As I embark once again on the Ultimate Blog Challenge, April 2013 edition, I thought I would take a short moment to remind myself of what precisely is it that makes content, and content marketing, the clear winner in a world awash with information.
I mean, there is just so much content everywhere you look.
Blogs. Information products. Ebooks. Audio books. Kindle books. Snippets.
Even good old ads are not ads anymore. They are stories.
So what hope do you and I have to stand out amidst the cacophony of text, audio, video, social feeds, rss feeds being thrust upon the all-invading thing that is the internet?
I like to think that we stand a darn good shot, if we pay attention to three C’s. And none of them is content.
The three C’s I refer to are Customer, Community and Context. These are three aspects of content that make the difference between content that’s marginally beyond what-I had-for-breakfast kind, and the one that makes readers return again and again to your blog.
Who is your target customer? Without any thought to your ideal customer, your content is likely to be untargeted and potentially unappealing. I mean, in the grand scheme of things, why should anyone stop and read beyond your headline or opening paragraph?
A customer profile is the anchor around which you build your content. Before you press a single key on your keyboard, it’s important to have a clear picture of who you are writing for, and even more important to know what are the issues that are paramount in their lives – the ones that are relevant to your business.
When I started Moonpreneur just over a year ago, it was to chronicle my learnings as I wandered into the massive field that is online business. As I found my feet, my customer profile narrowed to focus on those individuals who wanted to build a pile of digital assets that could work for them – without exchanging pure time – a finite resource – for money.
I narrowed my focus on product creation for busy ex-corporate types who wanted to monetize their experience. It was a short hop from there to creating ebooks and online courses that encapsulated my own experiences in product creation.
Once I figured out who my customer was/is, the next step was to seek out communities where these customers hung out. Courtesy of Helene, I was introduced to the Ultimate Blog Challenge and its writing-frenzied, super-supportive community.
Through the UBC and other similar communities, I learned the lingo, felt the heartbeat and immersed myself in the seemingly endless sea of writers and bloggers who ran companies, busy households and themselves by day, and produced fabulously engaging content by night (or early mornings, as many of us do).
The importance of a community cannot be overstated. It is a forum for your early offerings, gentle critiques, encouragement galore, and an excellent source of common topics that are front and centre for this wondrous group of otherwise diverse individuals.
Finding the right communities not only serves to enrich said community with your own perspectives, but serves as a playground for experimenting with different solutions to the shared problems, giving you the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way.
Without context, content can quickly become irrelevant. Solutions to problems are hardly ever absolute. Just as the vast majority of questions beyond simple math, can be answered with “It depends”, content without context has little clarity, applicability and will likely fail to resonate.
Setting the context so that you don’t have a “So what?” hanging unanswered in the air, is paramount to ensuring that your content fits the situation, the customer, and of course, the community where you choose to unleash your content.
On the first day of UBC, I challenge myself anew to pay attention to my customers who are on the path to self-publish, launch their niche membership site, or create a useful information product that informs and promotes engagement. I challenge myself to re-commit to the CommentLuv and UBC communities who got me from 0 to 5000 views in less than 3 months. I challenge myself to stay relevant and in-context.
I challenge myself to another action packed Ultimate Blog Challenge.
Care to join me?
PS: Just in case you missed it, Blog Transformation Secrets – The Blog Revamp Book is free through to April 3rd on Amazon Kindle. No Kindle? No problem. Download the Kindle App for your device here.
If the book helps you, please do share with your community. It could help someone you know grow their business. And it would help me loads if you me leave me a review.