One of the major benefits of designing your own house is that you can make sure everything is just the way you want it. Whatever space and storage you need, all you need to do is say the word (and write the check) and it shall be done.
Each individual room doesn’t stand well on its own, of course, but when they come together, you have a dwelling. A hub, if you will.
Content development works in much the same way. In fact, I think there’s something to be learned about content development from houses. I can sense your skepticism from here, but stick with me.
Think about the rooms of a house. Each one lends itself well to some aspect of content development. Alone, each of these aspects is okay. But when they come together, you’ve got yourself a solid content strategy.
Where guests are welcomed into your home is where they’re welcomed to your content. Think about this in terms of your website, blog, or specialized landing pages. What kind of content do they see right from the start? What does the layout look like? No matter how much we’d like to believe that first impressions aren’t that important, they are. If a guest comes to your house and sees that it’s messy, they assume you’re messy. The same goes for your content, so think about how you’re portraying yourself professionally.
The Living Room
I don’t know about your house, but in my house, the living room is where we go to watch TV or sprawl out on the couch and read a book. The living room is where we consume content.
Think about this in terms of your blog or resource bank, for example. This is where the bulk of your content is located – the room that’s seeing a lot of activity and traffic. Keep it stocked with fresh, engaging material and a friendly atmosphere, and you’ll see friends dropping by frequently to say hello!
The Dining Room
The dining room is where all of the talk happens. How many times have you sat down to dinner with your family and you all got to talking about your day? How many times have you sat around a dining room table catching up with friends and family?
The dining room of your content house is going to be your social channels. Think blog comments, Facebook, Twitter, and any other place where your community is interacting. These are the places where people are coming together as a community and are catching up with you and each other.
A good host would never leave the guests alone to fend for themselves, either. Remember to spend a lot of time in the dining room interacting with your visitors and guests!
This is a big one, as it’s where you’re doing the work of developing content. While you’re at it, think of the meals you prepare. If you made similar dishes every night, you’d get pretty bored with them.
Chances are pretty good that your business blog is where you’re focusing a lot of your content efforts. If you’re constantly doing the same thing over and over again, your audience is going to get tired of it. Chicken is great, but you can only eat it so many times before you want something completely different.
Don’t be afraid to go to your spice rack and shake your content up a bit. Use video, images, infographics, webcasts, and other forms of content to make sure your readers don’t get bored with your menu.
Ah, the scholarly room. This is where you keep your mahogany furniture and leather-bound books, right? Thought so. Don’t we all?
Liken this room to doing research for your content. Some degree of thought should go into each one, otherwise you’re sitting down and writing cold. Not the best idea. Take the time learn about your topic and to continue educating yourself. This will help add value to your content.
The thought of your actual garage might be a bit overwhelming. They’re usually full of sporting goods and tools tossed about in every which direction.
Your content garage is full of tools too – content creation tools. Or at least, it should be. If you need some ideas for what to keep in that toolbox, here you go. My gift to you:
There are, of course, numerous others, but think of this as a starter kit for your workbench.
We were missing some important facilities here, weren’t we? No house would be complete without one (at least, no modern house).
The bathroom of your content strategy reminds you to cut the crap. Learn to evaluate your own writing and know when something is working and something isn’t. Sometimes we work really hard to develop a piece of content only to find halfway through that it’s not what we thought it was going to be. Instead of going ahead with it and creating something less than awesome, learn when to flush it and start over.
What are some of your favorite content development tips, tricks, and tools? We’d love to hear from you!
photo credit: arlington friends house