In the world of marketing the internet is full of average shit. Why add to it? Content for contents sake is just wasted time both for the author and the reader. That is what Sprouthack.com is built upon. We strive to provide content that is rooted in research and experience. While we might not be the best writers we do put in the time to make sure you will learn something.
Understanding that just because you have something to say doesn’t mean people want to hear it is one of those lessons that some (including myself) have a hard time learning. Writing blog posts that generate leads and actionable results is hard. You have to put in the work and prove to your readers that you are worth their time.
That being said we have put together a list that all content marketers should at least consider before filling the internet with more mediocrity 🙂
There are a couple of leading content marketers (email me if you want the dirty dirty) that willingly tell you that they repurpose other bloggers content. They will go through other blogs’ posts and see what is shared the most. Then they will spin their article in hopes of piggybacking on their success. If you want to be successful this is not the way to go.
Sure you might see a spike in traffic, but your readers will probably find more value in the original article. The only way you are helping your readers is by banking on the fact that they haven’t read the original article. Imagine a world where every reader has the same level of exposure as you do. Only then can you actually provide value to the reader.
Shortcuts in this industry will be spotted quicker than man at a nail salon. (Only funny to me as I would love to get my feet rubbed and manicured only if no one saw me).
Trying to Write the “Definitive Guide”
Definitive guides are basically a combination of a bunch of other people’s posts. Let’s face it: a true definitive guide should be presented as a book. No one wants to write a blog post with that much research, time and effort. Even if your blog post if over 2,000 words long it can’t possibly cover any topic in an in depth manor.
Instead of saying your article is the definitive guide you might retitle it as an “in depth look into..” With that in mind one of my goals for 2015 is to write the Definitive Guide to Starting A Service Based Company. Notice how I used caps for that? Yeah I am already excited about it and want that book to really stand out 🙂
Talking Down To Your Readers
Sprout Hack is a special place for both Ashley and I (or me? grammar man). We truly wanted to create a space where we first of all weren’t judged by potential clients. Even more so we wanted to create a medium where using the word medium to describe a blog seemed strange. We understand that we are not the smartest people in our field.
We just want to share our experience from the multitude of failures and successes we have accumulated over our brief careers. (See how I continued to use big words? I shall proceed with my normal nomenclature forthright)
Nothing pisses me off more than an interesting article aimed at the masses written for C level executives. What’s the point? C level executives are probably not taking the time out their schedules to read an article on SEO changes made by the warlords of Google.
In the same vein writing something aimed at a 5th grader is demeaning to small business owners. I have met countless bloggers who make a living selling social media services to small business owners.
They have a common inclination that their readers are less than average. How so? Small business owners are the backbone of our society. Recognizing the fact that they compete at as competitive a level as national brands should be the hallmark of companies that service small businesses.
Thought Leadership from Non Leaders
I have to admit that I too have fallen victim to the idea that people care about what I have to say. The hundreds of sign ups that we got when I first launched a startup cast a shadow that reflected upon personality (Damn I should be a poet. That was deep bro..) After launching my first company I thought I was on top of the world.
I went around my local community spouting off at anyone who would listen. All the while not realizing I was talking to people who had bought and sold cars worth more than my entire company.
If your company is successful write about how you achieved your specific success. Don’t tell people you have the magic formula that will work in all scenarios. Have you ever watched shows like Bar Rescue, Restaurant Impossible or The Profit? How many times has a successful business owner in a completely unrelated field then failed and had to ask for help on those shows? Success does not = intelligence. Trust me… I have succeeded in the eyes of a few peers and I am far from a Mensa member.
Write what you know… Write about what you care about… Don’t reach too far until your reach is that far.
The internet of internet marketing is full of shit. BUT it doesn’t have to be. There are so many success stories and even more failures that we can learn from. Writing for a number of words is why content marketing often fails for startups and entrepreneurs. If you write about something that you care deeply about you are going to offer value.
If you have read any of my other posts you will follow a trend. (Back to me spouting off like an idiot before. I learned to appreciate this trend from a guy who could pay for my entire house including the belongings 20 times over). All I care about is adding value for the customer. Whether it be by writing this blog or in the companies I own. I just want to make sure that my side, the customer, and the end user all benefit from the stuff we make.