One of the single best strategies, that you can use to build your brand consistently and easily, is by creating killer content that your audience will love.
Not only will this process help you to take people who already know and like your brand and turn them into fans oh, it also allows us to magnetically attract new fans, who may have never heard of us, by appearing in Google and other search engine results and offering them the answers to their questions.
You probably heard by now at least 10 different people say that ” content is King” and while that is a wonderful sentiment, it's not exactly helpful if you’re not already in the “content creation” game.
In this article, we are going to be laying out the simple 5-step process that anyone can use to generate content that your audience will love and Rave about, even if you have never created a piece of content before.
- Step #1 Ideation
- Step #2: Pre-Creation:
- Step #3: Creation
- Step #4: Publish
- Step #5: Promotion
Step #1 Ideation
Before we dive fully into the process of actually creating content, we need to understand what the goal of any single piece of content should be.
What IS The Purpose?
Every single piece of content that you create, should be designed to be the best resource for anyone seeking to answer the question that they are typing into Google.
Now I know what you're thinking, not everything people type into Google is a question, but in reality because they're looking for an answer, it is a question even if it's not raised that way.
Since each piece we create should be designed to be the best piece possible and answer the question our searchers are asking ( what Google calls Searcher intent), we need to set the foundation by examining the other pieces of content.
By understanding the ins and outs of the actual question our searches are asking for and seeing how other websites have responded to that same question, we're easily able to create the best resource possible.
To do this, we're going to utilize three different resources.
This is a tool that I absolutely love, not just for coming up with the ideas to begin with, but for really understanding and starting to flesh out exactly what should be contained within our piece of content.
The first step to using ubersuggest to help you create the best piece of content possible, is to Simply type in the idea that you have into their search bar.
Then, the first place I would look is the keyword ideas section.
This section will give you a good understanding of other things that may be related to the specific question you are trying to address. This can help us start the process of organizing and understanding exactly what people are looking for and how they are refining their searches to get to the actual answer that they want.
As you can see from the photo above, ubersuggest gives us a variety of different topics and themes that were able to pick out from the results. In this case we are able to see that people are not just looking for bass fishing at night, but they're also looking at the times of year ( which may mean we want to include that in the article), as well as the different types of gear.
Grab your pen and paper and jot down some of the themes that you see in the searches that Ubersuggest returns to you, we will be using the two other tools to validate and expand on these ideas.
Once you have identified a few different themes related to the piece of content you wish to create, it's time to take a look at our second tool.
Answer the Public:
The second tool that you should be using in the content ideation process is called “answer the public”.
If you've never used it before, you will notice that it is able to pull in all of the Google auto suggest results 4 the topic that you are creating a piece of content about. This gives us a really good idea of the different ways that people are refining the search or adding to the search in order to get the best answers to their questions.
If we can find a few of these things to include and they fit the themes that we identified earlier, it means that we have a much higher chance of ranking and we're creating a better resource because we're able to answer the next question that our Searchers may have before they even know they need to ask it.
As we can see in the screenshot above, we're seeing many of the same themes. In addition to time of year, we were able to see time of night, meaning what is the best hour to go fishing, As well as several different themes related to tips or techniques.
That tells us any piece of content we create about ” bass fishing at night” should contain a few different sections, including time of day, time of year tips and equipment, Etc.
After we have verified our themes, and potentially added a few more, it's time to move on to Tool number 3.
I know it may seem silly to call going to your favorite search engine a tool, but in this case we're not using it actually find the answer to the question we are going to be writing about, rather we are using it to validate the different themes that we have already found related to our topic and see how our competition are addressing them.
There are a few key areas you're going to want to look for inside of the Google search results to accomplish these two goals.
People Also Ask
The first section to look for, is the ”people also ask” section of the search results page.
Google will literally display searches that people have asked related to the main topic that you type into Google and will even provide you with a few short answers related to those questions.
Remember, the reason we're going through this process before we create our piece of content, is that we want to create the best piece of content possible.
Doing this, means answering all the questions that Searchers may have, even if it's not the exact thing that you were originally creating the piece of content about
If these questions make sense, as something related to the original topic and it's a question a reasonable person may ask either during or after consuming your piece of content we want to make sure to include them.
The second section you're going to want to look for on the search engine results page, is the “related searches” section.
While this is similar to the people also ask section, Google does a great job here of showing you things people may type in as their next search or as a way of further clarifying the search that they have done.
Just like with “people also ask”, we're going to use this section to validate that we've already written down the different categories of things that we may want to include in our piece of content.
The last thing that we're going to be looking for in the Google results, is to see how our competition is talking about the topic.
It's more than worth taking the time to listen to a few different videos that your competitors created or read a few articles, to get a better understanding of exactly how they are approaching this topic.
While we don't want to copy what they're doing exactly, this gives us a good idea of if the sections we have laid out cover the entire topic or if there's something obvious that we are missing.
It can be very tempting to skip this step and just go with the themes that you have written down, but taking the time to look at the content that is already ranking is the real Secret Sauce to giving you the edge up when you go to create your own piece of content.
Step #2: Pre-Creation:
Now that we have an understanding of all of the different topics or themes that we should include in the piece of content that we're creating, it's time to move out of the ideation phase and into the pre-creation phase.
In this phase we're going to reorganize our content into an outline structure to make sure that we are answering the five to six questions that every good piece of content should answer and to give ourselves a better overall picture of what our piece of content will look like.
The 5 and ½ Questions:
I want you to remember back to your elementary school or maybe a middle school English class, where your teacher talked to you about the six questions you needed to include in everything that you wrote to make it as complete as possible.
We're going to compare the themes and categories that we found for our piece of content to these six questions to make sure that we are answering them all in the piece of content that we're creating.
The first question we need to answer is ” who”.
Generally speaking, answering this question is going to come in the form of who this piece of content is for.
We may not be answering this question directly, but our content should include an answer.
If we are writing an in-depth article about all of the ins and outs of something very specific related to our niche, we need to make it obvious that this particular piece of content is designed for more advanced people.
If it's something that someone who has spent a lot of time in your Niche should already know, we should make it obvious that this content is best suited for beginners.
The next question we need to answer is “what”, meaning what is this article/video about.
This question should be answered in the first paragraph ( often referred to as the lede), as well as the title of the content, so it is very obvious at a glance what this piece of content he's going to cover.
If you look at the top of this article, we told you exactly what you were going to get which is the five-step process for Content creation.
Next we need to answer “ when”.
This, like in the case of our example related to bass fishing, may come in the form of when the person consuming your content should execute on activity, such as bass fishing at night.
You may also answer the “ when question” throughout your piece of content by talking about where in the timeline of expertise ( meaning for beginners or for advanced people) this falls.
To answer the “where question” we will either be covering where someone can do an activity ( like fishing on a lake) or where in the timeline of expertise something Falls.
Generally speaking, this is going to be the easiest question to answer.
What you're looking for here is a reason why people in your audience should care about this piece of content.
This will often take the form of “why you should try x” in the content you’re creating.
Not every piece of content is going to answer the question of “How”.
Obviously “ how to” content is centered around this idea, but in many articles we may want to add a comment component to make the article better than what our competition has.
If we return to the bass fishing example for a moment, I could create an excellent piece of content by just covering the other questions.
However, I want to make the best piece of content available to my audience. I don't want them to have to go to another article or video to understand how to actually do the activity we're talking about in the article.
So I'm going to include a section about how to bass fish at night.
It doesn't mean that we need to cover every in and out of how to do the activity in this section, and we may even create a different piece of content specifically outlining the how, but if we see that it's something that can improve our piece of content… it's worth at least creating a small section for.
At this point we should have the ability to double-check that we're answering all of the questions that a great piece of content needs to answer, as well as, being able to create a full outline of our content.
We don't have to get into excruciating detail with the online but we should see all of the categories and themes that we were able to identify in a format that makes sense.
Each main theme should be an initial bullet point and if there are any things that we need to cover inside of each of those things, they should be a sub bullet.
Based on the research for the article on night time bass fishing, our outline for that piece of content may look something like this.
- Why You Should Try Night Time Bass Fishing
- The Differences Between Daytime and Nighttime Bass Fishing
- Fish Activity
- The Best Equipment for Bass Fishing at Night
- Clothing and Personal Gear
- How To Bass Fish At Night: Step – By – Step
While it may be tempting to skip the outline creation process, just like each of your English teachers told you it's extremely critical when we get into the actual content creation process.
Take the extra 5 minutes now to create your outline and you'll save yourself a ton of time later on.
Step #3: Creation
Now, we're entering the part of the content creation process that seems to be the biggest hurdle for most people. Actually writing our content we're shooting our video.
If we've done our research and outline properly, this can actually become the easiest part of the entire process.
In this particular case we're going to explore three different ways that we can turn that outline and idea into an outstanding piece of content.
The first, and likely most obvious, content creation method that we're going to take a look at is what we called do-it-yourself or DIY creation.
Obviously, you don't need instructions on how to write or shoot a video in this article, so I'm not going to tell you how to create the content for yourself, rather we're going to explore some of the pros and cons of each of these methods starting with d i y.
The biggest upside to creating content yourself, is that you have absolute control over the end result of your content. If you want to spend hours creating a single piece of content you can do that, or if you want to rush to get something done and come back and fix it or make it perfect later you can do that as well.
Another reason you may want to consider creating content yourself is that it makes the rest of the process faster. We don't have to wait on anybody else if we're shooting a video or we are reading the article we have 100% control over the timeline of content creation.
It's also beneficial because it helps you keep a consistent voice in all your content, this is something We will cover a little bit later in the Outsource or hybrid content creation sections, but it is something to keep in mind.
Lastly and perhaps most obviously creating content yourself doesn't cost anything other than time.
Quite honestly, creating content yourself doesn't have many downsides. The biggest issues that people tend to have is simply not being confident in their ability to write or to talk in a video.
The happy truth is, every single person feels this way when they first start creating content, you just need a little bit of confidence.
The Catch-22 here is we have to start creating content to gain that confidence.
This is why I'm such a fan of using the pre-creation process to create an outline as laid out above. that means no more staring at a blinking cursor on a blank screen when you go to write your content and no more worrying about exactly what to say if you're going to shoot a video.
The outline will serve as your guide.
The second method for getting your content created, is by using outsourcers. There are a variety of different websites and platforms that will allow you to find your perfect writer or videographer, personally we are partial to freeup.com.
The best part about using someone else to create your content, via Outsourcing, is that it takes very little of your time and it's essentially infinitely scalable.
Meaning, if you're not a writer or someone that feels confident in front of video you can spend your time on areas of the business where you may excel even more. Additionally as we start to grow and scale our website, we're going to want to be creating multiple pieces a continent a Time.
This is extremely easy to use Outsourcing, because even if your main writer becomes fully booked with the content that you're creating, you can always find another person to pick up the slack.
If you're creating all the content yourself, this can lead to a roadblock if you have other things that are taking up a lot of your time.
Obviously, unlike creating content yourself, Outsourced creation does cost money.
We typically pay somewhere between 30 and $60 for a great article, but that can vary depending on how specific the knowledge is for your industry and the arrangement you develop with your favorite writer.
Additionally, because we're not physically creating a Content we do have a little less control over the quality ( even if we can send the peace of God sent back to them to make a few different edits we're changes) and it can take a few tries to find the right fit in terms of the person that you are working with.
The third and final method we're going to be covering is what we refer to as the hybrid method. Just like it sounds, the hybrid method allows you to create the pieces of content that you want to create and allows you to Outsource the pieces of content that you don't or can't create.
Just like with Outsourcing all of your content creation, the biggest benefit to the hybrid model is that it's extremely scalable and is not relying on you as a single point of failure.
Additionally because we're not Outsourcing all of the content creation it is substantially less expensive than going surely with the outsourced model.
The hybrid model isn't all glitter and gold and there are two things we need to be aware of as possible downside to this model.
The first, is it’s more time-consuming than the pure Outsourcing model. Because we're creating some of this content ourselves, it's obviously going to take us slightly more time then the pure Outsourcing model.
The second downside follows from the first, In that because not every piece of content is being created by the same person or group of people, we can run into some potential issues with what is referred to as “ voice”.
the voice of our piece of content, is the way that it reads and the types or kinds of words that are used inside of that piece of contact. You may have noticed, if you read Scott’s emails, that he doesn't use a ton of big words.
if all of the sudden you received an email from Scott and it was full of 10 syllable words, something would feel off to you.
That would be a voice issue.
While this can be resolved in the editing process, it is something important to keep in mind as we explore the three different models.
At this point, we need to weigh the pros and cons of each of these content creation methods and choose the one we would like to use to start having our content created.
Step #4: Publish
Now that we have talked about the actual creation of content, it's time to move on to the final two steps that Help us achieve the results that we're looking for.
Obviously, we need to actually publish our content before people can see it. In order to do that in the best way possible, there are three different things that we are going to need before we hit the publish button.
Obviously the first thing that we need before we start publishing is the finalized article. One thing I would suggest that you keep in mind is that this article does not have to be perfect.
We are always going to look for the article to be done and close enough, rather than perfect.
Using the first three steps in the process can go a long way to helping us make sure that you know the article isn't exactly right, that we are at least covering all of the things that would lead someone to think this is the best piece of content available.
Next, we're going to want to check for obvious errors. We don't need to make sure that we catch every single typo or misplaced semicolon, but we do want to make sure that the article is at least readable.
My go to tool for this is called grammarly. For just a few dollars a month, you can have it instantly check the grammar of each piece of content that you are creating, as well as, having it run a plagiarism check on any piece of content that you have not created yourself.
While you don't have to use this tool, it works significantly better than the built-in grammar Tools in Microsoft, Word Google Docs, etcetera and is definitely worth adding to Your Arsenal.
The second thing you're going to need before you actually publish your piece of content or I'm supporting images or videos.
While having specific and original images is the best way of going about this, it's perfectly acceptable to use stock photos ( as long as you have the right) to help create the look and feel that you're looking for with the piece of content.
My favorite site to find stock photos or videos that don't look like a traditional stock photo and give you the right to use the images, is a website called pexels.com.
They have a ton of images and videos on just about every topic and if you can't find what you're looking for, they will search other stocks photography databases to find the correct image or video.
There's no Golden Rule for the number of images or videos that you should add to your piece of content, but you're going to want to insert one every few paragraphs to break up the monotony of text.
You'll see in this article, that we're using screenshots and other things like that in the place of stock photography, because it makes much more sense and is able to more easily illustrate the point that we are trying to get across than a stock photo could.
The last thing that you're going to need before you can polish your next piece of content is just a little bit of patience.
The first few times that you publish a piece of content it can be extremely frustrating to click all of the right buttons in the right order and can be time-consuming.
Fear not, after the first few times this process will speed up tremendously and you will find a few shortcuts of your own to make this process absolutely painless.
Step #5: Promotion
The final step in creating content that will drive consistent and free traffic is going to be the actual promotion of that content.
While promoting our content is not a guarantee that our content will be successful, it helps us to set the correct foundation for each piece of content that we create.
The first thing we're going to need as we enter the promotion stage of concentration, are a few different images to help promote the post on social media.
If you're not a graphic designer that's okay, I'm not either, we love a website called canva.com.
Even the free version of this site allows anyone of any skill level to design beautiful images based on the individual template that they have for each and every social media site that you care about.
Here at Brand creators, our focus is generally on Evergreen traffic.
That means, that we generally ignore sites like twitter and instagram, In favor of sites like Facebook and Pinterest where the content can be found via Google search, both now and in the future.
That being said, if your Market or Niche is very active on Twitter or Instagram or even Myspace you're going to want to take a look at creating content for those sites.
Evergreen content is the goal, but if our Market isn't active on the sites that allow that, we want to be where our audiences are.
Driving Your Own Traffic:
The second thing that you're going to need during the promotion phase of the content creation process is the ability to drive your own traffic.
While this isn't absolutely necessary, in order for your content to be successful, you're going to want this ability.
Having your own source of traffic, allows you to “seed” the content with visits from people we KNOW will be interested in reading it, which in turn helps google understand (just a little bit faster) who the content is ideal for AND whether they like it not.
The method we typically use is a combination of posts on our social networks, as well as, an email broadcast to our lists.
If you don’t have an email list, set aside a few hours and start building one! Not only are they one of if not THE most effective form of marketing (email lists average around a 38:1 ROI according to Hubspot), but they can be an easy way to measure if your content is being created in a way that resonates with your audience.
I’m not going to cover the ins and outs of email list building (and all the reasons why you should have one) in this article, but if you want to learn more, you can learn the entire process here.
The Secret Ingredient:
The final (and perhaps most important) part of this process, is understanding the secret ingredient…….TIME.
It honestly does not matter how good of a piece of content you create, if you don't give it time. Generally speaking it will take five to six months for your piece of content to rank at its peak ( the highest position it will likely show up in search engine results).
As you can see in the images below, you can see consistent growth on our case study website after about 5 to 6 months of us creating content.
At this point we need to take 3 quick actions in order to implement what you have learned in this article.
The First is, if you have not done it already is to choose your niche. I know that this sounds self-explanatory but you would be surprised at the number of people that asked us how to create great content in their space, even though they have not chosen a niche.
Second, we need to do the research. It can be extremely tempting to skip steps 1 and 2 of the contact process, because they seem inconvenient.
In reality, they're actually exactly the opposite. While it seems they slow down the content creation process slightly, they actually save a significant amount of time when it comes to making sure that you've created the best piece of content and any actual content creation process.
After all, there's nothing worse than staring at a blank screen when you're getting ready to create a piece of content.
The last step that I need you to take is to actually create one piece of content.
While I think you should implement this framework for any piece of content that you create, it's important to just get started and once you have that first piece of content under your belt, you will quickly notice yourself becoming a Content creation machine.