The Content Marketing Lifecycle: What to Expect as Your Website Grows

Last week, I published my third book — Master Content Strategy: How to Maximize Your Reach and Boost Your Bottom Line Every Time You Hit Publish. It’s a companion to my first book,Master Content Marketing, and is available in print, ebook, and audiobook formats. 

Master Content Marketing is about how to get your content created. Master Content Strategy is about how to map out a sustainable content strategy that moves you closer to your business goals.

In today’s post, I’m sharing a chapter from the book which explains one of its core concepts — the Lifecycle Approach to Content Strategy.

It’s not easy to link to resources in a book — but in this article, I was able to link to lots of additional resources for you to explore. Enjoy!

Learn more about Master Content Strategy.

https://www.bigbrandsystem.com/mcs/


Back in the last millennium, I found myself expecting my first child.

It was an exciting and confusing time. In the process of growing a baby, your body does all these strange things! Foods you once loved suddenly disgust you. Smells you enjoyed begin to make you queasy. And you crave weird things you’ve never craved before.

I was living far away from my mother and any female relatives, so I had no one to confide in. In the midst of the week-by-week upheaval, I found consolation in a book called What to Expect When You’re Expecting.

It was chock-full of (almost) too much detail about every month of pregnancy. It gave context to the changes I was experiencing as my child grew and developed — it helped me realize they were all normal. Knowing that these strange changes were something every mother lived through helped me take the changes of pregnancy in stride. It was all part of my new reality and completely normal.

In this book, we’re going to take a What to Expect… approach to content strategy. The more I thought about how to teach this topic, the more I realized that there’s no single approach to content strategy that will work for every type of business.

Instead, it’s most useful to think about content strategy as something that evolves over time, during the lifecycle of your website as it grows and develops. I’m going to approach this topic from what you — as a content creator — can expect as you manage your website through its stages of growth.

What Is the Lifecycle Approach to Content Strategy?

The need to adapt a content strategy based on the age of the website you’re creating content for was driven home for me when I moved from creating content for my growing website, BIG Brand System, to managing the massive and mature content marketing resource that is Copyblogger.

Back in 2015, I was put in charge of the editorial department of the Copyblogger blog. And I quickly realized that the content strategy needed for a mature site with nearly ten years’ worth of material was completely different from the content strategy needed on a younger site like mine, which was just five years old.

You’re about to learn how to adapt a content strategy to the age of your site. As a website and a business matures, its needs change — and its content strategy should change, too.

The Three Lifecycle Stages: A Brief Overview

Your approach to raising your profile using content marketing is going to morph through the years. Master Content Strategy will help you anticipate and plan the work you’ll do in each stage of your website’s growth. You’ll have a clear idea of what to aim for so you can build toward the right goals with every piece of content you create.

Let’s go over the three lifecycle stages here. In the upcoming chapters, we’ll cover them in detail.

Your New Website: Birth through Year 1

On a brand-new website, you’ll focus on populating your pages with helpful content that establishes your expertise.

Aim for:

  • A new piece every week, so by the end of the first year, you’ll have become an experienced content creator and filled your website’s pages with content you’ll link to and from for years to come.
  • Clear, consistent categories, so people arriving on your website understand who it’s for and what it offers.
  • Polished content that makes a great impression. Aim to hone your voice and to get better with every piece you publish.

Your Growing Website: Years 2 through 5

Your website is still new at this stage, and now you will have some flesh-and-blood audience members. You can do things like ask them to leave a response in your comments section or on social media. You can create content to help with their real-life challenges.

Aim for:

  • A new piece at least every other week, so you can continue to serve up useful, engaging information your audience can count on.
  • Deep-dive content that delivers in-depth information on specific topics that help your audience and your business.
  • Multimedia content that expands your message to other platforms. If you haven’t explored repurposing your content, this will be the time to start.

Your Mature Site: Year 6 and Beyond

At this stage, you may have 300+ pieces of content on your site. It’s time to put on a new hat and start to approach your content like a resource librarian!

You may continue to publish every other week — but there’s more you must do. Going forward, focus on directing visitors around your site so they can easily find what they need.

Aim to:

  • Develop an updating habit. Some of your content is quite old. If it’s still being found, is it still reflecting positively on your business? Is it still relevant?
  • Get a clear view of what content is most popular so you can link back to it from newer content and link forward from it to newer content. (This simple tip will allow older content to help newer content.)
  • Master multimedia content and an expanded presence on outside platforms. Make it a habit to repurpose every piece of new content you create, so it’s findable in other places and helps people discover your website.

It sounds like a lot of work, but remember that you’re in only one growth stage at a time. Keep this book at hand to help you navigate smoothly through the stage you’re in and anticipate what lies ahead.

Let’s dive into what defines Very Important Content (VIC). This is what I want you to aim for as your site evolves! After that, we’ll talk about what to expect as your website comes to life, begins to grow, and matures.

Grab your copy of Master Content Strategy.

How to create content upgrades that grow your email list

How to Profit from Your Email List with Content Upgrades

Wondering how to create an email list that actually builds profits … not just names in a database?

Content upgrades are the answer.

Content upgrades are the perfect example of the 80/20 Rule in action.

The 80/20 rule, or Pareto Principle, states:

“Roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.”

When it comes to how content upgrades can help you profit from your email list, I think it’s closer to 90/10.

Content upgrades are effective because they’re:

  • Easy to create
  • Irresistible to your audience
  • Build highly targeted prospect lists
  • Allow you to make offers that you know people want

Let’s get down to defining a content upgrade before we proceed.

What is a content upgrade?

A content upgrade is a small-but-valuable bit of information that you offer inside a larger piece of content.

The best content upgrades:

  • Are easy to consume (and create)
  • Offer tips, resources, or information that can be put to use immediately
  • Complement and expand on the content where they’re featured

If that’s still not clear, later in this article you’ll find lots of content upgrade examples you can try for yourself.

Read article …How to Profit from Your Email List with Content Upgrades

5 Easy Steps to Create Stunning Content Marketing Images [Examples]

Content marketing image examples are all around us …

Just look at social media platforms these days to see that visual content marketing is on the rise.

Words are great. So is video and audio.

But images? They communicate fast …

Images are processed in the blink of an eye — 13 milliseconds, according to recent research presented in an MIT study.

Content marketing imagesWhen you’re coming up with content marketing ideas, are you thinking visually? Are you remembering to include image creation in your content marketing plans?

If you’re not, you’re effectively ignoring a fast track that goes straight to the brains of your audience members.

Yikes!

All images communicate fast, but the kind of images I’m going to cover in this article are what I call “signature branded images.”

You can think about them as “engagement images.”

No, not this …

Content marketing image engagement isn't this

This is what we’re aiming for …

Content marketing image engagement looks like this

We want our prospects and customers to be pulled right into our content because of the images we add.

Our goal is to use images to:

So … how can you make these “engagement images” a part of your content marketing strategy?

Read on …

Read article …5 Easy Steps to Create Stunning Content Marketing Images [Examples]

Does Your Online Brand Really Make You Successful?

I believe every business can benefit from going through the online brand building process.

It’s one reason I remain passionate about branding after all these years!

Here’s the thing …

Building a successful brand requires you to answer some thought-provoking questions.

If you want your online brand to succeed, there are a handful of things you must have complete clarity about.

And that clarity will help you in almost every area of your business, now and in the future.

It will impact:

  • The kind of customers you work to attract with your marketing
  • The visual brand design you develop
  • The types of products or services you create
  • The “voice” you use for both your copywriting and content marketing

But, let’s back up. In this article, I’m going to share what building an online brand requires. I’ll give you plenty of resources to read for more information. And I’ll show you how you can learn more — for free.

Read article …Does Your Online Brand Really Make You Successful?

Homepage Design Ideas: How to Make Money from “Hello”

This article features homepage design ideas that will help you get this response from people who land on your website:

Because really, isn’t that the effect we want?

We want our site visitors to say:

  • “I’m homeGet homepage design ideas with this free guide from BIG Brand System! This is the place I’ve been searching for.”
  • “This site was designed just for me!”
  • “After a long search, I have found my people.”

Wondering how to design a homepage that has that kind of impact? It’s easier than you think.

In How to Create a Homepage for Your Online Business, I shared exactly what is the best content to put on your homepage.

We covered the three essential elements every effective homepage features. They are:

  1. A high-impact website tagline
  2. A clear path to find out more
  3. An invitation to stay connected via email

Today’s article is going to share how to design those three elements for maximum impact.

First off, let’s answer the obvious questions …

Read article …Homepage Design Ideas: How to Make Money from “Hello”

Man about to start a race (or start an online business!)

How to Write a Winning Online Business Startup Plan in Under 20 Minutes

“There’s so much to do. Where do I start?”

Whether you’re running a race or starting an online business, the first step is always daunting.

You look ahead and see nothing but the work that needs to be done, and the progress you’ll have to make.

You can’t see the finish line at all. You might not even see the starting block.

This post is about the starting block exclusively.

If you get your online business off to the right start, the whole race will be easier, and you’ll increase your chances of winning it.Click To Tweet

Read article …How to Write a Winning Online Business Startup Plan in Under 20 Minutes