In a previous post I was ranting about how the marketing industry seems to write for the sake of being noticed, but it’s akin to millions of people throwing confetti in the air. We’re taught that content is king. We’re told it will help us stand out and/or get noticed by the search engines. Here’s the reality – nobody really stands out if they’re just writing small, non-descript content. It’s just noise. You’re actually doing more harm than good by wasting readers’ time. Usually a single post determines whether you get added to an RSS feed, retweeted, liked, or linked. It’s likely not going to make much of a dent in Google either.
I suggested not rehashing someone else’s opinion, but coming up with your own. Simple enough, right? If you don’t have a take, or something to offer, maybe don’t write.
So what does that leave? What do you write about? Where do you start? Hell if I know – I’m not in your industry and haven’t taken the time to think through your industry. But I do have a couple places you might think about going (these are my sources of inspiration).
1. Technorati – If you use Technorati wrong, you stand the chance of writing duplicate content. But if you search for a keyword (use the advanced search), and scan the resulting topics alone, you should have your first ingredient for an angle. What’s missing? Write it.
2. Your Sales Team Or Customer Service – These guys know the ins and outs of customers needs or problems. Have a meeting, and figure out what the issues are. Write something that gets ahead of these issues. This alone might be content for years.
3. Q&A sites - From Quora to Yahoo Answers, people are asking questions. If you don’t like the answers you see, then add your own to those – and your own – websites.
4. Use Social Mention - Conversations are happening, and even though you’re not in them, you can facilitate the conversation with something well written and targeted. Social Mention will help you track those conversations on topics you are an expert about.
What are your sources of inspiration?
I’m begging the marketing community – please drop “content is king” and replace with “unique, relevant opinions are king.” I can’t take the flurry of noise in my inbox, reader, and twitter stream anymore.