There’s been a lot of talk about empire building lately.
Conquer this . . . . Rule that . . .
It’s enough to make me wonder what color cape I should wear.
Seriously, I deeply admire the passion of the digital crusaders and wish them well in their online quests. Still, I can’t help but notice that most of their castles are built in the air rather than being fashioned with rock-solid materials arranged to endure the tests of time and the winds of change.
Unfortunately, that’s how it is for a lot of us.
Convinced we’re doing things right, we keep our noses to the grindstone, posting and promoting, then posting and promoting some more until at long last our number of followers swells to empire-like proportions.
But do we ever stop to think just exactly where we’re taking all of these followers? Have we prepared a place for them to live happily every after, or will they soon grow bored and restless, eventually rising up in a bitter revolt, drawing their swords and . . .
Ouch! Let’s not go there . . .
Instead, let’s talk about how we can create a custom content strategy to design blogs that will delight readers while fulfilling empire-sized dreams.
First, a definition: A custom content strategy is a structured plan that ensures each written post, video, podcast, free report, ebook, etc., plays a role in creating a desired long-term outcome.
Here’s how it works:
When you start your blog, you have an end-result in mind. Maybe your goal is to promote your offline business, attract consulting clients, publish a book, or teach courses. Or, maybe you want to use your blog as the main hub for an affiliate marketing business or a place to promote your own digital products or membership site. With a custom content strategy, everything you write and promote strategically links together to bring you closer to your goal, one step at at time.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say your goal for your blog is to have it become the authority, “go-to” site in your niche, ultimately allowing you to command a high price for your own ebooks and courses. In this case, a custom content strategy might include creating twice weekly “authority content pieces, such as “how-to” articles or video tutorials. Post-by-post, you’d slowly build a large body of quality work, organizing your content for maximum effectiveness, like those empire builders at Copyblogger do with their cornerstone content. As your content amasses, other bloggers routinely link to your articles, boosting your search engine rankings, and bringing more readers your way. Because of the volume of helpful content on your site, visitors linger, delving deep into your archives, sharing and bookmarking older posts. Because of your reputation for quality over time, your ebooks and courses are eagerly anticipated by readers and successfully promoted by an army of affiliates.
Now that’s what a real empire looks like.
Here’s how to create it:
Step into the future. Using your long-term goals or business plan as a guide, get a clear vision of yourself living your future dreams. Are you speaking or teaching? Selling products? Writing books? Consulting? Now, how does your future blog support you in this? Does it have a vast library of content? What sorts of products are you promoting on the blog? Can you see the titles of your ebooks or your membership site? Spend some time in this future vision until you have a crystal clear image of your own activities and the role your blog has played and continues to play.
Break it down. Keeping your vision in mind, consider the amount and type of content you need to build that future blog. For example, if you want a large library of helpful content, what categories make up that library? What types of posts will be as timely for tomorrow’s readers as today’s? What sort of tone and style will play
well with future clients and customers? What content can you create now to make writing future ebooks and courses easier?
Plot it out. When you’ve determined the type and amount of content you’ll need to make that future vision a physical reality, it’s time to plot out the details. Break things down even further by imagining the individual pieces of content that will be layered to create your vision. When you’re ready, record your plan in an editorial calendar. Consider which forms of content (written, video, etc.) and which styles of posts will bring the best long-term results. As you plan and record, think of all types of content you’ll create, such as guest posts on other blogs, newsletters, ebooks, and interviews so that everything works together over time. More than likely you’ll only work things out a month or two in advance, and that’s fine, as this will allow you to re-examine and alter your strategy as you get closer to your goal.
Customize your content. As you create individual pieces of content, follow your custom content strategy as a whole, but do stay open to inspirational sparks and creative flashes, and change things out if it makes sense. Just stay mindful of the quality and tone and the overall impact on your future vision.
Promote with passion. Zealous promotion is essential to the success of a customized content strategy. When you create a piece of work, be mindful of the best promotional methods and places for that content. Now is not the time to shrink back but rather to boldly point readers towards your valuable content while
conducting yourself in a manner fitting of your future stature.
The bad news in all this is that building a lasting empire with a custom content strategy isn’t an overnight process. It takes serious thought, creative effort, and patience.
The good news is, you can still wear a cape
Your turn: When you picture your blog of the future, what do you see? Do you have a plan to create it or maybe a plan to make a plan???
Related Posts: Empire Building 101: The Power of Pillar Content
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