content creation

#ContentWritingChat Recap: 2017 Content Creation Tips and Tricks

This week on #ContentWritingChat, we decided to switch things up a bit! As you may know by now, we typically have a guest host join us every week. Well, this Tuesday we decided to have a community chat and just let our participants be the main focus. After all, we do love each and every person who joins us for an hour of fun every Tuesday!

This community chat went so well that we’re actually going to incorporate them into our #ContentWritingChat schedule every month. We’re even going to give you you the opportunity to give input on upcoming chat topics, so stay tuned!

But for now, let’s dive into the recap of this week’s chat where we talked all about content creation tips and trick for 2017!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: 2017 Content Creation Tips and Tricks

In Tuesday’s chat, we invited everyone to join us and talk content creation. Being that so many members of our #ContentWritingChat community are writers, it’s no surprise that they all had some great advice to share. Let’s get to it!

Q1: When it comes to content, what’s the first step you should always take before you begin creating?

Before you dive head first into writing content, there are a few things you should do beforehand! What might those things be? Here’s what a few of our participants believe are the essential first steps:

Sarah is spot-on with her answer! She knows that you have to determine what your audience needs to see before you can start with content creation. After all, if you aren’t sure what your audience needs, how can you create content that will resonate?

As you spend time getting to know your audience, you also want to determine how they like to receive content. Do they prefer a specific content format or a certain platform? These are all important things to consider before you create.

We like the way Brittany put it! Date your audience to get to know them before taking them along on your content journey.

Having a message behind your content is important as well. You want your audience to read your content and be able to walk away with something of value. Make sure your content always serves a purpose.

Zala also agrees that your content needs to serve a purpose. Everything you publish online should add value to your audience in some way.

As Megan mentioned, research is a very important step to content creation. Before you can begin writing, you may need to conduct research to learn more yourself or so that you have sources to back up your ideas.

Julia’s advice is to begin by discovering trends and topics and perform the best on the platform you’re writing for. You can then analyze the audience and SEO.

You can’t forget to set goals either! When you have clear goals in mind, you’re able to create the content that will help you achieve what you want.

Q2: What types of content do you create to build and maintain an authoritative, ROI online presence?

There are all kinds of content types out there in the online world! For that reason, it can be difficult to choose what’s right for you. Here’s some advice for you if you want to create authoritative content that helps you get results:

Les knows that it’s important to consider the content types your audience prefers. If your audience loves to read, they’ll probably enjoy your long-form blog posts. If they’re more visual, they’ll be happy to watch your YouTube videos and live broadcasts. Always keep their preferences in mind!

Elizabeth recommends trying multiple mediums for your content. This is a great opportunity to see what performs best for you and what your audience likes the most. Whichever content type you choose, it’s crucial that you share a relevant, helpful message.

Julia urges you not to overlook your core content types. Make sure you aren’t neglecting your blog and the various landing pages you have on your site.

Infographics and blog posts are two ways you can certainly shine online!

Q3: What platforms do you publish on? (Your own site, guest platforms, etc.)

It’s important to consider where you’re publishing your online content if you want to effectively reach your audience. We asked our chat participants to share where they dedicate most of their time and here’s what they had to say:

Julia knows it’s important to focus on your own website, as that’s online real estate you actually own. You don’t have to worry about a site or a social media platform shutting down. Secondly, she encourages guest blogging. You can use platforms like LinkedIn Pulse and Medium for this.

Her other piece of advice is not to be everywhere online. She says it’ll dilute your focus and you’ll also wind up spreading yourself too thin. Focus on the core platforms that you enjoy and that work for you.

Gaby publishes content on her personal website, other industry sites, and on social media. In the past, she’s even contributed to academic sites. It’s all about finding what works for you and just going for it!

Brittany has been mostly focused on her own website, but she’s planning to branch out into guest blogging. It’s a great way to get your content in front of a wider, relevant audience.

Cheval mostly publishes on his own site as well, but he does like to repurpose articles on LinkedIn. If your audience is there, this could be a worthwhile strategy for you as well.

Sarah said the ThinkSEM team is focused on publishing content on their blog, in their email newsletters, and then spreading the word via Twitter.

Jeff enjoys finding valuable content via Medium. With a variety of articles and writers, you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy.

Q4: How do you get inspired to create content ideas for your blog and social media?

It’s not always easy to find inspiration for new content ideas, which can often leave us frustrated! If you’re looking for ways to get your creative juices flowing again, check out these tips:

Make sure you’re actually listening to your audience. Sometimes, they’ll you exactly what they want to see from you! Watch for the comments and questions they leave on your blog posts, in response to email newsletters, and also on social media.

You can also draw inspiration from your competitors. Check out what they’re doing and what they’re missing out on. You may have the opportunity to do something better than they did or fill a need they’ve forgotten about.

It also helps to look at support tickets, if this is a part of your business. If your audience is often asking the same questions, you can write content that answers them.

Javier suggests thinking about the challenges your clients are facing or may face in the future. You can create content that provides them with potential solutions to what they’re dealing with.

Anna checks Quora to find out what people are frequently asking there. She also turns to books and articles to gain inspiration.

Beth finds that she’s often inspired by other blogs. Whenever an idea strikes, she records it in a document where she’ll easily find it later.

Allow Google to be your best friend! Lex recommends doing a little keyword and user intent research to figure out what your audience is searching for. Once you know, you’re able to create exactly the content they want.

On the flip side, sometimes it helps to just get away from the computer for a bit. Get outside and go for a walk. Danielle said the fresh air can do wonders for your imagination.

Q5: What does your process for content creation look like? Any tips you can share?

We all have a different process when it comes to content creation! Here’s how some of our chat participants get started with creating:

Brittany’s process will have you on the fast-track to content success! Research, strategize, write, edit, publish, promote, repurpose, and then start all over again.

Once you have an idea, a great way to get started is with an outline and conducting research. These are essential steps that can help make the writing process much easier.

After she’s gotten an idea, Elizabeth begins outlining her content by jotting down the main points and ideas she wants to cover. This will help her be much more organized when it comes time to write.

For the Netvantage team, they start with keyword research.

Andrew relies on Post-it Notes to help him with the content creation process. He also recommends stepping away from your content for a bit and then revisiting it. This is a great way to make any final edits. He also said it’s helpful to ask for feedback from others.

Mallorie says you shouldn’t be afraid to just write. Sometimes getting started is the hardest part, so the best thing you can do is just start writing and let the words flow. It doesn’t matter if it’s a mess because you can always edit it later.

Q6: How do you ensure the content you create will help you achieve the goals you set for your brand?

If the content you write isn’t helping you achieve your end goal, what’s the point? Here’s how you can ensure everything you publish is having an impact:

Julia said you need to set and know your goal goals before you start creating. This will help direct you in the right path so you can actually see the results you were hoping for.

Not only that, but you should also know how those goals fit into your overall brand strategy.

After your content is published, you need to track your results to see how you’re doing. For Lalaina, she typically tracks blog views and clicks on her call to action.

As Gaby mentioned, it’s important to periodically reflect on your goals and the results you’re getting. If you need to, don’t be afraid to realign. It’s necessary if things aren’t going your way!

Zala agrees! You need to test, measure, track, and change accordingly. If you aren’t seeing results, make tweaks and test again to see how things change.

Remember: everything you publish should track back to your larger goals. You need to publish content that serves a purpose and is working hard for you.

Q7: What do you predict for the future of content in 2017 and beyond?

The world of online content is always changing, so it’s important that we look to the future for what’s right around the corner. Here are some predictions our chat participants have made about what’s to come:

Cheval thinks a majority of online content will be created in video format. It’s one content type that has been on the rise in recent years and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Julia also sees that video is on the rise, but she’s also predicting there will be even more tools for creating content. She said people will have to be both creative and consistent if they want to stand out in this busy online world.

Shorter videos and user-generated content are definitely performing well, especially on social media.

Kavita also sees live video growing, with more brands starting to invest in this format.

And we can’t forget about augmented reality!

Compelling storytelling and visuals are always a winning combination!

We can expect an increase in visual content, podcasts, and automation tools.

Jasmine thinks brands will be using new ways to encourage reader engagement. After all, it’s so important that we stay in touch with our audience and build relationships with them.

Lex is hoping for a greater integration of SEO, as well as better use of metrics and analytics.

Q8: Which tools do you rely on to create amazing online content for your brand?

Fortunately, content creation is made much easier with all the powerful tools we have at our disposal. If you’re looking for some new ones to try out, take a look at these suggestions:

Sarah’s go-to tools include: WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin, Twitter, Medium, other blogs, newsletters, and even life events.

BuzzSumo, Keyword Tool, and SEMrush are all great options for conducting keyword research. For editing, Grammarly is a popular option. And for anyone who wants an easy way to create graphics, Canva is awesome.

Gaby is a big fan of Grammarly as well!

Julia relies on a variety of tools including: WordPress, Google Docs, Airtable, Yoast, Mangools, SEMrush, and BuzzSumo.

Beth loves to use the Hemingway app, which is another popular tool for content creation.

Want to join in on the Twitter chat fun? Our chat takes place every Tuesday at 10 AM Central Time! Be sure to follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for all the latest!

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