Eight years ago, I never thought my love of social media and blogging would take me to content writing for all kinds of brands. I went from an assistant to creating affiliate ads and social media to strengthen my SEO content manager, writer, and editor. Today, I am happy to share the content process I’ve created over the years.
In the world of online content, good SEO means releasing good content regularly. Content can be blog posts, videos, or social media posts. It doesn’t matter what type you use as long as it meets specific criteria of writing and storytelling.
The content that I write takes time and energy to create, but the final product is worth it because of its size and frequency of production.
I try not to cap on content creation since content drives traffic back to your website. Content is the new marketing, and you shouldn’t ignore content creation. It should be embraced, nurtured, and given attention.
Here’s how I create content that leads to views, drives conversions, and ranks on Google:
Step One: The Content Writing Ideation and Planning Phase
Using tools like Google Trends, SEMrush, Ahrefs, SEOsurfer, and Clearscope, I brainstorm content ideas that will have the most impact on user engagement. Here’s how my content writing idea process usually goes:
- It all starts with a content idea
- I move to whether it will have SEO benefits
- How many content ideas do I have in total?
- I collect scalable content ideas that I can release throughout the next several months (a quarter or more)
- I keep track of old content that needs some good ole’ repurposing
Using Google Docs, I storyboard content ideas that seem like they will be SEO-worthy content. This content is content that I want people to see and has the potential to go viral. I like to create a content calendar in Google Sheets for my blogs and have a list to go straight to for my next project.
Step Two: Content Creation
Now it’s time to put everything together and create some Kick-A$$-Content (KAC). Here’s the most important part of content writing:
Using Google Docs, I outline each content idea using a five-paragraph essay format with the following:
- An introduction
- Headings (using proper H1, H2, and H3’s), and conclusion (if applicable)
- Body paragraphs
The outline also includes:
- Content writing ideas about keywords to target
- Content points that have the most value; why this content is being released, and whom to target with releasing this content
Outlines are crucial. They help us determine if content will be successful in outreach efforts before it’s even written.
Now the fun begins! I start by researching the content standards and points of the content writing piece. I become a subject matter expert on the topic, using as many resources as I can. Some resources might include:
- Interviewing stakeholders, team members, or professionals
- Diving further into a buyer persona
- Doing a competitive analysis on other content
- Researching and sourcing from institutions, organizations, and other non-competitive resources on the internet
I then compose material following the content requirements, keywords for content pieces, questions about our audience’s thoughts on the subject of content, and connections between pieces and objectives.
Content Writing and Editing
My attention to detail, writing style, and tone and voice of the brand come into play here. If there’s a style guide, I follow it or stick to a preferred style like AP style. I make content come to life with my words while making my content scannable.
Next, I check my readability score on Hemingwayapp.com, and I check for errors on Grammarly Premium. I’ll also double-check to ensure I’ve incorporated all the in-line links and keywords I intended to use. If I’m working with an editor, I’ll shoot it to them for an extra pair of eyes and revisions.
Step Three: Share Content Out Into the World
Are you ready to share this wonderful creation? Ready, set, go!
After I write the content, it’s time to publish on websites where content naturally falls, such as blog posts or videos. I get into my CMS (usually WordPress), and using YoastSEO; I input my content and format everything. I add images and alt text and a meta description with the keyword.
Syndication is good for content that might not go viral but still has excellent outreach and content engagement value. Syndication means the content has been published where content already exists. For example, you could publish content on your blog and then republish it on LinkedIn or YouTube.
After content is out, it’s time to see if content efforts are successful using analytics tools like Google Analytics. Analytics show me what content I should create going forward, what content is performing well on secondary channels of content distribution, and if the content has an SEO benefit.
These analytics goals are the goals that content producers should have in mind when working with content. Suppose content doesn’t get a lot of views but receives only a few backlinks from authority websites. In that case, there are a few possibilities:
- The content isn’t content that content viewers like to see
- I didn’t target the content at the right people
- I need to create better content with higher content value
Conclusion: Content Process and the Importance of Keyword Research
Depending on what kind of content you’re releasing, you should use keywords either throughout your content or explicitly used for content outreach. Don’t leave home (err, hit the publish button) without it!
I hope my content process is helpful to content producers who want to publish content with purpose. If you want to look at the content I’ve previously done, check out my portfolio page.