, guys.
Source: Pamela Wilson, executive VP of educational content at Copyblogger’s Rainmaker Digital platform
Copyblogger is awesome. If you haven’t read the wonder that is their content codex, go ahead and put that at the top of your to-do list. This plan is one of 52 (!) pieces of content on that prescriptive, and it’s a really essential piece of the puzzle. After all, it’s far easier to say, “Yeah, OK, I’m going to write content that’s better than everyone else’s content, and I’m going to do it regularly.” But it’s actually kind of hard to go out and do this. This post gives you a day-by-day plan to get it done.
These are my seven content superheroes, but I know there are more out there. What has completely changed the way you look at content? Share ’em with me on Instagram by tagging me @seebrittwrite.