CreatingContent_CoverToday’s blog post was inspired by a presentation given by Erik Deckers at Mixwest 2014.  You will find his slide deck here. 

Fact: There is an overwhelming amount of content created daily

The internet is growing at a rate that is hard to get our heads around. In the year 2000 there were just barely 17 million websites in existence. Just 13 years later then number was just under 700,000,000. That is one website for every 10 people on earth. There is some data to indicate only a fraction of those sites are really active and unique, but that is still a significant growth curve, with no end in site.

Add to the mix, the number of blog posts on those sites and email newsletters being written and distributed and it is easy to be overwhelmed by the explosion of content  coming at you and your customers every single day.

Fact: Well funded companies can generate more content.

As you compete against bigger, more well funded companies, they have an advantage in the amount of content they can turn out.  Not only can they pay internal staff they can hire external writers, or these days there are even robots which can churn out page after page of SEO worthy content.

So how do you win in the face of the onslaught of content out there?

  • Quality over quantity. Write one well written post instead of three mediocre ones. A few years ago we were publishing content seven days a week. With only four people writing, it was hard to maintain a steady stream of high value content.  We cut back to just five days a week and noticed our weekly web traffic has actually grown.  Part of the reason? Our weekend readers are for the most part a different audience. For them, the post shared on Tuesday or Wednesday is new.
  • Bring something new to the table. Don’t just recycle the same post over and over again. Go back and review old blog posts, add new examples or update the ideas in light of new research.  Then as you share it, let people know it has been updated.
  • Add value when you curate. If you are going to share a series of links tell me why the links are important. Add your idea or perspective.  Without that, there is really no reason to read your post. If you link to content created by someone else, be sure to send a trackback. Let them know they inspired you.  Not only is this a nice thing to do, it is also a nice way to get noticed by other content experts in your industry.
  • Do what others don’t or won’t. These days everyone is sharing their blog posts on Twitter and Facebook. The news feed is cluttered with lots of people all sharing the same five tips to do something. While I won’t tell you to stop sharing your content there I will tell you it isn’t enough. Expand your reach by going where your competitors aren’t.  Find niche networks, small communities of people who are interested in the same things you write about.  Record a podcast or video, or turn your content into a presentation. Then share it on slide share and maybe even to a live audience.

Not every blog post will go viral, but with a constant focus on creating well written, high quality information and sharing it in new and interesting ways, you may just stay one step ahead of the content onslaught.