When it comes to writing copy, far too many content creators use blank space merely to rehash old ideas. Either that or they’re on a deadline and could care less what boring information they put out as long as they beat the clock. Do you ever get tired of articles that post generic information and expect their readers to be grateful? Let me give you an example. I just read an article on “Marketing Tips for Startups.” Here were their tips:
  • Be the best
  • Be creative
  • Be professional
  • Use technology
You were a startup once. So, I’ll ask you, were any of those bullet points helpful? Would your marketing efforts for your startup been better because you took the time to read these tips? I, for one, was extremely disappointed and wished I hadn’t gotten side-tracked with an article that provided me with absolutely no value. Now, I’m just as guilty as the next guy when it comes to writing absolutely valueless copy. But that was when I wrote for someone else – someone who believed in content-dumping. I’ve wised up since then and realized that I should value my readers’ time just as much as I value my own. And with that thought in mind, I will only write content that:
  • Causes someone to think – to spark ideas, concept, or points of view they’ve never considered. Not an easy thing to do when the world is overloaded with content.
  • Creates controversy – you know you’ve got good content when your comments are not full of artificial praise. If someone challenges your writing, embrace it. You just made an impact!
  • Inspires. This is perhaps the only time when generic content may be okay. If someone walks away from your piece with more motivation, then be as vague as you want to, you’ve written something beneficial.
  • Sets me apart. I don’t want to be a “good writer”. I know I have the ability to form proper sentences. What I strive for is the ability to change lives with my words. Even if that change is small, nearly imperceptible.
What I don’t want to do is produce more words just because I can. It doesn’t do me any good and it doesn’t help anyone else. As a small business owner, you should be creating content – lots of content. Unless you’re into extreme marketing, content is one of the things that can propel you to greater, more consistent success. You need website copy, blog copy, videos, etc. But as you create this content, remember that others are out there creating content as well. The Content War (a war that sets you apart as a leader based on the content you create) is not won by producing the MOST content. It is won by producing the BEST content. If you can write quality content, those who follow you will see you as a leader. They’ll know that you (and by extension your business) will make their lives better, even when the only thing they’re doing is reading one of your blog posts. So push yourself. You don’t have to be a great writer to accomplish your content goals. You just have to have something to say that someone else will value reading. Good luck as you fight your way through information overload to great content creation!