The Worst Advice I’ve Ever Heard About Content

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Old fedora felt hat with a press card - worst advice

My manager shuffled some papers and looked over at my eager face. Two weeks into my new job, I was finally being allowed to draft my first blog post (published authorhood, here I come!).

“Jane, it doesn’t matter what you write. All that matters is that we throw something up there twice a day and that it gets out on Facebook.”

I labored under this dictum for years, and I’ve come to one conclusion. It’s bull.

We talk a lot about feeding the content beast, SEO and gaming social media to maximize your reach. These are all important aspects of your content marketing strategy, but the MOST important thing is simply to have something worthwhile to say.

Many marketers ask about the best way to be heard in an ever-multiplying content universe. Look at your signal-to-noise ratio. Content is not so much a product as an experience. Recent changes in Google and Facebook’s algorithms have prioritized human interaction; your content should reflect that. We have just emerged from a time where high frequency posting garnered the most attention. If we are in the beginning of a paradigm shift towards quality over quantity, you need to start building your reputation now.

I’m not advocating that you start drafting posts worthy of Longreads. I’m saying that you should work towards being a trusted source of inspiration. A post doesn’t have to be long; it does need to build your brand. Does this content further your brand story? If your blog post popped into a prospect’s smartphone, would it be read and remembered? I don’t know about you, but I’ve read a lot of forgettable blog posts.

So don’t feed the beast. Tame the beast. This may require more thinking and fewer listicles, but I bet you’re OK with that. It’s a small price to pay for your audience’s trust.