Content is king.
This is one of the golden rules of blogging. Create compelling, practical, entertaining, and formatted blog posts that your readers will enjoy reading, so much so, they feel compelled to share it.
Here’s the problem…
People think about the word CONTENT and immediately think of the word BLOG POST.
Your content is not just on your blog. Your content is anywhere that you put fingers to the keyboard. Whenever you open your mouth. Your content is on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google plus, Instagram, and your blog.
I’ll say it again…
Content is king.
If we were all to take inventory of our content, where would you have the most concentrated area of great content? Why, on your blog, of course. This is not a bad problem to have, except it probably stands to reason that the content on your Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google plus might not be as stellar.
Answer the following questions:
- Do you retweet links you haven’t read yet, but do it because you want the person to feel loved since you didn’t have time to comment?
- Do you share links on Facebook or Google plus without an introduction or commentary on why you are sharing it?
- Do any of your Tweets NOT have links?
- Do you pin things on Pinterest without going to the source first?
- Do your pin boards look like your junk drawer at your house? Would people have to wade through them to find the best content?
- Do you tweet sporadically – one day 15 times, and then nothing for a week?
- Do you respond to people who talk to you on social media?
- Do you further the Internet’s bad reputation for being a hotbed of dumb quotes and cat pictures?
- Do you write quick 10 minute blog posts with a picture and a few words and call it a post?
If we start to think of our content as anything we put online, no matter what platform, you may change the way you do social media…and that is the point. Content should be king, wherever you put it.
In this over saturated information market, you cannot afford to say anything online that isn’t good, awesome, epic, useful, entertaining, or helpful. Every piece of conversation and content needs to be strategically part of the story you are trying to tell.
I wrote a post several weeks ago that resonated with a lot of bloggers. It was about shifting our paradigm of social media from outlets to broadcast our blog, to seeing each platform as a blog in and of itself.
Today’s post is hopefully going to inspire you to rethink how you share your content.
- Twitter is a micro-blogging platform. It is not a link graveyard. While it’s perfectly fine to tweet out links to your latest posts, I want you to start using Twitter in the following ways:
- Change your headline on your blog post to something compelling. You have about 1 second to capture your audience so make it count.
- Start sharing other people’s content in your niche. Don’t just grab their title and link. Write something of your own — your opinion, agreement, disagreement, etc. Make sure to tag them so you can continue the discussion throughout the day.
- Tweet out thoughts that aren’t muddled with links. Just plain straight text. I have a bunch of books on my desk full of inspiring thoughts. I write them down, schedule them on Hootsuite, or spontaneously tweet them out as I’m working. Take for example, this tweet I just shot off now while writing this post.
You cannot afford to say anything online that isn’t good, awesome, epic, useful, entertaining, or helpful. #blogging
— Julie DeNeen (@jdeneen4) April 8, 2014
Here is where it’s VERY obvious when people are not considering the CONTENT IS KING rule for social media. Do not under any circumstances drop a link in Google plus. It’ll be ignored, as will you.
Google plus, more than any other platform, invites and encourages blogging right into the status bar. This means that if you are tempted to go to your blog and pound out a 300 word post and a picture, stop. Consider your content. Consider what platform may benefit from a smaller post, and the most obvious answer is Google plus.
Here is an example of a proper Google plus post. There is a statement or introduction. In this case, I tagged the original person who prompted my thoughts. I added a blog post link and a Pinterest link (for easy bookmarking on mobile devices), I added some hashtags, and I added a nice big vertical photo. I also made sure to respond to the comments. So what’s the point of doing all this work for your blog post?
First of all, there is enough content right in the intro that people can respond and don’t have to read if they don’t want to. I know that seems counter-intuitive because we all want people to click to our blog, but the truth is– some people will and some people won’t, no matter what you do. In this case, I’ve gotten a few people talking who may not have ever gone to read the post. But now we’re engaged. Networking is happening. I’ve given people a choice. They can have a quick discussion on G+ without reading the whole thing, or they can go off and read it line by line. Or, maybe they have no time to read it so they are going to pin it and come back to it later.
All wins in my book.
I also wrote a post a couple weeks back about rethinking how you design your Pinterest boards. It will help people coming to your profile to find the good content quickly and easily. But here are some other problems when people don’t regard the CONTENT IS KING rule on Pinterest.
- If you need to bookmark ideas for later posts, recipes, etc. keep them on secret boards! The only stuff that should be publicly on your board are things you are willing to endorse.
- Don’t pin something with a crappy image. Content on Pinterest ARE THE PHOTOS. If you have a post you want to pin from somewhere else, but there is no decent photo, create your own. Then upload it from your website. Pin it. Then go into the pin and edit it (with the little pencil) and add the URL of the post you wanted to bookmark.
- If you do decide to repin something, first like and comment on the original pin. Pinterest is social (it’s the least social of all of them, but it doesn’t mean you should ignore the opportunity to connect).
I don’t have a ton of helpful things to say about Facebook at the moment. Their algorithm changes like people change underwear, so whatever I say today may be useless tomorrow. That said, here are a few ways to make sure you are following the CONTENT IS KING rule on Facebook.
- It’s the most personal of all platforms. So be a person.
- Like Google plus, you are free to write as much as you want in the status bar. There are benefits to the quick updates vs. the long ones. See how your audience responds.
- Don’t link drop. ALWAYS add an introduction or commentary. Something that you have not written on the blog itself. More than ever, you need to show people that there is value in visiting you on Facebook because it’s not going to show up in the newsfeed anymore.
- When you don’t have content of your own to share, find other helpful and relevant content in your niche. There are lots of ways to curate new content, from checking out StumbleUpon, Klout, Pinterest, and of course, subscribing to your favorite blogs in an RSS reader (like Feedly, BlogLovin, or using the Hoosuite Syndicator APP).
This is the place where your most in-depth, well researched, and longest pieces of content should be. According to Quicksprout, blog posts that are longer than 2000 words do a lot better in Google search results. That’s 2000 words of surprising, compelling, and useful content!
But wait? I thought I needed to be quick and to the point?
If you’ve heard the whole 300 words rule, it’s wrong. If you want your blog to grow and be successful, you have to stop writing 300 word posts. People came up with that rule because they know that you don’t have a long time to catch a reader’s attention. And you don’t. But shortening your post isn’t the solution.
People won’t come back to your blog unless you surprise them, captivate them, or solve a problem for them. That’s what they want. If you give that, they will read as long a post as you write.
You need to take every topic you want to talk about, and figure out WHICH PLATFORM works for the topic du jour. Many of those 300 worders are perfect for Facebook or Google plus, and will simply get lost in the bowels of your blog archives.
If you think posting a new blog post every day is the key to success, it isn’t. Providing surprising, compelling, and useful content once or twice a week is far better.
- CONTENT IS KING. Further explained – GREAT CONTENT IS KING.
- Every social platform is a medium for your content.
- It should be surprising, compelling, or useful.
- Figure out your topic and then decide if it’s best used on Twitter, Google plus, Pinterest, Facebook, or your blog.
- Tell your story, all the time. No more status updates that you wouldn’t be willing to endorse or support 1000%.
- Save your blog posts for content that needs at a minimum – 1000 words.
- Use Google plus to mini-blog discussions and ideas that get people talking.
- Twitter is great for conversation around a bite-sized fact.
- Pinterest needs to be visually epic. Don’t pin ugly stuff.
- If you are using Pinterest for your own bookmarking purposes, do it on Secret boards. Public boards need to have only the best.
I want to talk about this on social today. Use the hashtag #contentisking and let’s chat!
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