Writing can be be easy – but writing that meaningful content is defiant. And what defines meaningful content anyway?? By no means do I pretend what I write is meaningful, I would like to think so – but practice remains my quiet challenger. I merely refer to “awesome” as an attempt of content-type that is meaningful in some way to a certain audience.
In a previous post “Want to be awesome? Engage and create your social media footprint”, I outlined the need:
- To managing your social media footprint – over 75% companies carrying research on a candidate’s social media profile in their hiring process.
- Creating a coherent image across all channels – an inconsistent image will undermine your credibility
- Stand out by creating unique and ‘awesome’ content -> the goal is go viral so that the reader will self-share it without the need for extra marketing
This is the ultimate goal. With an approx of over 1.5 billion pieces (est. 2014) of content written in any single day:
Standing out is the first challenge; Being remembered is the second.
First, find your inspiration! Finding a continuous source of information is the first hurdle to tackle. I find that to achieve this you must chose something you are doing on a daily, weekly basis and naturally (i.e not forced). For example:
- Following blogs, articles, or specific news clips you are subscribed to. Read, Read, Read and then mix into your own view…..
- Topic related to your daily job or activities in relation to your job. Topics or activities you are interested in for self-improvement & or increasing your professional skills
- Following post-graduate courses to fuel new content into your own life. Following up on new trending subjects and how this mixes with other elements of your life…
Once you have found a way of fueling your content pipeline, the second phase is making it stand-out and be (hopefully) memorable. The following is tips quick hit-list of some top elements to continuously integrate into your writing that I’ve picked up over time and that I am constantly playing with….
- Strong Compelling Headlines – the attention is short – grab it within the first seconds
- Telling a story – Since 27,000 years this has been our first method of communicating
- Experiment with media type – media is constantly evolving. tex-only can be boring.
- Cutting the bull$hiT – time is of the essence, be true and straight-to-the-point
- Actionable content – can the reader apply to their life?
Finally, the media-type you use is critical! Text only is a classic, but surely there are other ways to stand-out. Personally in text-only blogs, I tend to skip-read and miss out on about 40-50% of the actual text (being honest here). Bolding and highlights help to anchor my eyes to certain areas yes, but visuals grab my attention the best!
Certain studies showed that a student would only retain 10% of text-only studies, while those that included a mix of visual or verbal would increase this figure to 65%! Your content being retained is a sure way to being remembered in the longer run. No? Check the infographic below and see how much time you spend reading it!
Let’s not hide – it is a continuous process and there are no one-time wins. Time, practice, and hard-work will only get you there…. or not. But you miss every shot you don’t take