Fact: There's more than enough content on the web already. Way more than enough.
In blogger terms, that means that if the only content you publish is rehashed themes already found all over the blogosphere, then don't bank on success. Maybe that strategy worked back when there were only 10,000+ Internet users per website, but today, there's only 4 for each.
So if you're just going through the motions of content marketing by publishing mediocre content then your campaign is pretty much sunk.
On the other hand, if you consistently go out of your way to make each and every blog post as ram-packed with value and utility as possible, then your blog/website will stand out. And you'll get noticed. And you'll drive traffic. And you'll make money.
Don't know how to cross over from mediocre to spectacular? No worries, because you're about to learn how.
1. Be a Perfectionist
As a kid in middle school, I once remember a teacher passing out a sheet of paper that had a list of "tips" to help me make it through the 7th grade.
The first tip: strive for excellence, not perfection. Looking back at that, I LOL. It was by far the most absurd sentence I read that year.
Every blogger is already striving for excellence, rendering your content nothing above average.
Want to stand out? Go for perfect, because few are aiming for that.
When perfection is your first priority, however, excellence is just a pre-qualification. In other words, "excellent" will be the minimum you'll attain.
Content written by a perfectionist is usually:
- exhaustive -- it's THE resource in [insert blog post topic]
- detailed -- each point is backed up with more points and statistics
- 100% grammatical error-free -- no need to expound
Strive for excellence, and you'll hit "good".
Strive for perfection, and the bare minimum you'll achieve is "excellent".
2. Be Practical & Use Real World Examples
Saying that XYZ exercise will help reduce belly fat by 57% is mediocre.
Saying that XYZ exercise will help reduce belly fat, and then backing that up with a proven statistics (or, better yet, giving a real world example of how Susan McFairy lost 57% of her belly fat with the exercise) is perfect. It's also a lot more authoritative and believable.
Don't distance your content from your readers by making a point, and then failing to back it up with a real world example. Be practical and hands-on. Show and tell.
3. Walk the Talk
Are you telling everybody to stop creating unremarkable, second-rate content?
Then stop creating it yourself. If you preach against content mediocrity, yet fail to add value to the Internet yourself every time you hit the "publish" button, then not only is your content mediocre, but you're also a hypocrite.
Remember how we discussed about why you should use real world examples in blog posts in point #2? Take that tip one step further and execute your own tips, tutorials, and guides. Then, use that real world example, coming from yours truly, to reinforce your content.
Walk the talk.
4. Maintain a Strong Voice & Personality
Too often I see blogs that have no personality and no character -- particularly with business blogs. The result is wimpy, wishy-washy content that no one will read.
One of the first steps in successful content marketing is identifying your ideal voice. If you're a small-time mommy blogger, then your best bet is conversational and friendly. If you're a big B2B corporation, then go with a tone suitable for your audience of professionals.
The main point is to find what works for your blog -- conversational or professional -- then use it uniformly across all your content marketing.
Your blog voice is the most important factor when trying to connect with your audience.
5. Promote It Like Crazy
A lot of people forget the "marketing" in content marketing. Too many businesses focus (and spend the majority of their budget) on just the content part, forgetting entirely about the marketing.
Then they wonder why they aren't driving any traffic.
You might argue the content promotion isn't a real way to defeat content mediocrity, but I'd say it is.
There's no point in spending 5 hours on an amazing blog post every day if nobody's reading it. Failing to promote content is probably the main reason behind every mediocre, undiscovered blogger's lack of success.
It may even be why you are struggling to reach that elusive 100-readers a day mark.
What does your content marketing campaign exemplify -- mediocrity or peerless perfection? If mediocre, how are you planning to transition to the latter? If perfection, what did you do to get here?
Let us know in the comments!