There is too much content in the world. And most of it is utter rubbish. This is why creating content for content’s sake is a total waste of your time and resources. Content should be quality over quantity every time. Let’s put this into perspective: there are 2.54 billion pages on the internet at the moment. Or there was at the time of writing this. I’ve added a new one right here and there’s probably a few million more added to that pot in the time it’s taken me to write this article.
What’s scarier is that for every page view it costs 1.76g grams of carbon into the atmosphere. That may not sound like a lot but multiple that by the amount of content online and that’s a lot of carbon from the internet.
It’s one of the reasons why it’s a good thing to create less content and make sure it’s of better quality. Other reasons include your sanity and also your potential customers. Quality content will win over quantity every time.
Creating less content
The amount of content online is so overwhelming it’s like the national debt. Our little human brains can’t cope with such massive amounts like that. It’s meaningless to us. Much like most of the content on the internet.
More importantly, how, in all of that cyber junk, do we find what we need? Or get customers to find us? We need to go back to basics here – why are we creating content in the first place?
If you cannot answer that second question when you are writing your next blog, creating your next podcast episode or recording your video – STOP.
Stop right now and don’t waste any more of your time. Your content needs a purpose. Without one it’s a bunch of zeros and ones plummeting into oblivion.
Instead, before you start creating content for your business because you think you should or you read somewhere online that it’s going to make you millions, start thinking about your goal. About why you are creating that content in the first place.
Reason to create content
You might be creating content for any number of reasons.
It could be:
- forming part of an SEO plan
- because you have something you want to say or get off your chest
- your online marketing strategy
- giving your customers what they want or need
- part of a series that creates some kind of transformation
Or because you are compelled to do something and it makes you happy.
Any of these reasons are valid. Some may be more effective than others. But good quality content starts with understanding what it is you want to achieve with it in the long term.
You also want to question if your potential customers need your content, too before you start investing your time. Now, this is much more difficult to know because until you create it – you won’t know for sure.
However, there are some big clues that can help you understand if your next piece of content is needed by your customer. These can be:
- You get asked the same question multiple times.
- Client emails and feedback
- You see the something being asked on forums and social media
- You’ve done some market research
If you’re not sure, give someone you know a call and ask them if they’d find it useful. A five-minute chat could save you a lot of time creating something that no one needs. As long as that chat is with someone who would want to buy your products and services.
The average blog takes around four hours to create. And the more you invest in a blog, the more you will get out of it. Tapping up 500 un-researched words in an hour is never going to get any return for the investment in time. It’s a waste for everyone involved, including any poor soul who tries to read it.
Then there are those people out there who tell you there’s an awesome formula for writing a blog in 20 minutes. Sorry but it’s not true. Of course, there is a structure you can use to make the process easier, but you still need to lay the groundwork and research what you write.
Then after you’ve written it, you need to edit it. Chucking something up and hoping for the best will mean it’s littered with errors, mistakes and isn’t the best representation of what you do at all. And you need to consider graphics, images, multimedia. That’s a whole extra process on top. Plus, if you want your blog found organically, then you’ll need to invest more time and energy in SEO research.
I’m pretty exhausted thinking about all of this, and this is how I make a living. When you’ve put all that thought and effort into blog creating, then you want it to work hard.
The last thing you need is for all that time and energy to be forgotten about a week later. This is why it is more important than ever to make your blog content work as hard as possible.
You want to give your content the best chance at working hard for you.
But what does this look like?
Go back to basics again. If you’ve created your content with some sort of purpose and thought about who your audience is then half the hard work is done for you.
Research what good content looks like on the social media channel where your audience hangs out. Is it a pretty image? A video? A conversation starter? Are there new features you can have a play around with?
Can you use any of your existing content and make it better by adding these features to it? And when you do, can you then chop the content up to re-use across other channels. Not just your social media but also things like your newsletter?
Test what works and what doesn’t
And remember it is always better to have a conversation then throw some links into the ether. Think about how you can approach your subject from another angle? What questions can you ask? How can you truly help someone make a small transformation? How can you stop them in their scroll and make them think?
If you’re content – whether social media, on your website or elsewhere – is not bringing people into your community then test how you can either make it better or create something they do want.
Maybe you’re not sure why something isn’t working. The best thing you can do is ask a client. Or someone you’d like to be a client.
I had a conversation with someone this week. I’m their ideal client and they wanted my feedback on a new package they were creating. At the end of the call, I mentioned that I really loved a blog of theirs that they shared on LinkedIn. What if I’d read that years ago, I’d have saved myself a lot of money with another supplier who really wasn’t right for my needs.
I didn’t ask the right questions at the time. I was won over by shiny images and prices. Now, I know the kinds of questions I need to ask and what I need to look for because of this post. If this business was not right for me (they are btw), then I’d be recommending them to others because of this one powerful blog.
Yet, if they’d not had that conversation with me, how would they know that the blog was good enough? That they should be doing more with it so that more people see it?
One blog could be selling thousands of pounds worth of services – if you know that it works.
Examples of doing more with less
The Good Trade is a sustainable living online magazine. They create a daily digest from their content and research that’s delivered to your inbox in bite-sized chunks. And you can see a system of content repurposed from the main publication across all of their social media platforms.
What I like about this is that it’s not telling you to click and read the post on everything. They ask you to read their site very little. Instead, they ask questions about the subject and collaborate with others.
Tilly and the Buttons have also got their content repurposing all sewn up. Their blog, newsletter and social media channels are all working together to tell a coherent story. And one that is relevant for their audience.
Here’s what we can learn from these accounts:
- Use one piece of content differently on each platform.
- Ensure your content tells a story
- Keep content on brand even when it’s from a collaborator.
- Have conversations – do more than tell people to click and read
- Talk to your audience; have conversations.
- Be relevant
It is a lot to think about when all you want is to get some content out there because you ‘need to do content marketing’. But if you do something well, you’ll get more back in return and waste less time. Getting this right will save you faffing around on social media and thinking about what to write about in your newsletter. Unless you enjoy that, then as you were.
Ready to start creating less content?
Get the More Bang For Your Blog course here.