Last week, I highlighted five content marketing tips from the cycling world. I hope you got a chance to check it out. At the end of that post, I realized there were more online marketing tips that I have picked up from my new sport. Enjoy!
Cross training is extremely helpful
Some cyclists focus solely on riding when they are training for a ride. While it is important to practice riding, there are other ways you can prepare yourself. Cross training – running, strength training, core workouts, and various forms of cardio – can help you become a better rider. By mixing up your training, you:
- Give a different workout to your primary cycling muscles
- Strengthen auxiliary muscles that can support your “riding muscles”
- Help you avoid riding burnout and overuse of muscles
In your content marketing efforts, you should expand your focus too. This means cross promoting your website and blog posts with other marketing channels, like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. It also means you should be willing to branch out. Be sure to break free from your typical comfort zone so your writing does not become stagnant and predictable. Mix things up – whether topics you write or blogs you read – and enjoy the benefits.
There’s more than one way to reach the same destination
I live in San Diego, CA and tend to ride throughout the area. Before I started cycling, I didn’t pay attention to:
- Elevation grade change of routes
- Availability of bike lanes
- Routes that avoided freeways
I have since discovered various routes. I know which hills I can tackle and which roads to avoid because of the lack of a safe bike lane. I can find the route that is right for me depending on my mood and my energy level. (Sometimes that route includes taking my car with my bike on the rack.)
The same goes for content marketing. Although there are some basic rules you should follow, there is no perfect magic formula that will get you at the top of the SERPs or will get you new clients. Your style may be different from other writers and that is just fine (in fact, it’s a good thing). Find what works for you and your clients and use it.
Preparation isn’t necessary, but it is very helpful
You can ride in a race without having trained. I don’t recommend it, but you can pay your fee and join the rest of the riders on race day. No one will stop you, but you may regret it. There is a good chance that you will pull a muscle, get sore from sitting on the saddle for so long, or not be able to finish for any number of reasons. Preparation is highly recommended if you want to enjoy the ride.
You can jump right into writing. However, a little preparation will go a long way. If you need to research a topic, do it before you start to write. Craft a structure for your blog post, so you know where you want to begin and end. The better you plan what you are going to write, the easier it will be to complete and the better it will be to read.
Never stop training
You may be a beginner, but you most likely realize that even the greatest cyclists never stop training. Cyclists don’t win a race like the Tour de France and figure they no longer need to train for their future races. Competition is always out there. Technology is constantly changing how bikes are made and how they are ridden. New techniques can be added to improve a rider’s time. If a cyclist wants to continue to ride, training does not stop just because she is currently at the top of her game.
If you already know how to write well, why would you need to continue to learn? Simple. There is always room for improvement and there are always new things to learn. When you stop learning new things, you run the risk of your knowledge becoming outdated and the chance that your writing will become stale. Continue to read books and blogs and to take courses to hone your craft.
You may ride solo, but you’re part of a community
When you ride (even if you are part of a team), you are in charge of your bike. You are the one climbing a hill or speeding down a straightaway. However, this does not mean you are on your own. Even without a team, you are part of the cycling community. Other riders are happy to share their knowledge and experience with you. They are ready to assist you if you need it.
The content marketing community is the same. You may be a freelance writer or the only marketing writer in your department, but you are not alone. There are many people willing to share their knowledge and help you out if you need it. I love the discussions on the SEO Copywriting LinkedIn group – it is an opportunity to connect with others in the same position who can help you gain insight into a problem.
You don’t need to be a rider to learn from the cycling community. However, if you are thinking about getting on a bike – no matter how long it has been – I highly recommend that you climb in the saddle and enjoy the ride. Here is to a successful 2013!
photo thanks to Kath Walker Illustration
About the Author ~ Amy C. Teeple
Amy C. Teeple is a proud graduate of Heather’s SEO copywriting certification program. As the owner and lead copywriter of ACT Web Consulting, she offers copywriting and social media services. A Jersey girl living in Southern California, Amy considers herself a newbie cyclist (and enjoys other sports and activities). Follow her on Twitter: @ACTeeple.
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