I just read through a "Top 25 [Social/Digital/Marketing Expert/Guru]s to follow" list, and I wondered just how useful these really are in terms of content marketing. They generally have the same folks on them--and they should, frankly. If you were to ask me to name 10 or 20 people to follow in marketing, my list would probably look like a lot of the lists out there. I choose not to write this post, because I don't believe it adds accretive value to the universe.
Yours might, of course. But the more content we make today, the more we have to make tomorrow just to keep up, like the Red Queen of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The list post that worked yesterday might not work tomorrow. I bet you've already seen evidence of that.
So, on the cusp of a North American Holiday Weekend (in which we Americans celebrate Labor, and our friends up north flaunt their additional "u") I thought I'd challenge myself to write a completely original list post, just to see if it could still be done. So, here is my humble effort:
10 Words You Should Be Using
The - This word is incredibly useful as a signal that, as sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti, a noun will surely come. You cannot stop it, so why fight the inevitable?
Be - A personal favorite. You can't Always Be Closing unless you BE. Responsible, along with "do," for a significant part of Sinatra's smoothness.
To - It does not matter what your final destination is--when asking directions, if you don't precede your destination with "to," you'll never get there. For example, without the word "to," asking "How do I get to Intercourse, Pennsylvania?" will result in a series of increasingly poor bits of advice.
Of - Without this key word, Karen Blixen would have written "Out, Africa!" and Meryl Streep might be homeless.
That - An enormously useful word. The universally correct answer to the question "Which?" How many other words can you name that are always the right answer? On the downside, however, in a competition with "this," "that" is not what you should get with, because this is where it's at.
In - Without "in," we'd all be out. It's cold, and frightening out. I'm pretty sure there are bears. Let's stay in.
Do - This word used to have limited utility, but its meaning has expanded tremendously in the food and beverage industry as a term employed by restaurant-goers to mean "would like to have" (e.g., "I'll do the chicken," except in Intercourse, Pennsylvania.)
Not - It's hard to say what this word actually is, but I can tell you what it isn't.
On - Though it's ninth on this list, it is actually incredibly important to the survival of our species. Imagine if generations of humans seduced each other to the dulcet tones of Marvin Gaye singing "Let's Get It." Sure, we would acquire many objects, but would we find love?
You - This word is important in content marketing. Without it, I'd just be talking to myself. But I need more clicks than I can possibly generate myself. So, unfortunately, I need you. I'm pretty sure most content marketing doesn't really give you that much thought, but you pay the bills. So, here's to you.
There you have it. Original content using ten of the most common words in the English language.
The amount of content you have to compete with is only going to grow exponentially over the coming months and years, which means the bar you'll have to hurdle for attention is only going to get higher and higher.
Great content should challenge, entertain, or come from genuine expertise.
Those are the ten words I try to use when I write content. It's a practice, but a worthwhile one.