In-depth Guide To Content Creation [With Infographic]


Posted by  to Content & Blogging
SEOmoz | http://mz.cm/JO9NOz

It doesn’t matter whether you’re an on-site SEO consultant, a link-building specialist or an all-round ‘internet marketer’, content creation should be particularly high on your list of priorities. We’ve been hearing the phrase ‘content is king’ for years now, but given Google’s recent de-indexation of low-quality blog networks, the Panda updates and the new algorithm burning across the horizon, it seems it’s never been more true than in 2012.

It’s not difficult to understand the importance of high quality, unique and relevant content in the modern SEO industry; content of this type published on your own site can do wonders when it comes to link magnetism and social media metrics and similarly, can help you obtain extremely powerful links from high authority domains that might otherwise be out of your reach. But creating this content is easier said than done, particularly if you’re trying to compete in a crowded industry. Sure, if you’re working on behalf of a client in a fairly dull field it can be relatively easy to produce content that will attract attention, but competing in content-heavy industries like SEO, gaming and entertainment (for example) can be very, very difficult.

So how can you make creating high quality, shareable content easier? What processes can you follow to minimise the time you spend researching and thinking and maximise the time you spend creating and sharing your content?

To try and answer these questions I’ve put together the following article and infographic (a large chunk of my time working for Designbysoap is spent designing infographics) that aims to give you a structure for content creation, as well as some useful tips and tools. I hope you enjoy it and, more importantly, I hope it helps when it comes to creating high quality content for your own campaigns.

Guide To Content Creation Infographic

Click for a full size version if you’d like to print it.

Research

Typically, this is often the most time-intensive element of content creation, whilst annoyingly yielding the fewest results. I’ve spent numerous hours reading posts and analysing data that ultimately comes to nothing. Sure, it can be enjoyable and often rewarding in terms of learning about an industry, but it’s not always permissible to spend huge chunks of your time (or a clients’ for that matter) reading and searching only to end up with nothing to show for it.

Having said that, the research portion of your content creation process can often be one of the most important – delivering content based on flawed, incorrect, irrelevant or (perhaps worst of all) boring information will get you nowhere and will essentially nullify all your efforts in the latter stages.

Ultimately, you need to find out what’s popular in the area you’re working in. Your research needs to be around a topic that’s current, relevant to your industry, popular and, most importantly, likely to gain traction (whether that be via social media platforms, inbound links or attention from high profile sites).

To help you identify this kind of content, there are several excellent tools at your disposal;

Google News – helps you highlight areas of interest and current news

Google Trends – helps you hone into specific topics in any given area of interest

Google Insights – helps you discover what people are searching for around an area of interest. Great if you’re writing blog posts

Digg, Twitter, Reddit – helps you find out what’s popular with the readers, what kinds of topics are receiving the highest level of sharing

These are the platforms I turn to first, but there are plenty of others (Cracked, AllThingsNow, Bing News, Fark, etc.), all of which will add to your level of insight around any given topic. Now, these can certainly help you find up to date, reliable and current information and can be invaluable when it comes to highlighting the most popular topics, but they don’t solve the problem of minimising the time you’re spending on research.

This is where a phenomenal tool from SEOGadget comes in, that makes ingenious use of Excel and Google Docs. I hugely recommend you follow the link and save a copy of the document to your own Google Docs (when you’ve finished reading this post of course), as it will save you a massive amount of time and effort during the research stage. The tool allows you to add a search query within the excel document, after which it will pull in invaluable data from Google News, Google Insights, Twitter, Bing News, Digg and numerous other platforms. You can not only quickly and easily find out what’s hot, but you can see the most popular topics on a range of social media platforms and highlight the top and rising searches around any given topic. There’s a fair bit more to it, but I’ll leave you to discover all it has to offer – suffice it to say it’s a perfect tool for the content creation research stage.

Screenshot of the SEOGadget Content Generation Tool

 

Ideas

Once you’ve got a solid set of data and a firm grip on the type of information likely to be shared, you need to start brainstorming some ideas on how you’re going to present the information.

The first thing you need to decide is the angle from which you’re going to approach the information. It’s no good just re-formatting a post or piece of content that already exists (you see this a huge amount when it comes to content creation, particularly in the SEO industry), you need to add something new or interesting to what you’ve already got. Can you come at the information in a new way? Or add something new to the story? Can you produce something unique to the industry? Leer más “In-depth Guide To Content Creation [With Infographic]”