Do I have to publish my content in a specific order?


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Creating and publishing content doesn’t need be done in any particular order. We find that when people think this way it’s another excuse from holding them back from doing the work. Do the best, with what you have, in the moment.

In this episode, Chris discusses in more detail why creating content in an order doesn’t matter and different ways to organise your content on your website.

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One of the challenges that we come across often is people holding themselves back from creating content, because they feel like they haven’t got all their ducks in a row. They haven’t got everything lined up.

So they’re sort of creating their content and they’re thinking of better ideas as they’re creating their content and wondering if they should be working on those farce, and worried about the fact that whatever they’re working on in the moment, they know that in the future new and better ideas will come and they’re not really sure what to do about that.

It can really hold them back, it can really get people sort of stuck publishing content that sort of gets in their way and holds them back.

So I think it’s important to know that we can only do the best we can with what we have in this particular moment.

And a big part of the journey with content marketing, the big part in the journey about getting better at content is actually through creating and publishing content. In other words, you won’t get better or more ideas if you don’t create and publish content.

In fact, you know, you won’t get your best ideas that way. So it’s natural to expect that maybe six months, a year or years into the future, that when you look back at your content from years ago, there’s probably not going to be the best content you ever created. But also it might not come out or be published in the right order and the best order.

Again, we could only do the best that we can. So one of the questions a lot of people ask is, do I have to create content in a specific order? Should I be holding back certain articles or certain pieces of content and wait until I have published in a chronological or logical way?

And my opinion on this is that I always want to make sure that there’s as few barriers as possible between you and publishing your content. So how do we reduce these barriers? How to make sure that this question, do I have to create content in a specific order doesn’t become an excuse or a reason for you not to publish your content.

So I think this is a reframing of how you see content. If we think specifically about blog articles, I think that makes it easy. But it could also apply to anything like podcasts. It can apply to video, it could apply to anything really. And so when we think of it, blog articles, typically we think about when especially the publisher you, we think about a blog in a sort of chronological order.

So when you publish a blog article that gets published and on that day on your blog, so your most recent blog article is the one that’s at the top of the page.

And I think that’s where the problem starts is that we think like this, we think that blogs are in a chronological order.

But what we have to keep in mind is that our customers or prospects don’t see it like that, they just see a page on a website. They don’t really bother about what day it was published. It’s not like top of mind that that’s the first article on the page makes much of a difference really. It’s the fact that it answers a question or solves a problem for them.

Plus also to remember is that your customers, your people that are visiting your website and reading your content probably aren’t going to go chronologically through your articles. They’re looking for the most relevant piece of content for them, not when it was published, not that it is the most recent.

So when it comes to blog articles on our website, we have to get away from thinking in this basic way, in this way that a blog is simply a chronological list of articles with the most recent at the top.

There are many, many ways to arrange your content on your website once you’ve published it. So it doesn’t have to be, in fact, some websites that we’ve looked at recently don’t actually have a blog page on them. They no longer have this chronological, most recent posts at the top set up at all.

There are other things like a learning centre where, which is really an arrangement of their most popular content, the most popular questions they get asked, the most common problems that they are approached with. They have this content leader in a way that makes it really easy for people to find when they’re looking for and they also have things like categories, and a search function as well.

So people, truly the customer is in control here.

The visitor on your website can find the content that’s most relevant for them in the moment. And that’s so key to appreciate this. So learning centre could work.

Things like playlists work really, really well. So like for example in YouTube you could have hundreds and hundreds of videos on there.

People aren’t probably going to just start clicking through your videos in chronological order. So what we do is we create playlists for certain topics and certain topic areas that make it easy for people to find that content.

You could also apply that to your website as well. You may use something like tags and categories to arrange your content. Another thing that works really, really well and it’s popular is something like a start here page, or if this is your first time on our website, go to this page.

And on that start here page, it has all the content that you’d want access to if it was the first time on your website. So that can work well too. You could also have categories in a navigation menu except for example, you might want to have a problems we solve page, which is literally just a collection of all the content that talks about all the problems that you solve.

You can have specific pages for specific products, specific services. You could have specific pages on your website, they’re just for specific customers or specific industry types as well. And only on that page is there content that is relevant to that product, service, customer or industry.

So really the long and short of it is, is that you can organize your content in any way you want once you’ve got it. And it certainly doesn’t mean that you have to rely on you making the right decisions in the moment. So, for example, right now you may be writing an article at the moment you want to publish on your website, but you’ve just in the process of writing it, you realize that actually there’s two or three articles that could come before this.

Now, it’s up to you, but you don’t have to stop what you’re doing to go and write the other two or three articles before you publish this one. Because at the end of the day and six months time it isn’t going to matter, and maybe a month’s time, it’s not going to matter. And then you can join all of your articles together, so they make sense.

So the key here is to see that your content is something that you can arrange in a way to make it more accessible to your visitors.

Stop thinking about your blog as a chronological page on the website.

The key is to make your content as accessible to your visitors so they can find what they’re looking for quickly and as easily as possible.

So that’s the key here, is like, my final point here is to move forward so that you can move forward on this and go your own way is that to accept that what you do right now is the best that you can do and know, and accept that in the future you will be better. And you will have better ideas and perhaps you will create content that could have come before the content you’ve created already.

But sometimes you need to go through the process to figure that out.

Now, the final point here is that one of the ways, one of the surefire ways to overcome this and feel confident in your content is to have a plan, right? So this is to sit down with you, your team, with someone else, perhaps as one bounce us around so that you can see, right, we want to cover this particular topic.

Let’s flesh out this topic as much as we possibly can, plan it all the ideas and then arrange them into an order that makes sense, then do the work. So if you are sort of flying by the seat of your pants or sort of shooting from the hip with your content at the moment, then it probably will feel like you’re not sure if this idea’s first or last or in the middle. And if you really want to sort of turn pro with your content, then getting into strategy development and planning is the way to do that.

But do not let this question, this question of, do I have to create content in a specific order? Do not let that get in your way. Do not let that distract you or become an excuse for you not publishing your content.

The order that you publish your content is not necessarily the order that people want to read it in any way. So, continue on doing great work and if you want to take things a little bit further and get a little bit better, perhaps it’s time to start developing plans for your topics and for your content.

If you’ve got any questions at all, you can email me or you can tweet me @chrismarr101, my door’s always open and I look forward to hearing from you.

Don’t forget to be awesome.

It’s been a real pleasure. Thanks very much for joining me on the Content Marketing Academy podcast today.

If you’d like to step into our role a little bit more and find out about how content marketing can help you to grow your business, head over to Facebook and search for the CMA Facebook page. Click the join link and I will see you in there.

About Nicola Crawford

Marketing PA at the Content Marketing Academy.
In business, I believe in people first.
Mum to two crazy kids, Alaina and Morgan.
Green belt in Shotokan Karate.
Always learning, always growing.