Digital 101: Content

Continuing on from where I left off, I’ve been thinking about how to expand on the third point from my original post. You see what I was saying is create original, value adding content and – frankly – there are a ton of articles with suggestions for content articles. Promptly many new bloggers appear copying the articles’ ideas like a training manual until there is very little originality left in the ideas. It seemed to me that some of the tips on how I generate content might be of use.

Before I start let us agree, unless you’re celebrity or have an exceptionally interesting day job, that generating content at a high enough rate (1+ post a day, ideally 3+) to help build the traffic volumes is hard and if you don’t enjoy the game you won’t play. Or to put another way: post at the rate you want, not what you feel you ought to do. If you don’t enjoy it you won’t do it.

1. Notebook – If you’re a writer or an artist or a diarist then you probably have one, if not: get one. It doesn’t matter what you use, I use a moleskine myself and have done for about a year. I find they suit the wear and tear I put them through trucking my notebooks to and fro from work. It doesn’t matter because the most important thing is finding the notebook that works for you (by which I mean you write down ideas, observations, snippets of dialogue that amuse, and brief memories of things that happen to you that make good anecdotes.

2. Pay attention – I’ve mentioned this before on writing posts but we are the distraction generation and so you need to make some time each day to think about what you’re going to write. Additionally, you need to keep up with the world, especially any area where you have expertise you’re trying to reach.

3. Live – Seriously, you’ll find it really hard to come up with fresh content if you don’t live life as much as you can. Making the most out of life is important because you rarely know how long you’ve got and it could be argued Life ( a fatal condition) is what happens while we’re making plans.

4. React – Comment is indeed free but rants are more fun. Whatever your means of interacting with popular culture I think debate can be at the cornerstone of a good site if handled correctly. It’s also worth noting that audience participation is nothing to worry about but it does require moderating and it’s a good idea to be up front about this

5. Consistency – *coughs* OK, I know I’m not a poster boy for this. However, for the first year I participated in Friday Flash Fiction, and I was posting other regular features without fail, traffic generally trended up. Indeed, when I conducted my January experiment on blogging everyday the same trend could be seen and it goes for pretty much every feature I’ve ever seen on blogs or even on professional sites I’ve worked on. Consistency is key to retention.

Not really sure if these are any help. I’ll either add more as they occur or do a follow up.

About Neil

Father of two (but you can only see one), writer, digital boffin, reader, geek and probably some other stuff. Trapped behind a keyboard or chasing around after a 2 year old, somewhere in Wales.

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