You’re getting an article, a link to another article and a video; what more could anyone want? This is an updated article that I originally wrote in 2014… that only got one comment from someone who still exists (which I’ve left). It needed to be updated and seen because even more people are talking about writing great concept as a suggestion for getting more visitors. Let’s delve into that for a quick moment.
Pablo Fernández via Compfight
I found this interesting years ago and still find it interesting now. With all the talk about writing great content that I saw and still see on many blogs, I never see anyone talking about what great content is supposed to be.
I actually wrote a post about what high quality content, was supposed to be back in 2011. The problem with the article is that Google never listed it for some reason; even now it can’t be found, regardless of whether I put it in quotation marks or not. I’m 9th on Duck Duck Go; see why I like them so much. 🙂
Considering how long ago I wrote that other article and how many articles I have on this site, I think it’s pretty cool that I remembered it in the first place. Then again, seeing how long ago it was, it reminds me that sometimes we have to address certain topics more than once because some of them stay relevant and some of them end up being modified. All of them can tie in together to help bring a bit more completion to a topic; wouldn’t you agree?
Some years ago I did a video on the topic and, as an added bonus, experimented with the Q&A app via a Google Plus Hangout, whose days are gone now. I wanted to see what it was like taking questions and answering them live. I might try doing something like that again someday, but I know it’ll have to be done on YouTube.
In the video, I took elements from the original post I linked to above and added a few things to it. At that time I had just started adding images to posts, and had never added my own videos to a post, so I was curious what it would look like and how it would be received. In my opinion, great content is mainly about the written word, but other elements definitely help make some posts great. The video wasn’t bad, and I’m glad to revive it now. If you have time, check it out when you can; I still have more to say after you’ve done it.
I hope you found that entertaining as well as informative. As I said, I want to talk a little bit more about what great, or high quality content is. I hope you checked out the first article I wrote on the subject. Here are 4 extra points that might be helpful:
1. Are you putting enough effort into whatever you’re writing? This touches upon the question about whether your articles need to be long or short. If all you have to share is one line, then that’s all you can share. However, just like in high school, you get what you put into whatever you write.
Some people think a paragraph is a blog post, then wonder why they don’t get any attention. Even if a blog post is full of pictures, you the creator probably have something to share about them.
One of the people in my Facebook blogging group writes at least one article a month where she models clothing. She doesn’t just put up pictures; she describes each piece she’s wearing, talks about how comfortable they are, cost and where she got them. She models the clothes as well, and the pictures are outstanding. She could just share the pictures and people might look at them and leave. But with her commentary, she gets people’s attention.
2. Are you staying on topic in your article? It’s okay to tell a story that addresses the overall point of your article, but if you start rambling you’ll confuse your audience. Even if you’re only trying to entertain someone, if you’re talking about elephants and suddenly go off on a tangent and start talking about jumping off cliffs, and there’s no tie in to the elephants, you’re never going to attain high quality content.
With that said, allusions are a wonderful thing. If you can explain a concept by tying it into something you know people will understand, that can produce high quality content. For instance, when I wrote an article comparing blogging to traveling through airports, it connected with people because almost everyone has been to an airport and had to deal with its processes. I covered a topic many people write about in a totally different way. The article did very well when I first wrote it; that’s the goal of high quality content.
3. Are you a keyword stuffer? If so, why… then stop it! I know I’m not the only one who’s seen articles like “How To Get The Best Dental Care In Houston”, usually written by someone for a dental office in Houston. The article is stuffed with keywords about both dental work and Houston. It’s horrible writing that no one wants to read, and it doesn’t serve its purpose all that well.
If the article was written about ways to make sure you’re getting good dental service, it would work for everyone. Adding something about the business one’s promoting is fine, and it wouldn’t distract from the topic of the article. This is true for every topic in the world, unless you’re writing a review of a particular business in a particular city. Even if you are, you don’t need to mention the name of the business or city over and over; trust me, once or twice is plenty.
4. Did you read over what you wrote? Did you think about editing? I understand that no one’s perfect, but there’s a limit to what most people will put up with when it comes to whatever you’re writing. You could be writing the next Harry Potter book, but if your wording is horrific no one’s going to read it.
I touch upon this subject all the time around here. Every browser I know highlights misspelled words (it also highlights some words that are spelled correctly so you can’t always trust it), and if you right click on those words it’ll give you choices to select from if your actual word is shown there. If you’re using a voice dictation program like Dragon, you can put together an article faster but, trust me, there’s going to be a lot of errors.
No matter what you’re writing about, no matter how helpful your article might be, if there are too many errors no one’s going to make it through whatever you’ve written. The search engines aren’t going to be able to figure out what you’re trying to say either, even if you use a keyword recommendation tool. This is about as far away from high quality content as you could ever write. Make sure it’s at least legible, whether you wrote it, bought it or it’s a guest post.
High quality content, great content… whatever term you want to use, I believe you know it when you write it. If you don’t… well… I’m sure you’ll find out one way or another. 🙂
4 thoughts on ““Great Content” Redux”
Hey, Mitch! Looks like you had fun with this video experiment. I enjoyed the references (Charles Gulotta is something else!)
One thing I always keep in mind is something that I read by Thom Chambers, a self-publisher: “Always start as you mean to go on.” He was referring to publishing formats (blog, email, video, etc.) Great content must be based on your enthusiasm in addition to the focus on educating, entertaining or informing. If your enthusiasm flags,it will come through in the content.
p.s. It was weird hearing you mention the 1,500th post in future tense. LOL
LOL! I wondered how people might take the video Mitch.
I think Thom was correct, and it’s probably something many people miss. Then again, though you and I think writing is easy and that switching venues isn’t hard most of the time, most people aren’t us and have their issues trying to figure out what to write. I’m really glad I don’t have that issue most of the time and yet I look at my Syracuse blog, on which I write local stories, and how it’s suffering because I’m not home and thus don’t have anything much to write about until I’m home again. So I can see how stymied some folks can get here and there.
I definitely think about what I’m going to write – and I sure do look things over. Problem is, I can reread my work a thousand times over and I’ll still miss some pesky mistake.
As far as SEO or what people are supposedly looking for – I feel my best work happens when I’m inspired – when I’m simply speaking my truth. I don’t know if anyone looks for that on Ggl, but at least I feel pretty good about the content itself.
Great share Mitch 🙂
Hi Dana. I’m not sure they look for what I write most of the time on Google either, but I still try to write things I’m proud of. As for mistakes, it’s hard to be 100% unless you read it out loud word for word, which is relatively easy for a 750 word article but mind numbing for a 2,000+ article or an entire book. I used to have a plugin back in the day that did an automated reading of my posts, which helped a lot and also helped visitors to my site that wanted to listen rather than read. Then the plugin became unstable, Google speed hated it and the company said they had a solution if you wanted to pay a yearly fee to use it; nope! lol