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How to Create Sustainable Content: Part 1

Blank screen
The Internet has enabled everyone to become a writer. Unfortunately, many inexperienced writers run out of steam, resulting in ghost blogs, extinct email newsletters and other unsustainable efforts.

For people who lack either the time or talent, the solution is to hire professional help. But many others can improve their ability to keep great content flowing by starting out with a clear idea of their expertise, objectives and audience as well as a simple plan.  In this three-part series, I’ll walk you through the process of creating sustainable conte.

It’s all about you
To produce content that goes beyond twitter bursts and status updates, you need expertise, perspective, objectives and measurements.

So think about your area of expertise, your special knowledge. Then add your individual perspective.

For example, if you’re an economist, the money supply may be your area of expertise.  But you also need to give your audience your opinion about how government expansion of the money supply is going to affect the economy. With a blog, you have to anticipate disagreement – be prepared to defend your position.

If your focus is too narrow, you may run out of ideas. If it’s too broad, you’ll have difficulty attracting people. The trick is to define your core expertise, then extend beyond it when it makes sense.

Next, you need to examine your personal, business or professional objectives. Write them down. Think about them. Discuss them with colleagues and friends. Revise them. Only then can you ensure that your content will be strategic. If you are not meeting your objectives, chances are your blog, newsletter or whatever will stop breathing as soon as you get distracted.

To justify the effort you're putting in to creating content, you’ll want to measure how well you’re accomplishing your goals. In addition to online metrics, consider broader yardsticks, such as whether you are getting more calls, more revenues, more speaking opportunities or whatever it is you need to fuel your venture.

That’s enough about you. In Part 2, we’ll give you some advice on how to connect with the people on the other side of the screen.

Photo credit: Blank screen by pigdump

One Comment

  1. Vergel E
    Vergel E March 18, 2009

    It’s also worth noting that any business material you would be willing to hand out for free either in print, or in business communications is well worth including as Content to include in your online initiative.
    The more “evergreen” the content, the more likely it will find an audience online. That audience will link to, and link forward to your content when it’s relevant to them.

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