Killer Content? You’re Kidding Me, Right?

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death to killer contentThere’s a race; a competition for your attention and you know it, I know it and the person we write for in our content knows it.

People have a finite amount of attention to give you as they pass by in a social media stream, unless of course they have a problem. Real problems are like toothaches, they start off gentle or they erupt into a  powerful burst of pain right under your brain making it seem like it’s a thousand times worse than it really is.

Because when you have a problem that’s excruciating you have to do something about it.

You are compelled to take an action or keep searching till that powerball of pain is a dull ache that finally lets us sleep.  Now tell me, when you write a post and you label it killer content are you really writing a post that solves someone’s pain? Hell no. You’re being a lazy ass (and I use that in the European sense of the word) marketer who thinks they are being clever.

Do you write killer content? Really? Are you sure? Why are you still talking about killer content?

Why not groovy content? Is it because it sounds so hippy, and 1960s like? What about mash-ups, are you still using that? Or synergy? Or leverage.  What your searchers are looking for is your best content presented to them in multiple ways that they can understand, not a pile of overused buzzwords.

Being authentic means you do what’s in your heart and not what everyone else is doing. And is it really in your heart to use a pile of  outdated platitudes that in 50 years time that a linguist will be needed to decipher your content’s meaning?

Let’s look at what your readers really want, and I can assure you it will only kill stale ideas and meaningless, empty phrases.

  • Make sure your personality shines through. That’s your personality and no one elses. Just because you admire someone it doesn’t mean they will think your copying is flattering, you’re a marketer not an actor.
  • Keep your readers and their needs in mind whenever you sit down to type. Ask yourself do they really need another article about how content is king and grammar is no longer queen, but images are instead?
  • Use a call to action so that your reader understands what you need them to do. If you ask for shares / likes / comments / their eldest son then the chances are you’ll get nothing. So have one ask, and ask for it nicely. If you like this post I’m asking you nicely to share it wherever you would think it would be appreciated.
  • Edit your damn posts. Remove the superflous words, remove the words that date you, remove the words that age you and remove the words that are used in the post you read 5 minutes ago that inspired you to write yours.
  • Read other bloggers. Read them relentlessly and analyse their work, look at the structure of their content and look at the interaction and most of all interact with them.
  • Don’t bitch about 99% of people being lurkers and then act the same.
  • Using “you” all the time makes you sound like a sergeant-major. Use contractions such as “I’m” and “you’ll” to help keep a conversational tone.
  • Add a bit of you into your content, unless you are highly unoriginal and bland, in which case keep it to yourself.
  • Pay attention to the topic. A little information about you is interesting to the reader, but you are not the main event. If you are then you are a celebrity who writes content for the sheer pleasure of it and people search you out by name. Yes, they know who you are already.
  • Understand who your reader is before you start typing and know the truth …  and you should be ready for this truth – she’s just as smart as you are. 

Are your words aging your content needlessly?

Here’s the thing: we all should be creating nice, strong actionable content that educates our readers and entertains them enough to want to share the piece in question. We need to optimise it so when it’s shared that people want to click on it, and we want it to feature well in the search engines so that it works for us forever and ever Amen.

When we use certain words and phrases it ages our content like electronica dates most of the movies in the 1980s.

It seems that some marketers like to use phrases that are meaningless rather than phrases that our audiences will connect and understand in years to come. You will be blogging, I mean content marketing in years to come, right?

Each industry has it’s own lingo, it’s own language that makes a reader feel included when they see it in a post or hear it in a video. It’s how readers identify the experts from the wannabees.  When you use it you have to be sure that firstly the word is still active and means what you think, and secondly think would you use the word in a spoken conversation?

And I don’t think any of us would use the word killer in a conversation any more, perhaps 4 years ago but not right now. It might sound like I’m all bent up over killer, but leverage is just as bad. If I hear another leverage LinkedIn I’ll toss a heavy, leather bound thesaurus at the person saying it and ask them to find another alliterative word.

And it’s a problem that we all have.

We use these words because as writers and content creators, we’ve become lazy. We’ve stopped learning and growing, and now we’re stagnating or pretentiously believing we’re educating. We’ve forgotten the reason why we create content, we’ve forgotten who we serve and we need to re-connect with why they are looking for us in the first place – to solve problems.

Good writers limit their cliches. Great writers don’t use them at all.

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Sarah Arrow

Sarah Arrow

Chief Blog Coach at Sark eMedia
Blogging an issue for you? Social media not quite working how it should be? I'm the creator of Birds on the Blog (listed 3 times by Forbes as a top 100 website for women) and grew into a kick-ass blog coach You want your blog to make a difference, so check out my free blogging training and get more leads and better clients from your business blogging.
Sarah Arrow

@SarahArrow

One of the UK's leading bloggers, Forbes listed 3 times. Join http://t.co/ja7pR8TnL8 and blog better in 30 days
Getting found by your ideal readers: Anchor Text and Bio Boxes http://t.co/eggiNvnRLN http://t.co/sdik933TPL - 43 mins ago
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