Our guide to producing great content to promote your small business
Producing content is a key part of many small business’ marketing strategies. Content shows you have the knowledge your clients need and improves SEO performance. The problems are often working out what to write about and actually writing it. If you are struggling to produce content, here’s our guide to developing a content plan and getting the content produced and published.
How often should you produce new content?
The more content you need to produce, the more you may struggle to produce content. A search on ‘how often should a small business blog’ show results that suggest 2-4 times a week will produce the best results. That’s 104 – 208 blogs a year. If you then look at how long that blog should be, Hubspot suggests 2300 words! That’s nearly ¼ million words minimum.
This is clearly a huge amount of content to produce. For us, there is a much simpler way to work it out: what can you consistently produce? If you try to produce 2 blogs a week now, how are you going to cope when you’re busy? Can you still produce that level of content, or will you struggle at that time? Far better to be consistent than produce lots irregularly.
Produce a content schedule
Start at a level you are comfortable with. For some small businesses, that may be just once a month. Whatever frequency you start with, develop a schedule.
- What date will you publish the article?
- When does it have to be written by?
- Who is going to write it?
- Who is going to check it and publish it?
Far better to start slow and build up. If you do find yourself with more time than you thought you would, get ahead of your schedule. It will help when you get busier.
Develop a topic list
If you’ve mapped out what is important to your clients (see our Ideal Client workshops for more information on this), you’ll have a good idea of what to write about. Focus your efforts on topics that will help your target audience and show that you can help them. NEVER ever just write about what you do!
If you are struggling to work this out, there are other ways to develop a topic list:
1. What have you written before?
When looking at previous content, prioritise the articles that were viewed the most. Look at the average time on page too. If the article was visited lots of time and people are spending lots of time on there, updating that article could generate even more traffic for you.
2. What are your competitors writing about?
Just because your competitors are writing about something doesn’t mean you should. But a check on what they are writing is a good check to make sure you’re not missing any topics you should be covering.
3. What questions are your clients asking you?
If your clients are asking about them, it’s a safe bet that other people within your target audience will be looking for answers to similar questions. Answering questions that people want answers to is always a good thing.
If you have access to a way of finding out how many searches are being done on the topics you are planning to write about, check them too. It can help you put your topics in order.
Consider using AI
Tools such as ChatGPT are hitting computer screens in their millions right now. We’ve started doing a little testing, but the jury is still out on whether they will be a good thing or not.
If you do use AI-generated content, make sure you read through it and adapt to your target audience(s) and add relevant links, both internal and external.
This is not an AI-generated article
Outsource your content writing
If you don’t have the time, or the skills, using a copywriter is a great way to get the content you need. We work with a range of writers with different areas of expertise and there are plenty of others on the market too. Writers that seem very cheap may be so for a reason. Content can easily be used for multiple clients if they are distributed. One article that is then used by, say, 10 companies makes for a much better hourly rate.
Most copywriters are not that unscrupulous, but you can always check by using a plagiarism tool. We use SEMrush (amongst its many functions) to check content when we believe it is necessary.
The more you can do for the copywriter, the more you can save. Providing either a draft article (for them to improve) or a set of notes for them to build on will save you the time they would spend researching an article for you.
It all depends on how much time you have, or don’t have.
Publishing your content
Once you are producing great content, there are multiple places you can publish your content, starting with your own website. Not only will it help improve your SEO performance, it will bring people back to your website on a regular basis. Have you also considered these alternatives:
Other people’s websites
Adding content to other websites seems almost contradictory, but it provides you with valuable links back to your website. Adding it to sites where your target audience goes gives them the opportunity to find it and move to your site.
Both print and online magazines are always looking for good content. Getting your content into the right ones can drive brand awareness and leads your way.
Adding an article to LinkedIn can increase your profile views and get people talking to you – precisely what your content strategy is for.
When you are producing great content, you want it to be found. If your website is a WordPress site, we recommend using Yoast as an SEO tool. It provides a simply traffic light system to guide your content production. Simple things like:
- Reminding you to add a meta description and SEO title.
- Ensuring you add internal and external links to the article.
- Keeping the sentence length short (most less than 20 words) makes it easier to read for your viewers
- Making sure you don’t use passive language in your articles.
All will help you improve your SEO performance, but be sure to keep your reader front of mind. Sometimes, slavishly working towards the green lights can make the reading experience not what your readers would want.
Finally, once it is published, don’t keep it to yourself. Get it out there so that your target audience can find it. They find it, read it and then pick up the phone – simples!!!
If your marketing strategy includes developing content, you need to ensure that you produce good quality content on a consistent basis. These tips will help you if you’re worrying about producing great content, but if you are still struggling (or simply want someone else to do it), give us a call (020 8634 5911). Let’s talk and see how we can help you.