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How to Write Better Quality Content in 3 Steps
Photo by Trent Erwin on Unsplash
There’s no question that there’s a lot of noise out there when it comes to content. People are beginning to feel overwhelmed, and it takes a lot to get their attention, let alone keep them engaged long enough to read your article or watch your video.
Write Every Day
This may sound contradictory, but I think this is the most critical thing you can do to produce quality content.
There are several reasons I feel this way. One, you’ll get better at writing over time. Becoming better at something is a surefire way to increase its quality.
Over 200 days ago, I decided to start a writing streak. I was part of a workshop called The Creatives Workshop, which encouraged the start of a 100-day streak. Not everything I’ve written has been published, but someone other than me has read everything I’ve written.
Sometimes, especially given the times we’re in, I’ve written about personal things, some of which I’ve published on my personal website travislscott.com, others I’ve only published within the workshop or shared with friends and family. Occasionally, I’ve only shared it with my wife.
Your audience doesn’t have to be 50,000 people or even 100. It can be one person.
Writing every day doesn’t mean you have to publish what you write or publish it right away, but if you don’t publish, it’s like it never existed. Plus, the more you publish and get in front of people, the more feedback and data you’ll find out what people like and what they don’t like. Always. Be. Testing.
Also, publishing it doesn’t mean you have to promote and distribute it through social, email, and other means. The thing to remember about social media is that not everyone you’re connected with will see every post you create. Organic reach is small and shrinking every day.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you. It’s your content.
Find a Niche
This is also a very critical aspect that many people don’t give enough thought to. When I first started writing blogs, I wanted as many people to see it as possible. I would share it on Facebook with my friends and family, post it to LinkedIn, Twitter, and anywhere else that I could publish it. I also would write about a wide variety of things. To a certain extent, I still do, but they’re more interconnected than they used to be, and I’m more strategic about where I publish and how I promote them.
I would get disappointed when what I wrote fell with a thud, and there was nothing but crickets. I was seeking reassurance instead of focusing on the process and trying to tighten who I was for and what I was for (aka what’s the main topic I write about).
Recently, a book called Little Bets by Peter Sims was recommended to me because this book talks about trying different things, writing about various topics, and testing out how it resonates, as well as figuring out what you really want to focus on.
Every time we share something with the world, we’re making a “little bet,” and there’s a chance that it might not work. And that’s fine.
When asked about all of his failures along the way to inventing the light bulb, Thomas Edison replied, “The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
My niche happens to be taking marketing concepts and applying them to our careers. I’m blending the two professions I’ve had – recruitment and marketing – and offering my insight to people who feel stuck in their careers. I could eventually niche-down even further and only focus on people within specific professions such as marketing, sales, or something else.
Share Something Valuable
This may sound obvious and is likely where you are having trouble. But this isn’t as difficult as you think.
One way of sharing something valuable is to answer questions you get from readers, friends, colleagues, or clients - that’s precisely what I’m doing here.
Someone on LinkedIn asked how I create content that will cut through the noise on social media, and I decided to answer it by writing this.
You could share an experience you had and how you overcame it – or didn’t – and your reflection on that. By the way, reflection can be a powerful thing to write about. It can help you frame your experiences and learn from them. If you’re learning from them, don’t you think others who have or may experience the same thing could also learn from them?
Another valuable thing to share is something you’ve learned recently that really stood out or may have changed your perspective on things. Or, it could just be something you didn’t know before.
There are always people going through similar things in their lives, but we’ll all go through them differently. Sharing our perspectives of these similar experiences is what helps promotes empathy and thought among each other. It can also help us see that we have more in common than we think.
It’s important to edit your work and hiring an editor or asking someone else to look over everything you read isn’t practical or affordable for most of us. Luckily, there are a lot of great tools on the market that will help with this using AI (artificial intelligence).
I use Grammarly. It works in both Microsoft Word and Google Docs. For example, I had over 40 edits that I needed to make to this article after I had initially written it.
At the end of the day, writing and sharing quality content isn’t difficult or rocket science; it just takes time, practice, persistence, a dash of grit, and a willingness to stop seeking reassurance.
If you’d like to dive deeper into this topic, I would recommend reading Dorie Clark’s book Stand Out.
[Note: I participate in the Amazon Associates affiliate program and am paid a commission when purchases are made using the links I’ve provided in this article.]