This entry is part 7 of 44 in the series Topical Authority

The lead post in this series is Mastering Topical Authority: A Comprehensive Guide to Boost Your SEO.

In a world where content is king and where brands publish in pursuit of “topical authority” and organic traffic, information has become abundant and attention spans have gotten shorter.

Which places quite a burden on content creators.

To capture and keep people’s attention, we need to be informative, educational, and entertaining, while establishing topical authority which merely means it’s clear we know what we’re writing about.

So how do successful content marketers do it?

Know who you’re writing for

Everyone says “understand your audience”.

But… you may discover over time that the people who appreciate your content are not who you initially expected. So you need to pay attention to your demographics. Which means monitoring analytics is an important part of content creation.

Perpetual learning vs knowing your topic in depth

It often occurs that people who are experts in a certain area are not great writers, and great writers are not topic experts in what they write about.

The only way I know of to bridge this “topical authority” gap is for writers to be good learners, and to use topic experts as interview subjects and to proof read.

Basically, being good at doing research is a critical skill for content marketers.

“Structure your content”

We used to call this “create an outline”, but weirdly that practice somehow fell out of favor as more and more people started publishing online.

But, part the pursuit of topical authority is that search engines more easily determine what your posts are about by reading section headers which are HTML H2/H3/H3/etc tags.

So outlines are back in fashion, but with a new name.

What matters here is that before you write, create your section headings to guide the overall flow of your post or article.

First, create an outline.

Move beyond written text

First, I admit I’m guilty of not being good with this. I personally would rather read a short passage than watch a short video. Mostly because I read faster than most people talk.

But I seem to be a bit of a dinosaur.

Embracing the use of images, infographics (provided they’re good), video, and other interactive elements can help enhance understanding and increase engagement.

Even I, a text based dinosaur, do subscribe to a number of YouTube channels of creators whom I think do an excellent job of explaining things well through video.

Regularly review, update, expand

Because our publishing medium is websites, updating and expanding content is easy and quick.

Here is another area where I personally can and should do better, but don’t let that get in the way of YOU doing so.

Sometimes we learn new facts, obtain new statistics, gain interesting new perspectives, come to appreciate related topics, etc.

And when we do, we SHOULD update our previously published content appropriately.

Engage with your audience

Every time someone comments on or asks a question about a blog or social media post, you gain an insight into what interests them.

Responding to these comments and questions encourages further engagement, and hence more insights.

And learning what readers want to know more about is very helpful for content you have not yet written.

A strategy for content enrichment

This includes both the “review, update, and expand” of existing content as well as ideas for new content.

The key concept here is “quick capture” of ideas.

While some people use a literal whiteboard, I use a Google Sheets document with Google Keep for the initial quick capture of ideas. I use these tools because my devices run Android. If I lived in an Apple world I would probably use different tools.

Ideas bubble up constantly, and with Google Keep, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, when an idea bubbles up, I can quickly jot it down.

If when I look at it later I see it’s not as interesting as I first thought, I discard it.

But through this mechanism of “quick capture” I find I’m never short of topics to write about.

In closing

As with many aspects of content marketing and the pursuit of topical authority, the magic is in the doing of it.

Planning matters, structure matters, capturing a steady stream of content ideas matter, but in aggregate, I keep coming back to the Nike tagline of “Just do it!’.

That tagline works here too.

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Kevin Carney
Kevin Carney

Kevin "fell into" SEO by accident, like many others. The SaaS platform to help writers boost their topical authority came years later after various SEOs said it was something they would like to see.

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