Here are 6 proven content strategies to save time writing a book to build your personal brand or managing your 2013 content marketing.
Whether you’re an author organizing your ideas for writing a book or a business owner planning your 2013 content marketing calendar, 30 Essential Typefaces for a Lifetime illustrates 6 important content strategies and ways to organize your ideas before you begin to write.
Strategy 1: Look for ideas everywhere
Avoid the myopia of only looking for ideas from others in your field. Look for ideas beyond your field. Train yourself to look for ideas everywhere.
Each day, explore different topics and analyze books from other fields. You never know where you’ll find an idea that will provide a catalyst to your writing and marketing success.
Strategy 2: Choose the right title
Titles play a crucial role in content marketing success. Many bloggers spend more time choosing the title of each of their posts than they spend writing and editing their post! Your title must offer an obvious benefit as well as target your ideal readers.
Include words in your titles that will emotionally resonate with your intended readers or reinforce the promise of the title.
In the example above, notice how a few key words create a unique position for the book. There are hundreds of books about choosing type. However, words like Essential and phrases like for a Lifetime set this title apart from the competition.
Another key ideal from the title is build your book around a relatively small number. The 30 simplifies a project that would appear daunting if it required you to master 99, 499, or 1001 typefaces.
Strategy 3: Create a repeating structure for your project
30 Essential Typefaces for a Lifetime is built around a strong, simple content plan. The prospect of writing a 300-page book about without a content plan is daunting. But, identifying the text and graphics you’re going to include in each chapter makes the project much easier to start and finish.
In 30 Essential Typefaces for a Lifetime, the following elements are found in each chapter: :
- Purpose. Provide a one-page introduction to the typeface and describe the function it was designed to accomplish.
- Sample. Show one-page examples of the typeface at large size and then show the complete upper and lower case at a smaller size.
- History. Share a behind-the-scenes story about the development of the typeface and its role in type history.
Strategy 4: Add relevant visuals to reinforce your ideas
Another technique that simplifies complex projects is to include relevant examples that illustrate your topic.
Obtain permission to reuse examples can be time-consuming, but it’s often much easier to spend time locating visuals and contacting the copyright holders than writing! It still requires time and energy, but it’s task-oriented work rather than creatively draining. It’s often possible to delegate these tasks to others, too.
Strategy 5: Make it easy for others to help you
Another content strategy that contributed to success of 30 Essential Typefaces for a Lifetime that also saved time was to include essays written by other experts in the field.
The seven additional essays in the beginning of the book provide a context for the detailed information that followed as well as a difference “voice” for readers.
Inviting others to participate in your book is a win-win strategy for both you and those you invite to join your project. It not only saves your time, but it’s a favor that allows participants to build their online visibility and reinforces their credibility. You’re not only enhancing their expert status, but–by including other experts in your field–you’re also reinforcing your own “insider” status.
Strategy 6: Use stories to personalize your ideas
Conversations and interviews are another content strategy found in 30 Essential Typefaces for a Lifetime that you can use to personalize information and while reinforcing the main ideas in your book or content marketing.
One of the most engaging chapters in 30 Essential typefaces for a Lifetime consists of an interview with Matthew Carter, a typeface designer whose career spanned the transition from traditional hand-tooled type and metal type through the introduction of digital type. His engaging story, told in his own words, provides a counterpoint to the discussion of specific typeface characteristics.
Stories can be as short as 1 or 2-sentence quotations, or you can insert interviews consisting of a series of questions and answers. Today, it’s easier than ever to connect with experts in your field, record an interview, and have it transcribed for use in your book.
Plan before you write
The presence, or absence, of a content strategy can spell the difference between the success or failure of your book or content marketing plan. The lack of a cohesive content strategy makes it harder to start to write and continue writing, resulting in wasted time, effort, and missed opportunities. A strong content strategy saves you time and increases the likelihood of your project’s success. What’s your favorite content strategy for writing and content marketing?