There are a few reasons why business owners start creating content:
- They want to drive traffic to their website
- They want to improve their search engine optimization
- They want to market their business with content their audience needs
- They want to grow their email lists
And here’s the thing: Only the content you create on your own platforms will truly help you accomplish these objectives.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create and publish content elsewhere–through guest posts and other avenues. But if you want to see true growth in your own searchability or expert status, you need to publish your own content on your own platforms, under your own name first and foremost.
Start with a Blog
Every business that has an online presence should have a blog on their website. You don’t have to post weekly, but you do need to post consistently–once a month at the bare minimum (but I always recommend more when just starting out). Your website needs this regular content to help grow your online presence and give your website search engine optimization.
A blog also allows you to showcase your expertise to your audience and prospective clients. It gives you something to share on your social platforms, hopefully driving new traffic to your website as you get noticed.
Your blog is a good place to start to grow your following by offering content upgrades (opt-ins, freebies, etc.) with your posts. Start with a few high-quality freebies that your audience subscribes to in exchange for their email address.
[bctt tweet=”If you have a business, you need a blog. Period.” username=”AbbyMHerman”]
Send Emails Regularly
Once you’re blogging regularly and building your list, it’s time to start engaging. Depending on how often you’re blogging, what you have coming up in your business and your list size, you’ll want to email your list anywhere from weekly to bi-weekly to monthly.
Your emails should not be a regurgitation of your blog posts, but rather offer additional value to your audience. This is also a good place to include a bit about what you’re up to in business and in life. Your regular emails are not a place to sell to your subscribers though. Avoid salesy emails that are pushing a product or service–your email subscribers didn’t sign up for that.
Your emails are where you truly engage with your audience. It’s where you can tell a story and get a little more personal because your subscribers have trusted you with their email addresses. They want a little something more than what you’ve given to everyone else!
Expand Your Online Presence
Once you’re blogging regularly and engaging with your audience, it’s time to start expanding your online presence to attract new followers. Think about where your audience spends their time and focus on those platforms.
Let’s say your ideal client is a health and fitness coach. Where are fitness coaches hanging out and getting their information? Facebook groups? Instagram? Snapchat? Find out where they are and start establishing a presence in those places.
What does this look like? Well, it looks like you joining the groups and platforms that your audience is spending time in and publishing content there. This content should align with what you’re posting elsewhere, but it shouldn’t be an exact duplicate of that content. For example, don’t push your Instagram posts directly to Facebook. Rather, create a new narrative for the new platform. Audience members who follow you in multiple places will appreciate this creativity and you’ll be giving them additional places to engage with you. If it’s the same content on every platform, there’s no incentive to comment in more than one place.
[bctt tweet=”Know where your audience is online and publish content there. But know that you don’t have to be everywhere.” username=”AbbyMHerman”]
Add Guest Posts
Many new business owners start guest blogging on others’ websites before they’ve even established their own blog presence. Essentially they’re giving away the SEO benefit of their content to someone else in the name of building an audience. But what happens when the host’s audience stops by your website to find more and they find…nothing?
You own the content on your own website and you should always build up the content on your own website before sharing your expertise with others. Once you have a good cadence for publishing your own content, expand to guest blogging opportunities–being strategic about who you approach.
From there, outside publications like Huffington Post, Medium and industry-specific publications are a good bet. And if your audience is active on LinkedIn, you’ll want to start publishing original articles there, too.
At this point, you feel like you’re just about everywhere, right? That means it’s time to level up on the content you’re creating. You can slow down your posting schedule to create higher-quality content, investing in a writer, a video editor and more professional graphics, among other things. This is also a good time to hit up some of the more difficult publications to get into, like Forbes, Entrepreneur and Inc.
Content isn’t limited to the written word. High-level podcasts and speaking engagements are good ways to let your personality and professionalism shine through in a way that’s unedited and unfiltered.
Whatever direction you decide to go in when it comes to content, the most important thing is to just keep publishing. You need content to build the know, like and trust factor among your followers and to gain more search engine optimization to attract a wider audience.
If you feel like you’re creating content just for the sake of creating content, find out what the most important content is for your business. I’m addressing this in my video below.