Producing quality content is expensive but here are five steps to get you started.
Producing content is expensive.
Sorry, correction. Producing quality content is expensive. Hiring experienced editors, working with writers, paying by the words, getting (or shooting for) the right photos, and (in some cases) creating some interactive component are all worthy investment, but no matter how you see it it's money out of your pocket.
It is therefore important that you really, really make full use of your content to ensure you reap the most benefits out of it, be it revenue, traffic or branding. Content is the lifeblood here at my publication and we employ many different ways to maximize the value of the hard work we do in producing good content.
Publish them online
First use of our content is to publish the piece of content on a relevant section on your website. Make sure it’s featured on the homepage of the site at least for the day to ensure visitors landing on your site will get a chance to see it. Then link the article to relevant sources, contextually and liberally. At my publication, articles that mention particular schools or courses are linked to their profile pages on the site. We found that such deep linking help the casual reader to discover more on our site.
Publish email newsletters
Now that the piece of juicy content is sitting nicely on your website, it’s time to let the passive readers know you have some good stuff for them to devour. By building a permission-based mailing list, you can easily produce email newsletters to push your content to these readers every now and then. This will reinforce your brand on their mind as well as drive traffic to your article page. Score for return visits!
Amplify on social media
Not all your readers will proactively come to your site or open your email newsletter though. So your next move would be to the glorious but mysterious realm of social media. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are your friends. By sharing your content on these platforms, you effectively be a part of the mountain of content consumed by your readers there, every day. And if you have done your content right, your fans will like, comment, and share them in abundance. Of course, not every piece of content can get viral, but if you don’t start sharing, they never will.
Repackage for other formats
So you have published your content online, push them to your readers’ inbox and share them everywhere. Weeks have passed, and now what? Reactivate your content by repurposing them, either as a part of a new piece (like a listicle) or in a different format. At my company, we look at performance of our articles, finding patterns in traffic and themes, and then repackage them into something brand new… like a digital supplement. These can be proven to be valuable to both your advertisers and your readers. Our recent publication, Online MBA 2013, is a great example on breathing new life into your content and building new revenue at the same time.
Optimize your content for search engine
Do your editors know how to write search engine-friendly article titles? If they don’t, it’s time to educate them. By implementing some basic “procedure” to the editorial process, your content gets discovered by search engines and can be found repeatedly by new readers. Such SEO techniques extend the shelf life of your content, at no cost.
These steps might be obvious to you but when was the last time you checked that your best content checked all five boxes?
Image on Homepage via Shutterstock.
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Razlan Manjaji currently works as senior business manager at South China Morning Post (SCMP), the premier English newspaper in Hong Kong, and heads up Education Post, the online education media arm of SCMP.
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Hong Kong, April 2015
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