There’s Gold in That Content! Manage it.
Many of us create content almost every day for our business or company—or association. But are we keeping track of that content in the best way possible? We know that repurposing is a vital art these days, but in order to do that, we should know where everything is, what subjects each piece of content covers, and perhaps even what people were mentioned.
In his new book, “How to Write & Sell Simple Information for Fun and Profit,” longtime SIPA member and prolific author Bob Bly takes on this subject—among many others—calling this “your content gold mine.” Writes Bly: “If content is gold on the Internet, your hard drive becomes the gold mine.” Here are eight tips from Bly for managing that gold mine to which I have added three more:
1. “Create a sensible PC-based filing system, with directories and subdirectories organized in a manner that is logical and intuitive to you, regardless of whether it is logical and intuitive to others.” We are all often creatures of habit; so just get in the habit of filing your content as soon as you post it somewhere.
2. “When you create a document, type the file name in the upper-left corner of page one.” This is for when you print out a hard copy, you will have a quick reference point.
3. Don’t underestimate the importance of a name you give a file. I have been giving my SIPAlert daily articles dates as names, but now that I think about it, I should probably be adding a topic as well such as “8.11.11.content.marketing.”
4. “Save any content related to your niche that you think you might have use for some day,” writes Bly. “These include your own writings, as well as content from other sources.” When I read my Washington Post on Sunday nights, I’m ripping out and underlining all over.
5. “Always indicate on the file the date the content was created and, if taken from an outside source, details on the source.” You’ll always need those attribution details.
6. “Convert materials you may want to use in the future to file formats that are easy to paste into Word documents.”
7. Bly advises to keep the electronic versions of the source documents that you use. So when I cut out an article from the Post, I should bookmark the electronic version of it. I may want to use an image form the article plus it will be easier to find.
8. While Bly agrees that cutting out articles you like is a good thing, he warns that you should not cut out everything. He must have seen my office. On top of my books, I already have a high pile of cutouts from the last few months. Oops, I just checked—the bottom story is from fall 2010 and it’s about a strategic global marketing director for Oracle. Hope she’s still there.
9. “Back up your entire hard drive to a mirror device (a hard drive of duplicate configuration) every 24 hours,” writes Bly. “I automatically set mine to back up in the middle of the night while I am sleeping.”
10. When I look at my electronic list of past articles, I see all the subject lines. Most of those lines are pretty helpful to me in recalling what the articles are about. It’s obviously not the main thing to consider when you’re crafting a subject line, but it is one more way to decide what’s best. Does it let people know what’s to come?
11. We have been starting lately here to Tweet many of our articles. This will be another way for future record-keeping. The more you use social media, the more connections you will be constructing for down the road.
Upcoming 2011 SIPA Events
Tuesday, October 4
Profit Using Your Content as a Teaching Tool
Wednesday, October 5
2011 Fall Publishers Conference
Join the savviest movers and shakers
in the specialized information publishing business
SIPA’s 28th Annual Marketing Conference
Early-bird savings now available!