The salesperson at the bookstore showed me a shelf with 10000 titles for my 2-year-old. I felt exhausted at the idea of scanning so many of them to find a dozen relevant ones for my child who had the little vocabulary and only understood pictorial storytelling. ‘But that is how all 2-year-olds are and I am sure the writers and publishers only have in store what I am looking for’, I thought. No way! I was wrong. Most of the books had good content, more or less similar but not what I was looking for.
In a flash I thought about all the ‘good content’ we create for our clients. I rushed back to the office and called for an urgent meeting. Everyone thought it was yet another review meeting and I could see how everyone had come prepared with numbers in their notepads. I took a deep breath and broke the bad news,’ We need to stop writing ‘good content’. I was expecting those stares!
It is criminal to think that ‘only you can write good content’. And it is a myth that only good content can get your page rank on Google. Like us, there are hundreds of writing agencies, churning content calendars with ‘most talked about topics’. And all of them provide professional content writing service so there is no way there would falter on originality, linguistic proficiencies or any other measurable input. Why then would a busy audience stop at our article, not theirs?
We need to raise the bar! I brought up what Rank Fishkin from Moz said. You need to create 10x content! Good content is a norm. You need to go above and beyond to create content that is 10x and raises the intention of the reader to spend his time on your piece. Don’t for heaven’s sake, start writing 10x articles in length. 10x is not a measure. It is a national goal for quality that you need to chase.
Let me get back to basics. Listen to your reader. Find out what the client’s target audience is searching for. What are their questions? Do you have answers that truly come from rich industry experience and knowledge? Can you give a holistic answer better than anybody else? If no, don’t junk the internet with same content re-written with beautiful words.
‘Go back to the drawing board! Spend time researching, gaining knowledge, interviewing people who know the subject and then write a piece that is truly 10x!’ I said. They continued to stare, expectedly. You don’t get paid for research; you get paid for writing after all. I knew what they were thinking. I sighed. Old habits die hard. But I was not going to give up.
Few months down the line, a positive change swept our floors. There was no looking back. We had raised the bar!