Image by spackletoe via Flickr
by Frank Reed
I suspect that the title of this post creates different reactions amongst different groups. I also suspect that none of the reactions include, “I agree wholeheartedly!” Why does the specter of creating content set off service providers, agency clients, and businesses flying solo, making them more than a little squirrel-y? I’ll tell you why. It’s because of the perception of good content. When someone reads good content, there is this feeling that “I could have done that.” As a result, there is a perception that developing good content is easy.
Well, it’s not. In fact, because of the deafening noise of the Internet marketplace and the need to rise above the din of the fantastically average (and WELL below average) content that makes up the vast majority of the Internet, you have to do a few things well to create good content. Here’s what I think they are. If you agree, great, and if you don’t, then go create some content around your argument.
Create Consistently – This is the one that makes everyone queasy. Businesses in the SMB (small and medium business) and SME (small and medium enterprise) space absolutely hate this fact. They want everything to be “one and done,” but content doesn’t play that game. Denying that fact will only hurt a business in the long run. If you are serious about Internet marketing, you have to be serious about consistently generating content AND placing the correct value on it, so it can continue to be developed at a high level.
Create Passionately – Even if you are selling the most boring product or service on the planet, you have to be passionate about your content or else no one will be. Boring content breeds bad results. Sure, you might still sell things, but you will not sell more than if your passion for your work were evident for all to see. By the way, if you need to hire someone to convey that passion, you are not alone. It is something you need to consider very seriously.
Create Creatively – Kinda goofy, I admit, but if you are just doing one thing over and over (like writing and just providing that kind of content), then you run the risk of losing those who would like to see some pictures or video or something else. I am very guilty of this at times, and need to start drinking my own Kool Aid, so to speak. The written word is powerful but it takes time to ingest and digest. The nice thing about it, though, is that the search engines find it to be the healthiest food for their spiders.
Create Intentionally – I once again will blow the whistle on myself here. Planning your content and the delivery of that content will produce more predictable results. In other words, you can start to tell stories, create themes, and do other things that keep content consumers coming back to you. If you just leave everything to the idea of being “inspired in the moment,” you will have some rough days and some gaps in content. I know where from I speak.
So, despite my claim in the title, developing good content for the Internet is NOT easy. It just looks that way. I challenge you to think about your own content efforts in a brutally honest fashion and decide whether you are serious or not. If you are serious, you will be rewarded and if you are not then I honestly don’t know what will happen to you. Now that’s scarier than anything isn’t it?