5 Tips for the Best Content Creation of Your Career
So much of digital marketing revolves around content creation, which often leaves people asking just how they can do it better. With almost a decade of experience creating web content, In The Cloud (powered by Waterworth Writes) has the answers you and your contemporaries are looking for. Hold on to your hats, this is gonna blow them off. Or not. Really, it’s probably the ceiling fan in your office.
Content Creation and You
There have been piles and piles and scads and loads of things written online about writing online, like basically anything else you might want to learn more about. However, the execution of these bits of content are far from consistent. In fact, they range from “OMG! NO!” to “Epiphany” on the content quality scale. Not all content is created equal — and sometimes this is obvious from the very first sentence. Unlike other types of marketing where you and the competition may never have two ads running in the same place, a simple Google search can show your readers that you ripped off the same topic from another member of your industry or vice versa.
What I mean is that when someone is looking for “tips to fix a clogged drain,” for example, your blog on clogged drains that echos the blog of another plumber may literally appear one after the next on the search engine results page (SERP). See the image below.
The above image is exactly what I got on page one of Google when I searched “how to fix a clogged drain.” There are two articles that are giving you a bunch of “ridiculously simple” ways to fix a clogged drain. The three pinkish arrows point to articles that all refer to “natural remedies” for clogged drains. If you and another local plumber looking to capture a key phrase like “how to fix a clogged drain in Dallas,” chances are good that you’re going to be stacked one atop the other. That means that you absolutely, positively cannot just regurgitate someone else’s content or you’ll be immediately outed.
This is where so many businesses fail when it comes to content. It’s sad because these are well-established companies that have reputations for excellence in service. But they don’t realize the value that content — good content — brings to their marketing packages, so they’ll settle for bottom of the barrel writers, be they dabbling non-pros or strangers they met through Fiverr. It takes more than five bucks to make it happen. Content is an investment.
Repeat after me. Content is an investment.
Whoever you have write your copy, be it In The Cloud, a local freelancer or even a full-time marketing person on your staff, should be well-versed in your industry segment so they can generate copy that’s useful and not just a clone of everything else already on the web.
Moving On… The Best Content Creation Guide
There’s a lot to know about creating the best content possible, but to keep it tidy, we’ve listed our top five. Let’s go!
5. Demand excellent execution. If you’re not writing your own copy, you’re hiring it out somehow. As mentioned above, content is an investment. Some blogs live for five or six years, dragging people back to your site again and again. Others don’t, and you find out you wasted your buck fifty. Seriously, though, you can’t settle for garbage content, Google ranks by how well content is written these days. It also prefers you write to people and not to impress a search engine. Those two points alone demand a professional writer, not a hack that will write all your blogs for a buck. You’ll have to pay for good content, but you’ll be able to demand excellence as a trade-off. Oh, and you’ll get results over the long term.
4. Brainstorm for real. Writing down three or four ideas on a napkin isn’t proper brainstorming. What you should be doing is starting at your topic area and working out. Let’s say you’re writing blogs for a Yeti-tracking site (these exist, don’t laugh too hard). You’d write the words “Yeti Tracking” at the center of your whiteboard, napkin, etc., or just “Yeti” if you wanted to provide a wider perspective. From there you might branch out to “Tools for Tracking Yeti” and “Documenting Yeti Tracking.” Those could branch into “Wireless Tools,” “Wired Tools,” “Field Tools” and so forth. And you build from there until you have some really specific topics. Too many content creators are stopping too soon and leaving a lot of sloppy copy in their wake.
3. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes. Let’s go back to that drain, shall we? You wrote the piece about clogged drains and you stopped short. You told them exactly what they needed to hear, but nothing more. The likelihood is that your piece raised new questions as the reader learned more about unclogging drains. You need to be anticipating those by thinking like the reader. Maybe they want to know what tools they should keep around or tips for avoiding ever having to do that again or even what to do if there are roots in their sewer line. They’re your audience, what do you think would make you look like you could read their minds?
2. Just because it can be written doesn’t mean it should be. We’re not talking Deep State, Illuminati type stuff here, but it’s no secret that the internet is stuffed full of useless information. There are so many things out there that are basically copies of the next. A while back, Bharat Anand was discussing his book, “The Content Trap: A Strategist’s Guide to Digital Change” on the Harvard Business Review’s podcast and it got the attention of everyone in this office. He was saying exactly what we tell people every day. Sure, you can create a library of content about whatever you want, but it has to have a purpose. Randomly sewn together blog strategy and content that doesn’t feel like it has a purpose is simply a waste of your money and efforts. Know the WHY behind your content strategy, no matter what it is.
1. Write something that matters. Last, but not least, the one thing that our fearless leader believes in deeply: adding to the conversation. The whole internet is a very large, complicated conversation between websites, people, organizations, ideas and so forth, so that makes it even more important that what you say (write) has something useful to it. Something unique. It’s just like when you’re mingling at a party, you can’t just stand next to the funniest guy in the room, repeat everything he’s saying and get the same laugh. You need to create content that’s specific to your industry, that captures the attitude of your brand and that gives people something more than a worn out line. This is why the best Creatives exist, they live to pull all of that together as easily as flipping on a switch.
Whether you’re a content creator, a content purchaser, a little bit of both or just a janitor looking for a career change, these five tips will take you far in the content world. Cheap content creators may be cheap, but what you get isn’t even worth the pittance you spent. Focus your efforts on better, more useful content and you’ll have this whole thing nailed down hard. And if you get into a bind, give us a call at (817) 796-9393 or email us here. We’ll show you how to charge your words and your world.