No, not THAT kind of mature content! What are you, some kind of animal that roots through marketing blogs hoping for a cheap thrill when a guy like me compares SEO to steamy monkey lovin’ in a hot tub?
And I don’t mean that in a bad way.
Stand by. This will all make sense when we get to No. 3.
1. Stop creating "10 Steps to [fill in the blank]" articles. The thing that makes me crazy is that so many publications WANT this content. Don’t feed the machine! Write content about something specific and then drill down. This, of course, does NOT apply if you're an educational resource site such Social Media Examiner. They by their very nature thrive with this content because it's suitable for us to learn from.
But if you're a subject-matter expert on a topic, feed us your expertise. Don’t dabble. People want more meat.
QUESTION: But Justice, isn’t this a “10 Steps” post?
ANSWER: You better shut up or I will turn around this car right now! Do we need to review “irony” again?
2. Give us multiple ways to digest the content. If it's an über sexy article, replicate the output with an infographic, examples or a video presentation. Some people relate to a visual more than the written word. Then there are the freaks like my buddy JT, who goes out of his way to tell people how much he hates infographics. It might not surprise you to learn he’s a writer.
3. Give the title more sex musk. Sell me some sizzle for God’s sake. I'm tired of seeing headlines that tout things such as “Tips & Tricks for Instagram.” Unless my grandmother is writing your headlines, I expect something a little more engaging.
4. Pick a side! Make a stand. Give an opinion. People are such pussies when it comes to their content because they want to “make a splash,” but refuse to throw any rocks. For the love of your brand - be remembered. You might piss off a few people, but they will remember you!
"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
~ Winston Churchill
5. Distribute content liberally across your social graph. You have more than 140 characters on your Facebook page. Customize the messaging per channel.
6. Cross fertilize your content to other posts. Link to your own content and link to others. It's great for SEO and it helps people stumble into other great thinking. Lastly, it gives the audience a sense of how your mind works by seeing what you link to. Think of it as glomming brand equity with every link.
7. Ask your audience for anything! Yes, you're a "guru" or whatever. But if you're humble enough to constantly enlighten yourself with the help of others, your humility will pay off in loyalty.
"He wants to know what I think! I love him! I wish to bare his fruit!"
Creepy—yes, but think about it.
8. Open the Kimono. Sometimes you have to make your content personal and show vulnerability. A wise man once told me, “Never mistake my kindness for weakness.” We should all have the confidence to expose ourselves as we really are.
9. Support your content with metrics, news, other posts and anything more than your self proclaiming facts. Unless you make up facts. That’s cool too. Own it!
10. Fall on your sword. If you're wrong than be fucking wrong! A blogger can generate tons of great content about what he or she did wrong, and ideally what they did to fix it. That might drive more value than yet another GLOWING PDF case-study about how great you and your company are, and how you shit angel tears and print money with a magical staff of fire.
I'd like to hear what you think. Really. My posts are raw and subject to interpretation. But in the end the intent is to build you into a strong brand that is unique and memorable. My father (a fine artist) once told me, “If someone goes into a gallery of my work I want them to love or hate my it — anything in between is forgotten."
Of course I’m not as strong as him. If I find out you hate me, I will probably spent two weeks in the fetal position and watching Dr. Phil on a continuous loop while I eat strawberry Jello.
Then in the end I’ll get an awesome blog post out of it - complete with a sexy, musky headline.
Thoughts? Comments? Love letters? Hit me up.