With content marketing, collaborating with content writers is key to ensure you accomplish your SEO goals and bring your content strategies to life. But many questions remain:
- Should you outsource your content needs or hire content writers?
- What kind of content calendar do you need in place?
- What are some creative ways SEOs can collaborate with content writers to ensure they’re in sync to produce the best content possible?
Let’s get started!
Hiring Content Writers
There are a variety of creative ways to get your content marketing strategy in motion.
You can either outsource your content needs by hiring an agency or you can have someone in your company take on the additional mantle of a content writer.
If resources allow, then you can hire someone to be your chief content creator.
A big business might find itself outsourcing its content needs to an agency.
A small business must make sure every new marketing hire knows how to write and that their writing voice is consistent with your brand.
Whatever the size of your organization, be sure you hire writers who are passionate about writing.
Whether in-house or outsourced, it’s essential for SEOs to work closely with any new content writers on the team.
Creating Your Content Calendar
You need a content calendar. It helps you stay focused and adds more structure to your content marketing efforts.
A calendar will save you time and do wonders for your website. For maximum effect, content creation can’t be ad hoc activity.
You can create predictable themes throughout the week. It trains your visitors and subscribers to expect certain types of content each day of the week. For example, you can create video content on Mondays, social media content on Wednesdays, and so on.
Definitely read Lisa Buyer’s Search Engine Watch column on creating a content calendar, and also check out TopRank Marketing blog for more expert content marketing tips.
Collaborating With Your Writers
Collaborating with your content writers is the first thing you should do to ensure that your vision gets implemented.
Writing for Web
Writers and web copywriters are two different sets of people.
Traditional writers may not be well versed in writing for the web. As such, you will need to train them on the importance and main elements of this style.
Writing for the web is different than traditional writing. Articles must be very relevant. The most important part of the article should be on top rather than the end, as in some traditional media.
This generally requires some getting used to on the writer’s part. SEOs need to understand this and be patient. Get to know and understand their world and their writing background.
Keywords vs. Content
This is like the chicken or the egg conundrum. Which comes first: the keywords or the content?
The best way to rank on Google is to produce content that is most relevant to users. And the best way to create the most relevant content is to create a topic and focus on a specific topic type.
Some SEOs give content writers a list of keywords and then ask them to create content around those keywords. Huge mistake.
What you should so is give your writers a list of topics to write about, without necessarily thinking of keywords. This ensures that your writers are producing topical, focused content without obsessing over keywords, you aren’t suffocating their creativity, and their flair for writing emerges.
If your content is focused on a specific topic, then the keywords will naturally flow out of that piece of content. This puts the onus on SEOs to come up with topics for your content writers – and, of course, to do any needed optimization after the content piece is created.
Content writers are generally receptive of SEO training. They understand that with proper training, the value of their work will increase and their personal visibility be enhanced.
Go ahead and train them on SEO – from the basics, to writing for the web, to the importance of keywords, to why links matter, and anything else you feel is relevant.
Empower them with keyword tools. This will make them your SEO champions and SEO evangelists.
Share Keyword Ranking and Traffic Reports
To further engage your content team, share with them your web analytics reports – including referrer traffic, keyword referral report, and other site analytic reports. In addition to creating transparency, this helps keep content writers more engaged and essentially lets them analyze if their work is bearing fruits.
You may see that your content strategy is bringing in a huge chunk of long tail keyword queries so be sure to share the complete report. This will help them analyze and further optimize their work and writing process.
Sharing reports will engage them further and help them understand SEO more clearly.
If you follow all these steps, you’ll be well on your way to bringing your content marketing strategies to life.
Do you have any other tips or ideas? Let us know in the comments.