Must be 80% writer, 10% manager, 10% computer geek. If you ever got less than a B in English, don’t bother applying. I will check your transcript.
Responsibilities: MUST CREATE (not scrounge, collect, curate, or whatever lazy people call it these days) at least three articles per week, every week for company website. Articles must be well-written (this includes proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation) and provide real value to customers. They should include images, keywords, and links to good stuff on the web.
Salary: Starts at Minimum Wage and increases by 20% for every additional 100 subscribers up to the first 1000. After that we’ll talk partnership.
If you have the skills and the stones for this gig, apply by sending links to your last five wildly successful blog posts and their accompanying social media posts as well.
I’ve never seen an ad like the one above. Probably because there’s nothing politically correct about it and it has absolutely nothing to do with any best practices. But you have to admit, it is honest. And it gets to the heart of one of the biggest misconceptions about the people we usually hire to manage our websites.
Because most of us aren’t computer geeks, we think that managing a website is way more complicated than it actually is. We tend to believe that the job involves lots of code writing, image processing, and other technical wizardry that we can’t possibly understand. However, the truth is that website management is mainly about publishing – not geekery.
A website that is completely tricked out with all the latest bells and whistles will fail miserably against a homely little site that consistently publishes lots of valuable information. It doesn’t matter how slick or expensive your site is if you don’t crank out tons of epic content on a dependable basis.
So how do you write this stuff if you can’t hire the person from the ad above? That’s what this article is about. Once you’ve established a standard for your articles, you can worry about consistency and quantity. But, as in all aspects of good business, quality must come first.
Killer Content Is Informative
Have you ever noticed that, even though there are 7 billion people on the internet, you still manage to see the same stuff over and over again. This is because 80% of those 7 billion people aren’t creating anything new. They’re just spreading it all around. This means that you’re going to have to put in some effort if you want to actually inform your readers of something they don’t already know.
The best way to inform people is to create something original for them. Think about it this way, all 7 billion of our internet friends are unique individuals. That means that we all have unique perspectives on the world. So use your unique perspective to provide something different to your audience.
The best way to speak from your own uniqueness is to think more and absorb less. At any given moment we have an endless buffet of information upon which to gorge ourselves. The internet, satellite radio and television, cable television, newspapers, broadcast radio, magazines, books, ebooks, movies, music, and more are all available at the touch of a button. This leads us quickly toward a problem called GroupThink.
I learned about this in graduate school. GroupThink happens when people spend all their time absorbing and passing around the same information with no interjection of new original thought. It’s like the difference between a flowing stream and a stagnant pond. My suggestion is to limit the amount of information you absorb to only that which is helpful to your business and its customers.
I realize the heresy that I’m preaching. I know that, by doing this, you may be underinformed about much of what concerns the world. But I will assure you that you will be much more informed and connected to what concerns your customers. And isn’t that what really matters?
Killer Content is Educational
Once you’ve learned to limit your absorption, I suggest you schedule time to educate yourself – not on anything and everything like you used to, but on specific aspects of your business. By regularly learning new skills and keeping up on emerging trends in your market, you’ll be in the perfect place to educate your readers.
Keep in mind that they are running their businesses and struggling with many of the same things that you are. This means that solutions to your problems may be solutions to their problems as well. I crack up at the sales people who refer to themselves as product evangelists. It’s true, though. Just keep in mind that evangelism is about one beggar telling another beggar where the bread is.
Some excellent sources of education are conferences, webinars, and online courses. These can be a welcome and even refreshing diversion from your daily grind. I actually look forward to my education time and find that it often sparks new creative ideas that I can share with my readers. In between events, I fill what used to be hours of random absorption with listening to podcasts, reading books, and developing my own theories based on what I’ve learned.
Regardless of how you educate yourself, make sure you are regularly educating your readers. The goal is for them to read your stuff and say, “That’s really cool! I’m glad I read that.” or “Wow, I never knew that.” or “Oh, so that’s how you do it.” If people tell you that you’re just educating your competition and that you’re giving away all the secrets, you know you’re doing it right. The most successful people in the world give like that.
Killer Content is Entertaining
Now that you have your absorption targeted to the things that really matter and you’re giving away really great information, have fun with it. Don’t take yourself so seriously that you’re no fun to listen to. Interject your own sense of humor into your content. Don’t worry about offending people. Out of 7 billion possible readers, there’s no way to offend or please them all. Besides, you don’t 7 billion readers – thousands will do nicely.
Consider the things that make you laugh. Odds are, that there are thousands of others who laugh at those things too. The same goes for things that touch your heart, make you think, and make you angry. Just make sure that you leave room for debate and discussion. Don’t get bent out of shape about what others think.
People will agree and disagree with you. That’s OK. That is what creates discussion and engagement. If you can get readers to engage with you and each other, you’re ahead of most other sites on the web. Engagement is the goal of every social media site and search engine. It is the key to putting these tools to work for you.
Pursue entertainment without sacrificing information and education. You’ll find that your material grows in popularity with like-minded folks and it will be a lot of fun to create as well.
So that’s it. Remember that Killer Content is Informational, Educational, and Entertaining. Acceptable content may be one of the three and good content may be two out of three, but the kind of content that brings true internet success will be all three. It will be Killer.