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A four-point check-list to boost your content marketing skills

Sanjana Ray
posted on 21st February 2017
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Producing content that is going to stand out and be devoured by the everyday busy reader takes a lot of quality writing, but more importantly, a fool-proof strategy. While it is much easier to point fingers at content producers for publishing material that has now become ‘old news’ in a market that changes in the blink of an eye, it is much harder for them to dish out fresh and relevant content on a daily basis.

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The fear of saturation in content-writing is real, purely because despite the limitless nature of creativity, there is a frustratingly limited amount of ‘popular content’ that writers know will work well with their target audience.

As cumbersome as it may be to try and conjure up new and exciting content that is sure to do the rounds in the world of the internet, it is impossible to have a 100 percent success rate right at the first few goes. However, as essayist Paul Graham puts it, “The easy, conversational tone of good writing comes only on the eighth rewrite.”

On that note, here’s some advice for all ye who are struggling to pen down well-versed ideas, hoping to make it sell among the crowds:

Looking for inspiration

As a writer, I can tell you that putting your mind to its creative best is probably one of the biggest challenges in the profession. While terms like writer’s block are reserved for extreme cases, its mild forms can be experienced in bouts over time, where you can’t pull out a second sentence. More often than not, it is because you haven’t recently pushed your imagination – a steady consequence of a lack or lag in inspiration. A writer’s best work comes with being inspired, through any kind of medium, be it a person, an idea, or even a movement. So when you begin to notice a lag in your writing, then take some time off to read, watch, travel, meditate, and observe to connect with your inner chi on its most inspiring level before getting back to penning your ideas.

Fix a writing itinerary

One of the greatest problems that any content writer will face is the maintainbalance between writing content and getting it published on every important platform. The question of quality versus quantity plays in here, and with the right kind of management, equal attention can be dedicated to both factors, resulting in a two-way win across the street. To this end, it is important for content writers to fix an itinerary for their content on a daily/weekly basis.

For instance, Jennifer Blanchard, a bestselling author, shares her copywriting itinerary, where in a day she dedicates 25 minutes to writing blog posts, 15-20 minutes providing value in Facebook groups, 15 minutes to creating new content for social media, and 10-15 minutes on working on her online visibility.

Give yourself a fixed time

Another problem with creating exciting content is that of time management. While as a writer you may have set yourself highly idealistic deadlines for your work, if no one is breathing down your neck, then chances are you won’t strictly be adhering to it on a regular basis. For this, you need discipline and for that you need to time yourself per story, article, blog post, etc. to understand how much time you take on an average on each. Once you realise this, you can dedicate the requisite amount of time to each aspect of your writing, to deliver better results.

Visibility and audience engagement

Here is where quantity matters. To increase your reach, you need to increase your visibility on all the important online platforms. This can be achieved through the simplest measures, such as releasing a personal note, video, Facebook Live stream, or even a short blog post with a picture. Being an active and steady contributor of content online will definitely help spread the word of your work and brand through the many branches of the internet, ushering in a new group of interested readers. And to ensure that these readers become long-time subscribers, you must dedicate enough time to engage religiously with their readers, be it through FAQs or live-streaming or online contests, etc.

It is necessary to mention that the ‘success tips’ to writing, publishing, and spreading one’s content is subjective, and what may work for some may not work for others. While Jennifer’s above mentioned itinerary works great for her, it may not lead to the same results for you. But what is life without testing through trial and error? So go ahead, give this a shot. At the end of the day, it is your story to tell.

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