Content creators are a dime a dozen these days. Anyone with a computer and an idea can create content for social media, blog sites, etc. But with so much content floating around in the cybersphere, there is little doubt that most of it doesn’t matter.
Yes, you read that correctly. The vast majority of the content now found online doesn’t really matter to anyone. It’s just digital data taking up space in the vast domain of big data. And most of it will never be consumed by the people it is intended to reach. If you are a content creator, this should concern you. Are people taking the time to consume the content you work so hard to create?
If you want to create content that matters, you have to move beyond the simplistic belief that all content is equally valid. It is not. Our modern culture might like to pretend that it is, just so no one’s feelings are hurt, but reality pays no attention. If your content is to matter, it has to appeal to your audience. Below are five tips for creating that kind of content.
1. Say Something Coherent
The foundation of creating content that matters is saying something coherent. In other words, your content should have a clearly understood point. Consumers ought to be able to grasp that point very early in the presentation. If you are writing, for example, you use your introductory paragraph to establish the point you want to make.
If you write an 800-word article without ever establishing a central point, your readers will not understand what they have read. Worse, they will not understand why they read it. Do not count on them liking it, sharing it, or even reading anything you write again.
Consumers want you to make a coherent point and then explain it. Don’t disappoint them.
2. Say Something Relevant
Saying something coherent is a learned skill. Most people with at least a rudimentary understanding of good writing can learn to do it. Once mastered, producing content that matters depends on saying something relevant. Whether you are writing blog posts or creating videos, your chosen subject material must be interesting to your target audience.
Maybe your niche is mobile phones. There is no point spending a lot of time producing content about first-generation iPhones. Sure, mention those old phones for historical reference purposes, but build your content around the latest models and manufacturers. That is what your target audience wants to know about.
As a side note, relevance is an important ranking factor for Google. The more relevant your information, the better it will perform in searches for that topic.
3. Pay Attention to Spelling and Grammar
Unfortunately, many content creators in the 21st century don’t pay a lot of attention to spelling and grammar. This is a mistake. Spelling is rudimentary and not doing it correctly turns off consumers by giving them the impression the creator is not very intelligent. In other words, poor spelling makes you look silly.
Poor grammar doesn’t help either. If you are creating content rife with grammatical errors, your target audience may have a challenging time understanding what you are trying to say. Indeed, grammar isn’t just a set of rules designed to make your life miserable. Grammar defines how language is used. A lack of proper grammar indicates you’re not using the language correctly. And if this is the case, you are probably not reaching your audience effectively.
4. Do Not Ignore Punctuation
Another bad habit among today’s content creators is ignoring punctuation. Too often, the period is missing in action. Content creators write run-on sentences that span entire paragraphs, leaving readers lost in the dust of excessive verbiage.
Punctuation is to writing what lines are to car parks. When a new car park is built, construction workers use line marking paint machines to clearly define individual parking spaces. Punctuation does the same thing for the written word. It defines phrases and sentences. It defines thoughts and ideas. Ignoring punctuation is like building a car park and not painting lines.
5. Don’t Avoid Controversy
Last but not least, creating content that truly matters requires not avoiding controversy. For example, one of the biggest fallacies of modern content creation dictates that creators should avoid discussing anything that might be perceived as negative. This is a mistake.
The world is not all sunshine and roses. Furthermore, people have opposing opinions on every topic under the sun. If you strive to always avoid controversy, you will not be able to create content that anyone cares about. Everything you produce will amount to nothing more than fluff. Content consumers don’t want fluff. They want depth. Producing it will always make someone unhappy.
This is not to say that you should purposely look to cause trouble. Some content creators thrive on that but being purposely controversial is not for everyone. By the same token, it’s not smart to purposely avoid controversy. Doing so will paralyse you as a content creator.
It is possible to create content that matters. Not a lot of people know how to do it, so the ones that do tend to stand out. If you are looking to create content that matters, you now have a starting point with these five tips. Master all five and you will be well on your way.