Everybody talks about content, but nobody actually defines it.
What is content and how can content keep readers?
Content is more than ideas, more than words and pictures on the screen, more than links to articles and data. Content is everything we communicate to our readers. Content is . . .
- Information Quality content is both fact and analysis. It offers meat and potatoes that anyone can find together with something original–analysis, predictions, interpretation–that comes only from the writer. Everything is relevant. There’s no time waster anywhere. The writer’s decisions are the “value-added”–the secret recipe. If we have the best recipe, readers will keep coming back to us.
- Presentation Quality content is top-notch presentation. Simple is elegant. The best information is lost, if nobody reads it. Too many long sentences; too many bullets; too many links interrupting the text–these get between the reader and the ideas. If it looks hard to read, it is. Like a great wine in a crystal glass, great presentation makes great content inviting.
- YOU We saw from our interviews last week, how readers respond to the intangibles Indie brings to his blog. Our presence, our voice, our respect for our readers, they are the nuance, the one-of-a-kind sauce on the expensive meal. Too peppery, too sweet, too salty, too bland, and readers will think this dish isn’t worth having again. On the other hand, get the right balance and they’ll be back every night.
When a blogger provides top-notch content with something extra, readers can see it. They appreciate the writer, and they enjoy the experience. Readers notice that “value-added” difference. They’ll be back to see whether we can do it again.
And that’s when consistency is the operative word. 🙂
–ME “Liz” Strauss
SEOÃ¢â¬âFive Traits of Relevant Content
Turning Reluctant Readers into Loyal Fans
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Martin (HomeOfficeVoice) says
Can’t add much more than that, Liz. Fact with analysis in a unique voice is the way to go.
I tend to think of a blog as much like a traditional columnist – readers come back because they like your spin on things … be it dry, informational, witty, sarcastic, angry etc.,
Great content is sticking to one point per post, offering relevant link(s) (that you have checked), written with clarity and is easy on the eyes (ie: white space)
ME "Liz" Strauss says
I hadn’t really realized it, but I think of it as a traditional columnist too–that with a little Ebert and Roper thrown in. 🙂
That Ebert & Roper thing is one of the reasons I started OfficeFreaks with multiple authors.
Some days I liked Ebert,some days it was Roper.
Some blogs would be great with someone else doing the writing. Or if they had someone to balance out the tone. Some people were not meant to write for the public. Some just need a little guidance.
I hoped that at least one of the writers would appeal to the reader and bring them back. If each writer garnered several thousand readers, we’d be a hit.
I didn’t really want to share this with the world, until I was firmly in control of the entire blogosphere, but since you were giving out such good info, I couldn’t hold onto it any longer.
There goes my advantage…cest la vie !
ME "Liz" Strauss says
Aww Mike, What a great guy you are!
These two sentences say so much:
Some people were not meant to write for the public. Some just need a little guidance.
What you’re talking about here is great strategy.
Thanks for adding this–even though you say you didn’t want to. You know that sharing information is what blogging’s all about. In fact, I bet that’s your strategy for takimg over the blogosphere. 🙂
In case you didn’t see the self-criticalism there, I’m always telling my family of bloggers that I’m the weak link in the chain.
I’m not a great writer, but in person, I’m a dynamic storyteller…which is why I’m a successful salesman. I’m also a bit dyslexic and struggle with posts and comments, sometimes having to go over them as many as 5 times before I hit publish.
Hopefully, as I watch my wife write and as I see Cary and Chrispian win over our readers on Freaks, I’ll get better.
But, with a little guidance and if I can see the tone in which others successfully win over their readers, I believe I can become a successful blogger.
I am determined to be a ‘successful blogger’, therefore I will be one.
ME "Liz" Strauss says
You’ve won me over completely.
I find your tone winning and look forward to what you bring to the conversation. Your comments are always packed with insights. Don’t go away. I mean it.