Essential Content Creation Checklist
True and meaningful connection with your audience is the holy grail in growing your business.
Connection is the thing that gets them following you, loving you and craving your services and products.
The way you create and nurture that connection is through your content. It allows you to give life to your ideas, your brand, your value as an entrepreneur and your mission.
Everything in business starts with content. We’re all at it. It’s your blog, podcast, video series, Insta captions, Facebook Lives, YouTube video descriptions, Pinterest pin descriptions, ebooks, web content, welcome sequences, surveys. The list goes on and on.
So it’s pretty key to get it right and become known as a quality content creator.
So you’ve finished creating your value packed content, now what? Read on to check out the content checklist I personally use and I use with my clients to make sure our content is optimised before we hit publish.
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Content Creation Checklist #1: Have you fulfilled your content goal?
Before you set off writing any piece of content you need to set a goal, otherwise you’re writing aimlessly and potentially just creating noise with no real purpose.
Do you want your content to inspire? Educate? Create connection?
When you set your goal, think about:
Who are you writing this for? Who is your target audience?
How do they like to consume their content? Videos, blogs, short and sweet, longer more in depth?
How do you want your target audience to feel as a result of your content? Inspired? Compelled to take action? Fired up? Moved? Knowledgeable? Wanting more?
What do you want them to do as a result of your content? Share? Comment? Email you? Book in an appointment? Lobby their government?
Before I hit publish, I always check that my content has fulfilled my goal and I haven’t strayed away from the overall purpose (I can defo get distracted by anything shiny and stray away from my purpose!!)
If I have wandered then I go back and re-write, edit, re-focus until my goal is fulfilled.
Content Creation Checklist #2: Are you speaking to a specific person?
You’ve probably done countless target market exercises and created your ideal client avatar. But i’ve found that it usually ends up lost in my hundreds of Google Docs and I never really think about it again.
One of the most powerful things you can do when creating anything for your business, is to imagine you are speaking to one specific person.
You must have read those sales pages or posts that feel like the writer has crawled into your head and understood everything you are about and everything you feel? That’s because they have one person in mind when they create their content.
So it’s time to dust off the ideal client work and really bring it alive by thinking of one person you know who embodies your avatar. What’s their name, what do they look like? Then every time you are creating content you can conjure up an image of that person and really speak directly to them.
Content Creation Checklist #3: Can you hear your voice?
Your audience has chosen to hear from you out of hundreds of other people they could have followed because of who you are, what you stand for, how you make them feel and how they can relate to you.
They want to know you, so be yourself and it’ll be so much more engaging.
When creating content, ask yourself, can you hear your voice?
Best way to check is to read it out loud (yes you’ll feel like an idiot, but no ones looking, I promise). If you stumble on anything, or something sounds funny coming out of your mouth, then your unique and wonderful voice has probably been lost in that bit. Time for some rewording.
You can also throw in phrases you use a lot, but be authentic. If you wouldn’t say it to your mates, don’t use it in your content as it’ll stick out a mile off. So I’d never say y’all, so why in the heck would I use it in my content y’all!! (see how weird it is coming from me?)
Content Creation Checklist #4: Is there a clear and compelling call to action?
Your call to action should be linked to the goal you set for the content.
Golden rules for a good call to action:
Make it unmissable, so they literally can’t miss it on the page
Fill it with personality, nothing snooze worthy please. So rather than ‘click here for you next freebie’, it could be ‘no brainer - give me more free stuff’
Make it simple and directive
There are loads of possible types of CTA’s: buy, contact me, book a call, share, like, pin,
join my FB group, download a freebie, comment, visit my website, refer a friend, get a discount, sign up for a webinar, watch this, subscribe to my channel, follow me on Instagram.
So is the call to action compelling and clear?
Content Creation Checklist #5: Is it well structured?
Harsh truth is you can have the most valuable, life changing content but if it’s dense and difficult to read then people will simply swerve it.
So before I publish anything I always think about it’s structure:
Is it easy to read?
Are the sentences short?
Are the audience drawn down the slippery slope?
Is there enough white space?
Do your ideas and words have enough room to breathe or do they need breaking up with paragraphs, pauses, images, clips, links, headlines?
Is it conversational? Nothing kills a potentially good bit of content like being overly formal. This isn’t a dry essay, it’s about relationship building between you and your audience.
Content Creation Checklist #6: Have you included your keywords correctly?
Your focus should always be on creating incredibly valuable content that is going to genuinely help your audience.
But you’ve also got to be thinking about how you can get your content in front of your audience. The best way to do both of these is to optimise it for keywords they’re actually searching for.
As reported on marketingland.com, a 2016 study by Wolfgang Digital that looked at 87 million e-commerce website sessions found that 43% of all traffic came from organic Google searches:
The first thing I do when sitting down to create new content is to do some keyword research. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner, Answer the Public and SEM Rush. Take a peek at my blog on creating content ideas to learn how to use these tools.
When using Google Keyword Planner you usually want to target keywords that have 1K+ searches and low competition (so you have a better chance of ranking in organic search results).
Once i’ve got my keywords and long-tail phrases I put them in my content. Long gone are the days of keyword stuffing, so make sure you use them naturally. I aim to use them 4-5 times if I’m creating content which is 500-700 words and 7-8 times if my content is over 1000 words as keyword density is an important search engine optimisation factor.
Content Creation Checklist #7: Is your headline captivating and clickable?
I always check how compelling my headline or caption is before publishing my content.
The headline is prime real estate in the online world. Get it right and you’ve hooked your potential clients into reading/listening/engaging with what you’ve created.
Get it wrong and your content marketing is ultimately doomed.
You need an attention grabbing headline that pulls them in with the promise of value. You need to intrigue them, get them wondering what’s to come and keen to learn more.
Ultimately, you’re trying to persuade your audience to part with the most valuable thing they have, time.
Does your headline use powerful and emotive language?
Have you included numbers? They can be very enticing
Is it SEO and keyword optimised?
Is it simple & short?
Have you given people a reason to click?
Have you got them curious?
Want to learn more about how to create captivating headlines that people just can’t help but click? Then jump on over.
Content Creation Checklist #8: Have you proofread it?
Sounds obvious but so many people (myself included) can forget this one. You’re so excited by what you’ve created/so happy it’s done that you quickly publish without even reading it through.
You need to check it, check again and check one final time before you publish.
Look out for typos as they can kill impact. They are jarring and stop a readers flow and you loose their attention, which is game over.
You can always ask a mate to check it when you first start until you get more confident. I also love to copy and paste my content into Word or Google Docs as that’ll pick up spelling and grammatical mistakes. Or you can try a software to help you like Grammarly.
Give yourself grace as you’ll always miss a few things but you’ll catch the big hairy mistakes.
Content Creation Checklist #9: Do your links work?
Finally, check that your links are all working and any sign up boxes or opt in pages are all linked up. Nothing worse than having people loving what you have written, going to sign up for more and then getting a blinking error message.
Is there anything else you like to check before you publish your content?
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