What does it mean to create good content?
Define good content. No, really, go ahead, I’ll wait. Tell me what good content really is.
(Sound of crickets chirping…)
Yeah, thought so.
Now, guess what? I can, in fact, tell you what good content is:
Good content results in conversion and evangelism.
Conversion is when visitors do what we most want them to, which generally for business blogs means signing up for our email list at the very least (entering the sales funnel) if not outright making a purchase. Evangelism is spreading the content to others so they can do the same. Truly “good content” contains both of these qualities. Conversion without evangelism means you run out of new customers. Evangelism without conversion means your audience is huge but nobody’s buying anything. So you need both.
Conversion exists at two levels, actually: the blog level and the post level. Conversion at the blog level is the important stuff, like buy something or sign up for the list. But not every post you write will result in a purchase, which is a high-level conversion act.
There is also conversion at the individual post level. What do you want the reader to do after reading this post? In this case, conversion could be use this tool I just recommended because it will help you, or click on this affiliate link or participate in this discussion. Post level conversion could be nearly anything. But unless your content gets the reader to DO SOMETHING, it’s not good content. Thinking is not doing. You want action, not thought alone.
Evangelism takes place when your readers share your post and/or their participation in it. Social media and email are the primary channels by which this happens now. Remember, I’m talking about your blog, here, not a sales page or the content inside a membership area. The blog needs more traffic (the blog always needs more traffic), and content which doesn’t deliver more traffic isn’t good content.
So now we have a solid working definition of what good content is.
There ya go
I bet some of you do (after all, it is kind of a bitch of a problem).
But I know some of you are wondering how this applies to you.
What does it mean to you, in your work?
I don’t know you personally or your business situation. Unless of course, I do, in which case: Hi, you sexy beast, you! And you know who you are. Without knowing enough about what you’re trying to do, it’s pretty hard to give specifics. All is not lost, however. I can still do a damn sight better than just offer a definition (as cool as that is).
Creating good content (like, for real)
To do this we’ll have to back-chain some ideas here:
- You can write good content when you know what your audience will respond to.
- You will know what your audience responds to when you understand their toughest challenges, deepest fears and brightest dreams.
- You will understand your audience’s challenges, fears and dreams when you engage them and listen to them.
What this means is that unless you’ve already spent some time engaging and listening to your market, you’re gonna have a tough time coming up with great content right out of the gate on a new blog (interestingly enough, this also meshes with my recommendation that you launch a blog backwards).
Not that simple but still doable
So as you can see, truly good content is not that simple. You can’t just sprinkle a few well-intentioned aphorisms about “just write good content” and expect that to be useful to anybody (and after all, nobody tries to create bad content, do they?).
But once you answer the questions:
- What does my audience really need?
- What problems are they searching on?
- What does success look like to them?
- How does what I do solve their problems or feed their dreams?
Then not only will know what good content is, you will be unstoppable and not ever run out of ideas for what to blog about.
So next time you see some self-aggrandizing social media douchebag harping on about good content, you can smile smugly to yourself because you know the real deal, no bullshit.
Image credit: Phillie Casablanca