Three golden rules for Content Development

I came across this great post the other day on Written by Stoney deGeyter, it’s 30+ SEO analogies that struck me as funny and yet so very true at the same time. I believe in having a sense of humor about your work and this post was right up my alley. One of my favorite analogies was this,

SEO is like a Michael Bay movie. It can look pretty, but if you’re just throwing a bunch of crap at your audience, they’ll just shrug and walk away.

I think Stoney hit the nail on the end with that one, especially when it comes to content marketing, a critical component of SEO.

Michael Bay isn’t a director known for his poignant and gut-wrenching plot lines or character development; he’s the guy you call when you want to blow stuff up. And while explosions can be incredibly entertaining, there isn’t much depth or value of them other than being fun to watch.

You do not want to pull a Michael Bay when it comes to your content marketing! Fluff and promotional content may look pretty, but it isn’t going to do any good for your brand or your audience in the long run.

Here are 3 rules you should follow to create great content that is both entertaining AND useful:

1. Strive to teach your reader something
It’s not about you, you brand or your products. Your content should focus on the reader and what they need. Do they have a question you can answer? Can you teach them something new? Is there a problem you can help them solve? Don’t just churn out content that shows off how great your products and services are; make sure you focus on what’s in it for your target audience.

2. Simple is good
Ever come across the phrase “too long, didn’t read” (also shown as TLDR) anywhere in the blogosphere? It means that the reader didn’t bother to read the entire post/article because it was too much to handle at once. You don’t want to throw pages and pages of text heavy content at your readers; most won’t take the time to get through it. Bullet points, lists, infographics and so forth—anything that can break up or condense you content into manageable chunks is useful for your content marketing. You don’t have to be afraid of the long article, but you don’t want to intimidate your readers either.

3. Keep it focused
Sometimes your content marketing cup runneth over and you’re brimming with ideas. Don’t throw them all down in the same piece of content, especially for your blog posts. Pick one idea and flush it out completely. It’s more valuable as a reader to get all the information about one thing than it is to get snippets from a dozen different ideas. By focusing your content on one main idea, you make it easier for your target audience to find the information they are looking for.

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