Content Strategy: Food for Thought.

content-strategy-burger

content-strategy-burger (Photo credit: raphaelle_ridarch) Click to enlarge and see fascinating detail!

Last night I attended the monthly WordUp meet up here in Brighton, where WordPress geeks and users come together to share knowledge about WordPress.  A lot of these meet-ups are very geeky: WordPress site builders, designers, content strategists – to label a few – talk about how they do what they do.  As I am most interested in Content Creation* I tend to get to any meet-up where content is discussed.

Afterwards I was sitting in the pub with the stragglers discussing blog content.  Someone said they’ve never started a blog because they couldn’t pick a topic.  I said my blog started out without a focus and now I’m writing about food because that’s what seems the most popular**.  The conversation then went round to how to use analytics to shape my blog posts, which led to the question as to whether or not a person should blog about what they want to write about or what analytics have steered them towards and I was asked: “Do you really want to write about food?”  Good question.  More about that later…but first, a message from the evening’s sponsor!

Google Analytics Hacks

Google Analytics Hacks (Photo credit: Search Engine People Blog)

Before we went to the pub, Chris Harding (@The_Kraken) talked about the use of analytics in content strategy***, and Herb Miller of BobbingWide gave a talk about shortcode and introduced us to his latest creation OIK (now available for DL at WordPress.org).

Chris introduced us to 3 analytics apps: Yoast, Clicktale and GoSquared and discussed the benefits of each. Having not tried any of them, I can only regurgitate what Chris told us. Basically: Yoast is a Google Analytics Plug-In, ClickTale looks at heatmapping, delivering some insightful stats such as: time on page, density of dwell, whether they go below the fold, etc., while GoSquared looks at real-time analytics.

He then talked about how to understand the numbers, and how to use those numbers to improve our content creation and community engagement to maximize number of quality visitors to our site and – if in the world of marketing, most important – actual impact on the brand’s market share.  Sound kinda complicated coming from a poet who writes about food?  Nah. Not really.  I’m fascinated by it because in the digital age it’s how ideas are sold. And brands are essentially ideas, right?

So why do I write about food?  I eat it.  We are what we eat.  It doesn’t cost anything.  I don’t have buy a ticket to an event.  I don’t even have to leave my house.  I have a constant supply of ideas generated by my need to feed myself.  It’s immediate.  It’s personal without being upclose and personal.  Would I write about something else?  Well, I am thinking I should start writing up all the notes I’ve made when attending all those digital meet-ups.  I’ve learned enough to have some of idea what I’m talking about.

Do I have to write about food?  Nah.  Pay me to write about something else, and I am sure I can deliver.

*Am just as obsessed with UX and design – how well the site navigates, what it all looks like when you land on the page – as I am with the words: for me the words have to look right, as well as read easily; the site needs to flow logically and smoothly – and I know my blog is far from perfect.

**Poems also get a lot of hits.  People actually like reading poetry online.  People actually like reading poetry.  People actually like poetry.  I should publish more of my poems on my blog! I have 100′s.

***Chris also spoke at the Content Strategy meet-up last Thursday which was a show’n’tell of various tools content strategists are using. 1 tool he mentioned which is very interesting is InboundWriter – a tool that helps you write your content based on “…what interests your target audience by discovering the very words and phrases they use when searching or sharing.”  The app becomes part of your existing content creation workflow, like a dashboard.  It actually scores your content.  Amazing.  Of course, for it to work you have to create Persona Profiles: profiles of your target audience.  If you’re selling a brand this stuff is very useful.  If you’re a blogger who writes for skill development, it’s worth looking at.  If you just want to write and don’t want to be too manipulated by stats, well – just carry on writing. 

…To Be Continued…

2 Comments

Filed under Alison Boston, Blogging, Writing

2 responses to “Content Strategy: Food for Thought.

  1. Arlee Bird

    You’re lucky to have access. I wish I could find a group around where I live that specialized in blogging. I need to be around some geeks to see if some of their geekiness could transfer into my brain. I need somebody to show me things and explain them to me. Reading about it doesn’t do it for me.

    Lee
    The Dog Lived (and So Did I)
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  2. Hi Lee, I’m always delighted when you leave a comment! One of the things I’ve been thinking about is just how many digital meet-ups there in this town! The WordUp MeetUps are geared to WordPress developers more than bloggers, though I have attended 1 on branding and last night’s which looked at analytics. Most of the people who attend these events work in IT and/or marketing/branding. If you want to learn more about this sort of thing and learn best in the show’n’tell format, you cold start a meet-up. All you have to do is find a venue – a local friendly coffee shop for example – and create the event on Eventbrite, then blog about it and Tweet it like crazy. As Paul Bunkham – the fellow who started the local WordPress group says: “You’ll be surprised who crawls out of the wood work when you organize these events.” You might have low numbers at the first event, but it will grow.
    You’ll notice there are lot of related articles linked to – they were served up by Zemanta. I haven’t checked them all out and really I broke the golden rule by linking to so many – WordPress does think of that many links as Spam. But I wanted to link to them all so I would have a handy dandy reference for my own use and anyone like yourself who is interested. Often there are videos – which is almost as good as live show’n’tell. Maybe better, because you watch over and over. But the meet-ups are nice way to meet other people face-to-face who share your internet fascination.

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