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5 Questions to ask before you start creating content

Not all content is created equal. How many times have you heard that phrase?

 

If you have been blogging for some time, I would guess that you have heard it quite a lot. It kind of strikes me as one of those annoying phrases that people say when they don’t have anything relevant or valid to offer to a conversation, so they trot out this bull crap.

 

However, it doesn’t take away from the fact that they are right, not all content is created equally. Some content is amazing, some content is good and some content, well, let’s just say it’s not great.

 

Now I am a firm believer that over time you can learn to create better content. The reason for this, well, If I look back at some of the content I created back in 2008, well to be honest it was absolute tripe. I would like to think that I have gotten better over the years and developed my own style.

 

So I guess that is why I subscribe to that school of thought.

 

With that said, you also have to be sure that the content is the right content to be creating at this moment in time. I have seen some very well written pieces of content fail to garnish any attention, while others that were not to the same standard go viral, why?

 

The author or creator took the time to understand a number of key metrics before they decided to create the content.

 

Many content creators and bloggers will get an idea in their head, plan it out, research, write or record, edit and then release. Which is fantastic, however they have not taken the time to figure out if the content is worth creating.

 

 

Top 5 considerations before you put pen to paper

 

Who is the content for?

This seems is by far one of the biggest problems we see when it comes to creating content. Far too many content creators and bloggers do no consider who they are creating the content for.

 

When it comes to creating any type of content, you have to consider who you are creating it for. This will impact, not only they type of language you use, but also even the medium the content is created in.

 

For example, if you run a fitness blog for busy professionals, I would imagine that your content would have to be concise, easily consumable and actionable.

 

So perhaps creating a 2000 word blog posts on “the benefits of eating watermelon after you work out” may not be the right way to go about it. The content may be relevant, but the medium isn’t. Instead try a 2 minute  slide share video or piece to camera.

 

If that doesn’t float your boat, then add the information to a podcast about post work out routines, that way they could, in theory, be listening to it while they work out.

 

Do they want to know about it?

Is this a topic your audience want to know about?

 

Is this a question that you get asked time and time again? Is it one that you see pop up on your social media feed over and over again? Or have you taken the time to check out Google trends and see if they are searching for this information?

 

Even the best written content in the world is useless unless someone wants to consume it. So don’t waste your time creating content no one wants.

 

Remember, the content is not for you it’s for your audience, so ask them what they want at the very least!

 

 

Can I provide insight or experience?

This is something that I spoke about recently in an article entitled: Content Creation: Who cares if it’s been done before?.

 

One question you have to ask is, what gives me the right to talk about this topic? I can guarantee that if you don’t ask this question of yourself someone else will!

 

Now I don’t for one minute want you to think that you have to have a PHD in a subject before you can talk about it, but you must have some experience or at least have done some research.

 

If it’s that latter, then tell your audience this. Tell them “Hey guys, I was wondering about (topic) and having little to no experience with (topic), so I decided to do some research and here is what I found”

 

Like me and blogging, you have experience on topic and feel that you have some valuable insight to offer. With so many pieces of content being created daily, you just need to ask yourself what is your unique angle?

 

 

What is the point of this content for me?

This goes back to an article I wrote some time ago now “Your Content – You Vrs Your Audience”. The premise being that while the focus of the content should very much be on your audience, you must also figure out what you want from the article.

 

Remember, you are creating content for free (in the most part), your audience are getting value from your free content, but what are you getting? It should be an exchange, you time and expertise for your goal.

 

Now your goal doesn’t have to be big, it doesn’t have to involve anything more than clicking a link, but there should always be a goal, or a point of the content for you.

 

Ask yourself the question, what is the point of me creating this content? If you are unsure how to answer this question check out  “Your Content – You Vrs Your Audience” for help on deciding your goal.

 

Can I go one step further?

Value value value, that is what it is all about, providing value to your audience.

 

Once you are clear on the previous four question, ask yourself:

 

What could I do that would really wow the socks off my audience, or what could I do to help make this solution easier for them?

 

If you can take it one step further than is expected of you, your audience will love you for it. Would a step by step video to accompany an article make life easier for your audience?

 

Could you even just leave your email address for people to mail you if they get into difficulty? Show them you care and that you gave them, and content, real thought and you will win.

 

In conclusion, just because you have an idea for a piece of content does not mean that you should just go ahead and create it. Your time is just as valuable as your audience’s so don’t waste it creating content that no one is going to care about or read.

 

Be clear about who the content is for, what their pains or problems with the topic are, where you can offer insight or experience, why it is worth your time and effort and how can you over deliver?

 

If you need help getting clear on these five questions, download our “Content Considerations Checklist” and keep it on hand for when the urge to create strikes.

 

 

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About the author, Phil

I am passionate about great content and some what of a perfectionist, but remember, you can't edit a blank page!

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