7 Good Reasons to Hire a Freelance Blog Writer

hire a freelance blog writer

For almost any question you have or any product you decide to buy, you probably turn first to the internet. Google—and to a lesser degree Bing, Yahoo and social sites like Facebook—have become a huge part of how we learn new information and make purchasing decisions. For businesses, that means online visibility plays an important role in being the answer people find when they go looking for what you offer.

And business blogging is one of the best tools you have for achieving online visibility.

Business websites that have a blog add new pages to the site on a regular basis, and having more pages translates to more traffic. Sites with over 300 pages see up to 234% growth in website traffic. If you want people to find your website, a big part of the equation is giving them more pages to find. Blogging is how you do that.

Business Blogging Isn’t Easy

If business blogging makes such a big difference, why isn’t every business doing it? Because to do it well (and it’s only worth doing if you do it well) requires a large commitment in time and resources. Orbit Media’s annual blogging survey found that it takes over three hours on average to write a blog post.

And as someone who writes multiple blog posts every week, I can tell you time is only one part of what makes it hard. Writing requires mental energy and creativity. Most people can’t sit down and write all day long—at some point your brain gets tapped out.

Blogging is hard work and many businesses fail to realize just how hard it is until they get started. The dead blogs you see from time to time on business websites—ones that haven’t been updated in months or years—are typically the result of overly ambitious businesses that failed to account for how hard creating blog content on a regular basis really is.

But even though it’s hard, business blogging is worth it. The results are impressive and doing it well is absolutely within your reach, you just may need to bring in some extra talent to help. For businesses struggling to keep up with the endless work a blog requires, hiring a freelance blog writer may be the solution you need.  

You Should Hire a Freelance Blog Writer If…

Different businesses come to the decision to hire a freelance blog writer for different reasons. Here are some of the common challenges that hiring a freelance blog writer will solve.

1. Your team is struggling to meet your content creation goals.

As already discussed, consistently creating good content is hard. And trying to do more than you can reasonably manage is bad for overall productivity, and can potentially even be bad for your health. And if your team gets burned out trying to produce more content than you can handle, the quality of your content will suffer as well.

2. You want to scale up how much content you produce to get better results.

While content marketing professionals often talk about the importance of quality over quantity in content, the fact is that blogging more tends to get better results. HubSpot found that companies posting over 16 posts a month got over 3.5 times the results of those who post 4 or less.

16 posts a month comes to around four posts a week. Unless you have a large team of content creators at your business devoted primarily to blogging, meeting that goal will be extremely difficult to manage without outside help. The easiest way to scale up is to outsource some of your blog writing needs to freelancers.

3. You lost an employee and need some help picking up the slack.

Talented employees are in high demand and, even if your company works hard to make it a great place to work, some of your workers will inevitably be lured away to other opportunities. When you lose one of your best employees, you need to find someone to fill in fast. A freelance blog writer (or a few) can often help you manage your content needs while you work on replacing your employee.

4. You need help, but don’t have room in the budget to bring on a full-time employee.

For many businesses, talent is the biggest expense you have. The cost of a good employee goes far beyond the amount they get in their paycheck. You have to factor benefits into the budget, including the cost of paid time off, health insurance, retirement benefits, and unemployment and social security taxes. You’re also responsible for the cost of any supplies they need to do the job, and for additional office space if they’re expected to come to an office every day.

For freelancers, you only pay the amount they bill for the work you hire them for. If you don’t have full-time needs, you can only hire—and only pay—them for the work you actually need. The result is that marketing departments can generally save money by hiring a couple of good freelancers versus finding a full-time employee to do the work.

5. Your level of need isn’t high enough for a full-time position.

If you just need help producing a few extra blog posts a month, then it probably doesn’t make sense financially to bring on a new full-time employee. Freelancers work with a number of clients, so they don’t expect to be assigned or paid for 40 hours a week from you.

If you only need work that amounts to a few hours a week—say somewhere from one to ten blog posts a month—then finding a freelance blogger is more practical than going through the hiring process for an employee.

6. You worry you’re getting rusty and need help with fresh ideas.

When you spend your days mired in the same industry, at some point it becomes impossible to see it with fresh eyes. Freelancers are good for bringing new ideas to the table. And crucially, they can often help you see things the way consumers who don’t spend day in and day out working in the industry see things—a valuable insight for writing content that speaks to the people you most want to reach.   

7. You’ve got great ideas, but struggle with turning them into well written blog posts.

This is the opposite issue, but a common one many people face. If you’re just brimming with ideas, but find the process of turning them into strong blog posts that are organized well for readability and optimized for SEO insurmountable, that’s exactly the skill good freelance blog writers bring to the table.

The ability to create a good content marketing strategy that includes a list of blog topics is a valuable skill to have, but it only pays off if you can execute that strategy. If that’s the part you struggle with, outsource it to someone who excels at the execution side of things.

Hire a Freelance Blog Writer

If you’ve confirmed that it’s time to hire a freelancer to help out with your blog, the next step is finding one that meets your needs. Check back soon for a followup blog post that gets into how to find a good freelance blog writer.

Or alternately, since you’re on a freelance blogger’s website right now. you can check out my writing samples and learn a little about how I work to see if we might be a good fit. And often when I’m not a fit for a client, I try to help point them in the right direction to find another writer, so feel free to get in touch with the details of what you need.  

Why You Need a Content Marketing Calendar

content marketing calendar

Even as content marketing becomes an indispensable part of any online marketing plan, many businesses struggle with doing it effectively. For content marketing to work you have to commit to doing a lot of work, consistently, indefinitely. It can be overwhelming.  And considering the level of investment that good content marketing requires, doing it badly comes at a big cost for small results.

One of the best tools you have to make the overwhelming more manageable and get better results from your content marketing is a content marketing calendar.  

What is a Content Marketing Calendar?

A content marketing calendar is a clear plan for your future content that’s tied to specific dates and deadlines. Your content calendar will make clear:

  • Who’s responsible for each content task (e.g. writing, editing, image creation, etc.)
  • When their part of the work is due
  • When the content will be published
  • When and how it will be promoted and distributed

By documenting all this information, you take the chaos of all the work involved in content marketing and turn it into something organized and workable.  

Why a Content Marketing Calendar Makes a Difference

If you don’t use one now, creating and sticking with a content marketing calendar will completely transform the way you do content marketing. The many benefits it brings will add up to a better-run content marketing program and improved results. Here are a few of the specific benefits you can expect.

1. Breaking a plan down into a timeline helps make it real.

Coming up with good ideas is a great skill to have but, as many people learn the hard way, executing on those ideas is the harder part. For your great ideas to become reality, you have to tie them to a plan of specific action steps.

In marketing, the difference this makes has been proven. Marketers that create a documented strategy are 538% more likely to find success than those who don’t. In content marketing, an important part of that strategy is creating a content calendar that breaks down your big ideas into specific tasks that your team can and will complete.

2. You can plan out how different pieces of content support each other.

None of the content you create exists in a vacuum—or it shouldn’t, anyway. You want blog posts that drive people to your ebook, social media posts that drive people to your blog. Your content should help get people to sign up for your email list, then your emails can help promote your content. It’s all connected.

In order to plan out relevant connections between the different parts of your content strategy, you need a high-level view of everything you’re creating. And to keep all the connections in your strategy organized and on schedule, you need to know when your different content pieces will be ready and published.

Your content calendar will make it possible for you to make sure those blog posts that promote your big ebook go up after the ebook is ready, and that your infographic is ready in time for the big social push you’re planning to promote it.

3. An organized schedule keeps everyone on the same page.

Content marketing is rarely a one-person job. You have your content strategist, writers, designers, social media coordinators—a full team of people who each play an important role. For every person to do their job well and on schedule, they need to know when they can count on others to do theirs.

If your writers don’t have clear deadlines, then the designers are stuck never knowing when they can start on the blog post images or slideshows they’re supposed to work on. And you’ll never know when you can publish the pieces you have planned.

When no one can plan, you never know how long creating each piece of content will take, so publishing consistently is impossible.

4. Planning a calendar in advance helps you incorporate holidays and industry events.

Your audience will have different concerns at different times of year, and you’ll have different events to promote. Your content should reflect this. If your audience is accountants, then planning out content that speaks to what they’re dealing with in the thick of tax season shows you understand what they’re going through. But you don’t want to think about creating that content for the first time on April 10—five days before most taxes are due—and hope your team can pull something together at the last minute.

With a content calendar, you’ll sketch out your plan for a season far enough out that you have time to think through all the important holidays, seasonal concerns, and industry events to address in your content.

5.  Content marketing calendars aid in consistency.

It’s hard to get a blog post up every day or week, and an email out every week or month. It’s hard to get social media posts up multiple times a day, and even harder to get high-value gated pieces created regularly.
All of those things are a lot harder to do with any consistency if you don’t have a clear calendar in place. And if you publish three blog posts one week and nothing for another month, you look sloppy. If your emails come in inconsistently enough for people to forget who you are, they’ll stop opening them. Inconsistency has a cost, but it also has an easy solution.

Start Using a Content Marketing Calendar

A content marketing calendar turns the chaos of content marketing into order. It helps you turn your ad-hoc content creation into an organized strategy where all the different pieces work together in a unified whole. And it will ensure you keep your plans and deadlines realistic. It’s one of the most important and valuable tools in the content marketer’s toolkit.

8 Ways to Make Business Blogging Go Further

Business blogging has become one of the most essential methods for connecting with customers and building your website’s SEO authority. And a number of studies have confirmed the value of business blogging: it results in 55% more traffic, 97% more inbound links, and 67% more leads.  

business blogging traffic
business blogging leads

By pretty much every measure businesses use to determine website success, having a business blog is one of the best paths to improved results.

But consistently maintaining a business blog is time consuming and costly—especially one where you only publish blog posts that provide real value to your audience. And if you’re not doing that, what’s the point?

If you’re going to invest in a blog for your business, you need it to get results. And that requires the right approach. Here are a few good ways to make your business blogging go further.

1.     Start with a business blogging strategy.

You know you’re supposed to blog, so it can be tempting to just start getting blog posts up to check that box. But if you want your business blog to help you accomplish anything substantial, you need a business blogging strategy.

This should involve a few main steps:

  • Define your goals.

You’re investing time and money into your business blog because you want it to do something tangible for your business. In order to build your strategy around the things you want to accomplish, you need to clarify what your goals are. Write your goals down and, as much as possible, figure out specific metrics you can track to measure your progress. Measuring a goal like “establishing thought leadership” will be trickier than something like “increasing traffic,” but do your best.

And make sure you stay realistic here. If your goal is a number one ranking for every target keyword, or publishing a blog post every day with a team of two people—you’re setting up yourself up for failure. Keep your goals within reason.

  • Do audience research.

Your blog isn’t for you. And while it is for your business—in the sense that it’s meant to help you forward your business goals—you’re better off thinking about it as something you do for your audience first and foremost. To deliver content that your audience will value and appreciate, you need to take some time to understand who they are.

Audience research can involve a mix of data analysis—both of demographic data and marketing analytics—as well as getting more direct input from your audience using surveys or interviews.

  • Do keyword research.

Keyword research is valuable on a number of levels.. It helps you get a read on the topics your audience is talking about and the language they use. It can be a fruitful source for coming up with topics to cover on your blog. And it’s an important part of any SEO strategy, so you know what keywords to optimize each piece of content for.

You’re not starting from scratch here. If you already have a blog, analyze your most successful posts to gain a better understanding of what works well for you now. Even if you’re just starting a new blog, you can look to examples of successful blogs in your topic area to see what your audience responds well to. By taking the time to research successful business blogging examples, you’ll take some of the guesswork out of building your strategy.

2.     Keep SEO top of mind.

One of the best things about business blogging is the bump it can give to your SEO rankings. It gives you more opportunities to cover relevant keywords and topic areas, so you show up for more searches. If you provide valuable information in your posts, it gives other websites more reasons to link back to you. And some of the on-site ranking factors Google values, like time spent on site, are helped by having blogs that keep people around.

Just by having a business blog, you’re vastly improving your SEO chances. But you can help your blog posts do better in the search engines by taking a few extra steps to give your blog posts an extra SEO edge:

  • Do SERP research.

Before every blog you write or assign, take a minute to do a Google search for the keyword you’re hoping to rank for. See what type of content has made the first page for this topic. Seeing the current results offers insights into what works for that term in the search engines. Are the top results short and to the point, or are they long and comprehensive? And most importantly, what opportunities can you see to improve upon the information provided in those top posts?

  • Consider featured snippets.

A natural consequence to doing SERP research is starting to see when and how Google uses featured snippets in the results. When the search includes an answer box, write your blog post in a way that optimizes your chances for taking that answer box. The best way to do that will depend on the type of featured snippet that shows up in the search: a list snippet, a chart, or a brief text answer. Pay attention to the type of rich results on the SERP for your target term so you can create content more likely to win position zero.

business blogging answer box example

  • Strategically use headings.

Dividing your blog posts into sections with headings is good for both readability and SEO. It makes it easier for your visitors to skim to find the information they need, and it gives you more chances to signal to Google what your content is about. Use your target keywords in your headings where it’s relevant to do so (but don’t overdo it—it still has to be useful for your human readers).

Customize all relevant fields.

This is a simple step that can make a big difference in SEO. Make sure you customize your page URL, title tag, meta description, and alt image text to include your target keyword for a blog post. It’s a small but important way to emphasize what your post is about in a way the search algorithms recognize. If you use WordPress, any good SEO plugin you download will make this easy to do.

3.     Use your blog to answer common questions.

One of the best sources for coming up with blog topics your audience will find useful is going straight to the source. What are the questions your your customers and prospects most often come to you with? Review old emails and talk to your sales and customer service representatives to work up a list of the most frequent questions you get.

When you write blog posts that answer common questions, you accomplish two things at once. First, you write content that you know, without a doubt, your customers are interested in. And second, you make the lives of your sales and customer support teams easier, since they’ll now have handy resources they can share each time they get those questions in the future.

Your blog becomes a sales enablement and customer service tool, as well as a marketing one.

4.     Commit time to quality.

I know. This one is hard. You’re busy. Your team is probably already overwhelmed. And blogging brings the pressure of publishing a lot of content. A higher frequency of posts tends to mean better results in terms of traffic and lead gen. But rushing your content means you risk publishing stuff that’s not very good. And none of the benefits of business blogging come into play if your content sucks.

Make sure you’re willing to commit the time and resources needed to make every blog post worth it. And if you’re not sure your current team is up for the task, hire a good freelance blog writer to help pick up the slack.

5.     Create a plan for promotion.

Publishing an amazing blog post isn’t good enough. The internet is simply too saturated for your audience to find you on their own. You need to do everything you can to get your awesome blog posts in front of them.

As part of your blog strategy, create a plan for promoting your blog posts. This can include:

  • Sharing the links on social media.
  • Nurturing relationships on social media (so your feeds aren’t just promotional).
  • Writing guest posts on relevant blogs that link back to your best posts.
  • Collaborating with influencers on your blog posts, so they’re more likely to share them with their networks.
  • Paid distribution methods, such as search and social ads.

Investing in content promotion is as important as investing in high-quality content creation. If you want your business blogging to go further, you can’t skip this step,

6.     Regularly review your analytics.

The first step to doing better is understanding how you’re doing now. With business blogging, that means making it a habit to check your website analytics regularly to gauge the success of your blog posts. Google Analytics provides extensive data on how many people are viewing your blog posts, how people are finding them, and what they do once they’re on the page.

When you combine Google Analytics with the data from other sources, like your email marketing software and customer data, you can also track the role your blog posts play in driving visitors to the actions you want them to take, like signing up for your email list or making a purchase.

Use that data to regularly analyze the success of your blog posts and determine which types of blogging tactics and styles are helping you achieve your primary goals. The more you know what works, the more you can shape your blog strategy to get the results you seek.

7.     Perform content audits (at least) annually.

Businesses often get swept up in the flurry of work required to consistently create new content for a blog, but it’s just as important to take a step back and look for ways to get more out of the content you already have. At least once a year, perform a content audit to find opportunities to make your old blog posts better.

You’ll find blog posts that can be updated or strengthened, internal linking opportunities that can drive more visits to other posts, and spot any errors or broken links that need to be fixed. Content audits can help you get more traction from old posts, spur ideas for new posts you can create, and help you ensure every piece on your blog represents your brand at the level you want it to.

8.     Make a habit out of updating and repurposing.

The longer you have a blog, the more content you’ll have that falls out of date or becomes forgotten. The work you did on a great blog post five years ago will cease to matter if you stop there. Instead, make sure you revisit your old content regularly to find ways to update it and make it better.

In addition, you can make the work you did in the past go further by repurposing your most successful blog posts into new formats. Your top blog post could become a highly valuable video series or webinar. You already know your audience values the information you provided, so give them more ways to interact with it in the format of their choice.

Build a Better Business Blog

Your business blog is only valuable if your audience finds it, reads it, and comes to care about your brand because of it. Without the right strategy and approach, your blog posts will just be one more thing crowding the web without purpose.

If you struggle to consistently create business blog posts that your audience cares about, a good freelance blogger can help. Get in touch to see if we’re a fit.

5 Data-Backed Steps to Better Content Marketing Results

No matter how long you’ve been doing content marketing, you’ve got more to learn. We all do. And not just because there’s always room for growth, but also because the industry keeps changing.

Every year brings new trends, technologies, and tips. It’s hard to keep up.

But every year also brings us the original research from MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute that takes the industry’s pulse and packages it for us in a collection of useful insights.

While the full report is 44 pages, there are five main takeaways I think every business doing content marketing can benefit from.

  1. Fully commit.

Content marketing isn’t something you can dip your toe in and hope for the best. It requires a significant investment in time, money, and energy. And the research shows that commitment is key to content marketing success.

Of the businesses that said their content marketing was successful 93% say their company is at least very committed to content marketing, and 92% say there’s buy-in at the highest level of the company.

content marketing commitment

A good content marketing strategy includes devoting time to:

  • Understanding your audience
  • Developing a strong strategy
  • Creating high-quality content
  • Actively promoting your content
  • Tracking how it performs

It also involves a financial investment in talent and technology. All of it adds up. If your company’s lukewarm about the idea of doing all that and only does a little, they’re unlikely to see much of a result.

But if you do fully commit, you’ll gain more customers and build better relationships with them. 76% of successful content marketers say it helps them nurture leads. 73% say content marketing inspires more customer loyalty, and a full 96% say their audiences view them as a trusted resource.

  1. Document your content strategy.

This insight isn’t new to this year’s research. Every year, the research finds that a content strategy is one of the main keys to content marketing success. It helps you organize your efforts and make sure you’re putting your time and budget toward the content marketing tasks most likely to pay off.

content marketing data

This year’s study found a couple of notable additional benefits. 81% of respondents said that having a documented strategy aligned their team around common goals. And 81% said it makes it easy to decide the types of content to develop.

documented content strategy

With so many different channels, tactics, and content formats to consider, sitting down with your team to develop clear content strategy can help you all get on the same page and make sure your efforts all support each other. And writing it all down gives you something to refer back to throughout the year to stay on track.

  1. Talk to your customers.

Content marketers devote a lot of time and energy to trying to get inside the heads of our target audience. The only way to create content that will connect with the people we want to reach is to make sure we’re basing it on what they care about. That’s content marketing 101.

Which is why it’s a little surprising that only 42% of content marketers are taking time to actually talk to customers to understand their needs. That’s a huge missed opportunity!

content marketing data

This was also one of Margaret Magnarelli’s top tips in her talk at Content Marketing World on being an empathetic communicator. Before you can empathize with your audience, you have to listen to what they have to say.  And really listen. Don’t interrupt or try to steer the conversation. Sit with them and listen to their complaints, their pain points, their experiences, and the way they say it all.

Instead (or in addition to) investing in social listening or audience research tools, invite a few of your customers in for a conversation and spend time listening.

Then revisit your content strategy and look for ways to incorporate what you learned. Rework your personas based on the new information. And get your insights in front of everyone on your team so they can keep the audience’s actual concerns top of mind when creating content moving forward.

  1. Start using paid distribution for your content.

You may already use paid advertising channels to promote your products or services, but fewer businesses think to spend money promoting their content in the same way.

Every year, as more businesses get in the content marketing game, it gets harder to get your audience to notice your content to begin with, much less engage with it. Creating great content doesn’t accomplish much unless people actually see it.

For that, paid distribution methods have become an important part of the content marketing equation. 71% of the most successful content marketers use paid distribution methods to get their content to new audiences.

content marketing paid distribution

Paid distribution includes:

If you’re disappointed with how few people are finding the content you work so hard on, add paid distribution to your content marketing budget.

  1. Have a customer content marketing plan.

Marketers tend to think of their job as bringing in and nurturing leads. Once a lead converts into a customer, they can fall off our radar. But content marketing is a rich opportunity for strengthening the relationship you have with your current customers—which can really pay off. Increasing customer retention rates can increase profits by anywhere from 25-95%.

High-performing content marketers focus on their customers as well as leads. 73% say they use their content marketing to successfully build loyalty with their customers. But as of now, that’s only true of the best content marketing programs. Out of the full number of marketers surveyed, the total is only 54%.

That means for many people reading this, customer content marketing is currently a missed opportunity. If you develop a content marketing plan now that helps you nurture your relationships with customers, you can start to see some of the improved results that top content marketers already enjoy.

 

The data will only help you if you put it to use. Let the insights from the research guide you toward a better (documented) strategy that enables you to bridge the gap between your business and the content marketers at the top.

 

 

5 Actionable Tips from Content Marketing World Speakers to Improve Your Marketing Now

austin copywriter content marketing world

Everyone walks away from Content Marketing World inspired. Many of the talks provide fascinating insights and share good ideas. But in my opinion, the real holy grail of a good conference talk is a specific, actionable step I walk out of the room knowing I can take when I get home.

This year I was lucky to sit in on a few sessions that provided such gems. Here are a few great actionable tips that are now on my to do list and you might want to put on yours as well.

  1. Write down your goals (and read them every day).

The first keynote talk of the conference came from Joe Pulizzi, the Founder of the Content Marketing Institute, and it covered a subject he’s written about before and clearly believes strongly about: writing down your goals.

He provided examples from his own life of how meaningful it is to set clear goals and remind yourself every day what they are so you hold yourself to them. He recommended the goals you write down be ambitious, tied to specific dates, and serve others in some way as well as yourself.

And he named five categories that he urged attendees to write goals for:

  • Career/wealth
  • Family
  • Spiritual
  • Mental
  • Giving

I’m still working out exactly what my goals in each category will be, but I plan to put them at the top of the to-do list document I consult each day so I have a solid reminder of where I want to be and keep working to get there.

  1. Create (and use) your mission statement.

Does your company have a content mission statement? It should. If that sounds intimidating though, don’t worry. Andy Crestodina makes it easy with a simple template:

Our company is where [audience X] finds [content Y] for [benefit Z].

content marketing mission statement

Plug in the relevant info for your company and you’ve got a line you can do a lot with. Andy recommends sharing it far and wide. Make it the tagline for your blog or even your whole website. Put it next to your email signup form. Add it to your social media profile. Tack it onto your email signature.

Your mission statement tells people why they should care about your brand’s content. It’s a good, concise way to pitch everyone that encounters your brand on why they should follow you.

  1. Create a spreadsheet of microcontent.

Lee Odden gave a talk on influencer marketing which included this useful tip. Every interview you do with an influencer is full of quotes and insights. Why just use a quote from it once and be done? Instead, he suggested organizing all the valuable nuggets you get from your interactions with influencers over time into a spreadsheet.

In the spreadsheet, fill in each influencer’s details (name, company, position, link) so it’s easier to access those when you quote them. Categorize the different quotes based on what they’re about so you can more easily identify relevant ones to use as you create new content. And even if you don’t find the right quote for the new content you’re creating, your spreadsheet can help you quickly identify a good influencer to get in touch with to provide one.

This is useful for making your influencer marketing go further, but you can employ the same tactic for other types of microcontent as well. Add all the valuable statistics you find you may want to reference again to your spreadsheet (this is something I could definitely use). Pull in good examples of the types of tactics you write about and good social media status updates you may want to embed in future content. By having all this information well organized in one place, you can make your future content creation efforts more efficient while still always adding value.

  1. Use details to immerse readers in your content. Content Marketing World - Michelle Lazette

Michelle Park Lazette’s talk on writing more like a journalist included a number of good suggestions to bring better storytelling to your content writing process. A few of them related to this idea that getting detailed and specific in how you describe what you’re talking about can bring it more to life for your readers.

She suggested paying attention to the sensory details of any situation you’re in – adding in a mention of smells, weather conditions, colors, or the looks on people’s faces makes the reader feel more like they’re there.

She also recommended, as often as possible, replacing adjectives with numbers. Saying a company has been doing business for a long time means less than saying they’ve been at it for 37 years. Getting specific adds believability to what you’re saying and makes it more real for the reader.

  1. Do a validation audit of your content.Content Marketing World - Margaret Magnerelli

Margaret Magnarelli spoke on a topic I care a lot about in life as well as content: empathy. She shared the three phases that all empathic communication, professional and personal alike, must have:

  • Listen – Before you can do anything else, you have to actually hear what your friend or customer is saying. Listen to their complaints and pain points without inserting yourself into the story or trying to jump too quickly to solving the problem.
  • Validate – This is the step people most often leave off. After you’ve heard the person out, let them know you’ve listened and understood what they’re saying by repeating back to them what they’ve said. This shows them you were paying attention and get it. It’s an important step to them feeling like the communication is successful.
  • Suggest solutions – Only after the first two steps is it time to provide suggestions for ways to solve their problem.

You may already do a good job of addressing the problem and solution in your content, but there’s a good chance you’re skipping the validation step. Margaret recommends doing a validation audit of your content.

Go back through everything you’ve written to look for pieces missing the validation step and add it in. Doing this exercise will also help you get better at recognizing where and how to include validation in future content pieces moving forward.

 

My brain is spinning with all the ideas from the conference I need to now organize and put to use. Whether you made it to Cleveland last week or not, hopefully these actionable tips can help you create a plan to get something specific and useful out of Content Marketing World this year.