For this month’s chat, we wanted to do something a little different to our normal topics.
We decided to chat about what it means to be an introvert and a business owner.
After all, it seems so many people in the entrepreneurial community these days are actually introverts. Knowing it was something many people could relate to, we had to talk about it on #ContentWritingChat.
We talked about struggles that introverts face, how they can effectively use social media, and even how they can build a thriving online business. Let’s dive into the tips!
#ContentWritingChat Recap: Succeeding as a Creative, Introverted Entrepreneur with Kim Beasley
Our guest host for this month’s chat was Kim Beasley. Kim coaches fellow introvert entrepreneurs and guides them to growing their online businesses to success. She’s actually written a book all about the topic, called The Creative Introverted Entrepreneur.
Q1: What do you think it means to be both a creative and introverted entrepreneur?
Before we dive into all the awesome tips, let’s first covert what it means to be creative and introverted as an entrepreneur. Here’s how some of our chat participants defined it:
To put it simply, it’s someone who has a creative mind, identifies as an introvert, and has a business of some kind.
When you’re an introverted entrepreneur, you need to consider how that comes into play in your business so you can plan your day-to-day and run your company in a way that feels good.
As Carla said, having that personal space is key when you’re an introvert. You’ll need to make sure you prioritize time to yourself to rest and recharge.
Q2: What advice would you personally give to those who are introverts and running an online business?
It’s important to make your business work for you, so you’ll want to factor in your unique personality when it comes to how you’re showing up online. Here’s some advice for all those introverts out there:
Kim encourages introverts to become more confident in putting themselves out there online through mediums like social media. It’s key in generating more exposure for your business. She also suggests utilizing email marketing. That’s a fantastic way to stay in touch with your audience over an extended period of time, always bringing them back to your work and what you do.
Michelle feels that networking online is really beneficial for introverts. Instead of attending in-person events, they can make connections without ever having to leave the comfort of their own home. Not only that, but when they’re ready to step away, all they have to do is shut down the computer.
Rachel knows that there are so many ways to put yourself out there and show your personality online. As she said, you can do this in small doses, which is perfect for those just starting out and getting comfortable with being a public figure on the web.
Shawn’s advice of finding safe places for conversations is spot on. Figure out where you’re comfortable and make that your priority. After all, it’s your business and you get to do what feels right to you.
At the end of the day, it’s all about doing what works for you and saying no to what doesn’t. Just don’t forget to factor in that all-important downtime to recharge.
Q3 for Kim: What is the focus of your book, Creative Introverted Entrepreneur?
For everyone: How does being an introvert or an extrovert factor into your business?
For this question, we asked Kim to share a little bit about her book. And we invited all of our other participants to share their thoughts on how being an introvert (or an extrovert) comes into play within business. Here are some responses:
In Kim’s book, she shares her own journey of how she overcame the fear of being seen online. This is a common fear that many people have, so it’s amazing when others share that they’ve experienced the same. Kim was able to conquer that fear and begin building a business she loves.
As an introvert, Julia was able to build the Express Writers brand through the power of writing. Sure, she makes YouTube videos now that she’s overcome her fears of being on camera, but writing is her main focus.
Michelle feels that she relies on both her introvert and extrovert sides.The introvert side allows her to do things completely on her own, while the extroverted side loves to connect with prospects and clients over video.
It sounds like Carla has thrived being an introvert with the current state of the world. She’s been able to spend more time by herself, just focusing on content creation.
Rachel knows the importance of balancing that energy. She shows up and gives her all, but takes time away from social media afterwards so she’s able to recharge and regain her energy after giving so much.
Q4 for Kim: What are some key factors from the book that can help introverted entrepreneurs?
For everyone: What are some struggles you think are common for introverts? And for extroverts?
Here, Kim shared some of the key points in her book, while everyone else chimed in on some of the common struggles that introverts (or extroverts) face in life and business:
In Kim’s book, she talks about facing your fears, understanding yourself as an introvert, and even using social media and building your business. If that sounds like something you need, definitely check it out.
Julia knows that being a little camera shy is often a big struggle for introverts. Her advice is to take it step-by-step and avoid putting unnecessary pressure on yourself.
By taking those baby steps often, you’ll begin to get even more comfortable doing the things that make you nervous. That’s why practice is key, so keep at it!
Q5: As an introverted entrepreneur, what are ways that you have found to overcome your fears of being online?
Putting yourself out there online can sometimes be a little scary. To face your fears and become confident showing up on various platforms, keep this advice in mind:
Kim’s advice is to focus on self-care and self-talk. These are two key areas to direct your attention so you can crush those fears and limiting beliefs that stand in your way.
Because guess what? The thoughts you think about yourself are impacting you more than you realize. That’s why you need to be aware of what you say to yourself and remember that you have something important to share with the world.
Julia agrees that it’s all about identifying your limiting beliefs and taking the steps to break through them.
Lori knows that shutting out that judgement is essential here. Don’t ever think that being an introvert is a disadvantage.
This is great advice from Carla. Practicing in front of the camera (or the mirror) will help you get more comfortable with speaking. And don’t forget to come prepared with notes!
Q6: What are key ways that introverted entrepreneurs can grow their business online using social media?
As an introvert, there are some fun ways you can use social media within your business. Here are some great suggestions that you can implement:
Kim’s advice is to figure out where your target audience hangs out online and begin spending time there. Engage with new people frequently. Find people you look up to as mentors and talk to them. Reach out to others in your industry who can become friends. And of course, spend time connecting with potential clients too.
Of course, the first step in your success is to identify the right social media platforms to invest time into. You want to be where your audience is and use the platforms that play to your strengths. Then, it’s all about showing up consistently and sharing great content.
Use social media as a way to get to know your audience better. Listen to what they’re talking about and what they need help with. Doing this will help you to spot ways you can serve them.
Q7: How can introverted entrepreneurs use collaborative partnerships to grow their business?
After all, the right partnership can yield some pretty impressive results! Here’s how you can make the most of any collaborations you do:
As Kim said, partnerships can help you gain exposure to a much wider audience. You’ll be able to cross-promote and reach their social media followers, their email list subscribers, etc. It just might open you up to a world of potential new buyers.
If partnerships are something you’re interested in, keep Julia’s advice in mind. Work with those who are like-minded. Turn away anyone who isn’t a good fit.
When doing partnerships, it helps to play up your strengths. Find ways to allow each of you to really shine and stand out when working together.
And as Zala said, we don’t have to do everything ourselves. Working with other people can help you achieve the results you desire much faster.
Q8: What are ways that an introverted entrepreneur can grow their brand online?
And finally, we wrapped up the chat by sharing some additional tips that introverted entrepreneurs need to know. Here’s some wisdom from the chat:
Kim suggests trying out video content to promote your business. Consider creating YouTube videos or using Instagram Stories or IGTV. You can even spend time live-streaming if that feels exciting! But if video isn’t your thing, the audio-only Twitter Spaces is definitely worth trying.
Rachel’s advice is to open up and be vulnerable. Share your bearings and struggles. This helps to humanize your brand and makes you more relatable. That will really help you connect with your audience.
How would you like to join the next #ContentWritingChat? Mark your calendars for the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central Time. Then, follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat to stay updated!
These days, having an authentic online brand is a huge factor in your success.
After all, people want to know that you’re genuine and that they can trust you. They also want to feel connected to you and your brand.
Without trust, you simply cannot expect to be seen as a leader, generate sales, etc.
So, how can you position your brand as being authentic? This #ContentWritingChat recap has some helpful tips for you!
#ContentWritingChat Recap: Building an Authentic Online Brand with Janet Machuka
Our guest host for this month’s chat was Janet Machuka. She’s a social media marketing strategist and she has her own Twitter chat, #AfricaTweetChat. Janet shared some great tips with us, so let’s dive in!
Q1: What does it mean for a brand to be authentic?
If you’re curious what it truly means to have an authentic brand, here’s what you need to know:
Janet feels an authentic online brand is real, genuine, and honest.
For Masooma, it’s all about showing your human side. People want to get to know the real you and see your personality. It helps build a stronger connection.
Being approachable is another great element of an authentic brand. When your audience can relate to you, you have a much better chance at succeeding on the way to your goals.
Transparency definitely helps! Be open and honest with your audience.
Don’t forget that you should never try to be something you’re not. People will see right through that. So, just be you!
And don’t try to copy exactly what another brand is doing. You need to forge your own path and do your own thing. Be your true self and everything is sure to come together.
Q2: Why is brand authenticity such an important factor in establishing yourself online these days?
The authentic brands stand out more than the rest. Here’s why it’s a crucial factor in branding:
An authentic brand is going to stand out from everyone else in the crowd. People are more likely to support a brand that they find to be real, relatable, and trustworthy.
As Michelle said, people want to know who they’re buying from. Through social media, you can help people get to know you and your team. When they know you and like you, they’ll be more likely to engage with your brand and purchase your offerings.
Rachel brought up a great point about how people aren’t likely to visit your website or your shop if you fail to position yourself as an authentic online brand.
At the end of the day, being authentic and showcasing your expertise is what will lead to even more sales in your business.
And you’ll never get anywhere if you’re trying to be something you’re not. Don’t copy the other brands out there. Be yourself and do your own thing.
With so much fake content going around, it’s more important than ever to be genuine.
Q3: Can you share some advice on how to build an authentic, genuine brand online?
These tips will ensure your brand is authentic and resonates with your target audience:
Great answer from Janet! Show your face, be open and honest about your successes and failures, etc. Check out the article she shared for more tips.
Michelle suggests getting clear on your brand’s values before diving in. From there, it’ll be easier to build an authentic online brand people love.
Masooma agrees that you need to know your values first and foremost. After that, it’s about showing up. Behind-the-scenes content is a great way to showcase this!
Q4: What kind of content can you share that will allow you to showcase your personality and the values your brand stands for?
No need to stress over content ideas! Here are some suggestions you can use:
These are some great ideas from Janet. Draw inspiration from those who have created custom GIFs for their brand. They’re recognizable and add a little flair to your posts. You can even share inspirational stories about yourself and your customers.
Behind-the-scenes content is always a great idea. People love to see what your everyday life is like, as it shows off your personality.
If there’s more than just you working on your brand, make sure you’re introducing your team members to your audience as well. Better to get them acquainted with everyone!
Rachel would love to see more brands doing Twitter chats. They provide a great way to make connections, but brands also have the opportunity to just be themselves during chats.
Share your thoughts, challenges, and success. Share your journey with others. The ideas here are truly endless, so get creative with what you post online.
Q5: How can you know if you’re actually resonating as being authentic with your target audience?
To know if you’re truly an authentic online brand, pay attention to metrics like these:
When it comes to metrics, you may notice an increase in engagement. More people starting conversations and offering feedback is always a plus since it’s an essential step in relationship building.
And who does’t love word-of-mouth referrals from happy customers?
You’ll likely see more engagement on your social media platforms and even via email. When people are responding positively to your content, you know you’re on the right path.
Track the numbers over time and watch how things grow. This will be an important way to measure your success.
And if you aren’t seeing the results you want, make some tweaks to your strategy. Don’t be afraid to change directions if needed.
Q6: If you have multiple people creating content for your brand, how can you be sure everything is aligned with your mission to be an authentic brand?
It’s important to keep everything on-brand! You can do that with your team by following these tips:
Guidelines are incredibly helpful when you’re working with a team. Communicate your niche, your brand values, etc. before having anyone create content for you.
Masooma suggests making a document that details everything a team member would need to know about content creation for your brand. Outline your brand voice, as well as any other tips they’d need to know.
A style guide will be a major help! Use it to share details of what works for imagery, brand voice, and more to keep everyone aligned with your brand vision.
It’s also smart to get everyone on the same content calendar. Create a calendar and give everyone on your team access so they can stay updated.
Carla suggests assigning certain people to a specific format. If you have someone that’s great with video, make that their priority. It helps when people are able to shine and showcase their skills.
Q7: Are there any brands that show up authentically online that we can learn from?
Draw inspiration on being an authentic online brand from these examples:
These are some great brands to check out. Visit Janet’s suggestions over on Twitter and pay attention to what stands out about their brands.
Want to join the next #ContentWritingChat? Mark your calendars for the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central. And follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for all the latest.
2021 is in full swing, friends!
And if you want to make this the year you start getting noticed online, then there are a few content marketing trends you may want to incorporate into your strategy.
In this #ContentWritingChat, we talked all about Google’s YMYL standards, whether or not video is still worthwhile, voice search, and more.
#ContentWritingChat Recap: Content Marketing Trends to Watch in 2021 with Cathy McPhillips
Our guest host for this month’s chat was Cathy McPhillips, the VP of Marketing for our friends over at Content Marketing Institute. Cathy had some great advice to share with us, so let’s dive into the recap for all the tips!
Q1: Why is it important to consider the latest trends when it comes to your content marketing?
You don’t want to overlook what’s popular in the moment. That’s why it’s smart to watch the trends. Here’s how it can be helpful for you:
Cathy says it’s important to stay one step ahead of your customers. You always need to be thinking about their needs and wants, while also solving their problems. Pursuing the latest trends can provide plenty of opportunities to get exposure to a wider community, which could take your brand to the next level if it goes well.
Trying what’s “trending” could be the key to your success. You never know when something new might improve your brand and help you better serve your audience.
Q2: Creating valuable content is timeless when growing your brand online. How can you be sure what you create delivers what your audience needs?
These tips will ensure your content is always high-quality and super valuable for your audience:
Analytics are important, but as Cathy said, nothing beats actually talking to your audience. Have conversations with them in the DMs or hop on a Zoom call for some market research. The better you know your audience, the better you’ll be at creating the content that addresses their needs.
Rachel agrees that talking to your audience is the way to go. Ask people what they want to see from you. It doesn’t get any better than getting answers straight from the source.
You also want to make sure you’re building your content marketing strategy with your buyer persona in mind. This goes back to knowing who your audience is and where they need help. Then, you can create the content that solves their biggest pain points. But if you’re having trouble creating that buyer persona and planning out content, you can always ask for feedback.
Also, make sure your content aligns with the purpose you’ve set for your brand. You always want to keep your bigger mission in mind.
And remember that this isn’t something that can be done in a day. It will take you some time to learn about your audience and what they like. Commit to doing the research though and you will pick up on what they like and what they don’t like.
Q3: In 2021, meeting and surpassing Google’s YMYL standards are a must. What does this mean and how does it impact your content creation?
Here’s what you need to know about the YMYL standards that are important for all creators:
Ensuring that your content is quality material that presents accurate information is a must. That’s something that Google and your readers will always appreciate. You never want to mislead your readers in any way.
Authority and quality are a must when creating content!
As Rachel said, there’s a lot of misinformation out there. This is why you should always check your source and read the content in its entirety before sharing. Don’t just share something based on the headline, as they aren’t always truthful.
Q4: Is video still a worthwhile format to pursue in the year ahead? If so, what makes a captivating video that will hold the attention of viewers?
Is video overdone or is it still a good way to get recognized? Read these thoughts from the chat:
If your customers enjoy video and find value in it, then Cathy says to go for it. Not only that, but there are so many ways you can experiment with the video content you create.
The team at PitchGround is all over video content! Live video and Reels are pretty popular right now on Instagram.
If you want to make sure your videos shine, be clear and concise, add subtitles, and grab attention early in the video.
A great video will evoke some emotion in your audience, which often inspires them to take action. You also want to make sure you communicate your purpose and keep things accessible with captions.
Another reason that video content is great is because a chunk of your audience may be visual learners, which means video will really appeal to them.
Q5: 50% of all Google searches are done with voice search, which is why you need to optimize your site for it. Do you have any tips on how to do this successfully?
Don’t forget about people using voice search! Here’s how you can make sure you’re optimizing for this effectively:
Cathy’s advice is to consider how people are asking questions in their voice searches. This way, you can tailor your content and keyword accordingly.
Rachel is wise to test it out for herself. She asks the question that she hopes her content will answer. Then, she can review the articles to come up and tailor her content accordingly.
Q6: When trying out different trends, how can you determine if it’s working for you? How will you know when it’s time to move onto something else?
Don’t keep forcing something that’s not working. Here’s how you can tell whether or not you’re getting the results you want from certain trends:
First, you need to know your KPIs so you know which metrics are important for you to track. This will help you determine if your efforts are working when implementing content marketing trends or if you need to pivot.
At the end of the day, you shouldn’t be afraid to try new things. Even if it doesn’t work out, you can learn something from it and try again. If it’s not performing how you hoped, ask yourself if it’s the content, the medium, the distribution, or a combination of all those. Figuring out where things are going wrong allows you to change course.
Analytics will always show a clear picture of how your content is performing.
Kushlani said don’t be quick to determine if something is a success or a failure. You may need to give it a little time to properly gauge how things are working out.
Positive feedback is a sign that things are working well for you. And if you aren’t getting any feedback, ask!
Dana knows that sometimes things can feel “off.” If that’s the case, revisit what you’re working on and ask why. A gut feeling can help you decide whether or not something is worth pursuing.
Q7: Do you have any go-to resources for learning about what’s new in the content marketing industry?
Bookmark these resources for later!
All of these resources that Cathy shared are worth checking out! From Content Marketing Institute to Ann Handley, and BuzzSumo… These are all essentials!
A good podcast is always helpful!
And of course, Twitter chats are definitely valuable. There’s so much to learn from and they provide a great opportunity to connect with others.
Come hang out with us during the next #ContentWritingChat! It takes place on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central. Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for the latest.
Defining your audience personas is crucial if you want to create successful content.
But if you aren’t sure what that means, you’ll want to keep reading.
In this month’s #ContentWritingChat, we talked all your audience persona… What exactly it is, what you should know about your audience before writing your next piece of content, and more. If you’re ready to learn all about it, let’s dive into the recap!
#ContentWritingChat Recap: Defining Audience Personas for Better SEO Results with Diana Richardson
Our awesome friend, Diana Richardson, joined as a guest host again to share her expertise with us. She’s a social media and community manager at SEMrush, which is one of our favorite tools for SEO. Diana has previously hosted our chat to talk about optimizing web content and designing an SEO and content creation workflow. Be sure to check those out too!
Q1: What exactly is an audience persona and why is it so important?
If you haven’t already determined your audience personas, now is the time to get started. Here’s what that means for you so you can see just how valuable it is to know this information:
As Diana said, defining your audience personas is essential creating a personality description about your target audience. You want to know their demographics and interests in order to create the content that’s most appealing to them. She suggests using website data and surveys as just a couple of ways to gather this kind of information. You never want to assume you know things about your audience.
By knowing these deeper details about your audience, you can develop a stronger connection with them and you’ll understand them better. This gives you more of an opportunity to deliver what they need the most.
When it comes to your audience, you want to know who they are and what they like. Then, you can start developing content accordingly.
This persona you’ve created will then become the basis of all your marketing and sales activities. As Zala said, it’s going to help you target the right audience at the right time. That’s pretty powerful!
And if you want some help with the process of defining your audience personas, I shared an awesome post from our very own blog here at Express Writers. Give it a read!
Q2: What characteristics do you need to know about your audience before creating content?
You really need to go beyond the basic demographics like age and location. Here are some other things you should know about the people reading your content:
This breakdown from Diana is spot-on! Knowing what your audience wants, what they need, what their intent is, what their interests are, and any life events they’re experiencing can all play a role in shaping your content.
A good question to ask yourself is, “What questions keep my audience up at night?” You can use your content to address their biggest pain points and provide the solution they need. They’ll be sure to keep coming back if you do that consistently.
Another thing to consider outside of the essential characteristics is how your audience likes to consume content. After all, it’s important to create content they’ll enjoy consuming.
It also helps to know what your audience values. How can you connect with them in this way by creating content that’s aligned to their values?
Q3: Can you share any strategies for coming up with topics that your audience will be genuinely interested in?
These ideas will certainly help you fill up your content calendar for the next month!
Once you’ve discovered your audience personas, you’ll know who you’re looking to connect with online. Then, social listening really comes in handy. You can join in on their conversations to learn first-hand what they are interested in learning about.
Lexie uses the topic research feature within SEMrush to find popular topics. From there, you can see if there are ways to tie those topics to what you’d normally like to write about. And you can take it a step further by asking your audience if it’s something they’d like. It never hurts to just ask them their thoughts.
Another way to find hot topics is to use Google Trends. It’s smart to write about timely topics because it can help you get your content in front of a much wider audience. However, you always want to make sure it’s relevant to your work and your audience.
Even more great ideas! Surveying your audience allows you to get answers directly from the source. What could be easier than that? And BuzzSumo is another tool that will show you popular topics, so it can really come in handy.
Social media is a great tool for learning about your audience’s interests in terms of content. You can join Facebook groups, for example, to see what they’re talking about. Just be sure to find groups that your target audience is actively participating in. Twitter chats are helpful for this as well.
Another great resource that Megha suggested is Quora. It provides another opportunity to see the conversations your audience is having online. She also suggests paying attention to the content your competitors are producing. Can you put your own spin on some of the topics they cover?
Q4: How does your audience impact keyword research in the early phases of content creation?
Because your audience does, in fact, influence your keywords. After all, you want to use keywords that reflect how they’re searching online.
Knowing your audience will give you an idea of what they’re searching online, as well as how they’re searching. You’re then able to choose keywords accordingly so your content will (hopefully) rank for the terms they’re Googling. Diana also said their intent will play a role here, whether that’s purchasing, educating, etc.
Rachel gets her keywords straight from her audience, thanks to the queries they’re sharing online. Once you figure out where they spend their time online, you’ll likely to start to see the same kind of questions and you can address them.
This presents a great opportunity to discover some untapped keywords you can start developing content for.
And it’ll all come together to help you choose topics, keywords, and produce content that appeals to them at each stage of their buyer journey.
Q5: Does your audience shape things such as the content formats you create and the tone you use when developing content? How so?
If not, it should! Your audience will tell you what types of content they like the most. Here’s how you can figure that out:
Different personas will require different tones and content formats. You’ll want to tailor your content as necessary to ensure it appeals to the person who will be consuming it.
Written, video, audio… They’re all great options, but are they right for your audience? That’s what you need to figure out before you plan out your content.
You can even go deeper than general formats. For instance, if you know your audience loves blog posts, figure out what kind of blog posts they like. Tutorials, lists, long-form? The data will show you what they’re most drawn to so you can create that more frequently.
And don’t forget that your unique skills play a role here too. You want to embrace what you really shine at. For example, you’re great on video and your audience loves it, you’re golden!
At the end of the day, you need to put your audience first. When you deliver what they want and need, it gives them a reason to keep coming back. And as Zala said, it’s not about publishing content for the sake of publishing. You want your audience to do something with your content.
Q6: How will you know if your content is truly reaching the right people and appealing to them?
If your content isn’t reaching the right people, does it even matter? These are the stats to watch out for:
Pay attention to the feedback you get from people. That’s a good indication of what they’re enjoying from you. You can also take things a step further and send out a survey to get feedback directly.
Rachel loves to spread the word when she comes across a great piece of content. Consider doing the same when you read an amazing blog post or watch a fun video. Sharing the work others have created definitely puts some good vibes out into the world and people may feel inclined to do the same for you.
When people start taking action in some way, you know your content resonated with them. And that really shows that you’re on the right path.
Know your goals first and then track accordingly. What do you want to get out of the content you’re creating? Use your analytics to help you figure out if you’re getting to that end result. For example, if a specific blog post was meant to drive conversions, did it actually happen?
Engagement and leads are great examples that your content is working. Plus, it’s always nice when others are saying good things about you.
Q7: Are there any brands that have done a great job at speaking directly to their ideal audience persona?
You can get a lot of inspiration from these brands:
There’s no denying that our friends at SEMrush are awesome at knowing their audience! She also suggests checking out Morning Brew and Netflix for some inspiration.
Kaitlyn seconds the Netflix recommendation. They really know how to have fun with their audience via social media.
While bots are helpful in some cases, there’s nothing like talking to an actual person. The brands that take the time to make a genuine response are the ones that truly stand out. Rachel suggests brands like Netflix and Peloton to inspire you.
HubSpot, Grammarly, and ARK Invest are the recommendations from the team at Zengrowth. Definitely check them all out if you haven’t already!
We’d love to have you join us for the next #ContentWritingChat! Mark your calendars for the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central. And follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat to stay updated.
If you want to step up your content marketing in 2021, you’re in the right place!
For our very first #ContentWritingChat of the year, we felt it was only fitting to share some tips to help you boost your content marketing efforts.
After all, we’re pretty passionate about creating amazing content around here!
This topic was actually inspired by a talk our CEO, Julia McCoy, did during a virtual summit back in December. Now, we’re building off of Julia’s advice by learning even more great tips from our community.
#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Fuel Your Content Marketing in 2021
This month, we opted to do a community chat, opening the floor up to everyone as they shared their thoughts and opinions. So many great tips were shared during this chat, so let’s dive into the recap!
Q1:2021 is upon us! Have you developed your content marketing plan for the year ahead yet?
Some people are eager to get started with their planning, while others take their time and plan quarterly or even monthly. Here’s what some of our chat participants had to say:
Lexie is prepared with a content marketing plan ready to go! However, she also realizes the importance of being flexible. Things can change and you have to be willing to adapt as needed.
Kushlani tackles her planning on a quarterly basis, which is a smart way to go about it.
Chris is in the same boat and focuses on planning three months at a time.
Carla prefers to plan month-to-month, allowing her to revise as needed based on her weekly findings within her analytics.
Q2: To cultivate success in your business, you need to invest in your personal growth first. How are you planning to prioritize and invest in your content marketing growth this year?
If you aren’t sure how to invest in your growth and knowledge, these are some great suggestions:
Connecting with others can be an amazing way to experience growth since you can learn so much from other experts. Reading blogs, listening to podcasts, and participating in chats are great options as well.
Danielle is a fan of participating in Twitter chats. She knows there’s so much to be learned, as you’re exposed to so many new perspectives.
Vivek is committing to personal growth by reading books that are about marketing, business, and copywriting.
For Rachel, she’s going to be attending a lot of virtual events. They can be an amazing way to learn from other experts without having to leave the comfort of your own home.
Dana loves to read, watch films, take classes, volunteer, and talk to people. All are great ways to expand your knowledge and strengthen your skills.
It may help you to choose a few key areas that you’d like to learn about and find dedicated resources on them, such as any interesting books.
Carla’s advice about having a budget is great. You want to be smart about where you’re investing your money so you don’t spend beyond your means. Set a budget and determine which areas you’d like to give your attention to.
And once you’ve found some great resources, schedule time into your calendar just for you. This way, you’ll be able to prioritize your education this year.
Q3: Ranking in Google search results is a win for any content creator. Our CEO, Julia McCoy, suggests studying the top results for your target keywords. What can you learn from doing this?
It turns out there’s a lot you can learn! And it can be pretty beneficial for you, so you might want to get started on that ASAP.
From Julia herself, she said doing this research will help you see what content gets ranked for your keyword, who’s doing it well, and who’s not doing it well. It just might spark some new ideas for you too!
You can also notice things about the writing style and the length of the content that’s being ranked.
Masooma suggests looking at how they’re using keywords, as well as paying attention to formatting. Also, do you notice anything special about the intros of the posts that are ranking?
You can even learn how the post is structured and how detailed they are, as well as a number of other things that can help shape your own content.
Q4: When it comes to content creation, practice makes perfect. What can you do to become a better creator this year and produce content that generates conversions?
The secrets to becoming a better content creator are as follows:
Jessica is challenging herself to write every single day. She’s experimenting with different types of content as well. After all, the more you write, the better you’ll become at it!
Rachel suggests setting a content creation goal to inspire you to keep writing.
To create better content, it also helps to learn more about your audience and what they need so you can better serve them.
Masooma is also planning to do more research on her target audience this year so she can gain a better understanding of their pain points.
Lexie’s advice is to be open to feedback. If you want to get better, you need to be able to accept constructive criticism so you can learn where you need to improve.
Q5: Storytelling is important to content marketing success. What are the characteristics of a good brand story and how can you tell it effectively?
This advice from our chat will help you up your storytelling game:
Rachel feels a great brand story should communicate a problem, how that problem impacts others, and how the brand can solve the issue.
Maria knows great stories have authenticity and passion.
A relatable story is also a great way to draw your audience in.
And of course, you want to inspire people to take action after hearing your story.
Authenticity, consistency, and staying power are definitely key.
These questions Danielle asked will help you determine if your storytelling is moving in the right direction.
Q6: Google searches went from 3.5 billion per day to 6 billion per day and it’s still climbing! How can brands take full advantage of this in 2021?
These are the tips you’ll want to know if you’d like to climb to the top of the search results this year:
Always write with your audience in mind and create the quality content they’re looking for.
When you know what people are searching for, you can create the content that answers all their questions.
Social listening is so important to gain a better understanding of your audience and their needs. This will tell you exactly what kind of content you should be creating.
At the end of the day, it’s all about serving your audience.
And make sure your content is always valuable and trustworthy.
Whatever you do, see this as an opportunity as we head into 2021 and use it to your advantage.
Q7: Do you have any favorite tools or resources that have shaped your content marketing over the years?
Check out these tools and give them a go! You might find some great ones to add to your content marketing efforts:
Some of Masooma’s go-to resources include Content Marketing Institute and Answer the Public.
Michelle loves CoSchedule’s headline analyzer, Grammarly, and Buffer.
KWFinder is an essential for Chris.
And Lexie’s favorites include SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Answer the Public.
Q8: What are some of the biggest lessons you learned in 2020 that you will carry into your content marketing for this year?
These are lessons that we can all take to heart:
Be flexible! This is so important to remember.
Spend time talking to people and learning from others.
Make sure your messaging is clear.
Adapt to what’s going on in the world and deliver relevant, timely content.
Want to join us next time? We chat on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central. Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for updates.