This guest post is by Jonathan Mead of Trailblazer.
Over 1.6 million blog posts are published each day. That’s an average is 18.6 posts per second.
That’s a staggering number. And with so much content being published, how do you make sure that yours gets seen? And not just seen, but commented on and shared?
Many people focus on the tactics of getting content spread. They put up the appropriate buttons, ask for sharing directly in their posts, solicit their network, and do lots of things to push their message. This method used to work very well.
Cultivating a culture of sharing is important—by enlisting and asking for the help of your tribe—but it’s not enough. You have to create content that is based on pull.
In other words, when you create content that your audience is demanding, you start playing a different game.
The spectrum of unmissable content looks something like this:
- Unmissable: Everything you create must be given attention. There’s no other choice.
- Important: Relevant and important, but can be set aside to be looked at later (and potentially forgotten).
- Relevant: Your content is useful, and relevant, but it’s not important enough to take priority.
- Mildly interesting” Seems interesting, but there’s too much incoming to pay any attention.
- Noise: Considered spam or is completely irrelevant. Might as well be invisible.
So if nothing but unmissable content is acceptable, how do we get there? How do we make all of our content bookmarked, dogeared, and highlighted?
The first step is simple: stop
Stop creating content for the sake of creating content. That’s a narrow path with one destination: mediocrity.
Instead, create because you can’t hold your message back. If you’re feeling uninspired, don’t put out content simply to maintain a schedule. Write, and show up to hone your skills, but don’t publish something you don’t completely love.
Step two: keep your ear to the ground
What are your audience’s biggest questions? What patterns do you notice in terms of their biggest challenges? What are they thinking about when they lay their head down on their pillow?
In other words, What’s keeping them up at night?
Write about that.
And pay attention to what’s underneath their desire. Sometimes they won’t admit it. Sometimes you have to probe deeper, and use your intuition. However, it’s also important to…
Create feedback loops
When someone signs up to your email list, do you ask them what their biggest goal is related to your topic? Do you ask them what their biggest challenge or frustration is?
If not, you should do that right now. You’re missing out on some very valuable information.
You can also ask new Twitter followers and Facebook fans the same question. You can put a question form in your sidebar or on your contact page on your blog. There are lots of opportunities for setting up these types of feedback loops.
The key is to aggregate the data and review it. Once a week is a good rhythm. Pay attention to the insights you find and use them as a basis for your content.
Be a pattern interrupt
Listening isn’t enough. Creating from a place of inspiration is good, but it’s merely a requirement to not fail.
If you want to create content that is unmissable, you need to be a pattern interrupt. Your content needs to make people stop, and pay attention.
There are two ways to do that:
- Do what no one else is willing to do: This might include creating a definitive guide, going above and beyond to create a comprehensive resource kit, or by over-delivering on value in a very big way.
- Do what hasn’t been done: Every marketing technique that used to be extremely effective eventually becomes commonplace. If you want to stand out you must be on the leading edge, not simply riding the next wave. Doing this involves risk, but it also is an uncharted territory ripe with opportunity. (The leading edge is a scarcely populated place, after all.)
For example, last month we hired a video producer and director of photography to write and film a trailer for our upcoming product. This was a full-scale, movie-style trailer. No one had done this before with a product like ours.
Making the investment involved a considerable amount of risk. However, it paid off in a big way. We attracted more affiliates than ever, and sent a very big message to our audience: this is something worth paying attention to.
We didn’t know before hand if it would succeed or blow up in our faces. But we took a risk and did it anyway.
If you want to create content that is truly unmissable, you must dare to do what hasn’t been done.
Create because you can’t not create. Keep your ear to the ground. Walk the leading edge.
What do you think is the biggest key to creating unmissable content?
Editor’s note: Want to get even more attention for your unmissable content? Don’t forget SEO. Later today we’ll show you a scientific approach to creating page titles that’ll help you make the most of Jonathan’s advice.