For my 15 month-old cat, Bella, summertime means lounging out on the patio (in a chair, of course!), begging for burgers fresh off the grill, and wondering if the beach is really just a giant litter box.
Unfortunately for Bella, summertime also means it’s time to head to the vet for a checkup and some shots. For Bella, yesterday was V-Day — “Vet Day.”
If you’re a cat owner, you’ll love the lessons I learned on our trip to the vet. But if you’re a business owner who’s trying to come up with the right content marketing strategy for your website, you can’t afford to ignore them!
1. Strategy is Everything
The only thing Bella hates more than going to the vet is being shoved into her cat carrier. Whenever she spots her carrier, she turns into a ninja — defying gravity, running in four different directions at once, and turning the space underneath my bed into her own personal ninja fortress.
But yesterday, things were different. That’s because I had a fool-proof strategy.
By closing the doors to all the bedrooms, Bella was confined to the living room. Ten minutes later, she was in her carrier.
Your web content needs a similar plan of attack.
For example, it does you no good to write and write, without knowing where you’re actually going to publish your content. You’ve got to find some authoritative websites, newsletters, and guest posting opportunities first. It also does you no good to start churning out blog posts if you’re not sure exactly what message you want your blog to send. Before you do anything else, you’ve got to give careful thought to what kind of brand you’re building with your blog.
You can always modify your strategy later (like my brilliant on-the-spot decision to wrap Bella in a beach towel in order to get her safely into her carrier). But by having a strategy in place before you sit down to a blank computer screen, you can rest easy knowing that your future web content will never end up under the bed hissing at you.
2. Sometimes, You’ve Got to be Forceful
A 12-pound cat who sticks all four of her feet straight out isn’t exactly easy to wedge into a carrier. So, I had to peel Bella’s feet off the edges of the carrier, wrap her in that aforementioned beach towel, and gently force her inside.
Sometimes, your web content is going to require similar force — like when you write an opinionated blog post that you know some people are going to disagree with, or when your latest article bucks conventional wisdom in favor of something totally different. But as long as you’ve got solid research and dynamite writing skills to back everything up, exerting that force becomes much easier.
3. You’re Going to Have Distractions Along the Way
Because Bella hates the car only slightly less than she hates her cat carrier, she decided to meow constantly for all 18 minutes it took us to get to the vet. And, yes, driving down the road with a screaming cat in the backseat is just as distracting as you’re imagining!
You know what, though? It’s no different from the distractions that you and your content strategy will face along the way!
You’ll constantly have people telling you how to cut corners, how to change everything based on Google’s latest tweak, or how content isn’t nearly as important as the newest link/social media/bookmarking/SEO strategy that everyone’s fawning over.
Your best bet is to avoid those “meows” and focus on the task at hand — publishing quality content that answers questions and solves problems in an easy-to-understand, interesting way. Every time you fall victim to distractions, your customers — and your bottom line — suffer!
4. You Get What You Pay For
Once we arrived at the vet’s office, Dr. Perry kindly informed me that the brand-name dry food that I feed Bella every morning is the nutritional equivalent of feeding her a bag of potato chips for breakfast.
As a result, she suggested a few healthier options that are made with much better ingredients. Even though those bags of food cost considerably more, it’s well worth it to have a healthier cat.
It’s the same way with your web content!
A $2 content writer is going to give you content that looks like it cost $2. It’s the potato chip breakfast of the content world! If you want the “healthy” and “nutritious” web content, you’re going to have to pay more for it.
5. Customers are Looking for an Expert
Yesterday was Bella’s first trip to Dr. Perry’s office, so I made sure to look around at the diplomas and awards on her wall and to ask her plenty of questions. It didn’t take long for me to realize that Bella was in very capable hands.
Your target audience is doing the same thing!
Before they spend a dime on your products and services, they’re going to want to know what kind of knowledge you bring to the table. They’re going to want to know what makes you different from your millions of competitors. The only way to tell them is through kick-butt web content!
6. The Ends Justify the Means
By taking Bella to the vet, I made sure that my best friend is as healthy as she can be. That way, we’ll get to live happily together for as long as possible. There may have been some meowing and hissing along the way, but at the end of the day, I know I did the right thing for her.
The same holds true for your content strategy!
If you want your online business to be as healthy as it can be, you’re going to have to put time and effort into creating the perfect strategy. Otherwise, you’ll never get to live as happily as you should!
Nicole Beckett is happy to let Bella take a nap on her desk whenever she’s working on content for her clients! If you’d like to hand over your content writing responsibilities to Nicole and Bella, check out Premier Content Source. Nicole Beckett Google+