Anyone can launch a profitable membership site in the short term but if they do deliver quality content that justifies the entry price then the site won’t be around for long. For online membership websites the core value provided is often content related. As a result, creating quality content should be one of the top priorities for any membership site owner. Fortunately, creating quality content on a consistent basis doesn’t have to be difficult as long as a proven, reliable system for content creation is in place.
1. Research Your Target Audience
The first step to creating quality content is learning about what your target audience really wants. There are three key variables to focus on: topic, media, and presentation. It doesn’t matter how great the content is if it isn’t a topic that your members are interested in. This makes topic selection critical. The second variable is media. It is often surprising for membership site owners which media offers the best way to communicate with their members. In the end, a combination of multiple media types is often the best choice. The final variable is presentation. While presentation is partially dictated by topic and media choices the overall tone and style of the presentation is equally important.
2. Decide What Type of Content to Create
While researching your target market is an ongoing process, you should be able to draw to baseline conclusions fairly quickly. From this information you must decide what type of content to create. Even if you have decided to test out multiple types of content, you need to develop a concrete strategy as when you will create each type.
3. Outline/Rough Draft
One of the most overlooked steps in the content creation process is the outline or rough draft. Both options offer the same benefits so choosing which one is best is really a matter of personal preference and the type of media the content is being delivered on. During the outline/rough draft phase some research into the topic area is completed as well which could uncover hidden sub-topics. This step is less about clarifying your voice than simply getting the core content solidified.
4. Compare Your Draft to What You Already Know About Your Target Market
Once you have the final draft complete it is critical to go back to what you know about your target market and make sure the content lines up with their needs. It is amazing how easily a topic or piece of content can transform into something completely different during the research, outline, and draft phases. This makes it important to take a step back once the primary draft has been completed to ensure it still matches what your target market is asking for.
5. Revisions and Final Edits
If everything is still in line then you can complete any necessary revisions and final edits. If you are using video or audio this would also be the time to make any necessary visual changes to enhance the content.
6. Find Value-Added Media to Include
A finalized “piece” quality content actually includes multiple types of media. Blog posts rely on images or short videos to add value. Videos rely on downloadable handouts, PDFs, or tutorials. Infographics point members to areas of the membership site that can be used to dive deeper into a sub-topic. To truly create high quality content it is essentially to combine multiple types of media for maximum target audience appeal.
7. Test and Analyze the Results
As with all online marketing processes it is important to continually test and tweak your processes to improve the results. This is true for the content creation process as well.
8. Tweak Process and Repeat
After you have gathered and analyzed the data make any necessary changes to your specific processes, targets, and/or goals. Every time you create content there is likely something which can be improved. The concept of “quality content” is always changing so your processes to create it must change as well.
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