What’s more crucial to a winning content strategy, quantity or quality?
In an ideal world, of course you’d have both! You’d have high-quality content, consistently delivered to your audience every week (minimum) without fail – that’s a winning content strategy.
But how do you get that balance right, nailing consistency and quantity, with quality content highly targeted to you audience? Introducing the man who knows exactly how to do this – James Schramko.
James believes that consistency is a key factor leading to the success of his business. His consistent content approach has generated nearly 4 million podcast downloads, 9,000 blog subscribers, and millions of dollars of sales.
I invited him onto The Content 10x Podcast to talk about the power of consistency, and how his winning content strategy has contributed to his success.
To listen to the podcast episode, hit play.
Here’s a video trailer of the awesome conversation with James, show some of the best bits:
A winning content strategy: from mp3s to 3 million downloads!
James was an early adopter to the content game. He started producing content in 2006 but quickly realized that writing wasn’t his strong point. Inspired by the US business coaches and experts he’d been listening to on mp3 players (and cassette tapes...remember them!) James decided to create richer, audio content, and publish that alongside his written content.
It wasn’t until a few years later, after he’d been invited onto someone else’s podcast, that James realized he was sitting on a treasure trove of potential podcasts!
James and his co-host set up a “proper podcast” and started publishing new episodes to iTunes, (now Apple Podcasts). But they also took all of James’ pre-recorded audio on his website and published those too.
Years later, James combed through his website, aka his content library, and curated his episodes down to only the best. He took this opportunity to number them too, so while James may be approaching episode number 800 as I type, he’s actually recorded over 1,000 podcast episodes.
This ever-increasing podcast number is one of James’ motivators keeping him consistent. He says it disciplines him to continue creating and growing that number. But it’s also been great for his listeners to easily find his episodes on his blog, their podcasting apps, or via Google.
How to create a consistent content strategy
James mentioned that when he first started podcasting, he wasn’t always consistent. Between rounding up co-hosts and working full time, it was difficult to maintain a cadence. It was only after James left his full-time job, founded his own business and started a solo show that he started to find his rhythm.
Consistency is all about finding a frequency that works for you. James has experimented with many different publishing schedules, from publishing every day, to once every few months. Now, he’s found a formula that suits him, and has stuck to publishing two podcast episodes a week for more than a year.
View content creation as one of your main jobs. Creating content is how James offers his service, and then delivering on that service is his other main job. Without content, he wouldn’t have anything to offer, and no sales to deliver on.
How to create a consistent content strategy
I say this all the time – if you want to stay consistent, you have to play to your strengths. Consistently creating something you find difficult or don’t enjoy is going to feel like swimming upstream and make it even more challenging to stick to a long-term strategy.
James realized early on that he was a great speaker, but not a good writer. So he hired an article writer to help with the SEO and written aspects of his content, and he stuck to his strengths and started creating audio content instead.
Focus on your strengths and hire experts to fill all the other gaps, especially to do the things you don’t enjoy, and/or you’re not good at.
Podcasts are a brilliant vehicle for sharing ideas and concepts. Similar to me and the reasons I started The Content 10x Podcast, James is a confident speaker when it comes to topics he knows a lot about, so it was the perfect medium for him to build an audience.
His podcast has been going for 13 years. James recognizes it as a great way to position himself as an authority within his industry – even with what he calls his “small database” of nearly 4 million podcast downloads. Whenever James hosts or speaks at an event, most of his audience are podcast listeners. That’s the power of podcasting.
He believes that podcasting is the greatest conversion channel. It takes commitment to listen to someone speak for up to 40 minutes once or more a week, but those listeners are the start of a dedicated community.
What makes a winning content strategy?
While James is pleased with his podcast’s impressive stats, he’s less concerned with getting in front of more people, and more concerned with getting in front of the right people.
His content has already helped him reach a huge audience on Apple Podcasts alone. But James also publishes the podcast to SoundCloud and natively on Facebook, so it has the best potential to reach his target audience.
In the last few years, James has further diversified his content strategy by turning once again to a richer media. This time, video.
I was delighted to hear that James repurposes videos into podcast material (and vice versa) and posts it on his YouTube and social media accounts to help support his overall content strategy. However, his video strategy doesn’t stop there. His podcasting consistency taught him a valuable lesson about what can be achieved when you stick with something and continue reinforcing messages using content.
James began publishing daily videos across his social channels 2.5 years ago. For the first few months nothing changed. But over time his audience grew, and more importantly, they also learned to trust him. Now James makes between $20,000 to $30,000 a month, due to those social media videos. How’s that for content ROI?!
How to expand your content strategy
Over the years, James and his team have developed a trusted system for creating content. James’ team hold him accountable for creating two podcasts a week, one video a day, and stick to that winning formula.
James and his team have become masters at repurposing, finding ideas for his content from his weekly Ask-Me-Anything calls with his business members and turning his monthly SuperFastBusiness call into eight different pieces of content. He also shares personal stories just recorded ad-hoc on his iPhone and snippets from podcast shows too.
He believes that this focus on distribution is equally as important as creating new content. Music to my ears. It’s what he’s done since day one with his podcast after all!
James’ key takeaways
James shared plenty more thoughts and stories in our interview, so to hear more from the entrepreneur, author, and podcaster, scroll to the top of this post and hit play on the podcast player, or find episode 175 on your favorite podcast listening app.
Throughout the interview James continued to refer back to the core points of his winning content strategy. In summary, these five points are:
1. Get the right frequency
Finding the right consistency is a balance between giving your audience enough to stay on top of and not feel like they’re missing out, but also finding what works for you. It’s better to create a great piece of content once per week than forcing yourself to create something sub-par every single day (or worse, making promises you can’t keep!).
2. Play to your strengths
Give yourself the best chance at success by creating content you’re good at and passionate about. You can always hire people to help you create content in other areas later.
3. Stick to a routine
Develop a process or get your team to help you stay accountable. In time, as you get used to one content format, you can expand your routine to include other repurposing opportunities.
4. Don’t get lost in the numbers
It might look impressive to have millions of downloads, but it’s more beneficial to show up for your ideal customers and target audience. These are the people who will ultimately buy your products and services and contribute to real business growth.
5. Stay consistent
“The main thing is, I just got in early and kept doing it.”
James doesn’t credit his business and content success to great quality work (although I’d disagree with him, he’s a fantastic podcaster!) he really pins it down to sticking with it over time. And while it might be too late to get in on the ground floor with podcasting, it’s never too late to use a platform to start creating content and grow your business.
To learn more about James, listen to his podcasts, or get a copy of his book, visit his website.
If you need help sticking to a consistent content strategy, we can help. Our services at Content 10x are designed to help you publish high-quality content every week, so you can replicate the success of businesses just like James’. Check out our services to learn more.