Step One - Optimize Your Site
Step Two - Find Your Tribe
Step Three - Find Your Media
Step Four - Making Your Connections
Step Five - Manage Your Content
Social SEO - Step Five
If you've been following along in this how-to series, you'll have a sense of how to connect with your online audience, the best channels to use to reach them, and how to manage all the new connections you've been making. You've also explored your favorite content delivery system, be that a blog, podcast, videos, or social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora or Instagram.
Manage Your Content with Calendars
Managing all that content is a balancing act that starts with one simple thing: Create an editorial calendar for yourself. You can start up a calendar on Google or if you use WordPress, there is a terrific plug-in that you can use to see and schedule all your upcoming posts. If you use Hootsuite, check out the Publisher view (it has a paper airplane icon) which allows you to see all pending posts in a calendar format. All those solutions share some key features: They are visual so you can see what things look like over a month's time, and they allow for drag-and-drop, which means you can switch the schedule of posts around just by moving them.
Know What You're Going to Write
For two years I wrote a blog called 500 Words on Thursday. It was (guess what?) five hundred words, posted each week on Thursday. Each week I rarely knew what I was going to write before I wrote it. I let each blog flow out of me. It was exhilarating, scary, and I am totally over doing it that way any more. When you're managing content across a lot of platforms, seat of the pants doesn't really cut it. (Although it is fun.) Now I have Google Alerts set up for topics I write and post about. I use Google Reader to monitor ten thousand sources. (Not an exaggeration.) Our researchers have complied schedules of conferences and events concerning the topics we post about, so if we're writing about a related topic, we'll know the best time to post it. We keep lists of bloggers writing about topics we care about and build relationships with them so that we can trade blog posts and share content from time to time. All of this creates a solid foundation for creative spontaneity.
What a Minute? Spontaneity?
Yes, exactly. Writing often and well, whether you are writing a blog, novel, Twitter post, Facebook entry, or screenplay, is all about support. To take the risks that writing requires, you need to feel safe. Same thing if you are doing a podcast, video, or making a series of images that will go to Instagram. Here's one way to give yourself support: Whether you use Word, Evernote, a napkin, or the back of an envelope, write up one-sentence versions of your major themes. Got a lot of them in play, let them incubate for a while, and then when you're ready to write, see which one of them jumps out. Has somebody written an e-book about this? Of course. I have. Click the link for info What Should My Blog Be About?
To add a little more to that previous section: If you've done your homework, know your audience, have researched your keywords, you'll be in a great position to brainstorm lots of on-message topics for Twitter, Facebook, or for your blog. Start small, look for themes, and review your keywords now and again so that your message stays on message.
Ask for Help
If you're planning an interview series on YouTube, or prepping to start up your podcast, you'll want great interviewees. Check out these free services for help in finding people to interview. Post a free request for an interviewee on Help a Reporter Out, Steve and Bill Harrison's Reporter Connection, or ProfNet. You'll get lots of responses from experts, authors, professionals, and their publicists.
Photo Credit: Joe Lanman via Flickr and Creative Commons License.