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Building an effective content creation strategy in 2018


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For many, content development is one of the road blocks they face when building their WordPress site. Some folks worry about how to organize their content in categories, some fret about how to use tags, linking strategies mystifies others. This WPATX Beginner’s presentation will focus on the tools and processes available to help you develop and implement a winning content creation strategy. After making all the hard choices to design and develop a great looking website every website owner faces the same problem — “feed the beast” syndrome. How do we continually produce steady stream of engaging content for our WordPress site? How often should we update the content on our site’s ‘static’ pages? What can we do to add some dynamic content to our static pages to keep the search spiders coming back? We will discuss both offline and online tools and resources to help you brainstorm topics for your site’s blog, produce great content for your target audience, and ways to use that content to your build your online community. This presentation will review the use of categories in content organization, styles of written content that are most effective, curating content, mobile-friendly content formats, and the increasing importance of photos & video content

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Building an effective content creation strategy in 2018

  1. 1. @nick_batik@sandi_batik Effective Content Creation Stra Austin WordPress Meetup May 21, 2018
  2. 2. @nick_batik@sandi_batik WordPress Beginner Question Do you understand the difference between a Page and a Post?
  3. 3. @nick_batik@sandi_batik THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PAGES AND POSTS • The WordPress install comes with two content types — Posts and Pages • For those new to WordPress it is easy to get confused between Posts and Pages
  4. 4. @nick_batik@sandi_batik WHAT ARE POSTS? • The entries into your WordPress Blog are Posts • Post content is listed in reverse chronological order in your blog • Post are meant to be timely so the most current information is listed first • Older posts are archived based on month and year • All your Posts searchable by Categories and Tags
  5. 5. @nick_batik@sandi_batik HOW DO WE DISTRIBUTE OUR POST CONTENT• Most Bloggers syndicate their Posts through the RSS feeds • RSS feeds lets Bloggers notify readers about the most recent Posts • Bloggers can use the RSS feeds to deliver email broadcasts through services like Aweber or MailChimp • Using tools like MailChimp you can invite your readers to subscribe to a weekly newsletter create weekly newsletters build from your most recent Posts
  6. 6. @nick_batik@sandi_batik HOW DO WE DISTRIBUTE OUR POST CONTENT? • Post Are Social • Install one of the many social sharing plugins to encourage readers to share your posts in social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or other venues that fit your user profile
  7. 7. @nick_batik@sandi_batik POSTS PROMPT RESPONSE AND CONVERSATION• Posts have a have a built-in commenting feature that allow users to comment on a particular topic • You can control the ‘How, When and If’ of Commenting through your WordPress Dashboard Settings
  8. 8. @nick_batik@sandi_batik PAGES • Page Content is not meant to expire — but Content on a Page can easily be updated • Pages are not intended to be social — but some will have Social Buttons connecting readers to the site’s Social Media accounts to encourage Follows or Likes
  9. 9. @nick_batik@sandi_batik PAGES • Unlike posts, pages are hierarchical by nature • You can have a sub pages within a page — allowing you to organize your pages together, and even assign a custom template to them
  10. 10. @nick_batik@sandi_batik PAGES VS. POSTS — SUMMARY OF PRIMARY DIFFERENCES• Posts are timely vs. Pages are timeless • Posts are social vs. Pages are NOT • Posts can be categorized vs. Pages are hierarchical • Posts are included in RSS feed vs. Pages are not • Pages have custom template feature vs. Posts do not • Note “ Edge Case Exceptions”: You can use plugins or code snippets to extend the functionality of both content types
  11. 11. @nick_batik@sandi_batik Do You Understand How to Use Categories to Guide Your Content Strategy?
  12. 12. @nick_batik@sandi_batik UNDERSTANDING CATEGORIES AND TAGS• Categories and Tags are both known as taxonomies in the WordPress nomenclature • The sole purpose of Categories and Tags are to sort and organize your content to improve the usability of your site • Sorting and organizing site content helps the visitor more easily browse content by topic rather than chronologically
  13. 13. @nick_batik@sandi_batik CATEGORIES • Categories are meant for broad grouping of your posts • Think of these as general topics or the table of contents for your site. • Categories are there to help identify what your blog is really about. • It is to assist readers finding the right type of content on your site. • Categories are hierarchical, so you can sub-categories
  14. 14. @nick_batik@sandi_batik CATEGORIES • Categories are meant for a broad grouping of your posts • Think of these as general topics or the table of contents for your site • Categories are there to help identify what your blog is really about • It is to assist readers finding the right type of content on your site • Categories are hierarchical, so you can sub-categories
  15. 15. @nick_batik@sandi_batik CATEGORIES • Categories are meant for a broad grouping of your posts • No one can accurately predict all the right categories • A Best Practice is to start with five generic categories • Then become more specific using subcategories • Measure your site visitor’s reaction and engagement • Adjust and add Categories and subcategories as dictated by community interest and involvement
  16. 16. @nick_batik@sandi_batik HOW TO USE GENERIC CATEGORIES TO FUTURE- PROOF YOUR BLOG • Build a Primary Category Structure with generic categories like — • How-To’s • News • Case Studies • Tools
  17. 17. @nick_batik@sandi_batik WHEN TO ADD A SUB-CATEGORY • Whenever you find that you are writing about a Sub Topic topic repeatedly… • Example: Main Category “How To’s” • Frequent sub-topic to “How To’s” topic — A/B Testing • If you are focusing on A/B Testing more than five times — Make it a Sub-Category to the Parent Category of “How To’s” • Go back to the previous A/B Testing blogs and correct the existing Category reference
  18. 18. @nick_batik@sandi_batik ASSIGNING ONE POST MULTIPLE CATEGORIES • With the proper use of Parent and Sub- Categories you shouldn’t need to classify one post into multiple top-level categories • Adding multiple categories to a post DOES NOT benefit SEO • Adding multiple categories to a post DOES NOT benefit user experience
  19. 19. @nick_batik@sandi_batik BEST PRACTICE FOR MANAGING CATEGORIES• EXAMPLE —Your blog has three categories: • Project Management • Enterprise Resource Management • Client Relationship Management • You notice that your many of your posts can fit into all of these multiple categories • A Best Practice would be to identify an umbrella category for all three • Maybe these posts should be Categorized under Business Management with a sub-category of Project Management, ERP or CRM?
  20. 20. @nick_batik@sandi_batik BECAUSE YOU CAN — DOES NOT MEAN YOU SHOULD• WordPress ALLOWS you to add one post into as many categories as you like • Many Bloggers assign one post into multiple categories because they THINK it helps your users • However • You should think of Categories as Table of Contents for your blog • Posts with the same Category are Chapters of your Blog
  21. 21. @nick_batik@sandi_batik WHAT’S THE OPTIMAL NUMBER OF WORDPRESS CATEGORIES?• There are no specific optimal number of categories • It depends on the size and complexity of your site • For the sake of structure and usability a Best Practice is to utilize Sub-categories and Tags
  22. 22. @nick_batik@sandi_batik WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CATEGORIES AND TAGS• The biggest difference between Categories and Tags is that you MUST categorize your post • If you do not categorize your post, then it will be categorized under the “Uncategorized” category • You are not required to add any tags
  23. 23. @nick_batik@sandi_batik Do You Understand the Purpose of WordPress Tags?
  24. 24. @nick_batik@sandi_batik TAGS • Tags were added In WordPress 2.5 to improve the usability of your site • Tags are not hierarchical • Tags are meant to describe specific details of your posts. • Think of Tags as your Blogs Index words. • Tags are the micro-data that you can use to describe your content
  25. 25. @nick_batik@sandi_batik SHOULD YOU LIMIT NUMBER OF TAGS ASSIGNED TO EACH POST? • Think of Tags as an Index and Categories as being the Table of Contents of your Blog • Tags are popular keywords that loosely relate your posts • Tags make it easy for users to find your Posts using the WordPress search • I don’t care What you are Blogging about —It is very hard to justify more than Ten Tags for a Blog Post
  26. 26. @nick_batik@sandi_batik DO TAGS WORK LIKE META KEYWORDS? • Rookie Mistake: Adding as many Tags as possible thinking Tags are meta keywords • Tags are NOT default meta keywords for your blog • Installing the ‘SEO by Yoast’ plugin enables you to use your Tag structure in the meta keywords template
  27. 27. @nick_batik@sandi_batik SEO CATEGORIES VS TAGS • The question of using Categories over Tags or vice versa for a SEO Advantage is a NON-ISSUE • Categories and Tags are just the two default taxonomies, designed to work together, that comes with WordPress
  28. 28. @nick_batik@sandi_batik LAST THOUGHTS ABOUT CATEGORIES AND TAGS • Your site’s Blog is an ever-evolving book • Develop the Table of Content (categories) carefully • Chose broad topics — but be careful not to be too vague • Use Tags to generally relate multiple posts
  29. 29. @nick_batik@sandi_batik LAST THOUGHTS ABOUT CATEGORIES AND TAGS • If a specific Tag seems to be trending — give some consideration making it a sub-category • If the trending Tag would have to be added as a subcategory to several multiple top-level categories — leave it as a TAG • The goal is always to make the site as user- friendly as possible
  30. 30. @nick_batik@sandi_batik LAST THOUGHTS ABOUT CATEGORIES AND TAGS • Most advanced sites use custom taxonomies for sorting their content in addition to categories and tags • Custom Taxonomies will be addressed In a future WordPress Practitioner’s Class
  31. 31. @nick_batik@sandi_batik 5-step System to Write Copy That Consistently Attracts Your Target Clients and Organically Build SEO
  32. 32. @nick_batik@sandi_batik STEP 1 Take the time to analyze what information your target market is looking for and why What problems are they trying to solve?
  33. 33. @nick_batik@sandi_batik STEP 2 Set your Categories to those high-level topics that represent the topics your clients are seeking
  34. 34. @nick_batik@sandi_batik STEP 3 Turn on the Idea machine - look for ongoing topic conversations-online & off - Use your blog and Cornerstone pages to express your unique value as an industry expert
  35. 35. @nick_batik@sandi_batik STEP 4 Tune Your Idea Machine Feedly Goggle Alerts
  36. 36. @nick_batik@sandi_batik STEP 5 • Use a Content Framework • Every thing I know about writing I owe to: • Mother Mary Gerald • Copyblogger • & Troy Dean
  37. 37. @nick_batik@sandi_batik The WordPress Blogger Six Step Framework
  38. 38. @nick_batik@sandi_batik THE PROMISE Your blog introduction should outline the promise of what you will deliver The 'Big Why' someone invest their time with you How will they benefit?
  39. 39. @nick_batik@sandi_batik THE PROBLEM Next — your content needs to outline the problem your readers are facing - which reinforces why they need read your article
  40. 40. @nick_batik@sandi_batik MYTH BUSTING This is the part of the Blog or Cornerstone copy you position yourself as an expert by busting a common myth your readers are likely to believe.
  41. 41. @nick_batik@sandi_batik THE METHOD In this section of your content you actually teach your 3 to 7 teaching points.
  42. 42. @nick_batik@sandi_batik THE DO’S & DON’TS In this section you outline the some of the tips for advanced users and the mistakes that newcomers make
  43. 43. @nick_batik@sandi_batik NEXT STEPS Finish off your piece of content with a call to action or an action step. Give your readers something to do and they are far more likely to remember you
  44. 44. @nick_batik@sandi_batik Cool Tools To Help Build Your Content Strategy
  45. 45. @nick_batik@sandi_batik Edit Flow —An editorial workflow management system Best Tutorial -
  46. 46. @nick_batik@sandi_batik Table Press allows you to add tables into your WordPress posts and pages without writing any HTML or CSS.
  47. 47. @nick_batik@sandi_batik Canva intuitive drag and drop interface creates beautiful graphic designs edit images easy to use even for beginners
  48. 48. @nick_batik@sandi_batik PiktoChart create beautiful infographics charts and presentations
  49. 49. @nick_batik@sandi_batik Navigation Tips and Tricks What issues are tripping you up?
  50. 50. @nick_batik@sandi_batik Navigation Resources WordPress Cheat Sheet 30 Creative and Cleaver 404 Error Pages error-pages.stml
  51. 51. @nick_batik@sandi_batik CONTENT CREATION CHECK LIST • Check your “inspiration sources” for content ideas • Choose a headline • Check keyword competition and edit your headline as needed • Research and plan your article • Choose your category and add tags • Fill in the SEO fields • Write your first draft • Go back and edit out cliches and add keywords and phrases • Add images, video, and/or other rich content • Re-read it. Edit. • Add an excerpt • Read it again • Publish • Check your editorial schedule for the next article
  52. 52. @nick_batik@sandi_batik WORDPRESS RESOURCES GET CONNECTED — Join and contribute to the Austin WordPress Tribe at: We look forward to seeing you at a #WPATX meetup soon
  53. 53. @nick_batik@sandi_batik Sandi Batik WordPress evangelist, consultant, trainer, curricula developer, author, unapologetic geek, unrepentant capitalist, lucky enough to do what I love everyday. I’ve served as Austin WordPress Meetup co-organizer since 2010. With my husband Nick Batik, co-founded Pleiades Publishing Services in 1992 and Hands-On WordPress Training in 2010. Follow me @sandi_batik / @WPATX Contact me at: Presenter
  54. 54. @nick_batik@sandi_batik Nick Batik Started in web development in 1994 and have been a WordPress consultant, and web developer since 2007. A WordPress evangelist, I’ve served as Austin WordPress Meetup co-organizer since 2010. With my partner, co-founded Pleiades Publishing Services in 1992 and Hands-On WordPress Training in 2010. Follow me @nick_batik / @WPATX Contact me at: Presenter