My mom might just kill me when she reads that headline.  (I’m 30-something, and that concern still crosses my mind)

But I’m becoming more and more passionate about the power of content marketing – and more irritated when I see content marketing that is poorly executed (aka, it sucks).

A special target of my loathing includes keyword-stuffed spammy content marketing that might, if you’re lucky, tell you one or two new things. That’s if you can get over the sense that you’re reading something that says “blah blah keyword, blah blah keyword.”  (It sounds a lot like those old Peanuts cartoons when the teacher is talking.  Wah-wah, wah-wah, wah-wah.)

Another favorite kind of content to hate (can I have a favorite-to-hate?) is obvious PLR content, especially PLR content that hasn’t been edited and enhanced to be a unique piece of writing.  Nothing says you don’t respect your readers by foisting a piece of poorly researched and even more poorly written content on them (that looks identical to the next piece in the meta description).

If you’re not writing your own content marketing materials and you’re not hiring a content marketing professional to create custom content for your blog, please don’t cut and paste PLR content!  Don’t buy an article that isn’t uniquely written for your audience and needs.  And for the love of all that is holy, please take the time to make it unique for the people reading your blog.  (Side note – as those Google algorithms featuring pandas and penguins and future black and white animals get smarter, your blog will actually be penalized for duplicate content if you have bought PLR articles and used them without enriching them and making them uniquely yours.)

I’m being more blunt than usual.  But please.  Stop creating content that sucks.  Sure, you can SEO-the heck out of crummy content.  You can land your way on the top line of a Google search even – but if people who are conducting the search aren’t compelled to click your titles, much less invest time in reading your article, it doesn’t matter what your ranking is.

How Do You Create Content Marketing That’s Good – or Great?

Since I’m being blunter than usual, I’m going to throw out another 4-letter word that makes some people uncomfortable, quite frankly, as the secret for creating content that’s rich, compelling, and even great.

The secret is this – it’s work.  Whether it’s in the researching, the framing or the actual act of putting the rear in chair and pen to paper (or hands to keyboard), it takes work to get better at creating content.

It takes reading. Obsessively.  For those of us who are self-professed word nerds, this is a labor of love, of course. But it’s not just a “nice to do.” It’s so essential to our existence and growth as writers that it’s a planned activity in our personal development, and when we skip it, our writing is deprived. Suffocated. Starved.

It takes practice. Obscene amounts of practice. It takes the ability to step back from one’s own writing and examine it closely for strengths and weaknesses.  It takes a relentless drive and desire to become a better writer with each and every piece written.  It takes seeking out new techniques and styles and trying them out, seeing how to appropriate them and make them one’s own.

And for those of us crazy enough to enjoy the art and science of content creation – this work is indeed a form of fun.

Creating content that doesn’t suck take something deceptively simple.  It takes not settling for mediocrity.  And no matter where you are on the road to learning to create content – that’s the very first step that anyone, no matter his or her skill level, can take.

 

15 Comments on How to Create Content that Doesn’t Actually Suck

  1. denny hagel
    November 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm (4 years ago)

    Good information…BTW I love YOUR content, definitely does not suck! Thanks!

    Reply
    • Pauline
      November 23, 2012 at 6:41 am (4 years ago)

      Denny, Thanks for your warm remarks! I find it pretty amazing that as I’ve found my voice as a blogger (i.e., I’m finding that place where I feel knowledgable enough to feel authentic offering advice), it seems like my content is resonating with a whole lot more people. Authenticity is huge in this medium!

      Reply
  2. Stacy Stevens
    November 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh my goodness I thought I loved you before, now i love you even more! Your content is amazing! Love working with you!

    Reply
    • Pauline
      November 23, 2012 at 6:39 am (4 years ago)

      Ha! Stacy you are amazing! Thanks so much for your kind content complements! See, if I cared about the technical aspects of my content more than the actual content, I would have looked up if the proper form of complements is “compliments” or “complements” in this sentence. I usually have to look it up once a year. But great content isn’t the same as having great grammar. It doesn’t have to be perfect – it just has to be valuable and from the heart!

      Reply
  3. Sherie
    November 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm (4 years ago)

    Great post, Pauline! I love your content and that headline is pretty catchy! LOL Thanks for the tips. : D

    Reply
    • Pauline
      November 23, 2012 at 6:38 am (4 years ago)

      Thanks, Sherie – I’m thinking of putting together a content title-creation product – look for it Cyber Monday!

      Reply
  4. Pamela Gail Johnson
    November 22, 2012 at 8:02 pm (4 years ago)

    Nice point of the four letter word called work … great content is work …

    Reply
    • Pauline
      November 23, 2012 at 6:34 am (4 years ago)

      🙂 Even for those of who love it, it’s still called work (and occasionally invokes 4-letterisms)

      Reply
  5. Suzanne Jones
    November 24, 2012 at 11:23 am (4 years ago)

    Pauline I think being bold, blunt, is sometimes the way to go. Then there is no misunderstanding what you really mean. Loved this post and all the valid points you bring to the surface. The thing is, it doesn’t even have to apply to a certain group of people but even someone like me who doesn’t go overboard on keywords, say, but perhaps I am not doing (or doing) something else you mentioned and this allows me to review.

    Reply
  6. Carl Mason-Liebenberg
    November 26, 2012 at 5:11 am (4 years ago)

    “It takes not settling for mediocrity.”…love that statement as it is so true of life not just content that doesn’t “suck”…LOL…Great article!

    Reply
    • Pauline
      November 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you, my friend! And I can definitely see how this would resonate with you! You’re definitely not a mediocre kind of player!

      Reply
  7. Lorii Abela
    November 26, 2012 at 6:56 am (4 years ago)

    Excellent article Pauline and definitely, it doesn’t suck! It really does take a lot of work to get better at creating content.

    Reply
    • Pauline
      November 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks so much, Lorii! While creating quality content is work – it’s definitely in the reach of many people – it just takes being self aware enough to step back and look at what you’re doing instead of blindly doing. Sort of like relationships in your niche, right?

      Reply
  8. Edmund Lee
    November 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh yes, DEAR, keyword stuffing is the worst. Love your point and the truth is, the worst thing to read is the whole “blah blah keyword, blah blah keyword”. In your words, or in the Peanuts cartoon, it’s the equivalent of a “Wah-wah, wah-wah, wah-wah”. Gotta love it 🙂

    Reply

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