There are two types of content in the world of content marketing: good content, and bad content. There is no in-between. The famous Jedi Master Yoda once said, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” This quote is incredibly relevant for content creators.
But, you say, what if my content is okay? Yeah, like, it’s alright, you know, people will like, maybe read it.
If your content is okay, then it is bad. That’s the brutally honest truth. Why would a reader read something that’s “okay” when they could read something that’s good? Taking that a step further, why on earth would someone share content that’s “okay”? The short answer is they won’t.
So what makes good content different than okay content? A lot of things.
It all begins with a spark
A good piece of content is like a roaring bonfire. A bonfire keeps you warm while you’re sitting by it, and after it’s over all you want to do is tell your friends about it. Good content keeps you warm while you’re reading it, and after you’ve finished reading all you want to do is share it with your colleagues. I believe this is the simplest way to ask yourself if your content is good.
All bonfires start with a spark, as does all good content. That spark could be a trending topic, an assigned keyword, a buzzword, or some other kind of idea. The key is, that spark is relevant.
Fuel the fire
Okay, you’ve got that initial spark. The sticks have been furiously rubbed together. Now it’s time to turn that spark into a bonfire. What do I consider the fuel to any good content? Quality links.
Even if you’re writing this piece of content for yourself and not for any client, properly placed links are key. This is especially important if you ARE writing for a client, as making sure those links appear natural is of vital importance to the overall quality of the content. This is especially true for guest posts. Even if you have the most beautifully written piece of stellar content, awkwardly placed links or irrelevant links will turn your content from good to okay.
Avoid the store bought “EZLog”
Ever read an article online that’s so technical and specific that you get turned off? This is a recipe for bad content. Writing conversationally is one of the most important thing that content creators can remember. No matter what client you’re writing for, making sure you’re writing for humans and not for robots is crucial.
All too often content is corrupted by the writer’s desire to write for the search engines and not for a true, human audience. It’s quite obvious when you come across a piece of content like this. Reading it puts a bad taste in your mouth, as it seems unnatural and forced.
Reading content like this is like sitting around a Duraflame fire. Sure, it’s a fire, but it’s a pretty poor quality fire. You can’t roast marshmallows over it. Hell, it barely even keeps you warm. These logs are bad for the environment, too, just like crappy content is bad for the Internet as a whole.
Let it spread and survey the damage
Good content can’t be contained. It spreads like a wildfire. While you obviously want to contain a bonfire, the same can’t be said about good content. You want that good content to burn down every inch of the Internet and appear everywhere.
If you’ve built the content fire up correctly, it will spread. You can count on that. That’s the best way that you can measure how good your content is, too. Compare the amount of engagement your content got with other recent posts on the site it’s published on. You want more shares. If you got more, you succeeded. If you got less, you failed. If you succeeded, your content is good. If you failed, it’s just okay.
You can also consider hiring and SEO agency to handle your content creation and content marketing needs. Of course its still necessary for you to understand what constitutes good content versus bad.
Image credit: http://forces.si.edu/
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