So, over the past week or so, there has been quite the conversation going on about what is considered good content. The discussion began on Twitter, and then moved over to a blog post by Rob Hahn, which brought out some really good discussion on the subject. To sum up Rob’s 1,761 words his main point was this:
“Create content that you find compelling and forget everything else.”
While I get the point behind Rob’s post, I don’t necessarily agree with it 100% and here’s why: Someone new to blogging doesn’t know where to start. I get the point of being yourself, writing about your passions & all, but when someone who is new to blogging, you aren’t going to start out by writing the best blog posts, creating the most awesome videos, and everything else. You may have stuff of interest to you and that you are passionate about, which I think are great topics to do, but the fact is that when you are just starting out, you have yet to find your voice in creating that compelling and amazing stuff alone. You content is hit or miss in the beginning. Just like in baseball, you are happy to get home run caliber content once out of every fifty tries.
When I am out speaking to people on how to get started with blogging, I always share this: Your first blogs will stink! The key is to just start. I then go on to tell them about one of my first posts I ever wrote. To save everyone the trouble of trying to find it, I’ve pasted the post in it’s entirety below:
Hot Donuts Now!!!
This Morning while just flipping through some of the odd headlines that pop up when opening up aol, I started reading a story about 23 Retail Stores closing. I mean some of the ones on the list are kinda no brainers, but one that caught my eye was Krispy Kreme!!! What is this world coming to? Instead of closing them up, they need to just turn on the hot donuts signs more often!!! Luckily only 25 stores have closed so far. Hopefully someone in KK will read this post and take my advice!!!
94 Words of waste with twelve exclamation points. The post had absolutely nothing to do with the profession I was in at the time, it was simply just something interesting to me that I thought would make a good topic to write about. If you go on to read many of the other posts that I wrote back at the beginning of my blogging career, they follow along the same lines of terribleness. Unlike many people that start blogging I just started doing it and put an effort into blogging no matter how bad I may realize those posts were in the beginning. That first month I wrote 38 blog posts. Of which maybe only 2 were worthwhile. But, I did not quit, I had decided I was going to do this and would not give up.
After about 6 months, I finally started to get the hang of it and my efforts started paying off as new leads came my way, business started to grow, and my blog was starting to be recognized. It wasn’t too long after that time that the local newspaper contacted me to write for them, major corporations contacted me for interviews, and my content was starting to be published on a national scale. That real estate blog which I have not written anything on the subject of real estate in over two years still makes my phone ring to this day. Now, my entire business model for 210 Consulting revolves around my blog and it is my main source of connections and leads.
The reason this has happened is that I took the same type of stance that Daniel Rothamel took in his response to the conversation with Rob and the others. Daniel’s stance is this: In order for content to be considered good content, it actually has to be created. If I had not started with writing those first blog posts as terrible as they might have been, I would have never made it to the point I am today. Finding your voice in your blog, video, or many other online avenues takes time for many. But, if they never actually start and give it a try, then they will never achieve success. The same is true for the person that starts it and gives up after only a few tries. Like anything in life, it takes time and hard work. I think what sums this up better than anything is a speech given by Art Williams:
So, don’t always worry about the compelling & amazing, just start creating content. There is someone out there that will find your content interesting and you will make connections. Trust me when I say this, I have seen some stuff that is just down right awful that has brought people business. Everyone has their own opinion and you will connect with at least one person if the content is created for them to connect to. Without the content it is virtually impossible to form those connections.
So, like Daniel said,
“There is one thing that ALL good content has in common– it was actually created. The only really bad content is the content that we never create. . .”
I tend to agree. I would love your thoughts and comments.
Photo: Nisha A Creative Commons 2.0