For the first installment of “This Week in Common Sense”, I want to look at content generation from two perspectives. One is to illustrate the importance of generating frequent quality content. The second is to give myself a kick in the pants and get my own content generation moving forward more regularly. As the name implies, this will be a weekly column. Look for the hashtag #WisdomWednesday and please use it when sharing these posts. I will also be sharing pearls of wisdom from others using this hashtag. Feel free to do the same so we can get this tag up there in the trending slot on Wednesdays.
If you have spent any time at all doing business on the internet, you have surely heard the phrase “Content is King”. The more quality content you have on a website the more value you are adding to internet users, and subsequently, the more likely you are to be found online. Common sense tells us that 100 blog posts give you 100 times more possibilities to get found than if you only had 1. With most folks I know online, Content Creation is a major challenge. Finding the time can be the hardest part. But, if you hope to be successful, it is absolutely required.
Dictionary.com describes content as follows:
con·tent [kon-tent] Show IPA noun
1. Usually, contents.
a. something that is contained: the contents of a box.
b. the subjects or topics covered in a book or document.
c. the chapters or other formal divisions of a book or document: a table of contents.
2. something that is to be expressed through some medium, as speech, writing, or any of various arts: a poetic form adequate to a poetic content.
3. significance or profundity; meaning: a clever play that lacks content.
4. substantive information or creative material viewed in contrast to its actual or potential manner of presentation:
It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, not all content is created equal. Not only does Google frown on low quality, duplicated and/or spammy content, users don’t want that nonsense either. Put yourself in the position of the end user. When you search for information online, how irritated are you to land on a page that has a few vague references to what you searched then hits you with an affiliate link. Did that page add any value to your day? So why then do so many people think they can still get away with posting nonsense they scraped from another site and it should make them barrels of cash?
I’m sure you could still find some folks out there telling people this is the way to make money online. I remember when I first came into this space. People said to grab some affiliate offers, go write on hubpages and squidoo, add your links, and you could make tons of affiliate sales. I never made a single dime from this tactic. There may have been a time when that worked, but that time had already passed before I came along.
I and many others have flogged this topic to death. Fortunately, things seem to have gotten better now that there is enough solid information out there. Today, anyone can easily find the information they need to get started with almost any business. The best place to start is on iTunes actually. YouTube has a lot of info too, but there is a lot of nonsense to weed through there. Fewer people take the time to produce a podcast and get it on iTunes who are not producing really good content. Be watching for a new page here on the site with some of my favorite podcasts. I’m a huge fan of podcasting, and plan on starting my own in the very near future.
There we are, back to that word again, content. In our information heavy world, quality content will always reign supreme. It doesn’t matter if it’s a blog or an eCommerce site, a podcast or terrestrial radio show, a Facebook post or a tweet, If you give the reader what they need, they will be appreciative. They will then show their appreciation by coming back, and maybe sharing with their friends.
So what type of content are you looking to produce? There are lots of people blogging. Others do a lot of video. Still others are stepping into the podcasting space. There are two main considerations to determine what sort of content you want to produce. One, is which one is more comfortable to you? If writing is your thing, then stick to blogging. If you like speaking, then a podcast might work best for you, and if you are comfortable being on camera, then video might be an option. You can always get comfortable with the camera though if that’s the route you choose. Secondly though, is to think about your target market. Depending on demographics, they may tend to lean toward one type of content over another.
Then, we have the trifecta of content. The idea is to record your content via video, being sure to capture audio with a separate device. NEVER use the microphone built into a camera. Now you can sync the audio and video and have a nice video to post on youtube, your website, or wherever you like. But, this is where the magic happens. You have an audio file as well that can be fed into iTunes and other podcast services like stitcher. And, to complete the trifecta, you can have the audio transcribed so that it is now in written format and ready for a blog post. Be sure to add links or embed the audio and or video files along with that written post for those who would prefer that media type.
And there you have it. Now, no matter what type of content delivery your audience members prefer, you have given that person what he or she wants. The person who reads blogs on the train to work has the written word. The person who watches videos at their desk can consume the way they like. And, the person who prefers to listen to audio while driving or mowing the lawn is taken care of as well. You have something for everyone, and by that I mean everyone in your target market. Trying to go after a broad section of society as a target market is never a good idea unless you are WalMart, but we will discuss that at another time.
I know this post seemed to get off topic a bit, but the main theme here is, generate quality content and you will attract the right people. It’s that simple, if you apply a little Common Sense.