The Tightwad’s Guide to Creating Competitive Content on a Budget

The Tightwad’s Guide to Creating Competitive Content on a Budget

Do you need to spend a lot of money to create exceptional content?

In a word, no.

The barriers to entry for publishing on the Internet are extremely low. That’s why we see so much mediocre content everywhere we look.

But you’re here reading Copyblogger. That tells me that “mediocre content” is a phrase that’s not part of your vocabulary. You’re aiming to create content that’s remarkable. Content that attracts an audience and builds your business.

Today we’re going to cover how to produce winning content on a budget. A really small budget.

The fact is, you don’t need to outspend the competition.

You need to outthink them.

1. Gather ideas from all over

The first tip involves a mindset shift.

It’s about seeing the world around you — both your business world and your personal life — as a source for ideas. Because when you’re creating content on a regular basis, the world can inspire your writing if you let it.

Some of the most interesting content forms when you take a seemingly unrelated aspect of your life and apply it to your content marketing.

To explore this concept, read The Content Crossroads: Supernatural Success at the Intersection of Ideas.

Once you shift your mindset to one of always-on idea gathering, you’ll need a place to capture and save your ideas.

Look for something you’ll always have on hand, whether it’s a small notebook you carry around or an app on your computer or mobile phone. Make sure it’s easy and fast to use, and use one — and only one — location to store ideas so you don’t have to track them down in more than one place.

For more idea-gathering inspiration, read these posts:

Read the posts above, and set up a place to capture your ideas.

COST: $0

2. Develop a plan and work it

One reason why people churn out mediocre content is they approach the blank page like this:

“Oh no, I need a post for tomorrow! What should I write about?”

When you develop a strategy for your content and keep your goals in mind, you eliminate the “I have no idea what to write about” problem. You see the holes in your content marketing efforts and write or record information to fill those holes.

If you’ve never spent time thinking through your content strategy, we’ve got help for you — Demian Farnworth has written extensively on the topic. The posts below will get your content strategy off to a strong start:

Read the posts above, create and record your content goals, and put them somewhere you can reference frequently.

COST: $0

3. Hold yourself to high standards

You can spot mediocre content from a distance because it usually has multipple speling and gramattical erors.

We’re lucky around here. The line above would never make it past Stefanie Flaxman, our eagle-eyed Editor-in-Chief.

Fortunately, Stefanie has been very generous over the years about sharing her techniques, so that those of us who can’t count on an editor to review our content can use some of her sophisticated methods for spotting and correcting the content errors that make our words seem less authoritative.

Aim for writing that’s clear, clean, and error-free.

When you’re ready to go beyond the traditional “sleep on it and look at your writing with fresh eyes the next day” advice, study these posts:

Read the posts above, and carefully edit and proofread your posts before they go live.

COST: $0

4. Add meaning with images

Carefully planned, beautifully written, and meticulously edited content will help you attract the attention you want.

To tap into a completely different part of your site visitors’ brains, try pairing your words with well-chosen images.

Images are processed in a different part of our brains than words. Combining words and images on your pages will light up your site visitors’ brains and (bonus!) make your content more attractive and shareable:

Adding the perfect image to your words is that extra step that many content creators can’t be bothered with. And as you’ll see in the posts above, it doesn’t take a lot of money to find the right image — just effort and practice.

Read the posts above, and explore the free image resources and editing tools mentioned.

COST: $0

5. Create a publishing schedule and stick to it

Publishing content consistently builds trust. Your content becomes a reliable resource your readers can count on — information they look forward to reading.

But how often should you publish? Three times a week? Once a week? Once a month?

Whenever you feel like it? (Hint: don’t choose this one.)

We recommend you keep one important concept in mind when weighing your options:

Publish as often as you can create exceptional content.

That said, if you’re just entering into the content marketing arena and you’ve created your content strategy, you’ll want to publish often enough to execute that strategy and populate your pages with searchable, shareable information.

That’s why we recommend a minimum of one solid post or podcast each week. This schedule should be achievable. For more ideas on how to make it happen, see the first post in the list below:

Read the posts above, commit to a publishing schedule, and note it on your calendar.

COST: $0

6. Use social media to share your work

As Beth Hayden smartly notes in the first post in the list below, “The very purpose of the Internet (every blog, website, and virtual gathering place within it) is to let people connect, communicate, and collaborate.”

Take advantage of the inherently social nature of the Internet and promote your content.

Yes, social media can be terribly distracting. And we agree that it’s not always efficient, especially if you spread your efforts too thin.

If you’re not doing much to share your content on social media, these posts have practical ideas and techniques you can try:

Read the posts above, and experiment with a new social media technique this week.

COST: $0

7. Track your results

Many content marketers don’t make the time to do this step.

Which is sad, because it’s so easy to get information about how your content is performing.

Ignoring how your audience responds to your content is a missed opportunity.

To get started tracking your results, take a look at the posts here:

Read the posts above, and mark the days and times on your calendar when you’ll review your content marketing results.

COST: $0

How to outthink (not outspend) the competition

Remarkable content doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg to produce.

Use the tips here to outthink your competition. Set high standards for the content you produce. Your content marketing efforts will stand out from the crowd when you do.

Most people won’t put in the extra effort to make their content truly effective.

But you? Well, here you are at the end of this article, so you’re one of the special ones. :-)

About the author

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson is Executive Vice President of Educational Content at Rainmaker Digital. Follow her on Twitter, and find more from her at BigBrandSystem.com.

The post The Tightwad’s Guide to Creating Competitive Content on a Budget appeared first on Copyblogger.

2
Like
Save

Comments

Write a comment

*