Do you remember when you first started blogging?
I remember when I did:
I didn’t even know what blogging or content marketing was.
Just, a good friend asked me to create content about my travels. So I’d sit down and write a post every Monday and Thursday. Just for the sheer joy of it. And, to make sure my Mum had something to tell my Grandparents about.
Then it became more focused on personal development. I wanted to try and show people what I learned from all the places I went to. Because, well, if I was investing all this time in writing, I wanted to at least help people, right?
And, people loved it:
It was a great feeling, and there was no pressure on me whatsoever. Because, at the time, I didn’t realize I was a blogger. I was just a dude, writing stuff and putting it on the Internet.
Your story is probably similar, right? You had a passion for a subject and then you decided to write about. All with the view of helping people.
Then, somewhere down the line you went, “Hey, I could actually turn this into a business!”. And that’s where it all starts to go wrong.
Because, once you realise you’re a blogger (or even worse, that you’re content marketing), you stop writing for the fun of it – and you start writing because you want people to read it.
You start to think about:
- Page views
Not to mention all the other Internet Marketing metrics that matter. And, writing valuable content goes to the back of your mind. In fact, the content you’re creating is the last thing you think about.
You choose the content you write based on these questions:
- Is it a topic that’s been shared before?
- Will it get me a lot of traffic?
- How well will it rank in Google?
And not the most important question of them all – “Will it help my readers?”.
Because here’s the thing about creating content. Page views don’t buy your products, people do. And if you’re not interested in those people, then they won’t be interested in you.
Epic content doesn’t come from metrics. It isn’t made from copying what other people have done. It comes from being genuine, writing from the heart and caring about your audience.
Yes, all the metrics you use are important – heck, I’ve built whole business writing about them – and the more leverage you can have, to get the result you want, the better.
But this isn’t about hating on metrics. This is about creating the content your audience needs. Regardless of the platform:
Anywhere you can think of. Everything you put out is content. And, everything you say has an impact on you readers – whether you have two, or two thousand – in a positive or negative way.
But the real content that’s successful? That’s the content that’s written for your reader, by you, with value. No matter your niche, goal or anything else.
Because, that valuable post you put out; the one where you threw the metrics out of the window and wrote straight for the heart; that’s the content that will do well.
Nobody remembers the post that got shared; they remember the one that mattered.
I’ve seen bloggers get shared 100,000 times and disappear back into the ether. And bloggers who never go viral, that still have armies of fans hanging on their every word.
Sharing is just a side effect of creating the content your audience wants. When they find something that helps them that’s when they share it. Because you’ve answered that important question every reader is asking themselves when they look at content, “What’s in it for me?”.
It’s Time To Make A Change
I want to ask you to do something. To make a pact, right here, right now. To change the face of how we, as content creators (and, if you’ve ever tweeted, you’re a content creator) approach or readers.
Instead of asking yourself, “What can I get from my readers?”:
Start asking yourself, “What can I give to my readers?”:
- Actionable Content
And, that little piece of yourself that makes your content stand out from the crowd. Because, that’s exactly what your readers are looking for.
Create content for your audience, then optimize it to get shared. Picture yourself having a one-on-one conversation with the person you’re creating for. Think about that they want, what they need and what they need to hear.
After all of that, comes the metrics. Not before.
So, I only have one question left for you – are you in?
Let me know with a simple comment saying “I’m in!”. And we’ll all know, secretly, that we’re trying to change the face of content, one post as a time.