90% of your content is crap

A black puppy seated.
Puppy mills: not good for dogs, not good for content.

Puppy mills still exist. They’re horrible places where female dogs are kept in inhumane, cramped quarters for the sole purpose of churning out a constant stream of puppies to be shipped to pet stores. There (it’s hoped) someone will find them adorable and buy one or two.

This is the same philosophy behind way too much of your content strategy.

Most businesses treat content as a commodity like wheat or potash. It’s a uniform, anonymous, utilitarian thing produced to serve a single purpose: get attention. The quality is irrelevant; it’s the quantity that counts. What gets results gets produced, whether it’s link-bait, indistinguishable from the competition, mediocre, calculated or worse. As long as it results in a click or a like, that’s all that’s important.

However, those results all too often are a grey wash of faceless, largely meaningless business speak, eminently useless “how tos” and a bunch of top-10 lists.

Content was never meant to be a commodity, and treating it like one has produced disastrous results: a constant background din of meaningless distraction. It doesn’t have to be this way. In a world of low-grade commodified blog posts, quality is conspicuous by its rarity. Taking the tiniest of risks to produce that one thing that sticks out can result in greater results than loading up your shotgun with easily-produced but mediocre crap, pulling the trigger and hoping one piece of buckshot hits the target.

Be original. Be useful. Be fascinating. Be timely. Be newsworthy. And cut the crap.

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