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How to Create Content that Does NOT Suck

By Emily Butler / Jan 20, 2014

Blog-image--ContentSuck-Rev-A-2013-12-17Content is King. A successful inbound marketing strategy relies on a consistent stream of quality content. And there are hundreds of blog posts out there with a slew of ideas and tips for generating this content. Just search Google for “create great content” and you’ll see 6 tips, 7 elements, 10 commandments, 22 ways and 88 ideas.

And these tips are all useful for coming up with more content. That doesn’t mean it will be great content or even good content. The key to successful content marketing is quality. Because when you pump out bad content, people aren’t going to read, share, like, follow or otherwise hand over their valuable contact details (the holy grail of inbound marketing) to get more of it.

So how do you come up with quality content on a consistent basis? It’s not as easy as the top 200 list that you just found in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) would lead you to believe. In fact, it’s the biggest challenge for half of B2B content marketers. It may be that you lack the ideas (refer back to above Google search for answers here) or it may be that you lack the right resources.

The Internet has made everyone with a keyboard a writer and everyone with a camera phone a director. Well, we can’t all be Hemingway or Scorsese.

The secret to great content is simple – there isn’t one. It’s about doing and re-doing the work. You have to spend the time to research the topic, interview experts, find a thought-provoking angle and research some more. Then, you create. You have to do a first draft, a second cut, then go back and do it again, and again, and often again. There is no shortcut to great content.

You’ll know when you have great content, and you’ll know when you don’t. It won’t all be good right away. This morning, I finished the first draft of an article that was destined to be terrible and I knew it. I was bored writing and editing it, and I didn’t want to show it to anyone, because it wasn’t up to my standards. So, I went back to my client and broke the news that this content won’t do. What it needed was real-life stories from the category expert. The solution: a short interview with said expert and we’re on track to turn this article into something that will inform and interest readers.

The more content you create, the better you’ll get at it and the faster you’ll create great content. But if you can’t spend the time to do the work and do it well, then hire the right people to do it for you.

Most importantly, do NOT publish content when you know it’s second-rate. Pull back the reigns, figure out what you need to do to make it great and go from there. And if it still sucks, scrap it because it’s not going to get the job done. Content is only King when it rules!