Posted by: johnocunningham | March 5, 2014

Best Blogs of February: Content That Gets Noticed

This is my 16th post in a series of monthly features that I have dubbed “Best of My BlogRoll.” The concept is simple – at the end of a month I often peruse my own blog roll (see that column on the right) for material created by other bloggers that I think is most worthy of sharing with others, and then I report on it here.

For the month of February, I have chosen for the first time ever to highlight three different posts that are all about producing and distributing content that gets noticed. The three useful and well-written posts I want to share are as follows:

Samantha Collier offers nine specific tips for getting your content to be shared on social media, all of which are practical and functional. The most fundamental of those tips I believe is the cornerstone for all the others – “write compelling content.” As she notes in her post, the content should be “interesting, helpful and different,” and I would add that it must carefully crafted in a way that reaches out to the reader, grabs their attention, and pulls them through the entire piece.

To write that way, you must practice a lot in front of audiences, and take note of what is getting noticed. You must also be ruthless in editing your own work, laying waste to every unnecessary concept, paragraph, word and syllable because readers have no time to waste on meandering to your salient point.

Brooke Ballard’s post also offers good practical tips, and I especially believe in the following suggestions she made:

  • Good conversations are one of the keys to unlocking good content, especially conversations with prospects and clients who are your target audience, and who can tell you what is on their minds, what questions they have and what problems they need to solve.
  • Frequently asked questions raised by clients, prospects and experts in your field are a rich source for potentially compelling content.
  • Giving away some information that people would pay for is always going to attract attention.

Finally, I like Stephen Fairley’s post on reasons why you should hire a professional writer because it is concise and direct. Two of the reasons he offered for seeking out a pro are particularly relevant in my experience: 1. many people are not good writers; and 2. they simply don’t have the time to craft something really compelling.

Lawyers in particular are prone to thinking that they can write for an audience because they constantly draft contracts, legal briefs and scholarly articles. But none of that kind of writing is good practice for creating content that is short, practical and attention-grabbing.

Furthermore, those who bill out at several hundred dollars per hour cannot possibly write as efficiently as a pro who will charge much less than that amount. From a basic economic analysis, it makes sense for the lawyer to focus time on serving clients at $500 per hour and contract the writing or at least the editing to someone who earns a fraction of that amount. The product will be better and it will cost less in the end.

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Responses

  1. John you bring up a great point. The mistake many businesses make is that even if they churn out continuous content, they don’t make it part of their overall strategy. Like part of the conversations they have.


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