Hit a plateau in your content? It happens to the best of us and it’s something that even the best websites experience. Plateauing isn’t necessarily bad – it means you’re growing!
Over time readers get used to high quality work and their expectations for what you’re giving them naturally goes up. Blogs must keep on innovating and improving in order to hold on to that user base, much less expand it. There are opportunities for you to do more with your content, you may just not be seeing them.
How can you break out of your content rut? Here are seven ways to make 2017 your year of content.
1. Introduce a new format
This is one of the easiest but also most striking ways to get your content on the right track. Don’t sacrifice the things that you do best, but also don’t be afraid to shake up the things that you’re doing in a mediocre way.
Small revamps can play in a big way to readers who are ready to go with you to the next level. Look at ways to make content easier to access and easier to read. There are always updates available that will make things better for your readers.
2. Go in-depth
That five hundred to one thousand word post length is common online, but you can do a lot more with more words. If you have stuck to smaller lengths in terms of your format, then go deeper into a subject with two thousand words or more.
Great content engages users on a deeper level. Expand on something that’s already been popular on your site, or dig into a hot topic in a way that’s not been previously covered. Longform content gives your audience real, palpable value that has heretofore not been available to them and is the perfect way to break your content plateau.
- Write a whitepaper or two
Whitepapers offer authoritative information on a specific topic. These in-depth pieces of content present a problem and then propose ways to solve it. Normally a whitepaper requires readers to at the very least provide and email address in order to access the information as it’s offered in PDF format.
At least two thousand words in length, white papers most often include charts and graphs and are presented in a professional style that’s well written and thoroughly edited. These are not blog pieces, and they aren’t e-books. Dense and carefully crafted, publishing white papers is emblematic of a site that’s is an expert on a given topic.
3. Create an audio profile
Explain the philosophy behind your brand with an audio file, then make it available to your readers. The idea is to give users something to download, but not just anything – it should tie in with or sum up the services you offer. Think of this as a standalone and all-encompassing piece of content in which you offer your best insights.
Be sure to require an email address prior to download in order to collect data for the future.
4. Invite users to share their content
Keeping users engaged is a key to preventing that dreaded plateau. In 2017, create opportunities for users to share content through your platform. Invite readers to submit pieces for consideration or to engage in any way that you can manage. This can be done effectively by asking users to share images – keeping it simple and easy is a key to successfully having users share their content.
If you’re garnering user content from social media through an contest on Instagram or Facebook, extend the shelf life of that content by creating a blog post about the results of the contest, including the entries themselves.
5. Solicit guest bloggers
Everyone knows that it’s good practice to guest post on other blogs, but what about getting guests to posts on yours? Having an authoritative voice that’s reputable in your subject area is a perfect method for keeping your content fresh while at the same time improving the reach of your website.
Offer a blurb about how to become a guest blogger on your about page to solicit blogs from users who are out in the ether. But don’t just wait for great guest bloggers to show up on your doorstep – reach out to bloggers that you think would be a good fit. Offer them links back to their content in return for giving you good quality pieces.
6. Perform a content audit
To really take your content to the next level in 2017, perform a content audit. This involves going through all of the posts that you’ve published on your blog so far and isolating the worst-performing pieces. Make sure you do not undertake similar topics, unless you feel they are bringing some value to your brand.
It’s ok to kick out old content that’s dragging your site down. You can rework it if it looks reworkable, or just bag it. Your website doesn’t have to be mausoleum for old content that’s not working for you. If it doesn’t serve your content goals, then feel free to get rid of it.
7. Create a solid publishing calendar
It’s common for content to be thrown up as it comes rather than creating a cohesive, intentional publication calendar. Today you should be working on content for two months from now, not two weeks from now or later this week. More specific content planning will allow you to use the information that you garnered from that content audit to improve the quality of your publications.
Look out across your content for the months ahead to be sure that it’s right mix for your readers and that all everything you have posted this far is up to your high standards.
Whatever you’re doing now, the start of the year presents a perfect time to take stock and change your approach to either pull your content out of a plateau or to prevent getting stuck in one.
2017 can be your year of content!