No one likes making resolutions — it’s essentially a chance to highlight your flaws. But like them or not, they are a good opportunity to take a step back to do a gut check of what’s worked and what has not this past year. Rather than view them as a necessary evil, look at them as an opportunity to reset. In 2017, resolve to make content a priority with us. We promise it will payoff in dividends.
- Make an Editorial Calendar – and Stick with It
Like anything else in life, writing can be a whole lot harder if you’re not in the habit of doing it regularly. It’s no different than going to the gym (and we know that’s a resolution). The first few times will feel like a massive chore and you’ll drag your feet to get there, but after a few weeks, it’ll become so routine that it’s second nature and you may even start to enjoy it. Writing’s the same way. Get in a habit of doing it weekly or bi-weekly and set your topics in advance (we recommend quarterly) so you can’t use writer’s block as an excuse to miss a beat.
- Treat Writing As Much a Science as an Art
Like resolutions, if you don’t take the time to stop and analyze what’s done well and where you can improve, you really haven’t learned. You can optimize future posts by simply dedicating some real time to Google Analytics to review your numbers. Try to decipher any trends you see with topics, titles or post length. Write the same post and share it with two different headlines to see which performs better. The more time you spend developing hypotheses to test, the better your future posts will perform.
- Try Something New
Just because a certain formula resonates with your audience doesn’t mean you’re limited to writing in that style. There’s no better time than the New Year to get creative. Test out a new interview series. Make an infographic. Try a podcast. Save snaps in a post or try your hand at Facebook Live. The worst thing you can do is become predictable. Keep it fresh and people will always have a reason to come back.
- Read – and Read Some More
The best way to become a better writer (or better at anything for that matter)? Surround yourself with people smarter than you are. Subscribe to expert blogs. Download an audio book. Setup Google Alerts for relevant keywords. Become a sponge on anything and everything in your industry.
- Content Doesn’t End When You Push Publish
You spent hours and hours drafting a post, sourcing images, inserting relevant links and are finally confident enough to push publish and share it with the world. While you may be patting yourself on the back for putting out a well crafted, thoughtful post, but your job is not done. In fact, 75% of what matters in publishing is what happens after you put that post live. Set aside some time to outline your promotion strategy by brainstorming a list of anywhere and everywhere you can possibly share it — from social media to forums to relevant Facebook pages. It’s okay to be the door-to-door salesman of the Internet. You’re proud of what you wrote – and others should want to read it.