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From many things, here’s a list of the most important 4 things you should do after you’ve written good content.
Considering the eye-popping rate at which people create content, it’s important to create one piece of good content rather than churn out one piece of crap after another.
Good content is fresh, has a distinct point of view, adds to what the reader already knows, is written in an easy style and uses the right data.
But what happens after you’ve written a good piece of content? Should you instantly hit ‘Publish’ and sit back and wait for readers to flood in?
Of course, you know better. Writing good content is not the single most important thing to do. A few things may be equally, if not more, important.
Of those many things, here’s a list of the most important 4 things you should do after you’ve written good content.
1. Edit one last time to improve a structure
Over time, the writing style has changed. From Victorian English that had long, almost convoluted sentences, we’ve come to a point where we use not only shorter sentences but also short paragraphs (this sentence turned out a bit longer, though :) )
But that’s not all.
An increasing number of netizens consume content from hand-held devices, and this trend will continue. As a result, we’ve moved from writing that must be highly readable to writing that must be highly scannable.
As per the well-known Nielsen study, most people don’t really read posts - they scan through posts. You must keep varying the size of your sentences and avoid long paragraphs. Variation in sentence size prevents monotony in content.
Short paragraphs, besides being more readable, allow white space, giving the impression of a neat design.
For instance, an extremely short, stand-alone sentence after a particularly long paragraph shows the writer wants the reader to absorb the significance of the few words.
Washington Post writer Lavanya Ramanathan uses a sudden change in structure to create impact.
2. Reach your subscribers, not just email them
Even after creating good content, you’ll need to tell your subscribers about it.
Sending out a crisply written email to your subscribers lets them know you’ve created something of value for them.
As your subscriber base increases, you may want to consider using the services of Email Service Providers (ESPs) like CampaignMonitor, Act-On, AWeber, InfusionSoft, BenchMark, MailChimp and so on. Your free Gmail, AOL or Yahoo mail server isn’t designed to handle 1,000s of outgoing emails from a single account.
Even while using the services of an ESP, you’ll also have to follow best practices. Because we all receive a large number of emails daily, the recipient’s email server can flag your email as Spam if you aren’t careful.
It makes sense to know how to stop your emails from landing in the spam folder of your recipients. For instance, emails not backed by SPF and DKIM authentication are much more likely to land in spam folders.
Note: The CAN-SPAM Act of the USA and the GDPR of Europe are placing strict rules about sending out unsolicited emails, so you’ll want to build your own list, not purchase one.
3. Measure the right stuff
There’s one tragic thing about good content most people miss - you create content with one objective and use performance metrics that measure something else.
How does that happen?
Let’s say you wrote a post about local SEO for a gym. You wanted to add readers at the top of the funnel when you wrote the piece. The post begins to do well; before long, it’s on top of search engine results.
Your boss tries to figure out the conversion rate from the post. Because the post was meant to educate rather than sell, the conversion rate will be, at best, negligible.
So you and your boss conclude the post was a failure beyond vanity metrics.
The problem is not the post; the problem is with the metrics you used. If you use the wrong metrics, chances are most posts would look like a post.
When you create a piece of content, make sure you set the metrics right and stick to using them when the piece of content goes live. In short, you must have a clear content strategy when you start out.
4. Update your content
Digital content, unlike print media, is permanently editable. Content that is proven good, therefore, must be enriched and updated regularly.
You wrote a post on “7 tools to monitor your brand online” five months back, and it received good feedback. It makes sense to go back to the post, review and update the offerings of each tool - and probably add an 8th, too, that you learned about recently.
For instance, your post could contain old, invalid data that’s not useful to readers any more. There could have been some keywords that could have emerged since you wrote the post. It allows you to remove dead links and insert a fresh presentation, image or video.
And search engines love updated posts because that shows the post cares about its readers.
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