The online world is utterly obsessed with content. This takes a number of forms, from articles and blogs to photos, graphics of any kind, videos, podcasts, and any re-mix thereof. It is an attention economy and if you can get your customers and visitors to focus on JUST YOU for a bit, you have achieved something pretty impressive.
However, this is only getting harder to do well. If you have the goal of creating or highlighting something of real value and relevance to your audience (as opposed to distraction or “click-bait”…) you have to be thoughtful, intentional and resourceful while balancing the other needs of your business and life. While the standing approach can still be called “Fail Fast” or “Do It Wrong Quickly“, you still need to cultivate an acute awareness of the real value of what you publish to your audience. There are numerous articles, sites, books and courses about content marketing available. Still, navigating it all as a solopreneur or small business owner can seem like panning for gold, and you just don’t feel like you’ve got the time or resources. You’ve got a business to create and run.
I’ll keep this to the point to save you time: here are three views of content that can help you use the resources you have more effectively. Frame your efforts with these in mind and you will find you come closer to “hitting the mark.”
- Make it interesting – There’s the stuff you’re interested in and there’s the stuff your audience is interested in. Drive laser focus on the latter, include the former and do your best to leave ‘overt selling’ out of it. Don’t be a pimp. Remember, only roughly 1 out of every 20 pieces published should be considered selling.
- Make it relevant and useful – Jay Baer says to publish stuff your audience would be willing to pay for. The greater the utility and relevance of what you publish, the more valuable you are to your audience, which will bring them back to you frequently….and when you DO sell, they will listen.
- Be truly “value add“ – Don’t just shove articles and links onto your stream and let your audience figure it out. Comment….give them a clue or a question or a contrarian point of view. Provide a reason to care and click through.
Do you have any views of content you feel are foundational? Share in the comments and make your case.
2 thoughts on “TIPS: 3 Views of Content”
An interesting and informative blog post Jeff!
I certainly agree with your pointers, it’s crucial that you become laser focused with your topic, as it you write about a too broad subject, you’ll lose most of your audience!
Love your point about ‘Value Added’ – an interesting tip which a lot of people on social media forget. Whenever I share something on Twitter, I make sure I’ve not only checked it out, but think – ‘will this be good for my audience to learn from?’
Thanks so much, Haydn! I would be interested to hear what other ways we can add value to a post. Beyond reading the content and being able to make a cogent comment, do you see any other possibilities?