I love the turn of the calendar year. It’s a great opportunity to include retrospectives of what occurred in your field last year, as well as a forward look at what the New Year may offer.
There are a couple things that come into play when you do articles like this. The first is what will you write about, and the second is how do you handle writing the URL? This piece is going to inspire you to knock out the first part, and address the second.
To Date or Not Date Your URLS
I am going to start with the second question first.
URLs are like investment assets. Once you tweak and optimize a blog you have built valuable equity in that url. You shouldn’t want to just throw it away. On the other hand, if you forecast something in 2022, you might want to keep a record of it?
So how do you do both?
Over the years I found topics like “Best research papers” or “Best predictions” in [your field] make terrific, generic urls that will drive traffic.
Ashley Garst, managing editor for Coveo, shares: “We’ve achieved success with listicles of top ecommerce research papers year over year. We put the latest article in a non-dated URL, then move the older content into a new URL slug with the year.
The most current piece is ‘/best-ecommerce-research-papers’ and older or secondary pieces were moved into /best-ecommerce-research-papers-2020, /best-ecommerce-research-papers-2021, /best-ecommerce-research-papers-2022/ etc.
This way, we signal authority to search engines through a rich history of tracking these papers.”
Do Date Your Title Tags and H1
While using the generic is imperative for maintaining the equity in the url, it is absolutely essential that you include the correct date in the Title tag and the H1. When people are on the search engine results page (SERP) deciding which article is most authoritative – you want that current date to influence them so they know they won’t be wasting their time.
I spoke with Andy Crestodina, content guru for Orbit Media and he advises to not include dates in your blog templates – unless you are publishing regularly – and updating those older blogs regularly (and changing the pub date).
Now to the second part of the question: what can you write about that will be notable and newsworthy in 2024?
The first week or two of January is the perfect time to create some hot takes for what you think will happen in 2024. As I like to say to folks who aspire to be a quotable leader – you should be bold, oppose the conventional wisdom, and make an impact.
The easiest way to make an impact is to “newsjack” what is already making headlines and grabbing people’s attention.
Find Inspiration in the Dictionary
The dictionary is a good place to start. You’ll find that major dictionaries publish the words of the year (WotY).
Oxford touts its WotY as “a word or expression that has attracted a great deal of interest over the last 12 months… we choose a winner that is judged to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year and to have lasting potential as a word of cultural significance.”
Rizz, a noun, was the winning word at Oxford, followed by the nouns Prompt, Situationship, and Swiftie. Three more nouns beige-flag, de-influencing, heat dome, and the adjective parasocial were also listed.
(Not up on Rizz? Actor Tom Holland used it in an interview, and said he had none!)
Not surprisingly, at least to me since I have spent the last few years writing about artificial intelligence, Cambridge University’s WotY was the verb Hallucinate – and everything AI. If you geek out over generative AI then follow the strong headwinds and do your predictions around some facet of AI.
Merriam-Webster’s WoTY was Authentic, it offered a dozen more words that were in the news. Coronation, Deep Fake, Dystopian, Rizz, X, Covenant, EGOT, Implode, Indict, Deadname, Kibbutz, and Elemental were all words that entered our collective consciousness – although some were hits much earlier in the year.
Create a Prompt Around Your Subject
Okay we have a list of words. Pick one or even a few of them that relate to your field and create a writing prompt for your article, here’s a few off the top of my head.
- Hallucinations, Deep Fakes, and Prompts – The Top Concerns for 2024
- After Swifties, what celeb followers will take over in 2024
- Watch Out for These Rizz-makers in 2024
Protip: Learn what people are asking by using selecting Questions under the Topic Navigator
Crowdsource the Article
If you don’t have prolific folks on your team, or are a little short on ideas, consider crowdsourcing the article. Magazines do this all the time. They have a single subject and they ask a variety of people to weigh in.
This is a great opportunity to do it across your organization – or to invite partners or customers to weigh in. When they see their names in the article, they will certainly want to share it!
Don’t wait too long to start writing. You will want to get this article up in the next week or so.
And next year at this time you can look at your predictions and critique whether you were right or not!
What you should do now
When you’re ready… here are 3 ways we can help you publish better content, faster:
- Book time with MarketMuse Schedule a live demo with one of our strategists to see how MarketMuse can help your team reach their content goals.
- If you’d like to learn how to create better content faster, visit our blog. It’s full of resources to help scale content.
- If you know another marketer who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.
Diane Burley has three decades experience creating high-impact content at scale. As a published author and seasoned technologist, she translates complex concepts into clear, engaging messaging that connects with audiences. She can help you build a content factory that drives results.