Word styling tip: Have a strategy from the start

Word style tip - goal setting is the key to successful content writing

“While their competition is asleep, world-class leaders are up – and they’re not watching the news or reading the paper. They are thinking, planning and practising.” – ROBIN S SHARMA

Just like the best leaders, the best content doesn’t just happen by chance – it gets planned. There’s a strategy behind it. Now is the best time to get your writing goals in order, to commit to generating regular content and to set up a system so you can measure your progress.

This is how you will make your content writing work with ease and efficiency.

Get goal setting, gorgeous

Setting clear goals for what you want your content writing to achieve is the pinnacle of a high-performing website, blog and social platform. It will give your reader clear direction.

So, before you even start writing, you need to know what you want your website (and the words on it) to achieve. What do you want people to do after reading and how are you going to measure this?

When I was a young journalist working out in the sticks (country Queensland, Australia), all I wanted to do was move to the Big Smoke. Don’t get me wrong – I loved my country life (to a degree) and the skills I learned were invaluable to my future as a senior journalist, editor and now a business owner, even though I didn’t know it at the time. So I set myself a goal – I wanted to be out in a year. I started putting things into practice, calling newspapers, getting interviews and speaking to all the right people, editors included. I spoke with my boss about moving on and who he knew who could help me. When I finally got to the bright lights of the city, goal setting and staying focused had been a big part of it.

Your website goals

With Facebook, Twitter, blogging, newsletters, forums and webinars <insert all other forms of content in here>, where do you start when it comes to your content writing goals?

The best place is always your website. Why? Because no matter how fabulous your social media presence is, you don’t own it. Think of social media platforms, like Facebook, as a house you’re renting – while you can live there and have friends over, you can’t paint the walls, pull up the carpet, or even hang pictures in some places. Facebook is the same – you can share your knowledge and expertise, but you don’t have a lot of control about how your content is received. Plus, Facebook can change the system without your knowledge or consent, and you don’t get access to the
database of fans.

Your website is like your own home. You can paint it any colour you like. You can hammer hooks and nails into the walls for your artwork. You can knock out a wall or build a new room. You own it, so you can use it as you like.

This is why any piece of content you create should point people back to your website – you have total power over branding, design, language, and more. This makes your website the most powerful tool in your online arsenal, which is why you should start here. Make sure you have a clear idea of what you want your website to achieve and how that’s going to gel with your content. What exactly do you want your website to do for you? Is it a blog of your ideas, interests or hobbies where you’d like to generate passive income from advertisers? Is your website a shop and you want to drive sales? Or do you want your website to generate more customers for a bricks-and-mortar store?

Knowing your website goals (and then each page goal after that) is the starting point that will allow all the other elements to fall into place.

If you’re stuck, start with the following categories:

Do you sell a product or service?

Is your website designed to be a shop like eBay? You know exactly what eBay stands for – it’s an online retail store where you can buy just about anything your little heart desires – even an air guitar!

Is it an information source?

Many government, news and industry organisation websites fall into this category. Of course, they may advertise their paid subscriptions, but mostly they are an information hub. Do you want your site to be an information source about your business or industry?

Do you want to boost your profile?

These sites are used to boost a person’s online profile, often leading to another website with the items they sell. They use these sites to share expert information to position them as leaders in their fields.

Do you want to be a thought provoker?

In this case, you would be the voice for your peeps; a way to share and gather information on and for your industry.

None of the above?

If none of these apply, maybe ask yourself these questions to see if they help to make it clearer for you.

  • Why do you have a website? Or why do you want a website?
  • What do you want it to achieve?
  • What is your overall marketing strategy?
  • How does your website fit into that strategy?

TIP: Don’t worry if you have a website already. You can do your website goals and implementation at any time. In fact, you should consider your website a rolling document that you
update regularly.

Think about what you would like your website to do for you and your business, and write down your goals.

Make those goals measurable

Now that you have some general goals, it’s time to get specific. If you want your website to generate leads, how many leads do you want it to generate a month? If you want
to increase sales, by what percentage?

The more specific you get, the easier it is to measure your success.

How do you make your goals measurable? Simply start by adding numbers, percentages and timeframes.

So, have a think about what you really want:

  • Do you want to increase traffic? By what number or percentage? Over how long? (eg: by 10 percent a year)
  • Do you want to increase the amount of time people stay on your website?
  • Do you want to increase sales from your site? By how much and over how long?
  • Do you want to increase newsletter opt-ins or memberships? By how much?
  • Do you want to increase your Facebook likes or Twitter followers? By how much and over how long?

It’s important to set goals that can be measured – that way you can easily see if your new content is doing its job.

Here’s your homework! Take each of your general goals and make them measurable. By what number or percentage would you like to increase sales? Over what timeframe do you want to achieve these goals? Create specific goals.

Happy word styling lovelies x

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