This is a great article and guidance around content and blogs. Thanks @Tracy Sheen #blogs #content
I was reading an article the other day over on TrackMaven that said, "Over the last five years, the average number of blog posts published per brand per month increased by 800 percent. However, over the same time, the average number of social shares per post (from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest) decreased by 89 percent."
Eeeeeek!! I had to read that a few times for it to sink in. That can't be right I thought. I rummaged and threw things, placed call outs to my network asking for feedback and then it dawned on me.
While the rise of content creation has increased dramatically over the past five years, the quality of the content being put out to market is bottoming out. Think about it, when is the last time you made it the entire way through a blog on a client or suppliers website? Let's be honest here, most of them are pretty shoddy.
It's like everyone got the memo that the way of the future is content marketing, so every business appointed their high school son or daughter to knock out a blog a month in exchange for pocket money. No wonder things aren't being read or shared, because we just aren't finding the value in them.
If you're getting a little flushed in the cheeks or your heart rate is increasing reading this, you may just be realising you're responsible for putting low-quality content out to your audience.
So, no, content marketing is not dead, it's just suffered from a demise in standards. "How do you recognise poor quality content?", I hear you ask and "What can you do to lift your game?"
Well, there are a few tell-tale markers which include:
LIES OR OMISSION OF THE TRUTH.
Sure, your clients might not pick it up straight away, but your competitors, and worse still, you, will know, you aren't exactly on the up and up. Keep it classy; if you're as good as you say you are, there's no need to embellish or omit information.
NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO SPELLING, GRAMMAR OR FORMATTING.
Now. I'm no grammar queen, and my spelling is not what it should be. But at least run your articles through something like Grammarly before you post them to your site. It's free to use and picks up around 90% of the big grammar or spelling faux pas.
RIPPING OFF OTHER PEOPLE'S WORK (AKA PLAGIARISM).
I had a client tell me my writing was too expensive and they could get a blog created on Fiverr for $10. Good for you, but just make sure you run those things through a plagiarism checker. Even if we aren't working together, I don't like seeing people with egg on their faces. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but ripping off other people's hard work is never cool.
How many times have you clicked on a link inside an article and it's dead? Always make sure your links work, and the information is still current. Not hard to do and adds a sparkle to your work.
The most significant thing for me though is seeing businesses put content out to the Googleverse that just has no value. Creating this type of content is like teaching a pig to sing, it wastes your time and annoys the pig.
There are so many things your clients want to know; what you do and how you do it. Sure, it takes some time, and yes, there is effort involved but asking some questions of your clients or getting a friend to interview you about your business will no doubt uncover enough topic ideas for you for the remainder of 2018. If you're stuck use a platform like Answer the Public, again, it's free, and by simply entering a keyword from your industry it will give you dozens (sometimes hundreds) of questions people are asking about your business.
Finally, if it still all seems too hard, ask around your business network for recommendations for a content creator. Having someone not connected to your business polish your blogs ready for publication might be all the help you need.
"The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"