This is the third installment of a summer Q&A series offering up some thoughts and insights into the content creation work my team and I do at Lisa Baker Associates. The questions are based on actual inquiries that I have received from other writers. If one person is interested in what we have to say on this topic, then there are likely many others out there who might benefit from this information.
Q: What makes for the best content? If I knew exactly the recipe for writing the “best” content all the time, trust me, I would share. But, it’s a terribly difficult question to give a straightforward answer to.
My initial thought on the subject is that what makes for great content is as subjective as someone’s taste in wine or movies or art. Yes, there are some agreed upon critical principles that make a Da Vinci or a Monet painting, or a Hitchcock or a Spielberg film, or a Shakespeare or a Hemingway book, all widely recognized masterpieces.
But, whether you personally love their art, movies, or writings, is another matter entirely. And you, my reader, and what you think, are the only things that I really care about as a content creator, and what I try to keep in my head as I am writing. My goal is not to create a masterpiece every time I write, or even ever; rather, it is to develop something that the reader can totally relate to. Your only true objective in writing may be to please yourself and to have fun with it. That’s fantastic and go to it. However, if you have a desire to reach an audience with your message, whether for a personal or business reason, then it’s time to step out of your own head, voice, and thoughts, and start thinking like your audience. To create the best content for your reader, find ways to connect with them by asking yourself, “What does my reader need?” “What are their passions?” “What is a pain point for them?” “How can I write something that will help them?” and “How can I do it in language that speaks to them?”
If you write this way, then ultimately you should get the response or action out of the reader that you want. Which I believe is a sign of really strong writing.
I follow two people pretty regularly that I think inform and align with a lot of my feelings about what makes for great content - Josh Bernoff of Writing Without Bullshit and Anne Handley of Marketing Profs. I highly suggest following them and reading their books.
Do you have similar or opposing feelings on what makes for the best content? We’d love to hear from you. Author's Note: This article was originally written in my role as Chief Content Officer for Lisa Baker Associates and published on LinkedIn, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/writing-tips-summer-qa-series-episode-3-karen-isgur-damon/?trackingId=0nPKSYQo1Gma9R9Uh3fE4A%3D%3D.