The Essential Guide to Long-Form Content Creation: Why This Is All You Need to Do for Your Service Business

 
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This guide is for you if the bulk of your leads comes from offline, i.e. referrals and sales, and not from online, i.e. social media, webinar, live stream, and you want to boost your business’s online presence to build repetition (future-proof'ing), and you aren't sure where to start.

"Should I give Instagram a try?"

"Should I do a podcast?"

“Should I hire someone for social media?"

I hear these questions a lot from business owners who haven’t done many of these online activities and only have a very basic website with no content that gets added regularly. If this is you, there is nothing wrong with getting your leads offline.  But at where you are, these are wrong, fragmented questions that will keep you from building a solid base online.

Instead, I'd love you to take a step back and ask this question:

"What content creation strategy should I invest my time in to increase my online presence and stick with & leverage?"

The answer is:  Invest in long-form written content & post on your website regularly.

This strategy comes from my deep belief in building the smallest, meanest profit generating machine, in which you can do business activities that require less effort but produce the maximum effect over time.  

OK, it doesn’t sound like the sexy answer you were looking for.  But as you read along, you will find out just how smart this strategy really is.

When you focus on what generates compounding effect in your business, you will find yourself putting a lot of effort in the beginning of the process. This is actually the way it should be.

What you are aiming for is to eventually automate the process you are building right now.  To do this, front-loading work is inevitable.

This is the same reason many entrepreneurs don't opt for this route because it completely lacks instant gratification. The work seems endless and tiresome in the face of headlines like:

 

"How I got 5,000 followers on Instagram in just one week.” 

"How I made $10,000 directly from my Facebook group with 1 offer."

"The secret to my 200K traffic per month to my blog."

What these headlines don't tell you is what goes on behind closed doors.  Most of these posts do not answer the following questions:

1. How much money did they make from this activity?

2. How much did they spend on time & resources? 

3. How many people signed up for anything they offer & what's the conversion rate?

 

If they ever reveal what those numbers are (not that they would), you would see that it's not worth chasing down these types of results.

As an alternative, I am offering another strategy that can well be considered as the gift that keeps on giving.

Before getting started, here’s the breakdown of this guide:

 

What is considered long-form content?

Why writing long-form content should be your first strategy to implement

Why should it be in a written format?

Setting the right expectation for this strategy

How to write effective long-form content (Plan / Create / Promote / Expand / Multiply)

Once you discover what, why and how on writing effective long-form content that will increase visibility online without wasting a lot of time, all you need to do is to simply follow the how to write effective long-form content section of this post.  To be able to come up with this strategy, I personally had to go through some different iterations. 

Good news is that you don’t have to.

 

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What Is Considered Long-Form Content?

Let’s start with the basics.  There are a few different opinions out there about what is considered long-form content. 

Some say it needs to be over 4000 words (per post.) Others say anything over 700 words. I found the one suggesting it needs be over 1500 words.

To find out more on this, you can check the Wordstream Blog here.

So, what’s the bottom line?

I recommend you aim for 2000 words based on the findings of Brian Dean from Backlinko.com, which show how Google rankings work by analyzing over 1 million search results on Google. Not to get too meta, but his posts are extremely long, in some cases, nearly 20,000-words-long, and beyond. 

Unless you are in the mood for geeking out about how exactly he found out that on average 1890-word posts do well, just remember 2000 words.  This is a good start. 

As you may have noticed, mine range from 2500 to 5000, and this is no accident; this is purely strategic.

Now that you know how many words you should write, let’s go over what makes effective long-form content.  It may sound obvious, but writing just anything over 2000 words for the sake of writing 2000 words simply doesn’t cut it. 

Here is the bare minimum list of what makes effective long-form content:

 

1.     Content is relevant to keywords & links you select.

2.     Content offers value by presenting solutions.

3.     Content is easy to digest so that readers will stay on your site longer.

4.     Content incorporates images, videos, charts and graphs that are relevant to the topic.

5.     Content is evergreen and allows people to share it over time.

 

In this post, effective long-form content means it should satisfy all the above.  It’s OK not knowing why, as we are just about to get to that below. 

 

 

Why Should Writing Long-Form Content Be Your First Strategy to Implement?

A number of reasons. 

1.     You get to focus on creating one big chunky post at a time that will live on your website indefinitely, instead of trying to manage all social media platforms in silos and end up spreading yourself out too thin.

2.     You can multiply various content from just one post. Consider long-form content as your mother dough. This is the leveraging part of the strategy.

3.     Google likes it.  If you are looking for a sustainable way to increase your online presence, do what Google likes.

4.     You can showcase your expertise to your prospects as part of their due diligence to increase your authority in the industry.

5.     Housing relevant long-form content on your website will help increase your site’s domain authority, as numerous case studies show that readers tend to share long-form content over short form.

 

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, your goal is to increase online presence to future-proof your lead generation efforts over time for your service business.  For this reason, I am not going to overwhelm you with the nitty-gritty of SEO strategies. There are a ton of tools and in-depth strategies to beat your competitors and rank on the first page of Google (skyscraper technique & the power page concept), etc.

However, these are considered advanced techniques suited for various online businesses such as SaaS, eCommerce, online info players, and niche authority sites that generate nearly 100% of their revenues strictly from online sales.  This is a whole other ball game and does not apply to your current goal.

Once you implement the basics covered in this post and get it working, you can move on to mastering new techniques. But for now, stick with the basics. 

 

#1: Focusing on One Big Chunk of Content at a Time.

Relying on any social media platforms to grow your online presence is a dangerous game. It’s because none of us own any of these platforms. These platforms can change their policies, shut down your account with no advance notice, and they can change their algorithms as often as they please.

Granted, even if you build a website from scratch, you don’t quite own your website 100%, as you have to sign up with a web hosting company. But, compared to social media platforms, you have more control over your site, even if it sits on a platform like Wix or Squarespace. 

So why not reinvest your previous time and resources into content that lives on your site? This is a no brainer.

#2: You Can “Repurpose” Your Content Based on Your Long-form Content.

You may be familiar with the concept of “repurposing content” to cover all online platforms. Creating enough long-form content first will enable you to do this much, much easier.

No one has the time to manually work on tasks over and over again for the sake of frequency & quantity. 

No one has the time to work on a project that gets harder over time.

Creating high quality long-form content solves this problem.  Yes, it will take time and discipline to continuously work on this in the beginning, but because of it, when the time comes to repurpose your content, the process will be a breeze.

 

#3: If You Want to be Found on Google, Do What Google Likes.

This is the golden rule for any platform & Google is no exception.  Thanks to the leading SEO (search engine optimization) sites and their case studies, we now know that Google favors long-form content with relevant keywords and links that offer value.

Also, long-form content allows you to incorporate a variety of keywords without making a post scammy or unnatural.  Think about sprinkling in the same keyword 15 times in a 500-word post… This is one of Google’s pet peeves & it will punish you by making your post invisible.

The downside when it comes to anything Google is that it takes time to show visible results. Because of this, if you haven’t put much effort in increasing online presence, this needs to be your priority. 

Chasing down new features on social media will delay your goal of building a robust online presence.

 

#4: Allowing Your Prospects to Do Due Diligence at Their Convenience.

I cannot tell you how many times people told me that they checked out my site (and social media accounts) before they got on a call with me. Prospects do respect sites that are well-maintained and updated consistently. 

Also having a regularly updated website gives your prospects the power and control of due diligence whenever and wherever. They feel they are the ones making decisions, as opposed to feeling like they have been handled. 

When that moment comes, you can sit back, relax, and let them do their job (if your website is maintained, that is.)

“Yeah, but I am not in the content or copywriting or web design business.”

Me, either.  The reality is they still check on it, and they form an opinion about what they see.  It’s just a fact.

Think of it this way: You probably have a website regardless of how often you update.  It’s yours.  So, why not maximize the real estate you have and make sure all of your content is geared towards showcasing your (or your business’s) expertise? 

Otherwise, you are clearly leaving money on the table.  I know you don’t like that idea. 

To back this up with data, content curation software company Curata analyzed what type of content generated more leads on its platform, and it is obvious that long-form wins among infographic, slideshare & short-form content.

#5: High Quality Long-form Content Will Boost Your Domain Authority.

Again, we won’t go too deep into what domain authority is and what helps boost it (there are several factors).  The easiest way to look at this would be that long-form content opens up new opportunities to increase traffic to your site. 

The more sharable content you add to your site, the more your domain authority will increase.  Although Google doesn’t rely on domain authority to determine how sites get ranked, sites with higher domain authority tend to rank better on Google.

Instead of spending lots of time on social media platforms, this is where your focus should go to nurture your website consistently. 

 

Share | Connect | Grow

 
 

www.maikosakai.com


 

Why Should It Be in a Written Format?

There's nothing wrong with videos or podcast audio.  But if you haven't invested enough time in creating content, starting with written posts allows you to easily convert it to a variety of formats.

This is because video and audio need to be shorter in length to keep your audience engaged. Creating longer content from shorter content is like swimming against the current.  

On the other hand, it's so much easier to break up long-form content into a few shorter formats, just as I described under reason #2 above. 

Imagine how satisfying it is to create 3 to 4 videos out of 1 post?  Now, imagine how dreadful it is to generate a long-form post out of 1 video that lasts 6 min?  

Which will you choose?  I know what my answer is.

It also makes it easier for Google to crawl your site.  It is true that Google and Amazon will compete to improve their AI technology to focus more on voice-lead search.  But for now, having good written content on your site and letting Google crawl it with its forever-improving algorithms is the basic step you want to master.

Now, even if you understand why it’s worth investing time & resources into generating long-form written content, the biggest objection remains:

 

“I hate writing.”

“I don’t have the time to write.”

“This takes too long & I’d rather post on Instagram all day, every day.”

 

That’s no problem, really.  You have 3 choices:

 

1.     Learn to love it.

2.     Use technology to get a core idea recorded & have someone write it.

3.     Hire someone to write it.

 

To master anything, the more you practice, the better it gets. Business skills are no exception. Especially writing, which is a versatile skill that you can cherish for the rest of your life. More on that later. 

However, the thing that matters the most here is for you to take action.  If the reason you haven’t worked on content creation is the fact that you don’t like writing, I recommend you get clever with it.  #2 is a good alternative where you can record your content creation ideas and outlines, then have someone transcribe and clean it up. 

Rev.com is a transcribing site that is reasonably priced.  Microsoft Word also allows you to voice-record by selecting the “dictate” button- the command powered by Microsoft speech services.

Another option is to assign your team members or outsource content writing.  Be sure to clarify how it needs to be written based on what I recommend in this post so that it does what it is supposed to do after investing in hiring someone to do the job.

The second most popular objection is, “I don’t know what to write.”

For this specific strategy, I don’t want you to just randomly “brainstorm” your ideas.  Under the “how to write effective long-form content” section, I outlined what to do so that you don’t need to worry about this.  See, I am making it easier for you to solve your own objections.

So, don’t let your excuses hold you back.  Because this is a long game. The sooner you start, the better.

 

 

Adjusting Your Expectation for this Strategy

There are 3 things you need to keep in mind before diving into mastering how to start writing long-form content:

 

1.     Don’t expect readers to read your entire post.

2.     Your priority is staying consistent with creating long-form content & nothing else.

3.     For a long time, it seems like nothing is happening until something happens.

 

Having overly ambitious expectations can easily kill your motivation. I want to make it clear what level of expectation you should have for creating long-form content consistently for your service business.

 

#1: Don’t Expect Readers to Read Your Content from Start to Finish

They will skim through your 2000-word post that you worked so hard on.  That’s the reality.  Think about yourself for a minute.  When was the last time you read a blog post line by line and took notes?  My guess is you don’t remember.

It may be disheartening for some.  When you feel this way, bring your attention back to why you wanted to pursue this effort in the first place.  You are doing this to make your business discoverable online. 

Some bloggers who write extremely long, high-quality posts (20,000 words or more) like Wait But Why have huge, die-hard followings.  Those die-hard fans will read the entire post & won’t miss an upload.  But that is not the business model you have. 

So, just understand that your goal is different and do not get side-tracked by glorious success stories you may hear from time to time.

 

#2: First Things First – Stay Consistent with Creating Long-Form Content for a Year

From my own experience, I can tell you this alone is hard enough. Remember, you are NOT a full-time blogger whose job is to write, optimize & promote all the time.

I have been consistent with my content creation for 16 months. 

Over this time, I have been 2 days late on posting my content on 3 different occasions.  Roughly speaking, on average, every 3 posts I create, I am drained by 2 of them.  Still now.

Baby steps is definitely the way to go. In this case, sticking with consistent content writing is your priority.

Don’t obsess over the strategies I share below after you publish your post (promote / expand / multiply) if you can’t stay consistent with the creation of long-form content.  Your first expected outcome should be that you (or whoever you assign) generate long-form content regularly for a year. 

Once creating long-form content becomes your second nature, which will take time, then you can worry about the rest of the process. 

 

#3: Know that Nothing Earth-Shattering Will Happen for a Long Time

I’m not trying to be a buzzkill here. This is me trying to encourage you to stick with this, because good things will happen. Just not right away.

Imagine this process as a tulip bulb during the winter.  On the outside, it’s just a bulb.  It doesn’t look like anything is happening. But something is.  It’s preparing for spring. This is a long play, and you have to be fully on board with the idea so that you get to see the results later.

Before I committed myself to investing my time in long-form content creation, I paid attention to case studies and success stories.  What I heard over and over was them getting comments from prospects who turned into customers saying,

 

“I’ve secretly followed your blog for about a year.”

 

“Secretly” is the magic word for you here to understand why you should not be frustrated with not seeing any results for a while.

You can’t force your prospects to go through your ideal sales funnel you build before buying from you, like mass-manufactured cookies on a conveyor belt.  They each have a different buying journey. 

 
 

Analytics can show how many unique visits per month you have, which will let you know how well a post is doing.  But what you can’t tell from that number is “how serious” each of them is and “what intent” they have by reading your post.

 
 
 

 

How to Write Effective Long-Form Content

As you saw in the beginning part of this post, this section contains 5 phases.  Don’t overthink it and just follow it before adding “your own flavor” to this system.

 
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This guide is carefully designed to achieve 1 goal only:  Not to fall off the rails and stay consistent in order to reap the benefits later.  This is why it’s imperative for you to just stick with it.  

 

Planning

Remember, this makes or breaks your effort.  It is key to allocate some time to plan it out beforehand. 

Step #1:  Decide How Many Posts You Will Generate in a Year

I recommend you simply pick one of the following:

1.     12 posts (once a month)

2.     24 posts (twice a month)

3.     26 posts (every other week / bi-weekly)


My advice is not to be too ambitious.  If you are unsure, go with 12 posts to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on yourself.  I started with twice a month, which occasionally gives me extra lead time depending on the month.  Even then, I was gasping for air most of the time.

Remember you aren’t a lifestyle blogger writing about “a day in your life” in 750 words. Your post must carry substance. This means the whole process that’s mapped out here will require a chunk of dedicated time.

 

Step #2:  Create 4 Content Pillars

Earlier in this post, I told you not to worry about what to write. That’s because I already had this section in mind to make your life a lot easier. 

Coming up with 4 content pillars (or content categories) helps you stop freaking out the day before your scheduled publish date.  Let’s say you decided to go with a once-a-month publishing schedule (12 posts per year). Based on your 4 content pillars, you need to come up with 3 posts per category.

This systematic approach is key to eliminate doubts and anxieties about committing to this effort.

For example, these cover all 5 pressure points to make long-form content effective that I listed earlier in this post for any service businesses:

 

Content Pillar 1:  How to Solve a Problem Your Customers Commonly Complain About

Content Pillar 2:  Education – Something that Your Customers May Not Know, but Should

Content Pillar 3:  Success Stories / Case Studies – Show How Your Business Solves Problems

Content Pillar 4:  Interviews / Guest Posts / Complete DIY Guides

 

The last one, in particular, is an interesting one.  You can pick any of the 3 suggestions.  2 out of 3 (interviews & guest posts) will allow you to leverage others to complete the task, meaning it saves you time & energy.

You might be wondering why do the Complete DIY Guides, when they give away all your trade secrets. 

The truth is you don’t need to give away your trade secrets at all if you create content that is based on the principle called the PSP model (problem – solution – problem).  It goes like this:

 

Problem: Something readers can DIY that you may not want to undertake, i.e. research or ground work.

Solution: Your guides will provide step-by-step processes to solve the problem.

Problem: Present a challenge often followed after resolving the original problem & offer your service.

 

What do you think?  You convinced that there is no need to worry about what to write, right?

In my case, I only have 3 content pillars that are active:

Content Pillar 1:  Counter-Intuitive Strategy

Content Pillar 2:  Entrepreneur Mindset

Content Pillar 3:  Event Recap (I do live business events)


Since I found there are enough to write under these 3 categories, I decided not to bother coming up with the 4th one.  You can do the same.  Naturally, if you go with this route, you need to come up with 4 post ideas per 1 content pillar.

 

Step #3: Schedule Them Out

Use both digital and paper calendars to map out milestones for each post in advance.  Set reminders out of a digital calendar.

Especially in the beginning, this is not a “set it & forget it” project.  You will have to be immersed in your long-form content creation process.  But this doesn’t mean you need to set your core business activities aside.  All you need is 15 min to 30 min per week to check on where you are at with your next post.

 


Create

I’m continuing with my 12-posts-per-year schedule to keep it simple.  There are 3 stages to content creation:

Stage 1: Outline & Research

Stage 2: Write

Stage 3: Prepare supplemental items, i.e. images, videos & links.


Based on the 12-posts-per-year schedule, I suggest you spend the first 2 weeks outlining & researching to make your writing process much faster.  Don’t start writing unless you have your outline ready. 

 

Stage 1: Outline & Research

Research includes doing research on the actual topic for fact-checking and doing some keyword research (for both a headline and the main content).  In the beginning, don’t go down the rabbit hole of keyword research, as you can get completely lost in it.

Instead, here are some free tools you can use just to cover the basics:


Ubersuggest

This free tool from Neil Patel will show you how often a keyword is searched and how difficult it is for you to rank by using this keyword. Let’s just say you first came up with something too broad and too competitive, such as “video production” (monthly search volume over 1,000). You can long-tail it by adding a couple more words, like “hiring a video production company.”

BuzzSumo:

This site shows what article is trending based on the keyword of your choice. The free version will give you a rough idea of which content is shared the most and the links to actual sites.

Google:

Purposely, I am not going to suggest you use Google Keyword Planner under Google AdWords in this post.  Data you will gather under Keyword Planner is geared towards creating ads, not content.  At this stage, when you are starting out, there is no need to spend time there.

Instead, just do normal Google search with your keywords and see how sites are ranked.  Then scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will see 2 sections:

“People also ask”
“Searches related to”

These will provide additional insights when you are deciding on a headline for your post, as well as which keyword to focus on.

 

Stage #2: Write Actual Content

Based on the 12-posts-per-month schedule, you would have 1 to 2 weeks to complete your post.

Some prefer to write it all at once, and others like to write a little at a time each day.  Understanding how you (or whoever you assign) likes to write is key to keeping up with your content writing schedule.

In my case, I gradually start by writing each day, which can amount to 1000 words on my phone in transit.  Then I finalize it over 2 days’ time.  So, it is a combination of both. It’s a habit I developed over time that I can live with.

As you write more posts, you will find your own rhythm.  Pay close attention to what works and what doesn’t in order to make your writing habit sustainable.

Aside from finding your writing patterns, be sure to format your content by:

-       Avoiding long paragraphs (anything more than 4 sentences per paragraph)

-       Using headers and sub-headers to structure your post

-       Incorporating lists and bullet-points

Once you are done writing, ask someone to proof-read your post.  It is much more effective to assign someone to review it rather than doing it yourself.  He or she will be unbiased and able to look at the post with fresh eyes.

Although the casual style of blog posts allows us to write somewhat freely and casually compared to academic papers, you still want to make it easier for readers by eliminating obvious typos and grammatical mistakes. 

If you are a perfectionist, remember that you are not writing a novel or thesis. Done is better than perfect.  Don’t let perfection stand in the way of creating content on regular basis.


Stage #3: Prepare Supplemental Items

The study done by Backlinko.com shows that a post with images tends to rank higher on Google, as readers engage more closely and for longer periods of time with such content.  This is understandable considering not many would like to read a long-form post without anything to break the content up. 

Some studies showed anywhere between 50% to 70% website traffic came from mobile access in recent years. This means you want to ensure your content is easily readable on much smaller screens.

If you assign this task to someone else, be sure these items are ready in time. 

Currently, I do all of them myself, and I tend to move onto this task while my post is being proof-read by someone.  I find it harder to work on this until a post is finalized.  But, you may find it easier to write a post and simultaneously gather images, videos & links.

 

Promote

It doesn’t matter how carefully you’ve chosen keywords for your posts. If you don’t promote your content, no one will see it.  Plain & simple.  It’s because of a combination of 2 factors: 1- Our attention span is short and 2- An incredible amount of content is generated daily.

But don’t get overwhelmed. 

I am going to show you 2 different types of promotion you can do to get the word out.  For now, it is enough for you to get started by picking only a couple of them that you feel you can stick with. 

Type 1: Platforms where you can post the same link to your post numerous times.

Type 2: Platforms that prefer people to stay on their platform. (Posted links are not welcome.)


This is a different way of slicing the entire social media platform (as you might have noticed.) It is because our goal is to bring traffic into our websites & not worry too much about “likes” & “followers.”

Type 1: Twitter, Intagram & Pinterest

You can post your blog post links on Twitter over and over again.  But my recommendation is to add different description each time instead of repeating the same post.  I found this strategy generates more traffic. 

With Instagram, depending on your follower count, you may not be able to post a direct link to your blog post. But, you can get creative by posting different images linked to your post with a short description of what your post is about.  You can also be creative with IG stories where you can be a bit more promotional and IGTV if these are your jam already.

Pinterest allows you to pin several pins leading to one blog post.  But this platform is not recommended if you aren’t familiar with it. There is a learning curve, as Pinterest technically isn’t a social media platform.  Rather, it is a visual version of a search engine.

 

Type 2: Facebook & LinkedIn

Facebook clearly dislikes people leaving its platform.  If you post a link that takes users out of Facebook, without paid ads, it will not be visible. 

The way to combat this is to take a portion of your original post and use it to create a Facebook post about your new blog post without a link to the original post. You can add the link as a comment below the Facebook post.  If you feel comfortable doing Facebook Live, you can talk about your post and add a link to the post as a comment.

LinkedIn is a different story.  It does allow you to post your blog links numerous times, but I recommend you summarize your original post and publish it on LinkedIn as an article.  In the article, you can list the direct link, saying if you want to learn more, you can read the original content.

Again, I want to emphasize not to overload yourself by trying to cover them all.  Start small with a couple of channels you feel comfortable with and stick with it for a year while you get used to creating original long-form content. 

Consider using tools like Hootsuite and Buffer to schedule your posts in advance so that you can batch your social media posts instead of posting manually.

Lastly, if you already have an email list, email your list once you publish your post.  You can also add the link to your post under your email signature.  If your links are long, you can shorten them by using bit.ly or tinyurl.com.  These sites can also track how many people clicked on these links.

 

Expand

After you publish your post, this process becomes your savior.  Knowing I can do this helped me maintain my sanity for the past 16 months.

Let’s say you just wrote your first post, and the best you could do was 1500 words.  That’s OK.  Just publish it.  You can always go back to the post to make improvements by adding additional paragraphs or images at a later time. 

But before you do, I recommend you wait for a couple of weeks minimum to see how well your post does.  The harsh reality is that not every post will generate the kind of traffic you hope for.  What you want to do is to spend your time on improving the ones that generate comments, reactions and traffic. 

If Google analytics seems like too much to handle, you don’t need to use it for the time being. Most social media platforms, especially if you set up a business account for each platform, will allow you to see analytics. 

If you shorten your links using bit.ly or tinyurl.com, they will also show data on how many clicks these posts generated and where they are being accessed from (geographical data.)

Some studies have shown that just by adding a couple extra paragraphs and images you can increase traffic by 20% or more. 

Another thing you can do is to add:

-       Downloadable worksheets or cheat sheets that can be helpful to readers

-       Embedded Video clips (from YouTube or Vimeo) summarizing the post or showing step-by-step processes

-       Printer-friendly posts in PDF (for readers to print and read at a later time)

All these activities will increase dwell time on your site, meaning readers will spend more time on your site.  As a result, Google will consider your post to be authoritative. 

In the beginning of my long-form content creation journey, I felt really uncomfortable publishing something that I clearly knew wasn’t where it needed to be in terms of quality, but soon I realized that was my ego talking.  I had to come to terms with the fact that no one is twiddling his thumbs waiting for my post to come out. 

“Just publish” became the new mantra, and now I publish what I have on the scheduled publishing date without hesitation to stay on track.

Looking back, this “staying on schedule even if no one else cared” kept me going with continuously writing long-form content.  Once you miss a deadline completely and tell yourself you’ll make the next one, there is a greater chance you might stop writing all together. 

This is why I repeatedly mentioned your first priority is to write & publish throughout this post.  Expand and Multiply can wait until you’re publishing your posts without missing a beat. 


Multiply

Finally, this is the part where you get to enjoy all the hard work you put into your long-form content creation.  At this stage, you have a few strong posts that you can repurpose.  This is when you can move on to additional promotion and marketing activities to increase your online presence.

Here is a list of 9 repurposing ideas to consider:

1.     Convert them into an audio format, i.e. podcast

2.     Create 3 to 4 how-to short videos to be posted on YouTube

3.     Create a workshop

4.     Use it to generate an email series for your email list

5.     Create a webinar leading to a course

6.     Form a 5-day to 10-day challenge

7.     Convert it into an e-book with worksheets

8.     Create slides for a presentation to pitch your services or turn this into a talk (at conferences)

9.     Use case study posts to do live interviews via livestreaming (or video)

 

These are not the only ones, but as you can see, there are many ways to use your original content to create a healthy marketing ecosystem over time.

On the flip side, what if you start from short-form content like a 700-word post or 4 min video?  Executing these 9 ideas becomes incredibly hard, doesn’t it?

This is what I meant by “a gift that keeps on giving” earlier in this post.  Once you have enough solid long-form content under your belt, you can gradually work your way to repurposing them.  I’m confident you will agree that you will never have to say, “I don’t know where to start” or “I have nothing to write about.”

 

Closing Thoughts – Are You Ready to Create Your Long-form Content?

The main reason many service business owners get discouraged when it comes to investing in online marketing is a lack of systems.  My hope is that you are now convinced that creating long-form content is the clear starting point to mapping out the rest of your marketing activities.

You may still be wondering whether you should outsource this.  I know this is hard to swallow, but I advise against it.  As a good peer of mine says, “Educate before you delegate.”  (link) I suggest you first go through the entire process several times yourself to get the system down cold before considering outsourcing the work. 

After 16 months, I have made many improvements to my long-form content creation strategy, and I am happy to tell you that seeing my content vault expand gives me a true sense of joy, despite having the occasional banging-my-head-against-the-wall moment.

I no longer post someone else’s articles on my social media timeline on a regular basis.  My timeline consists of all my own original content.  Without writing regularly, this would not possible.  Over time, the % of returning visitors to my site and email sign-ups has grown gradually as a result of consistent content creation and promotion. 

Now it’s your turn. Test-drive this method & let me know how it goes!