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Creating Content That Doesn’t Suck – How to Write Killer Copy, Connect with Customers, & Get More Blog Traffic


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Members of Galvanize's marketing team explain the tactics they used to drive more traffic, conduct audience research, and write content that doesn't suck.

Published in: Marketing, Business
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Creating Content That Doesn’t Suck – How to Write Killer Copy, Connect with Customers, & Get More Blog Traffic

  1. How To Write Killer Copy & Connect With Customers
  2. Today You’ll Learn How to Conduct effective audience research Write content that actually resonates with people (and generates traffic) Prioritize your content backlog Distribute your content effectively Re-purpose content in different formats to get more bang for your buck
  3. Mark Saldaña Marketing Manager Dynelle Abeyta Content Producer Jared Polivka Evangelist Bo Moore Storyteller Meet the Team
  4. Mark Saldaña • Works on Galvanize PR to help Galvanize members (founders and students) share success stories with press • Collaborates with Galvanize outcomes team to understand how we’re doing (student placement) and what cool stuff students are working on • Tries to get “big picture” of what’s happening at Galvanize so we can promote it like crazy • Previously worked at Box and 500 Startups
  5. Dynelle Abeyta • Builds content that drives traffic • Dabbles a bit in all areas of marketing: Social Media, PR, Advertising, etc. • Writer for Galvanize Blog: covers topics in Galvanize news, data science, programming, startups and more • Self-described Python kween • Previously worked for the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce as their Communications Assistant
  6. Jared Polivka • Believes that content should be as useful as possible. • Works with Galvanize faculty, students and content team to shepard technical posts • Serves as Evangelist at Galvanize; essentially a technical project manager with an emphasis on community building. • Formerly worked as a Product Manager at Kapost and as a Marketing Manager at Uber.
  7. Bo Moore • Galvanize's in-house journalist • Interviews Galvanize faculty and members to tell their stories in interesting, informative ways • Breaks down technical topics into digestible content • Former Wired journalist • Karaoke enthusiast
  8. Unique Challenges Highly Diverse Audience Highly Technical Concepts Lots of Competition (i.e., there’s already a ton of great stuff out there on programming, data science, and startups) Unique Advantages Have experts in various fields on our instructional team Have awesome students who are excited to share their work Experienced content team with a diverse skill set (video, journalism, PR, SEO, etc.)
  9. Not Everything You Do is Interesting Try not to drink too much of the company Kool Aid. Ask yourself: “Would I care about this if I didn’t work here?”
  10. Let’s go over content that probably won't drive repeat traffic. Also, this kind of stuff is generally just boring and not very fun to read or write.
  11. Announcements New features Your newest round of funding A new company partnership (even if it’s with a big company) An awesome new hire
  12. This kind of content is still valuable (and necessary at times), but don’t count on it to drive repeat traffic. Put it in a press release and get reporters to cover it. No one goes to a company blog to read press releases.
  13. Anything that’s selling your company way too hard 3 tips for using our NEW FEATURE 3 reasons why you should use our product A thought leadership piece by your CEO that’s basically an advertisement
  14. This kind of content is just plain lazy and ill-informed. The goal is to write stuff people want to read and share – not hit people over the head with your company’s product.
  15. So how do you figure out how out what to write?
  16. Come up with a Content Hypothesis Before You Write Anything
  17. Just like you wouldn’t build a feature without doing customer research first, you shouldn’t write anything without doing audience research first.
  18. e Places to do Audience Research • Quora (top questions)
 Caveat, beware of tunnel vision • Market Research
 What else is already out there? See what competitors or others in your space are doing. Can you do it better or put a unique spin on it? • Google Trends
 See what’s hot right now and think about how you can capitalize on a trend (more on this later) • Is this useful and does it solve a pain point?
 See concept of Utility by Jay Baer • Poll Your Target Audience
 (meetups, in-person interviews, etc. Steve Blank’s concept of “getting out of the building”) • What do you want to be the expert on?
 Those are the areas you need to build credibility in
  19. Fill in the blank This post will help learn how to _____________ and should result in ____________ page views.
  20. Example: This post will help data scientists learn how to approach data privacy and should result in 2,000 page views in the first week.
  21. Results: 1,820 view in one week (not bad, but below expectations)
  22. Know how to Prioritize Your Content Calendar
  23. e Important Things to Consider • Is this timely?
 What’s coming up that we could tie this topic into? • Hypothesized traffic
 Based on audience pain / utility and influencers who can cross promote • T-shirt size the content
 x-small (a day), small (couple of days), medium (week), large (several weeks), XL (month or more) • Your overall editorial Calendar
 What other pieces of content are coming up? • Focus on Quality over Quantity
 (and remember that the opposite of quality is not “quantity,” it’s “shit” -- iterate on your content as you learn more about your audience and you can increase how often you’re publishing once you have a strategy that works.) • STOP WRITING BLOG POSTS BECAUSE IT’S “NATIONAL BRING YOUR UNCLE’S DOG TO WORK DAY”
  24. Now You’ve Decided What to Write. Let’s Cover the How
  25. e The Basics • Write a ton headlines for each post (Upworthy suggests 25). Find the one that would make you stop looking at pictures of your ex in newsfeed and read an article instead. • DON’T GET IN THE WAY OF THE CONTENT. Don’t make this about you. People probably don’t care. • Synthesize expert opinions and technical information for a lay audience so it’s more broadly accessible. • Decide on the format: Listicle, interview, top 10, X, Y, and Z (matter of preference) • Have a style guide and follow it. You won't waste time trying to figure out how to word something. • Finish strong. Have a conclusion and helpful (and logical) CTA.
  26. Don’t Expect Readers to Come to You
  27. “If I write it, they will come” “It’ll go viral.” “People will care.” “I’ll get my friend with 1,000 followers to tweet it and it will bring us traffic!”
  28. Expectation…
  29. Reality…
  30. e Distribution Tips and Tactics • SEO • Mailing Lists / Newsletters • Twitter chats • Forums and niche sites
 (r/datascience, r/machinelearning, datatau, hacker news, mattermark daily, etc.) • Reporters/press
 only if it’s helpful to them in some way • Influencers
 (friends who will promote and influencers / companies mentioned in article) • Friends, family, and co-worker shares • Other companies, orgs, foundations, etc. involved in the topic
 (e.g. like our data science post from earlier to Dato) • Repurpose for other channels
 (SlideShare, YouTube, etc.)
  31. e Various Tips and Tricks • Always think about trends. Capitalize on what people are already talking about. • Being a beginner in a topic can be an asset. Use your learnings to create great content. • Put your journalist hat on. Talk to experts and turn their knowledge into something interesting for a broad audience. • Talk to people who interact with your customers every day. What do they care about? What do they want to learn how to do? What content would help them achieve their goals?
  32. Audience Assignment (15 minutes)
  33. e Audience Assignment • Come up with 3 headlines or concepts. Is there any way to make it timely or tie it into a trend? • Who cares about it and why? • Write a short (2 or 3 sentence) description of the content • Describe what resources you need
 (expert interview, doing your own research, going to a conference, etc.) • Where will you promote it? (other than just twitter/FB) • How can you easily put it in a different format to get more mileage from the content?
  34. Question Time
  35. Thank you! A writeup of this panel and all slides are available at Give us some pageviews!