Feb 15, 2013 Blog Content
There’s this oft-touted blogging rule that your content doesn’t have to be great. It just has to be okay.
It has to be passable. It has to be good enough to teach the reader something. It has to be clean. But it doesn’t have to be fantastic. Because if you spend your time worrying about perfection and pushing yourself to write incredible content, you’ll waste time. Instead of writing one amazing post, you could write 10, 20, maybe even 50 “just okay” posts.
And that’s what people want: more content. They don’t care about being wowed. They care about walking away with a kernel of a concept or a brief set of directions, and you need to give them this content as often as possible. Plus, if you get hung up on writing the perfect post, you’ll never post anything. Or so proponents of this rule would have you believe.
Well, I think the “just okay” rule sucks.
While it’s true that a post doesn’t need to be absolutely perfect to be worthy of reading, you should be shooting for greatness, not mediocrity.
“The world doesn’t need any more mediocrity or hedged bets.” – Anne Rice
Write a keyword-rich post about Topic X might end up driving a lot of traffic to your website. But if ten other websites have already written about Topic X and you’re basically just regurgitating information in an SEO’d way, rather than adding anything valuable to the conversation, you’re just cluttering the Internet.
This isn’t just about cluttering the Internet, though. It’s also about pumping out posts that aren’t fully developed. Is the post you’re publishing the best it can absolutely be? If not, why are you hitting that publish button?
Publish your best content. Some posts are going to be better than others, but you should always strive to push yourself toward greatness. Don’t settle for “just okay,” because you’re setting yourself on a slippery slope. Be awesome in the truest sense of the word. Your readers deserve it.
Apr 17, 2012 Blog Content
If you’re anything like me, you probably have quite a few blog post drafts waiting to be finished and published. Some of them might be weeks or months old. Some of them might be over a year old. Having half-finished drafts, just waiting to see the light of day again, can be hard on your blog.
Now don’t get me wrong – I love a good draft. I often outline my thoughts while traveling, waiting at the hair salon, etc. and go back to flesh out the posts later. I even recommend that people who don’t consider themselves good writers start with an outline, and having those outlines waiting for you can increase productivity.
But not all drafts are good. And the bad ones need to go. EXTERMINATE! Sorry, had a random Doctor Who moment…
We’re scared of that delete button though.
- What if we later realize the post idea was perfect and we want to publish it, only to remember that we’ve deleted the entire thing?
- What about the time and hard work we’ve already spent on the draft?
- What if parts of the post could be salvaged to use for another post?
Only, our fears are irrational, as they often are in life. If the post idea really was perfect, we wouldn’t be contemplating deleting it. Yes, we may have put some time into it, but it’s better to cut losses than put even more time into a post that isn’t awesome. Parts of the post might be salvageable, but it would probably be easier just to rewrite those parts in order to make new posts flow and ensure the information is up to date.
In short, there is no go reason to not send that draft to trash right now.
Old posts hold us back. When they just sit around, they clutter our dashboard with thoughts of ideas that aren’t very good. And should they get published (often out of guilt), they often don’t help the reader; they’re just taking up space on your blog.
Get rid of those drafts today. Hit the delete button. EXTERMINATE! You’ll feel a weight lifting from your shoulders. Sometimes, you might look back to regret deleting something, but 99% of the time, it will only make your blog better. So don’t be afraid. Delete with gusto!
- Why Periodically Deleting Email Subscribers Makes Sense [Subscriber Re-Engagement] (davidrisley.com)
- Content Strategy vs. Link Building (outspokenmedia.com)
- 26 Tips for Writing Great Blog Posts (socialmediaexaminer.com)
- Run Though This Checklist Every Six Months for a Rocking Blog (blogworld.com)
Photo sources: Forwhomthebelltolls
Mar 12, 2012 Blog Content
If you’re a long-time fan of Girl Scout cookies, like I am, you’ll know that they used to sell these lemon sandwich cookies. Used to. They were my sister’s favorite. The Girl Scouts still sell lemon cookies, but they’re now called Savannah Smiles – and they aren’t sandwich-y anymore. They’re crisp-ish dough balls covered with lemon-flavored powdered sugar.
It’s a problem.
I mean, a bad cookie is still a cookie, but they aren’t nearly as good as the previous sandwich offerings. And what’s worst is that these cookies taste nothing like you expect. They look like they’d be soft of even creme filled, but they’re crunchy and they’re definitely a lack of creme. So not only are they not as good as the prior option available from the Girl Scouts, but there’s a disconnect between what you expect and what you actually taste.
I find some bloggers’ content is like that as well.
Sometimes, it makes sense to move in a new direction. If what you’re doing isn’t working or doesn’t make you happy, you should be open to change rather than beating a dead horse with contest choices that make no sense. But if you’re going to change the content to produce something different, keep two things in mind:
- You’re going to have some long-time readers who liked the old content, even if most people didn’t. So make sure your offerings are not just different, but also better. You don’t want to lose the people who liked the old lemon cookies.
- Surprising people with your content is okay…but if there’s a complete disconnect, you’re probably going to turn people off. If you promise creme-filled content, give them creme-filled content!
In general, this boils down to one thing: blogging is not all about you. Yes, you should do what makes you happy, but when you’re blogging (as a business or to make money, not just for personal satisfaction), you need to think about what makes sense for your readers. Make sure changes you make to your content will both keep your current readers interested and entice new readers to become subscribers.