I recently published a post on Facebook Notes and Medium decrying the dangerous confusion of Marketing and Sales. Do read it if you want the back story. One of my friends brought up a valid objection to what I had written--that I had "conveniently" not given an example of what I thought great content was, and had instead left it in pretty general terms.
It was a fair comment, and it cut me mostly because I actually have a very simple set of criteria for great content. In fact, I only have two pillars I adhere to--one extrinsic, and one intrinsic. So, here are the two bars any content I create must clear in order to actually make it to the page.
1. Extrinsic. To me, any piece of content I start to write has to meet one of three criteria. Any content I consider even starting must fit one of these three buckets:
- Content that challenges
- Content that entertains
- Content that comes from genuine expertise
For the latter, I mean recognized expertise in the thing you are writing about, and not recognized expertise in the content marketing of the thing you are writing about. But anything I publish must meet at least one of those three.
Still, that is not enough. I can write something that entertains, or challenges, or calls upon my actual expertise, but I will not hit publish unless it also vaults this bar...
2. Intrinsic. This is the umbrella over everything, and it is a very simple question, It is the question that will keep you from publishing the one millionth post on "how to make a content calendar" or the "20 ways to write 15 lists of 10" and the "one weird thing" posts that we are lousy with. It's a profound, and honest question. That question is:
Am I proud of this?
That question, and its implications, are why I don't write a ton here at Brandsavant. And if you are honest, that question should send more posts under your bed, as Stephen King counsels, and fewer to your blog or corporate website.
I am proud of this post, by the way.