This month I have managed to refine my content creation process so that it is a lot more efficient than previously. This is particularly useful when I’m writing articles for things that I know nothing or very little about, which will be a common occurrence for a lot of niche site builders.
For each article that I am writing I find it helps enormously to run through these following logical steps:
STEP 1 – CREATE A LIST OF ARTICLE TOPICS
I’ve got a spreadsheet where I list out all of the potential ideas that I may have for articles in my niche. Whenever an idea pops into my head I just collate the ideas into this spreadsheet.
I’ll usually then do a bit of keyword research using Long Tail Pro and list out the Keyword Competitiveness and the Monthly Search volume next to the article.
STEP 2 – PICK AN ARTICLE
Whenever, I have a bit of free time I’ll go to this list and pick out an article topic, that I feel like writing at the time. Some articles are going to be harder to write than others so it’s best to have a range of articles for me to choose from depending on how I feel.
STEP 3 – CREATE SUB HEADINGS
Before I start writing the article I’ll do a 10 minute brainstorm to flesh out some ideas for things that I could write about in the article. Then I’ll try and place these in a logical structure, thinking about the best way to make the content flow.
What I usually find is that the items that I list out here, become the sub-headings on my actual article.
STEP 4 – RESEARCH IN GOOGLE
I’ll simply type the keyword, the sub-heading or the article topic into Google and scan through the results. Any articles that I think look interesting I’ll open in a new tab.
STEP 5 – REVIEW OPEN TABS
Next I’ll simply work through the tabs one by one, discarding the ones with low value or unrelated content and copying the info from pages that I think contain useful information into a new Word document.
STEP 6 – ORGANISE CONTENT
At this stage I’ll have a massive 20 page word document, full of all the source content in different fonts and styles, which will look and feel like a complete mess, so lets get organised!
I simply start to cut up the content and group relevant bits from each article into the sub-headers that I had written at the start. During this process you’ll find that you start to discard some more unrelated content and end up with a pretty big document still, with the benefit that it is now grouped into related content items
STEP 7 – REWRITE THE CONTENT
I usually just make a copy of the word document then work my way through the different sections of content, taking the key points, facts and figures from the source content and rewriting in my own style. This has the benefit that it applies your own voice to the content and you won’t get into any trouble with plagiarising content!
STEP 8 – TOP AND TAIL
Make sure you write a good introduction to the topic, and if it’s a long article add jump links to the relevant sections.
At the end of the article try to write a summary of what you have found and pull out some of the key learnings. Both of these places are good locations to bring in your keywords.
STEP 9 – WRITE A KILLER HEADLINE
It’s always good to try and get your keyword into your headline, but creating a title that sticks out can also make the difference. Remember that your site will be sitting in the search results competing against many other sites, so if you can make a heading that stands out and are position 9 on the page, you could end up getting more click throughs than position 3 if their title is written poorly.
There is a great free tool that you can use to help you ensure that your title is up to scratch : http://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer
STEP 10 – REVIEW YOUR ARTICLE
Leave the article for a day or so, before you come back to it, and you’ll be surprised at the things you spot with a fresh pair of eyes. I usually then try to read the article out loud to myself and make final edits to the content, before preparing this for publication on my site.
Of course after these steps, there are another series of things you need to go for before publishing you article such as:
- Make sure your content has been properly optimised for SEO
- Format your content correctly
- Add in a decent amount of outbound and internal links
- Check how this will look on Social accounts
However, I’ve found that running through these 10 steps has made my approach to content a lot more systematic, logical and of course time saving.