I’m not trying to discourage people from writing. At all. I’m also not trying to prevent good content from making its way into the world. What I am trying to do is stop the frustration that is creating something that never gets found. Content marketing and search (SEO) are having some serious peanut-butter-jelly-time right now so creating content to drive more organic traffic is a viable business option, but let’s be real, not all content is gonna get found.
Why wouldn’t it get found, you ask? A few reasons:
- It’s posted on a site that doesn’t have good domain authority and existing traffic so it’s not going to rank very well.
- It is basically a carbon copy of something that has already been written that does have good domain authority and social traction.
- No one ever bothered to try to get it noticed by doing any SEO, social media sharing, marketing, etc. (Which is fantastic if you’re blogging your private diary but otherwise, you’ve got to do something to get people to know there’s new content out there.)
Okay, so now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s move on.
Things that might be good to steer clear of in the content creation department:
- Another “101 Guide to <Enter name of anything that has 1,000,000,000 guides online already>” The caveats to this include: you have fantastic domain authority, a unique way of approaching the guide, or important updates to the existing guides. Other than that, it’s going to be hard to compete because someone will have already done it, spent time marketing it, and built up SEO for it.
- A minute-by-minute recap of anything. Your colorful, informed, involved opinion – Yes. The exact recapturing of every second from WWDC, American Idol, or The Super Bowl – No, because that’s what news sites are for. Bring your unique perspective or leave the play-by-play to the pros, please. (If you write for a news site then obviously this doesn’t apply and thanks for keeping us informed.)
- Giant blocks of text. Not only is this terrible for reading, causing most people’s brain do the hokey pokey and turn right on around, it’s also awful for SEO. Get yourself some <h1> and <h2> tags at least.And paragraphs, images and bullet points – try those out too, they’re amazing.
Do you have other types of content that seem to never get found — or that you see way too many times? Let me know and I might add them to a follow up list.