This is an excerpt from the 33rd edition of The Write Fit, a fortnightly newsletter about writing, editing and proofreading, content marketing and good editorial practices for business, from Sarah Mitchell and Dan Hatch at Typeset.
Binge-watching the crap out of the latest season of The Crown the other week, I started to get nostalgic for a now old-fashioned method of content consumption — appointment viewing.
Remember the anticipation you used to feel, waiting for 4 o’clock Saturday afternoon to come around so you could hunker down in front of The Dukes of Hazard or F-Troop?
Remember waiting anxiously for it to be Monday night so you could find out who shot JR? (Or, depending on your generation, who shot Mr Burns.) Remember rushing to work Tuesday morning to discuss every minute of it with your friends?
As content consumers, the ability to binge-watch has stolen some of that from us.
But as content creators, following the principles of appointment viewing is a great way to build a bigger, more engaged audience.
Of course, what I’m really talking about here is the regular and reliable publication of content. It’s a principle we should all apply to our content marketing.
Whether you’re publishing a newsletter, a blog, a podcast or a video blog, publish to a regular schedule.
It doesn’t matter if it’s daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly — always publish consistently. Publish on the same day of the week, at a reliable time, and at a constant rate.
If your audience expects your podcast to land every Tuesday morning, for example, be sure to publish every Tuesday morning.
Here’s why it works.
It allows you to build an audience
Publishing regularly gives new people the opportunity to discover your content, join in, and become fans.
It allows you to build a long-term relationship with your audience
Inviting your audience to tune in week after week is an opportunity to create a long-term relationship. It builds trust and increases their advocacy of you, your work and your content.
It gives people time to reflect on your content
It creates space for people to fully absorb and consider the last bit of content you released, to think about it and act on it.
It gives you time to create a buzz about your content
After publication comes the distribution and amplification of your content. Publishing at intervals gives people time to talk about it and share it — and for the media to cover it.
It gives people time to engage with your content
Publishing at regular intervals creates a space for people to respond to your content, to send feedback, or even to create user-generated content.
It gives you time to respond to your audience
Similarly, it creates space for you to respond to the engagement and feedback from your audience which, in turn, can help shape and guide the next piece of content you create.
It gives people time to look forward to your content
Anticipation is underrated in a world built for instant gratification, but what a gift it is to give someone something to look forward to.
It gives people certainty about when you’ll be back
You’re literally giving your audience the opportunity to plan their lives around your content, if they want to.
We know from our State of Writing 2020 Research that even the most effective content creators struggle to publish consistently. It’s actually one of the top concerns of content creators.
The secret to success is, I’m afraid, hard graft and dedication. You have to make time for it.
And that’s the problem isn’t it? Where do we all find time to create content consistently when there’s so much binge-watching we need to do?
8 December 2020
The above is just one small part of our fortnightly newsletter. It’s jam-packed with excellent advice, tips and news for anyone who writes for their business. Get your own copy here: