Guest post: A content creation challenge for 2018.

I’m continuing my run of December guest posts with a look ahead to 2018.

From WP Fanatic:

Now is a great time to start thinking ahead to our social media and SEO plans for 2018. That way we can roll into January with at least a rough idea of what we want to do in the year.

For myself: I want to create for the sake of creation across a bunch of platforms.

The post goes on to look back at the hurdles I’ve faced over the last ten years. From there, I set out new objectives for 2018.

Specifically:

  • Writing: Publish a new post or page each week. Perform keyword research to choose topics that have clear search intent behind them. Over time this builds up my website as a library of useful content. (Who knows, a self-published eBook might come out of it…?)
  • Guest Blogging: Reach out and search for guest posting opportunities. Publish one guest post per week. Schedule posts well in advance so there’s plenty of lead time to write, edit, and submit the post. (I’m currently scheduled into February.)
  • Email Newsletter: Publish one email newsletter per week. Curate content from elsewhere and provide commentary on it. Include exclusive content, like a video, that’s only available to newsletter subscribers.
  • Podcasting: Produce one podcast episode per week. 30 minutes long. Transcribe the audio and publish the transcript on a website so it’s indexed by Google.
  • YouTube: Produce one YouTube video per week. 15 minutes long. Transcribe the audio and publish on a website so it’s indexed by Google.
  • Snapchat: Produce one Snapchat story per week. (I have no idea what I’m doing here, but I’m determined to learn how to use this platform.)
  • Instagram: Produce one Instagram story per week. Post at least one new image per day.
  • Facebook: Host one livestream per week. 30 minutes long. Transcribe the audio and publish on a website. Embed the Facebook Live video.
  • Twitter: Take part in one Twitter chat per week. Produce one original Twitter video per week.
  • Quora: Answer one question per week. (I’m certain I can smash this goal but I can’t guarantee that I’ll do it each week.)
  • Medium: Publish one original article per month.
  • LinkedIn: Publish one original article per month.
  • Alignable: Respond to one question per day. (FYI: Alignable is like a social network for local small businesses.)
  • Meetups: Host one meetup per month. Publish the takeaways in a blog post.
  • Eventbrite: Host one workshop per month. Create an accompanying worksheet. Record the session. Publish the takeaways in a blog post.

That’s the what, but I still need to figure out the how.

I’ll have more to share in January as I start documenting everything. 🙂

Featured image by Matthieu Comoy on Unsplash

New guest post: Content trends & opportunities in 2018

My second guest post of December is up: Ten content trends and opportunities for small businesses in 2018.

Excerpt:

We’ve talked about the importance of written content and strong visuals for years. But there’s still a lot of opportunity for growth in those areas.

This is especially true when you consider how many small businesses don’t even have a website.

So, as I look ahead to 2018, I’m not only looking for emerging trends. I’m also looking at the untrendy stuff and the opportunities that exist around them.

There’s a lot of upside for web developers, creative professionals, and small businesses to come together in 2018.

Small business owners need help with content for their sites, and web developers need help with content for their clients.

Creatives — writers, designers, video producers, photographers, illustrators — should consider building services around that, IMO.

Kudos to Kim Doyal for the chance to write for The WP Chick. Really enjoyed working on this one.

My first guest post for December.

I’ve started to develop a framework for creating content. It covers seven steps in total, but for today, I’d like to focus on the first half of it: ReachTeach, and Sell.”

I’m on a guest posting binge for December. My first post is up, thanks to the fine folks at iNovate Marketing.

It covers the first three steps of the content creation framework I started developing for WordCamp Hamilton 2016.

The framework has evolved since then, and I plan to flesh it out a lot further in 2018. 🙂

Reviews are critical for local search.

The basic conclusions of the study are that: (1) organic ranking factors (e.g., links, keywords, anchor text, etc.) boost local visibility; and (2) reviews are critical. The study argues that “local and organic search algorithms are still highly interconnected.” It adds that while Google is trying to include unique variables in the local algorithm, “traditional organic SEO tactics” are effective to rank locally.

via Local ranking factors study finds reviews, organic SEO best practices boost local visibility (Search Engine Land)

Easy win for local small businesses. Add a little “nudge” on invoices, email communications, and in-store signage reminding customers to leave a review.

Before that, of course, you gotta make sure you’re set up on Google My Business.

A proven case study formula.

Case studies generally follow a tried and true formula: How Person A achieved XYZ by using Product B. What makes the difference between a dry, inauthentic story to one that truly captivates is how you tell it. A good case study shares the elements of a good story, period:

  • Protagonist: a relatable customer from an aspirational company
  • Tension: a portrait of their workflow and challenges before using your product
  • Resolution: how they solved it by replacing their workflow with your product

Tension is the driving force of your case study. It grabs the reader’s interest, puts them in your customer’s shoes, and without it, your resolution (and “BUY NOW!” call-to-action) will sound completely unconvincing.

via Make customer enthusiasm work for you (Inside Intercom)

Case studies are content that close deals and create new customers. I think businesses, large and small, aren’t sharing those success stories nearly enough.

Maybe because they haven’t prioritized it. Maybe because they haven’t thought about it. Or maybe because they just aren’t talking to their customers as often as they should be?

Launch in 5 @ WordCamp Rochester 2017

What can you do with WordPress if you aren’t a developer (or aren’t inclined to set up a development environment and get “into the weeds”)?

Quite a bit, actually!

This session walks through my standard flow for getting a new WordPress site up and running. I’ll walk through each step: domain registration, WordPress installation, installing a theme & plugins, even connecting to Google Search Console and Google Tag Manager.

We won’t touch any code along the way. (I promise!)

If you’re new to WordPress, this is a crash-course walkthrough that’ll give you an idea of how quickly a site can be built.

If you’re an experienced WordPress user and want to start building sites for others, this is a good opportunity to see how you can get a foundation in place for a client without breaking a sweat.

Let’s get into it.

Keep reading…Launch in 5 @ WordCamp Rochester 2017