Let’s face it, you can read content on any online platform. But when you’re finished, do you really gain value from the content you read? If not, then I call that generic content.
I find that half the time I read an article, most of it is stuff I already know. It’s not really adding value to my life. I can read for hours but only remember one or two things. I’m not talking about books or published articles I read because those are very well written, reviewed, and edited. I’m talking about businesses that create content. Their content is published with ranking as their number one priority. Although, the challenge with only thinking about rankings will be missing the main objective. Most businesses have the following mindset:
- “How can we create as many articles as possible but at the least cost and with the least effort?”
- “Should we just make a bot to collect content that a search engine can pick up?”
- “Should we just hire writers that we can pay the least price?”
- “How about we ask other writers for their permission and use their previous writing to fill the gap?
When you have this mindset, you cannot win your audience. Writers are artists. The reason why books or published articles are well received is that they are given well thought too. Their content is created from passion and their love for the content. This is why their ingredients bake into a delicious cake, and each bite provides more satisfaction. They revise and edit day after day before finally presenting to their audiences.
What happens when businesses produce generic content
The difference between authors and business content writers is knowing when not to publish. In order for businesses to achieve ranking, they keep posting things that people are already aware of. Their tone, day after day, becomes monotonous, leading to generic content, which leads to less interest in people gained. Businesses often do not have anything useful to provide in their content. So they let bots take over and keep creating content.
You see, what happens is companies outsource content so they can get content on their channels. The sad thing is that it doesn’t matter if it is good or bad content, it is still published. What companies don’t realize is to get a user to feel like they’ve gained value is the number one goal. So, how can you and businesses create great content?
How to Write Great Content?
1.Write original content
Original content gives one an edge over other generic content. This means no one else has portrayed their thought about a subject. So when it is published, everyone will have one source to obtain the information.
What is that source? You.
For example, if you were to discover a new place while you traveled to nowhere, the first person to inform the world would be you. Other content may arise from it, but you would be the origin from which everyone received the news. Furthermore, original content may have a unique selling point to its audience.
The content is fresh out of the oven. This is why people would be more willing to give the content a chance. It might lead them to learn about something which they might have never thought of. Resulting in the piece of content resting on top of search results.
2. Write content containing lessons.
Oftentimes, people turn to articles for advice when they do not have a someone to ask. Google is basically a dictionary for real-life problems. Thus creating content that can be put to action. Also, it reassures the audience of their problems they are facing. Good content may draw readers to the author’s future blogs as it may be a safe haven for them.
People grow up listening to stories with a moral in the end. In terms of the stages of life we go through. We might need those same stories with a moral to remind us of taking good actions. Therefore, life lessons could also be a reason why people would chase a writer’s content.
3. Write content that answers people’s questions.
Whether it is real-life problems, or a cliffhanger in a movie, or simply a release-date, people fish for an answer. They often want answers to what they cannot know on their own, thus rely on sir google. Technology may be able to replace the work of people. But they cannot acquire experience, creativity, or skill of understanding human emotions. These qualities are the reason why writers are still up and running. People want opinions, knowledge, judgment, and predictions that quench their thirst for knowing a possibility. People spend hours on the internet reading blogs just to find an answer. The author steps in to support the questions with reasoning and provides a definite answer.
4. Write headlines that are eye-catching.
An interesting headline has the ability to make a lazy, lying-on-the-couch-all-day person to sit up straight. Having the ability to make an article worth reading will significantly increase in the number of people reading your content. Using something negative and combining it with a positive outcome may result in readers to be curious. For example, “Reading literature may help you speak like David Beckham.” Okay, maybe not really, but hey, it made you a little curious as to how didn’t it?
5. DON’T bluff.
Bluffing is risky. Lying about facts may earn you attention in the short run. Although, in the long run, it may cause you to be labeled as ‘fake’. Lying, especially about statistics, may cause you to get busted the fastest as they can be verified. Bluffing in your content may put a strain on your reputation or a company’s reputation (if you’re working under them). It makes your information less trustworthy. You’ll soon turn into the shepherd that no one believed in the end when he informed the wolf. Bluffing may also cause you to get into legal trouble if you’re writing about famous people, brands, or a business.
6. Add attachments to your content.
A very lucrative way to catch the reader’s eye is using tools such as visual aids. Visual aids include images, videos, and other media such as gifs. These images, videos, and gifs encourage people to learn in a more exciting manner.
Suppose you want to let the readers know that a particular mushroom is poisonous. It’s always a good practice to add the picture of the mushroom that you’re talking about. This way, the readers are going to study the picture of the mushroom. This means the reader will be more likely to read what you have to say on it. As a result, your article will be more appealing than if you write generic content.
7. Write ‘to the point.’
Eliminating unnecessary information and sticking to the point keeps readers engaged and makes a better composition. Drifting away may confuse the readers on what to collect from your content. Excessive usage of fancy words is mainly the reason why potential content may be categorized as generic. It is quality over quantity. Thus making your content short, but very informative is advisable to keep your readers entertained.
8. Keep updating and looking for ways to improve.
Trends and people’s perspectives change all the time. Trends such as us going back to the clothing style of the 90s would have never been expected. Hence, it is important for authors to have an open mind and willingness to adapt to changes. As evolution takes place, it’s important to update your website so that your readers can easily find your content. This will indulge your readers to share and help grow your page.
Are machines better than us?
“I spend all my time reading about how automation and AI is going to take all our jobs, and here I am – AI has taken my job.”Terminated employee from Microsoft
My wife will be the first one to tell you I have been saying for years that machines will take over most jobs. We will see this shift in our lifetime. The news about Microsoft laying off 27 individuals is more than enough proof that the future is here.
So how do we become better than the machine? And how do we still add value to our writing when we are competing against the machine? Well, that’s easy to answer.
It’s all about adding character and personal experience to your online content.
For example, everyone knows how to scramble eggs. Although, if I were to read an article about scrambling eggs, I would want to learn specifically something new. I would also want to know the time I am spending reading their content will add value to my life. With the hopes to learn I have been scrambling my eggs wrong my whole life.
This example just illustrates the fact that we all have a great understanding of everything around us. We are reading online content because we like to learn new things. So, when I get done reading an article, I want to learn something new about the perspective of the writer. If I don’t, they will have a hard time gaining my interest back to their newly posted content.
As you can see, it’s extremely important to add character to your writing to ditch the generic content. Showing you are human and knowledgeable about the topic is paramount. You don’t have to sell yourself because that is what email blasts are for. You just have to share your experiences. Share your perspective. Most importantly, share that you care about the quality of your content.
So think about the audience as a student you’re teaching. Students need a good teacher to help them reach high. Your content is their textbook that does not contain lengthy information. It contains lessons they do not derive from people of their life. As you write content, make it personal, include the highs as well as the lows, make it real.
Make your content such that it makes them indulge in the subject. Make your readers convert from a curious mind to a knowledgeable mind. Topics as mere as an apple falling from a tree shows much potential to create a change. I am very confident machines will take over our jobs in our lifetime. But they will not replace the human touch every person has the ability to create.
Do you like talking about content and the challenge humans have to compete? If so, shoot me a message and let’s have a cyber coffee chat!