Every successful content marketer has their habits and rituals. These habits don't come about overnight but take experience, a certain amount of dedication, and an understanding of what tools are available to reinforce them. If you want to put yourself in the top tier of content marketers, then keep these three habits in mind.
1. Have A Writing Process
It's tempting to just slap words down on a page and see where your writing takes you. However, a more structured process is what ensures the best writers not only produce quality work, but also produce it quickly.
If your client hasn't already provided you with a clear topic, the first step in a successful writing process is brainstorming. You can use keyword research to find what topics are trending, search for recent news stories on Google News related to the topic or even search Reddit and Quora to find trending topics. Try to generate at least two or three ideas which you can narrow down to one winning topic.
Read More: How to Create a Content Strategy with Google Trends, Discussions, and Suggestions
From there, it's best to build a general outline for your piece. It often helps to write out your subheads or your main points first, which will give you an idea if your piece will have a clear and engaging structure. Think about how to arrange each section of your piece so that they seamlessly blend into one another, which will ensure a smooth reading experience.
A successful writing process also requires that you are comfortable enough to be productive at writing, which sometimes means turning off distractions like Facebook or your smartphone. Don't worry, that snap your friend sent you will still be there for you when your piece is done.
2. Stick To An Editorial Calendar
Content marketers often have to rely on their own ambition and self-starting attitude to accomplish their goals, and that takes a bit of organization. To ensure marketing content is produced in a reliable and consistent manner, an editorial calendar is essential.
Read more: How To Manage Your Editorial Calendar (Plus, a Free Template)
After all, a small investment in time to prepare an editorial calendar can actually save you serious time down the road. It allows you to avoid producing duplicate content, ensures you know how much content you can produce yourself and how much you need to outsource to a third-party and helps you track the progress of your workflow every day.
Use tools like CoSchedule or the Wordpress Editorial Calendar for planning your blog content and social media posts, and to ensure you and your team are meeting weekly and monthly goals.
3. They Know When A Piece Is "Done"
Content marketers begin to develop a feel for the writing process over time that lets them find the right balance between quality content and volume. Writing is ultimately an art form, and many writers can spend a nearly endless amount of time tweaking a piece. Successful content marketers understand that they need to reach a certain standard from each piece they write, and to do that they ask themselves the following types of questions:
- Did my piece actually address the client's needs and guidelines?
- What did my audience get out of reading this piece?
- Did it accomplish a clear goal, such as answering an important question, providing entertainment or generating leads for my client?
- Is the piece free from spelling and grammatical errors?
- Did the piece flow from one idea to the next in a logical and coherent manner?
In essence, you want to deliver a quality piece that actually adds something of value to the large amount of content that already exists on the web. You don't need to write the next great American novel, but you should feel like you're putting your best work forward every time you submit a piece.
Now that you have a better strategy in mind, it's time to go forth and create the next trending piece!
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