Once your business blog or the blog on your website is live, you want to keep it “fresh” with new content. It attracts new visitors to your site and keeps current readers engaged.
But that’s where the challenge begins because most site owners are at a loss for content ideas.
- How often should I post?
- What’s of interest to my readers?
- What should I write about?
- What kind of content should it be?
How Often To Post?
Let’s start with how often to post to your site. Well, the answer depends on several factors, including:
- What are your goals? Is your website the primary vehicle for generating leads for your practice? If so, you want to post with higher frequency, at minimum once per week, more if you can.
- What are your resources? Will you or a staff member write all the content? Or do you have the resources to outsource all or most of the content creation?
- What type of practice is it? Do you operate a specialty practice, such as aesthetics, weight loss, or health coaching? If so, you may want to publish content more frequently. Consumers want to know about you, your services, and get their questions answered before they make a buying decision.
What Do They Want To Know?
Chances are you’ll need to do some research before you can answer this question. Ideally, you’ll create a persona of your ideal patient, which will make it easier for you to create your content.
Start by determining the following:
Who is your target market?
Knowing it is essential to publishing content that resonates with your readers. If you’re fuzzy about it, you may be wasting any effort you put into creating content.
When you know your audience, you can discuss problems that are relevant to them and offer them solutions. Essentially, you’ll be building relationships with your readers through your content.
While you may already know the people in your target audience, it never hurts to verify your assumptions.
Here are a few suggestions to help you accomplish that.
Ask what they want to know! Ask them to fill out a survey. You can do this offline via a mailing or online, through your website.
To do an online survey, you can use a tool like Survey Monkey. While they have paid options, they also have a free, basic plan where you can conduct unlimited small surveys. Go to https://www.surveymonkey.com and see if it’s right for you.
Look At Competitors
If you’re working with people similar to other offices in the area, take a look at the type of content they’re publishing. If it’s an established site, you may get new content ideas, find out what they’ve done in the past, and learn what people deem to be of value for their readers.
Keep an eye on your own as well as other social media channels. What are people talking about? What questions do they ask, and what comments do they leave? You’ll discover the type of questions and concerns people have and want to talk about.
What To Write?
And now, for the biggest question of them all…
- What should I write?
- What should my articles be about?
- And how can I possibly keep turning out new content?
Granted, it’s challenging to come up with new ideas for content every week. Start with brainstorming content ideas, and then turn them into a content plan you can use to publish content to your site.
Here are a few ideas to help you brainstorm…
Brainstorm content around the big categories on your site. For example, if your categories are travel health or weight loss, you would write articles about these topics. Think about all the questions you’ve gotten about travel health or losing weight over the years, and you’ll have a long list of articles you could write about.
Look at the keywords people type into Google. For example, if you offer health coaching, start by typing in “health coaching” followed or preceded by words like how to, where, why, best, or use the name of your city along with the keyword.
For example, enter the terms: “best health coaching,” “why health coaching,” or “health coaching Denver.” You’re guaranteed to get some good ideas and suggestions from the search results.
Create a Mind Map. A mind map is an online tool that helps generate ideas. Start by entering your broad topic, and from there, come up with possible subtopics to write about.
You may use any of the above techniques, or a combination of them to help you generate ideas for your content. But now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and create your list of topics.
Titles & Outlines. Once you have a list of content ideas, sort them by into groups or themes, based on keyword, category, or topic.
Next, come up with a title for every piece of content and generate a simple outline. Do this for as many content ideas as you can; you’ll find it to be much easier to write the article later on.
But not everybody wants to write articles for every piece of content, and you don’t have to.
What Type Of Content?
While most think of articles when they think of content for their blog or website, you have other options when it comes to publishing content.
#1 Articles & Blog Posts
These are the cornerstone of online content, and we all know them. And while writing a blog post usually is a good choice, it can do much more for you. You may use the written posts and turn them into other content, such as videos, social media posts, slide shares, or audio recordings.
It seems more and more people no longer want to read but prefer to consume video. While sad, it seems the wave of the future, at least for now. So if your audience prefers to watch, wrap your content and message in a video.
#3 Case Studies
We like to hear about the experiences of others, particularly when it’s about something we want to know. If at all possible, change up your content by including a case study or perhaps a testimonial.
#4 Tell A Story
Here’s an example of a story…
“Prepared to give their all, many young men wound up wounded and sick at the British hospital in Constantinople.
Conditions in the hospital were deplorable… patients on stretchers piled into hallways, rats running freely throughout the building, rooms, and hallways filled with stench.
But it did not deter Florence Nightingale and her group of nurses …”
Do you agree that we all love stories and get pulled in by them? So why not wrap your content in a story that carries your message?
Infographics make it easy for people to understand the main points of your content… in a single glance.
People don’t have to spend much time to read, watch, or listen to consume content; all they have to do is scan your infographic to understand your message. And online tools like Canva make it easy; they let you create infographics for free.
Now you have some strategies to help you create content for your website. The key is to brainstorm and plan. Create content that educates, informs, and benefits your target audience.
Join the conversation and tell us what you think; leave a comment or a question below!
By Johanna Hofmann, MBA, LAc; regular contributor to the NPBusiness blog and author of “Smart Business Planning for Clinicians.”