This week it is another awesome guest post! This time it is the lovely Ardelia of Ardelia Lee talking all about how to make sure you know your content is rocking it for your business...
Online business owners are stellar content creators. You have to be if you want to stand out and attract clients online. However, just because you create a lot of content doesn’t mean it will all support your business goals, especially because goals often change.
If you have a sizable library of content, or if your business has pivoted recently, it’s time to evaluate your content and ensure it’s still supporting and reflecting your business goals. To help you streamline your content evaluation process, snag a free Content Evaluation Kit. It’ll come in handy in the steps below.
Decide your goals
The first thing you need to do before you even start evaluating your content is decide what your goals are. Your goals are the things that give your content a direction and a purpose. Ideally, your content should be helping you achieve your goals.
If one of your goals is to grow your email list, then at least some of your blog posts should have opt-ins with them to help you gain subscribers. If another goal is to be seen as an authority in your niche by providing useful, actionable content, then your content should should set you up as such. It should be clear, actionable, and confident.
Be sure that your goals are clear and that you know exactly what you want your content to do. Your goals are one of the benchmarks by which you’ll judge whether or not your content is relevant and worth keeping.
List Your Content
Once you’ve got your goals written down, you need to list all of the content that you want to evaluate. The most common content to evaluate is blog posts and opt-ins or content upgrades. The best way to evaluate these types of content formats is to do all of your blog posts first and then go back and do your opt-ins or upgrades.
When you list your content, note its title and link back to it if you can. The best application to use for this task is Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets (included in the Content Evaluation Kit). You’ll be able to include a link back to your content and whether or not it passed the evaluation. Linking back to your content if you can is important because it helps you streamline the actual evaluation process, as does having a list of your content ready to go.
Meet the Content Matrix
Now it’s time for the actual evaluation. To evaluate your content, you’ll be using a tool called the content matrix. The content matrix looks like this:
The vertical axis of the content matrix tracks goal alignment. If your content is highly aligned with your goal, it’ll go in the top half of the matrix. If your content isn’t in line with your goals, it’ll go in the bottom half of the matrix.
The horizontal axis of the content matrix concerns content performance. In the case of blog posts, content performance would be the number of page views. In the case of opt-ins, performance would be measured by the number of subscribers or by the conversion rate.
If your content is low-performing, it goes in the left half of the matrix. If your content is high-performing, it’ll go in the right half. Now, content performance is relative. If most of your blog posts get 20 pageviews a day, but one or two get 100 views a day, those outliers would be high-performing. Everything else would be towards the middle of the matrix.
Using the Content Matrix
Let’s say you’re a home organization guru, and you have a blog post called 7 Tips for Organizing Your Guest Bedroom. If your goals are to establish yourself as an authority in your niche, then this posts is aligned to that goal. You’ll put it in the top half of the matrix.
Now let’s look at the post’s performance. 7 Tips for Organizing Your Guest Bedroom is one of your least viewed posts, so you’ll put it in the top left corner of the matrix, where the highly-aligned, low-performing content goes.
Taking another blog post from your theoretical home organization blog yields this gem: How to Bake Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies. That blog post is in now way aligned with your goal of establishing your authority as a home organization expert. As delicious as chocolate chip cookies are, they have nothing to do with your niche. This blog post is also one of your least-viewed posts.
How to Bake Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies would go in the bottom left corner of the matrix because it’s unaligned with your goal and low-performing.
Go through your content and decide where it falls in the matrix. Place it in the matrix included in your Content Evaluation Kit.
Fix, Nix, or Keep Your Content
Depending on where your content falls in the content matrix, it will need to be fixed, nixed, or left alone. The picture below shows what content in your matrix will fall into each category.
Using your Content Evaluation Sheet, make a note of whether your content needs to be fixed, nixed, or left alone.
Generally, the content that is low-performing and unaligned with your goal is an immediate toss out. This content isn’t doing anything for you in terms of helping you reach your goals or earning you more page views. It’s just taking up space, so it’s time to give it the boot.
Content that’s aligned with your goals but low-performing or content that’s high performing but not aligned with your goals will need to be fixed. This content has potential, and you need to do some digging to find out how you can make the most of it.
For the content that’s aligned but low-performing, what can you do to boost its performance? Think about the promotional strategies that you can use to spread the word about your content.
For the content that’s high-performing but unaligned with your goals, how can you tweak it so that it supports your goals? If you want to grow your email list, it could be as simple as adding an opt-in to your content.
Finally, celebrate about the content that’s aligned with your goals and high-performing. This is content that you can leave mostly untouched. However, you should still consider what about it makes it aligned and high performing? Asking a few questions and digging deeper can help you understand what your audience likes in content and how you can align more of your content to your goals.
Make Your Changes
After you’ve categorized your content into what you need to change, get rid of, or keep, it’s time to actually make your changes. It’s difficult to go through your blog posts or opt-ins and delete content, especially if you discover that most of your content falls into the nix category.
However, that content wasn’t doing anything for your business. It’s time to let go of unhelpful content so you can make room for fresh, new content that will push you towards your goals. Don’t forget to grab your Content Evaluation Kit to make your evaluation a breeze.
CTT - Before you can evaluate your content, you must know your goals.
CTT - A content evaluation ensures that your content supports + reflects your goals.
Ardelia Lee is an amazing Content Roadmap Engineer who helps creatives develop a personalized, comprehensive content strategy and implement it through purposeful content. To learn more about how you can use content marketing in your business or blog, sign up for her new email course, Content Marketing for Creatives
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