Content creators may have heard an all too common refrain that goes something like this, “Well, there’s so much content out there, so you need to make sure you keep up.”
First of all, there is a lot of content out there. There are also a lot of law firms, sports teams, gas stations, Italian restaurants and fast food joints; yet they’re all still profitable and most likely always will be.
So just because there is a lot of competition doesn’t mean that you as a competing blogger or content creator need to panic. Quite the opposite actually. If you consider the inflation of online content and the fact that so much of it is incredibly low in value, you’ve got an amazing opportunity to put yourself above the fray.
Keeping content fresh does involve a time commitment, but if you’re an expert in your field, a solid writer and a well-scheduled individual, you’ve got the core elements already in place.
Here are a few more things to consider:
1. Answer Real Questions
People log on to the Internet for information, usually in the form of questions by way of conversational dialogue. As Google moves towardsunderstanding and accommodating that tendency, you should do the same.
When you’re trying to produce new content, make sure that content answers a question that people are asking. Finding those questions is a simple matter of going to the places where your community congregates and joining the conversation.
Find out what people want to know and then be the person who answers it thoroughly and genuinely.
2. Don’t Pander
So much of what passes for “content” on the Internet is extremely disingenuous and canned. It’s part of the reason that Google programmer and Webspam team leaderMatt Cutts has said that guest blogging is becoming a thing of the past because it’s becoming increasingly spammy.
What Mr. Cutts doesn’t mean is that someone can’t contribute a well-written and valuable piece of content to another site, but the exchange of weak, pandering and ultimately low-value material is a thing of the past. Guest blogging will now be all about less-is-more in terms of quality over quantity more so than ever before.
So don’t write articles just for the sake of getting something out there and pandering to your audience.
3. Provide Value
The value argument is essentially including everything that could be valuable to someone, not just an answered inquiry. Entertainment, information, education, insight or helpful Curation are all valid ways to provide value within your content.
Try to think about what people need and why they would come to your site. Then, make sure that those needs are reflected and met in the content that you post. If you can do that, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever truly be without great ideas.
4. Keep an Eye on Success
It’s simple, but effective. As much as you can, keep an eye on what other sites, preferably the reputable ones in your niche, are doing. There’s no shame in using their ideas and drawing inspiration from them with your own original spin.
5. Consider The Local Library
It can certainly be difficult to come up with content, but honestly: Is it really that hard for us to be creative?
Consider the shear amount of “content” and information at any one library. It’s absolutely staggering.
Now it’s also true that the writing is spread out over a multitude of authors, but it’s there nonetheless and it’s a testament to our potential to be creative and come up with great ideas.
Don’t Stop Thinking
So don’t let our shortcut culture and the abbreviated attention span of the Internet make you feel like content is running short. It never runs short, because human beings never stop thinking and innovating.
At least we don’t have to stop.
Value in the written word is born out of ideas, inspiration and information. You’ll always have those tools at your disposal, and if you’re proactive about using them, you won’t have to sit around and stare at a white sheet of paper (or a blank Word document) worrying about what to write.(c) Camille McClane