Your gut also gets a vote

You have more data than you realize.

Content strategies often focus on using data to “write for SEO” or “for the algorithm”.But by doing this, you risk ignoring the most important and nuanced source of data you have at your disposal:

Your gut.

Because chances are, you know your space and your target persona REALLY well. Probably better than you give yourself credit for. So your instincts should have a say in what content your community might enjoy consuming, despite what the SERPs and traffic stats might tell you.

So go with your gut and create that interesting content. Because stuff that just “ranks” is worthless if it doesn’t interest anyone other than some algorithm.

One of my best-performing content pieces over the last few months didn’t make sense from a “numbers” perspective. I just had an idea of something I wanted to write about, and a gut feeling that my target audience would find it interesting.

So I went for it.

And it paid off.

So if your content strategy has gotten too calculated, just take a step back and try this framework instead:

  1. Learn about your customers
  2. Try to write stuff that people want to read
  3. Use the “cold” numbers to help you prioritize
  4. Let your gut have a say
  5. Rinse, repeat, learn and adapt

Stuff doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective.

(P.S. - Another reason why this was valuable is the benefits it had on my "creativity hygiene". Writing about something that I wanted to write is a reward and an incentive that keeps my creative juices flowing, and prevents my content creation from feeling like a mechanical chore. This is a larger, important topic that we'll cover separately).