We All Want Awesome Content, Here’s How to Start Making It
July 20, 2016 | Dan Trefethen
We spend all our time creating content – whether written, spoken, or drawn – with the goal that people will notice it and appreciate it.
But let’s just take a step back for a second.
This is all too much – people are over-complicating a very simple issue. The goal of all this work is to make stuff that people like, and enjoy ourselves in the process. That’s it.
It’s funny when you think about content marketing in these, the simplest of terms. Strip away all the industry jargon, and you’re left with a community of people trying to make awesome things for important people.
The content we create is precious to us, and we obviously want other people to extract the same value from our content. So why don’t we spend more time making our content truly awesome to consume?
Inspired by our conversation from this past April with Jay Acunzo, vice president of platform at NextView Ventures and creator of Unthinkable, we wanted to dig more into what it actually takes to create content that is awesome to consume.
Here are some ways to do that.
1. Awesome content is crafted with the audience in mind
Obviously, if you want a piece of content to resonate – if you want that content to be truly awesome to consume – you have to think about the people for which you’re creating.
This topic has been covered extensively in our Tuning Fork series, in which we talk to many leaders in the content industry about what makes content resonate. These leaders have indicated, time and time again, that the best way to create the most resonant content is to create with the audience in the back of your mind.
That means listening to your audience, engaging with it to determine their interests, and listening to feedback on the pieces of content that you produce.
For example, we know that our audience (hey, that’s you!) needs to be able to create content that will cut through the noise, grab the attention of prospects, and leave a lasting impression. That’s what awesome content does, so we wrote this piece to help you do that.
2. Awesome content is crafted with the creator in mind
Once the audience is covered, it’s time to think of yourself. How can a blog post, a podcast, or a white paper be awesome if you don’t really believe everything you’re saying?
Have you slogged through a blog post that you didn’t want to write, didn’t really care about, and didn’t care if other people cared about it?
You write the words and you mull over some details, but the passion isn’t there. The creative drive isn’t there. You just write it for the sake of writing it – whether you needed to maintain a schedule or just needed a filler piece of content – and it doesn’t have much value for anyone involved.
Content that’s awesome to consume has to be awesome to write, first and foremost. If you don’t care about the subject matter, either find someone who does or change the topic of the post. Because if it’s written haphazardly or without attention to detail, no one will extract any value from it.
One of my favorite feelings at work is the one I get when I spend tons of time, both in the office and at home, perfecting a blog post that I really care about. After a while, I get the feeling that this piece of content is like my baby – I want it to look perfect, flow nicely, and read easily. I’ll spend as much time as possible to make sure that happens.
And that’s exactly what we did with this post – originally scheduled to be published on Tuesday, we decided to push it back a day to ensure that this post itself was the best version of itself.
Being passionate is important – writing exclusively about things for which you don’t feel strongly is senseless. If it was awesome for you to write, it will likely be awesome for your audience to read.
3. Awesome content goes off the beaten path
Personally, I find the most value in content that presents new ideas, new concepts, or new lines of reasoning with which I wasn’t familiar before. My favorite writers are the ones that are creative enough to think outside the box, and brave enough to present those ideas to the public regardless of the reaction it might receive.
Teach me something new, and I’ll immediately appreciate it more than an articulate post that I feel like I’ve read 1000 times.
It’s presidential campaigning season, so let’s take an example from Monday night at the Republican National Convention. Melania Trump made a speech at the end of the night that seemed decent enough – until, yaknow, the world found out that she basically lifted two paragraphs wholesale from a Michelle Obama speech in 2008.
Don’t be like Melania Trump from Monday night. Instead, be like Melania Trump from this tweet in 2012.
4. Awesome content can come from other people
It’s okay to admit that sometimes, you’re not the authority on a given subject. You, a content marketer, might not be the best person to write a blog post about quantum chemistry.
In that case, it is more than acceptable to find someone who is qualified to write on that subject, and seek their help in crafting your content. It’s good to get a new voice on your blog every once in awhile – it lightens your workload, gives someone else a chance to express themselves, and gives the reader exposure to a different voice with different opinions.
Make Your Content Awesome
To wrap up, you can make your content awesome to consume by thinking about your audience, thinking about yourself, taking the road less traveled, and seeking out help from others when applicable.
It’ll require a little more work to get this done, sure. But more than anything, making your content awesome to consume requires a shift in your creative mindset. Start thinking of your content strategy in different terms – think about making the stuff you create awesome – and the other blocks will fall into place.
Now, get busy creating! Relay some of the feedback you get on your new content here – and don’t forget to sign up for the SnapApp blog for more content creation motivation.