As spring turns to summer, many of us can’t wait to get out in the yard, get our hands dirty and dig into planting a vegetable garden. Before we do, we’ll have to find a suitable spot for our garden, decide what we’re going to grow, and make sure we have plenty of water, fertilizer and, most importantly, time to tend to our precious plants.
Come to think of it, creating rich and organic content is a lot like planting a vegetable garden.
A bountiful garden needs lots of sunshine – just like an informative article, how-to video, engaging infographic or some other type of content needs a suitable place where it can set down roots and grow to maturity.
Trying to grow fruits or vegetables that aren’t suitable for your location or climate is sure to fail. So is writing and placing content that is not carefully tailored to the audience that will be consuming it.
Even the best-intended garden will wither away and die if it’s not maintained with enough water, nutrients and care – just like content that will fail to live up to its full potential without adequate promotion and support.
If you don’t have a green thumb, you may never be able to plant, grow and harvest a bounty of fruits and vegetables. But by following a few simple steps, you’ll have a better chance of bringing in a bumper crop of content this year.
- Prepare the Soil: The quality of the soil is often overlooked when planting a garden, but it’s also important to consider where your content will be placed before you start digging. Take the time to identify the section of your own website or suitable blogs where you can host your content elements to make sure they are a good fit. Will the content’s subject matter and style resonate with readers? Is it similar to the content that is already posted there? Just like preparing your garden soil with fertilizer before planting, finding the best places to host and place your content will go a long way toward helping it grow.
- Pull the Weeds: Weeds can ruin a home garden, just like picking the wrong topics or placing content in the wrong places can kill a good content strategy. Avoid writing about topics that don’t fit with your website’s content strategy or match the tone and style of the blog where you are posting your content. Write for readers, not search engines. Always think about how this piece of content can serve readers. Don’t let your content be the pesky weed in an otherwise beautiful and bountiful content garden.
- Water, Fertilize and Nurture: A garden left without needed watering, fertilizing and nurturing will surely die. Just the same, content that is left on its own without necessary care and maintenance will shrivel up. Once you have placed your content, it’s time to get to work promoting it. As a general rule of thumb, you should spend as much time promoting your content as you did creating it. By using social media, paid search campaigns or other means to tell the world about your awesome piece of content, you can help support its growth and prosperity.
- Harvest Time: The reason you spend all those long, hard hours out in the sun planting, pulling weeds and watering your garden comes when you finally get to pick and eat the tasty fruits and veggies you’ve grown. Growing content is no different.
Once you have planted and nurtured your content and seen it grow to produce the fruits of website visits and lots of social media “likes” and “shares,” it’s time to harvest. If the content is placed on your website, be sure to engage with your loyal readers through comments left on the article. Answer reader questions and comments to show them you are listening. Write follow-up articles and they’ll likely come back to read and comment on other articles. If your content was placed on a blog run by someone other than yourself, keep in touch with the blogger. Thank them for hosting your guest blog and offer to host their articles on your site. Keep that relationship healthy and growing so you can rely on it in the future.
Planting a fruitful garden is one of the most gratifying experiences in life. Producing quality content that grows on the web and generates valuable website visits and social media shares can be equally rewarding.