Inspire your “a-ha” moment with this cauldron of content secrets. A veritable witches brew of handy, dandy tips and tricks.
Since there isn’t a degree program specifically in writing content marketing, most of us have learned our skills on the front lines of the battlefront of social media, email marketing and white paper creation. We have been educated in the class rooms of the School of Hard Knocks, Trials & Tribulations. We are battle tested in the fox holes of A/B Testing.
Personally, I focused my “self-education” on reading as many whitepapers and e-Books that I could get my hands on. My entire career I have lived by the philosophy of learning from the best, most talented people who consistently produce a stream of high quality content. For my nickel, Neil Patel’s voice is very worthy of your time. He’s an exceptionally talented marketer and writer.
#1 – You Can’t Write What You Don’t Remember
One of my biggest obstacles as a copywriter is remembering all of the great ideas I had for a content piece. It starts out innocently enough, with my every intention to write it down and follow It up later. However, it never seems to get done. I learned that my best marketing tool is my notebook. I write the ideas down immediately and I invest the time to being developing the idea immediately. When it comes time to write, you should have several great topics already in the works to run with. Ask yourself, how much time you will save not having to languish over finding a topic to write about?
#2 – You Can’t Write What You Can’t Locate
Keeping the notebook will definitely help your organization skills a lot. As you build the ideas out and organize them, be sure to capture all of the thoughts you have. Have you inevitably found the perfect research item on the internet, but couldn’t return to it later on? It has happened to many of us. Some more than others. A good motto for content marketers to follow is “There is no time like the present.”
#3 – Chaos is Okay – As Long as It’s Organized Chaos
If you were thinking about casting your idea as the “Five Secrets of Whatever”, I would immediately note the URL of any website that supported my ideas and each of the five secrets. Providing the reader with a hot link to the source material will help to educate them more on the topic, creating the persona that you are a good source for information. As long as you have a system of recalling your notes and research, that allows you to find it again, then you are good to go.
NOTE – The object of these first three suggestions is to not beat yourself. Do everything you can do to maximize your efforts and minimize lost time searching for information you already have. (Or should I say “had!”)
#4 – Fancy Tools, Tips & Organizational Bliss
Earlier, I mentioned my own personal content guru – Neil Patel. Neil has an advanced understanding of the tools, tips and tricks designed to save you time make your job easier, and help improve your writing. From his “Advanced Content Marketing Guide”:
Use Google’s +1 feature
When you +1 a Web page, Google keeps a record or it.
To see the pages you’ve +1’d, go to your Google+ profile, and click on the tab below your cover banner called “+1’s.”
You’ll see a list of the Web pages you’ve +1’d, with the most recent ones on top.
This creates a simple log of the pages you want to be able to find again later. But it doesn’t give you a way to add notes or categorize your pages.
If you’d like to save notes with your ideas, you’ll need to use the technique we talk about next.
Create a Google+ circle with no one in it.
Here’s how it works:
Create a new Google+ circle called “Ideas,” but don’t put any people in it.
Then, when you find a Web page you want to remember, you can “share” it with your Ideas circle. Since no one is in that circle, you’ll be the only one who can see it.
It’s a simple way to keep track of Web pages you want to be able to find later. Here’s how to set it up:
- First, create your “Ideas” circle:
Go to your Google+ profile and click on the “Find People” link in the left sidebar.
2. Across the top of the page are three tabs. Click on “Your circles.
3. At the bottom of the screen will be a row of blue circles.
Click on the first one, which says “Drop here to create a circle.”
A pop-up will appear.
Enter the name of the circle: “Ideas”
5. Write in a description of the circle: “Research and ideas for content”
6. Click “Create empty circle.”
2. Now, whenever you come across a piece of content that you want to save for future reference,
here’s what you do:
- Hit the +1 button on that Web page (or copy the URL and manually paste it into your Google+ stream)
- Write your ideas into the post.
- Remove the circles you have showing, then click in the empty space to see a list of your circles. Scroll down to “Ideas” and click on it.
- Click “Share.”
3. When you need to find a Web page that you saved, simply review the posts in your Ideas circle.
- When you are on your Home page, select “More” at the top of the page.
- The circles you have created will appear in a drop-down box. Select the “Ideas” circle to populate your stream. You will see all your Ideas in your stream.
3. When you’re done reviewing them and you want to return to your normal stream, select “All” from the options at the top of your Home page. You will see posts from the people you follow, including any recent Ideas you have created.
One caveat: Your posts to the Ideas circle won’t populate anyone’s Google+ stream, but they could show up in a Google search if they contain the keyword being searched for.
Here’s a post we made for the sole purpose of capturing screen shots. It ranked on page 1 of Google!
Where We’re Going & Where We’ve Been
We have just prepared ourselves to begin the writing process. We’ve learned how to capture and organize ideas and information for story ideas. We’ve also learned how to make the most of our time and efforts with some help from our friend Neil Patel and the good people at Google. Part Two of “Revealed – Secrets of Top Content Writers” will discuss the creative process of writing, storytelling and other essential components of the process.
Other material on this same subject that you may want to look over:
The 5 Skills You Need to Become a Successful Content Writer
by Sherry Gray
Meet Articoolo, The Robot Writer With Content For Brains
By Natasha Lomez