How to churn out successful posts?

The answer to this should be a simple one. Using good content, right? After all, content is king. Well, only partially. Even a formidable king needs a capable cabinet and a great army of soldiers. Likewise, content is just a part of the many other ingredients that make a post, especially on a professional website, attractive and satisfying to read and assimilate.

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Now, it's been a while that I'm writing content as a freelancer. Up until recently, I'd work on the specs mentioned by the content team and draft it out. The rest of how the article got published or added value to their page was totally the lookout of the team I was not a part of. My job and responsibilities ended with the 'send' button. Sure, the content was completely mine and I made sure I was doing complete justice to the people who were paying me, but I really had no control over the edits that went in or the way the article was offered over the world wide web.

However, lately, I've had the fortunate chance to work for a vibrant start-up with a very close-knit and dedicated team. It's here that I'm able to see the whole picture at a broader level and at the same time be a part of all the tiny, excruciating bits of details that add up and make a beautiful canvas for the readers. These rules are of course not generic and most of the behind-the-scene working style depends on the nature of the company, its products, and services. This being a parent-kid related portal, everything that goes in gets packaged to appeal to the said target audience.

Here are 7 things I've learned that helps to hit the bull's eye:

1. The content matters but presentation even more

Think of this as a construction site where you lay the foundation stones, the iron frames, and the slabs. This is the content. The buyer, however, is attracted only by the end product which comes after a lot of scrubbing, polishing, and adding colourful hues to the facade.

I can write a piece on my personal blog, edit it to my satisfaction, add an image and publish it without any more care. However, an article on a good website has to pass far more layers of quality control. For instance, it cannot have a random title, the SEO and keywords (devil's hands that play truant) need to be worked on, the images have to be carefully sourced and rightfully attributed and such other details. All the minutiae follow a process to meet strict quality standards.

2. The final product you see almost never coincides with the first blueprint

You start with a concept, a broad idea. You then work your way into getting the framework right to arrange your thoughts neatly and start filling up the details. However, the idea evolves, matures, and finally blooms into something that is very different from the initial draft. The draft undergoes several iterations and when it finally emerges, it is beautiful, with the soul intact.

3. It's always a team work

You cannot work in silo. Especially, when it concerns the face of one business connecting several others like a needle and thread on a criss-cross knitwork. You need to subscribe to the broader business goal, hold your own amongst some tough competition and yet bring something new to the table each time. With several such layers to function cohesively, you need several hands. Your claim to success cannot be yours alone because there were a lot of factors that contributed to making your piece stand out.

4. You need to have many a critical eye

Cannot stress on this enough, right? Even when you write a piece for yourself on a personal blog, editing matters. So, when it comes to a larger platform, with a much larger audience you cannot be careful enough. It really pays to have several critical eyes comb out the content thoroughly.

5. Polish until it shines

Even as you edit, you need to re-evaluate the content through the eyes of a dispassionate reader. A factually and grammatically correct content needs to flow smoothly, have eye-catchy images, unbroken links, and a crisp appearance. Looking at it with a fresh mind like a dispassionate viewer needs objectivity and patience. Knowing what will work and what won't comes with experience. So, the final polishing happens till the piece shines out bright and glowing.

6. Market, Promote, Push the content

A no-brainer when you're in a professional environment and cater to an eager and demanding audience. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, think of all the social media platforms. You need to mark your presence in each of them. It helps to maintain a fixed time and schedule to share and re-share your blogs, videos, and tweets.

7. Let go and focus on the next

Despite the amount of passion and work poured into each type of content and information sharing, the moment you place it in the reader's hands, you have to learn to let go. The next task awaits you and you need to summon the same amount of passion, energy, and enthusiasm like it were your first project. 

Now, as I introspect, I do realize that this applies not just to professional blogs but personal ones too, no?

What is it that you'd add to these points? I'm all ears! :-)


9 comments:

  1. Pretty much summed it up very well, Uma. It's a team effort, for sure.

    As for personal blogs, I'd say all the above still apply plus building your network and genuine connections that want to read and share quality content.

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    1. Very true about building network and connections. It takes time but I guess its worth the effort.

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  2. This was a very apt read for me Uma, just as I was pondering on my absence of blog posts this morning ;). Loved your list, and so glad to see that BB has added even more facets to your writing/blogging. All the very best to you :).

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    1. Aparna, isn't it ironical that such a post should come from me? Someone who periodically goes into darkness fighting writing blocks :-p Yes, I'm so glad to be a part of BB. Thanks to Shailaja.
      Please write more often, Aparna if I can say so. Thanks a lot and best wishes to you too :-)

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  3. That was a helpful post, Uma. I am going to need these tips a lot!

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    1. Shilpa, I'm glad you found these useful. And, thank you so much for reading my posts <3 :-)

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  4. Congrats Uma! Great set of points...reminds me of our talk on networking bit and personal blogs...

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    1. Hey Vibha, how are you?? Thanks :-) I'm not sure when I'll be able to apply this to my personal blog. The networking bit still needs a lot of working on :-) Have you shifted yet?

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  5. Bang on target. Quality matters, but marketing/promotion has to do its job too!

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