Welcome to the Content Revolution! Anyone with access to a computer and an Internet connection can start a blog. Whether you’re blogging about entrepreneurship or things your 17-year-old cousin Bennett texts you, the Internet is your sounding board.
This has given way to some great content. Content that makes you rethink your priorities, content that makes you laugh until you can’t breathe, content that helps you run your business – the list is endless.
Unfortunately, it’s also given way to some pretty terrible content. Content that is boring, content that is repetitive, content that lacks personality, content that just plain wastes our time – it’s everywhere.
Is There an Echo? Echo? Echo?
Remember the famous expression about beating a dead horse? Well, it’s famous for a reason. When you create content, be sure you’re not saying something that has already been said by every blogger in the history of ever. It sounds simple, but many of us still do it. If you don’t have something new to talk about or something new to add to a current debate, don’t bother writing about it.
No one likes the sequels anyway!
Bottom-line: Don’t write content that has been rephrased and republished 100+ times over the past five years.
To Be a Thought Leader, First You Need Some Thoughts
This goes hand-in-hand with the previous point. You don’t need to avoid popular topics. That’s the last thing I’m proposing. In fact, piggybacking on popular topics is a great way to get your content in front of a larger audience. Just make sure you’re adding something valuable.
If you want to establish yourself as a thought leader, you can’t be wishy washy. That’s not valuable. You can’t steal other bloggers’ opinions. That’s not valuable. Bring something new to the table or no one will offer you a seat.
Bottom-line: Have an opinion and don’t be afraid to voice it. Neutrality means you don’t really care.
Make Seth Godin Proud: Tell a Great Story
“Marketing is storytelling. The story of your product, built into your product. The ad might be part of it, the copy might be part of it, but mostly, your product and your service and your people are all part of the story. Tell it on purpose.” ~Seth Godin
Blogging is storytelling too. What makes your entrepreneurship blog different from the thousands of other entrepreneurship blogs out there? Your story. It’s unique. No one else has it. No one else can tell it like you can. But so many of us are afraid to tell our stories, to get personal. If you’re not personal, you’re just another faceless voice.
Rand Fishkin writes very candidly about his struggles and his experiences at Moz. He’s arguably one of the most transparent bloggers I’ve ever encountered. And he’s killing it!
Bottom-line: You have a personality, you have unique experiences. Share them through your content!
Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should
Like I said, anyone with access to a computer and an Internet connection can start a blog. It’s both a blessing and a curse. Why? Because some people are blogging when they can and some people are blogging when they should. There’s a clear distinction.
If you’re blogging when you can, you’re blogging to ensure you have three posts a week, for example. If you’re blogging when you should, you’re blogging because you have something to say, something worth reading. You’re not sitting at your computer at 1 a.m. trying to come up with a good topic. You’re blogging about something of substance, something that matters to someone. More importantly, you’re blogging about something that matters to you.
Bottom-line: Don’t share content unless it’s amazing. Stop trying to fill an imaginary quota. Only write when you should, not just when you can.
It’s time to wake up, bloggers. No one wants to read your boring blog posts. Let’s all make a pact, right here and now. Let’s stop producing content for the sake of producing content.
Let’s start producing content because we actually have something to say.