Developing a Content Strategy

I recently wrote about how book authors have to do much of their own PR and that often involves social media. For many, it’s a challenge because they are already busy writing their books.

So what is an author to do, or for that matter anyone who is looking to use social media to promote their business? It comes down to having a content strategy.

To develop my strategy I needed to look at three areas – audience, location and measurement.

As with any PR effort, the first thing to do is to identify your audience.  My audience is members of NFPW and prospective members. I knew that I wanted to reach members of NFPW on a regular basis. I also knew that many members were like me – they already received too many emails. And I wanted to use a social media platform so that members would become more familiar and comfortable with social media.

Facebook was out because I couldn’t tell enough of a story, although I’ve found that it’s good to link my blog to my Facebook account. Twitter was no good because at 140 characters I would never finish a thought! And for many members, Twitter is simply too overwhelming. The ideal place was a blog. So I started Cynthia’s Communique.

I had the first two areas covered. Now I had to measure how I’m doing. Each month I review the stats that are available to me on WordPress. My goal is simple – I would like to average more than 300 hits a month. I’m not consistently there yet but I’m getting closer. I am encouraged by the number of comments. It’s nice to start a conversation. I’d like each post to have at least one comment.

My blog does not come easy. As with any writer, I suffer from writer’s block so I try to keep a running list of ideas. I also try to write some blogs in advance so I’m not always on deadline. This is especially helpful when I’m traveling; at least I don’t have to worry about finding a WIFI spot.

I’ve already made my calendar for the year, noting all the days that I will publish. I’ve gone through and marked when the NFPW conference will be held (Sept. 8-10), affiliate meetings that I will attend and other possible topics, such as National Letter Writing Week or Resume Month. I sketch out potential topics and fill those in, too. Before long, it doesn’t look so daunting.

Writing a blog is rewarding, but it’s also a commitment, and I have to treat it that way, which is why I have a content strategy.