Funny you should ask, because there is! And these days, for businesses, both small and large, content creation is central to help improve online brand awareness. More importantly though, putting a process in place to plan, create and manage content is crucial, especially for the small business owner who doesn’t have time to waste staring at a blank screen and waiting for inspiration to rain down!
This article will, hopefully, help you, the small solopreneur, to implement a content creation process into your business
Would you believe, that as with pretty much everything, content creation all starts with a plan? And this planning stage has 5 steps:
1. Market Research
All planning stages start with research. As a business owner, you already know your target audience, so you know their pain points and what they are looking to solve. From this, you can brainstorm a list of topics to talk about.
Top Tip 1 – find a few of your competitors, you’ve probably already got a list of these, and go onto their website and social pages. Have a look at what they write and tweet about, what topics they cover, the hashtags they use and how they address their audience.
Top Tip 2 – Use Google Trends. This is a free tool which will show the popularity of certain topics, phrases or even words on Google in real time.
As you can see, a worldwide search for the term ‘Solopreneur’ revealed the following:
Scroll further down the page, and Google shows you related topics and queries:
You can then scurry down a rabbit hole to deep dive into the popularity of these topics and queries.
Top Tip 3 – Once you’ve discovered a few topics, do a Google search on it and scroll down to the bottom of the page. There you will discover related searched on that topic, which can give you even more ideas.
Once you understand the trends, it is necessary to pay attention to how you want to communicate to the reader or your content, i.e., your potential customer.
This is where your ‘brand voice’ comes into play. How do you want to sound? Corporate? Personal? Tongue-in-cheek? There is no right or wrong in this. It’s your business, your choice. And, of course, if you find one way doesn’t work, you can always test drive a different tone of voice.
2. Topic Selection
You’ve done the research, so what are you going to create content on?
The best place to start is with the topics you have found that have the best engagement. Then group them into high-level categories. Let’s pretend you’re personal trainer, for example. Doing a search for ‘fitness’ as an example, Google Trends gives us the following:
You can see topics returned include: health-related fitness, flexibility and physical strength. These would be your high-level categories, under which you can split into further topics such as:
- Motor Co-ordination
- Functional versus Traditional Strength Training
- How to regain strength after illness
- Cardiovascular endurance activities
- Abdominal strength
This is the first step towards structuring and planning the future content strategy, but also the pre-work that needs to be done before you start creating the content.
Once you have selected the ideas and categorized them, you need to define your writing goals.
3. Goal Setting
The next step is to think about setting SMART goals. It is worth bearing in mind that they must be specific, realistic, measurable and on time.
Without goals, how will you know whether your content is getting the right results?
Top Tip – Likes are what they call vanity metrics, and get the reaction: “So what?” Better goals include level of engagement, such as comments, visits to website, click throughs, etc.
4. Calendar Creation
Right, you’ve found your topics and set your goals, it’s time to plan a schedule.
Defining the when and where the content is published can help you visualize the scope of work needed and whether you will need an extra pair of hands.
Don’t forget, content not only includes blogs but social posts, lists, guides, newsletters, videos and even podcasts.
Sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it.
Top Tip – It doesn’t have to be when you use a little thing called content transformation. Think one becomes many! It’s something Kook Content specialises in. We’ll take an initial piece of content, for example, your blog, and transform it into social posts, videos, top tips and yes, even a podcast. We’ll even write your blogs for you!
And here’s the thing, once you have created your outline content calendar, you can simply rinse and repeat, whether this is once a week, once a fortnight or even once a month.
5. Get ready to write
To successfully prepare for writing, it is necessary to first work out the chosen topic.
Take a plain piece of paper, or start a new Word document. Put the topic at the top of the page and then note ideas for the following down:
- Headline suggestions
- Paragraph headings and notes for each one
This is effectively, a thought flow exercise. Set aside a portion of time, turn off all distractions and write down all your ideas as they come to mind.
If you run out of inspiration at any point, you can look for inspiration in tools like Ubersuggest. Simply type in a desired term or topic and check which similar terms appear in Google search engine.
How to write your blog
You’re ready. You can do this. (Unless, you want us to write it for you?)
The length of the text is important when ranking on search engines, and will be defined by the type of article you are writing. Generally, the small business owner will write two types of articles; blogs are between 500 and 1,000 words and evergreen pieces that are longer, anything up to 3,000 words.
Anything below 500 words is considered an announcement and doesn’t fall within the standard ranking framework.
There are 4 steps to creating an amazing article that tackles your target audience’s pain points
There are headlines, amazing headlines and clickbait.
Although clickbait headlines easily attract the reader to click on it, once there however, the reader is disappointed because, according to the dictionary definition of clickbait, the content is of dubious value or interest.
What you need is an amazing headline that piques the reader’s interest, but also aligns with the body of the blog.
Selecting a headline is a process that consists of four simple steps. You need to try and make it:
Thinking back to our fitness example and the ‘how to regain your strength after illness’ title. This already has the magic benefits of ‘how to’. Now we just need to try and add the other three steps.
The combination of these steps makes for a headline that will not only be well clicked, but will allow others to easily find it on search engines.
If you do find yourself staring at a blank screen, here are some free online headline generators that you can use:
2. Format your layout
Writing your blog article contains a number of “rules” that are worth following, to help ensure that everything written can be understood by search engines and users alike.
Proper arrangement of titles and subheadings are the initial steps in formatting the text, and you will be able to select the following text sizes in your interface: H1-H5.
Heading 1 is always used for the title. Subsequent headings are used as a smaller magnitude than the previous one. This article, for example uses Heading 2 and Heading 3 formats.
This is not only important for easier readability, but also helps search engines recognize the structure of the article itself.
Using sub-headings helps break up the text and also makes it easier for readers to scan the article to find what they’re looking for.
Images also help break up a string of text, however they should only be used if they help explain the text
After formatting the text, you may need to add links. These could be external or internal. External links take the reader to a new website, while internal links take them to other pages on your website.
It’s important to pay attention to the links you put in and the way you do it. This is because search engines cannot recognise poorly written links when trying to rank articles in search results.
4. Proofread and edit
The final task which is essential and possibly the most important is to proofread and edit your writing.
Even copywriters need to proofread their work for grammar and the odd speeling mistale! (See what I did there?)
We love using Grammarly. You can set your language to US English or UK English, it will check your spelling and grammar, and you can run it through a plagiarism checker.
If you have used images in your blog, make sure you add an ‘Alt Text’. This helps to describe the image to visually impaired readers and, according to Hubspot, ‘allows search engines to better crawl and rank your website.’
Hit the big publish button
Well, not quite yet. There are a couple of things you need to do before hitting that publish button.
The first thing is to add your keyword tags. This is very easy to do in WordPress, as the tag box is in the settings. And remember, these keywords should be related to the blog and contained, at least once within it.
Once these have been done, give your blog a final once over and then you can hit Publish.
Time to wrap it up
Hope you’ve found this article helpful. You should now have more confidence in working through the minefield that is content creation.
In simple terms it boils down to three steps:
Remember, it’s your business and no one knows it better than you. Give it a go.
We’d love your thoughts on this article and if there’s anything you think we’ve forgotten, share your thoughts with us in the comments.
But if you find yourself struggling, get in touch with us.
Further Reading from Kook Content
If you want to see how we think content creation will change by 2025, you can read our article here.
For the best content creation tools in our opinion, read our article here.
Kook is a copywriting and content creation agency. They work with SME businesses and large start-ups creating copy and social content.