Are You Talking to Me? by @ProjectMaven
Words, words and more words. What the hell is everyone talking about??
OK, I know you’re creating content for your website. You’re supposed to write good quality content, right? Isn’t that what everyone’s talking about? Content is king! But what are you saying? And why the hell are you saying it??
If you are writing content for your own website, or you are creating content for a client’s site, then you had better be damn sure of why you are producing the work you are producing. Because let’s face it. There is so much writing being published out here in cyberspace, there is not enough time in a given day to read an itty bitty fraction of what’s been written. So you’d better not waste your time creating more crap. We’ve got it up to here with lousy writing.
Let’s start with the basics. Good writing. If you are going to write, please, do it well. We, your intended readers, thank you in advance. Follow the rules of grammar, spell your words correctly, and use the right punctuation. Try and avoid clichés, if you can. That’s what second drafts are for, to purge out all the silly language that came off the top of your head the first time around. Take a few moments to say things in your own way. Let your personality shine through.
Who are you talking to when you write? Presumably, you’re trying to grow your online circle of clients, collaborators, community members or colleagues. You’re looking for your people. You’re trying to connect with your tribe. If you know who you are attempting to reach, then you know how to speak to them.
The main point here is that if you are taking the time to create and share written content on your website, you’d better have a clear understanding of what you’re saying and to whom you are saying it. Flinging spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks may be a good strategy for some things, but when it comes to content branding, you’ll have to be a bit more focused than that.
Another thing I’ve talked about before is the spirit of generosity online. It’s important to share material with your readers that will be helpful or entertaining, or at least give them something new to think about… Paying it forward is a way of life online.
Social media is all about sharing something of value in order to build good will. It may seem counterintuitive if you’re used to putting a dollar value on everything you say and do. But the reality is, it’s hard to charge money for ideas. Knowledge is free. What is worth money is the time and energy it takes to execute those ideas in service of a client.
So spend some time thinking about what you can share on your website that will be of value to the people you are trying to reach. Make sure you are speaking in a language they understand. And don’t be surprised if when you speak to them, they answer back!