Stop. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200!
Instead, rethink your content strategy, and start collecting $2,000 instead. I have been in the content marketing and online business game for a while. And in that time, I have learned what works.
But more importantly, I have learned what doesn’t work.
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Odds are, if your content marketing has been stagnant for a while, you are publishing at least one of the following three types of articles described below on a regular basis. So, consider this list your “Get out of jail free” card. It’s designed to help you stop making the same critical errors that many entrepreneurs are making.
By simply changing the type of content you are writing, you can massively improve your company’s image, authority, and ultimately, revenue. So let’s get to it.
1. Generic content
The first big mistake that I find many entrepreneurs make is that they publish generic, cookie-cutter content. This can take on a number of different forms.Many online marketers like to publish overly broad articles that don’t really offer anything valuable or actionable for their audience.
Some examples of this would be:
- What is content marketing?
- How to lose weight (offering nothing other than “eat less, exercise more”)
- What you should pack for your round-the-world rrip
There are many such examples. All have already have been written by 20 billion other people.
The other type of generic content is content (good or bad) that has basically just been repurposed from older content. Whether you are simply recycling your ideas or rewording content from other influencers, this is almost always a bad idea. The reason: People can tell when content has been repackaged. It turns them off and reduces their trust in you and your brand.
2. Filler content
Do you know what is even worse than generic content? Content created purely to fill space.
Instead, every article that you write should have a definite purpose. This might be to promote a new product, inform your audience about a certain topic or provide a comprehensive guide on a certain subject.
"Filler" content, however, has no place in your editorial calendar. If you are writing articles just to fill up space on your website, stop! It's better to publish one article a week that is truly incredible than 10 articles that are fluff and filler.
It’s also far more valuable to publish one super-actionable tip than those content marketing-hack “listicles” we’ve read 100 times. Want to avoid this fate? Before writing an article, ask yourself:
- What is my goal with this article? (Inform, entertain, promote)
- Whom am I writing this article for?
- What value can I provide in this article?
- What problem can I solve with this article?
If you cannot easily answer these questions for an article that you have written, don’t publish it. Period.
3. Super-short content
Don’t publish short content. Get the point?
Short content can work for very specific audiences and with very specific marketers. But, odds are, if you are reading this article, you are not one of them. And neither am I.
When people click on an article, they do it because they are interested in what you have to say. And if you are writing only 300 to 500 words on a topic, you are selling your audience and yourself short.
Your audience members want you to dive into detail in your articles. They want specifics, they want stories and examples; and they want an actionable guide.
Let’s consider the example of an article about Facebook marketing. Imagine if I wrote such an article for one of my sites with content like this: “Make sure your ads contain red and blue. Post during the afternoon. Use faces in your ads. Include your value proposition in your ad.”
And that was it . . .
Do you think that I would have half the following I have today if that was my content? Heck no!
You too need to invest the time in writing long-tail content that your audience can genuinely benefit from. You will build trust, establish yourself as an authority and have more time to build rapport with your audience.
So, forget the short content.
Creating great content is not an easy task. It requires that you understand the types of content your readers want and the kinds of content they don’t. It requires an in-depth knowledge of your specific field and a unique voice that has something meaningful to say. And it requires you to be willing to invest hours and hours researching and writing the best content possible.
None of those things are easy. But they are all worth it.
If you can remove the three types of content mentioned above from your editorial calendar, your business will transform before your eyes. Industry influencers will respect you more.Your customers will become more engaged.
And you will increase your sales at a rapid pace. So cut the crap and watch your business flourish.