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The Keys to Creating Unmissable Content

This guest post is by Jonathan Mead of Trailblazer.

Over 1.6 million blog posts are published each day. That’s an average is 18.6 posts per second.

That’s a staggering number. And with so much content being published, how do you make sure that yours gets seen? And not just seen, but commented on and shared?

Many people focus on the tactics of getting content spread. They put up the appropriate buttons, ask for sharing directly in their posts, solicit their network, and do lots of things to push their message. This method used to work very well.

Not anymore.

Cultivating a culture of sharing is important—by enlisting and asking for the help of your tribe—but it’s not enough. You have to create content that is based on pull.

In other words, when you create content that your audience is demanding, you start playing a different game.

The spectrum of unmissable content looks something like this:

  1. Unmissable: Everything you create must be given attention. There’s no other choice.
  2. Important: Relevant and important, but can be set aside to be looked at later (and potentially forgotten).
  3. Relevant: Your content is useful, and relevant, but it’s not important enough to take priority.
  4. Mildly interesting” Seems interesting, but there’s too much incoming to pay any attention.
  5. Noise: Considered spam or is completely irrelevant. Might as well be invisible.

So if nothing but unmissable content is acceptable, how do we get there? How do we make all of our content bookmarked, dogeared, and highlighted?

The first step is simple: stop

Stop creating content for the sake of creating content. That’s a narrow path with one destination: mediocrity.

Instead, create because you can’t hold your message back. If you’re feeling uninspired, don’t put out content simply to maintain a schedule. Write, and show up to hone your skills, but don’t publish something you don’t completely love.

Step two: keep your ear to the ground

What are your audience’s biggest questions? What patterns do you notice in terms of their biggest challenges? What are they thinking about when they lay their head down on their pillow?

In other words, What’s keeping them up at night?

Write about that.

And pay attention to what’s underneath their desire. Sometimes they won’t admit it. Sometimes you have to probe deeper, and use your intuition. However, it’s also important to…

Create feedback loops

When someone signs up to your email list, do you ask them what their biggest goal is related to your topic? Do you ask them what their biggest challenge or frustration is?

If not, you should do that right now. You’re missing out on some very valuable information.

You can also ask new Twitter followers and Facebook fans the same question. You can put a question form in your sidebar or on your contact page on your blog. There are lots of opportunities for setting up these types of feedback loops.

The key is to aggregate the data and review it. Once a week is a good rhythm. Pay attention to the insights you find and use them as a basis for your content.

Be a pattern interrupt

Listening isn’t enough. Creating from a place of inspiration is good, but it’s merely a requirement to not fail.

If you want to create content that is unmissable, you need to be a pattern interrupt. Your content needs to make people stop, and pay attention.

There are two ways to do that:

  1. Do what no one else is willing to do: This might include creating a definitive guide, going above and beyond to create a comprehensive resource kit, or by over-delivering on value in a very big way.
  2. Do what hasn’t been done: Every marketing technique that used to be extremely effective eventually becomes commonplace. If you want to stand out you must be on the leading edge, not simply riding the next wave. Doing this involves risk, but it also is an uncharted territory ripe with opportunity. (The leading edge is a scarcely populated place, after all.)

For example, last month we hired a video producer and director of photography to write and film a trailer for our upcoming product. This was a full-scale, movie-style trailer. No one had done this before with a product like ours.

Making the investment involved a considerable amount of risk. However, it paid off in a big way. We attracted more affiliates than ever, and sent a very big message to our audience: this is something worth paying attention to.

We didn’t know before hand if it would succeed or blow up in our faces. But we took a risk and did it anyway.

If you want to create content that is truly unmissable, you must dare to do what hasn’t been done.

Create because you can’t not create. Keep your ear to the ground. Walk the leading edge.

What do you think is the biggest key to creating unmissable content?

Editor’s note: Want to get even more attention for your unmissable content? Don’t forget SEO. Later today we’ll show you a scientific approach to creating page titles that’ll help you make the most of Jonathan’s advice.

Jonathan Mead helps people quit their jobs, and get paid to be who they are. He’s the founder of Trailblazer, the number one training on quitting your job to follow your passion.

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Comments

  1. Ryan Hanley says:

    I really like your first step… STOP!

    There is too much “You Have To Consistently Post” out there… You have to consistently post quality content… But I completely agree that just posting to have something go up is terrible…

    Great post.

    Thanks,

    Ryan H.

  2. Good points to ponder..

    * Do what no one else is willing to do

    * Do what hasn’t been done

    What I have noticed is that not many people want to put in the effort that’s needed to achieve the above 2 points. Its does take a fair share of dedication & risk to pull it off. Often, when its done.. the “reward” is more!

    As I said in one of my blog posts before you’ve got to “be the first, best or be different”!

  3. kelli cooper says:

    Hi
    This was a really great post. I am kind of blogging for fun right now but I would like to build it into something more, eventually offering paid services like coaching, creating my own products and what not. I know I need to devote more time if I am honest with myself. Not a lot of the info applies to me at this moment based on the current state of my blog but step 2 really resonated with me in terms of thinking about what people who read the type of content I read really want to know, what is pulling at them, what questions they have. If I think of my thought process when thinking of my posts, I suppose I am focusing on this but probably not enough. I am probably more likely writing about things based on my own experiences and current issues in my life, hoping other people will relate. Going forward, this is something I will really think about, not only will it help me write better posts, it will probably also help with coming up with topics. Thanks!

  4. Its so hard to maintain a posting schedule AND post incredible content. I love the idea of using your list to get ideas, a feedback loop! Will be implementing that one.

    Watched your trailblazer video, good stuff! You are right no one is doing it, but with your success it will be the new thing!

  5. I also like the “concentrate on where your competitors fail” strategy. When I am seen as the best at something that everyone else sucks at, then this places me in a very good position as a content producer.

  6. Jack says:

    Hey Jonathan!

    I really dig what you’re saying here. Content really is king, one thing I’ve realised a lot recently is people are so stuck into getting traffic and spreading the word about their blog, that they’ve forgotten about making their blog informative, valuable and entertaining, so when all this traffic appears, they get no results from it.

    You have to make your blog amazing first, have something good to say and help people, then get the people to view it. Or do both at the same time, which is kind of what I’m working on right now :)

    • You’re right Jack. It seems like an obvious thing, but for some reason a lot of people lose sight of how important it is.

  7. Thank you so much for such a great post, Jonathan! This is exactly what I needed – especially the first step. “don’t publish something you don’t completely love” really got to me and made me more aware of what content I want to put out there.

    And I absolutely loved the trailer you made for Trailblazer – it was inspiring and it has given me the idea on how to further help other entrepreneurs with their video needs as on online video coach + editor! Video is definitely an amazing way to stand out and create that instant connection with your audience.

  8. Hi Jonathan,

    Step 1 is beyond key. Get super clear on why you are creating content.

    Nope, not to create content. Nope, not to write 1 post that day. Nope, not to do something that a pro told you to do.

    You create content to create something useful, something that helps people, something that betters someone’s life. Of course the someone should be a person in your target market. But the motivator must come from within, and it must be strong, and it must be to add real, immense, unmissable value to your reader’s lives.

    Posts should all solve problems. Never pen a post without some problem-solving aspect in mind. This is where keeping your ear to the ground comes in. Listen, and you will never have a problem generating kick-ass blog post ideas, and you will never have a problem generating traffic as well.

    Fall in love with your craft. It becomes easier to be passionate about blogging with practice.Your confidence picks up and you feel that yes, what you are publishing is in fact changing the world. Because it is.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Jonathan!

    Ryan

  9. You are definitely sharing some nice tips with us. Great tool! thanks.

  10. Justin Mazza says:

    So true Jonathan. If I find myself writing content just for the sake of writing content I stop and re-evaluate what I am doing. Killer content is long, detailed, entertaining and of course inspiring and useful to the reader.

    • I’m with you on most of those points, except for maybe length. I think great content should be as long as needed, not more or less.

  11. Sometimes you have to take a risk to get rewarded, nice to see the movie trailer route worked for you. I agree that now more than ever you should be investing more time in each post, instead of just posting random pieces of content, try and make something special, instead of trying to make a post people will want to share, make a post people will want to keep, they will want to go back to it down the road.

  12. Taline says:

    I love that you stated to not create content for the sake of creating it. I think too many bloggers do this sometimes. I subscribe to their blog and I become overwhelmed with e-mails and the quality of the content being published drops. I then unsubscribe.

    If they simply stuck to great content even once or twice a week I would be very happy. Afterall, they are not the only blog I read and subscribe to.

    Great post! :)

  13. Jon Loomer says:

    Great tips, Jonathan, thanks! It certainly is easy to get caught in the “I need to write something” cycle instead of focusing on making sure the content we are publishing is something that we can be proud of (there are certainly a few posts floating around that I’d like to have back).

    The key for me is always asking myself, “What are people looking for?” Whether it’s what they’re typing into search engines or what unanswered questions are likely to be floating around. Of course, it’s even better if you get users to tell you directly what they’re looking for, and you offer some great tips around that.

  14. Pro bloggers definitely need to treat their blogs like any other business.. and running a business means taking risks. Some will fail and some will succeed, but people who get noticed aren’t the ones who sit in the corner and play it safe.

  15. Angel Willis says:

    Great article Jonathan! I like your advice on creating feedback loops. Reaching out to people who follow you on Twitter by asking what problems they may be facing is a great way to create content that is valuable to your readers. It is also a great way to build a community around your area of interest. I got a lot of value out of your advice, and I will definitely be putting it to use! Thanks!

  16. This post had me on edge. I was hanging off every word. Every point you made I was physically nodding along. “Yes! This is exactly it–you are hitting the nail on the head.” Such a passionate philosophy. Such an articulate description of how content really needs to reign king. I was on the edge of my seat. I was ready to jump up and rah rah along with you… Until I read the editor’s note. ‘Content IS king…but make sure you are an SEO guru. That is the REAL kicker.’ sort of conflicting philosophies aren’t they? Kind of killed the momentum for me. Just saying.

    • Georgina Laidlaw says:

      Hey Graham,
      Thanks for the feedback on our editor’s note :) Your feelings are … noted!
      Georgina

  17. Henry Louis says:

    Great post Jonathan. In the web, we can find thousands of articles, however only few articles will get visitors attention. As you said, “Stop creating content for the sake of creating content”, but most of the articles in the web will only be created with such view. Little research is required while writing each article. Writer should think about “what exactly the visitor is looking for”. Thanks.

  18. Tony Fuentes says:

    So true. We often get caught up in our own writing/blogging world, when what we’re really here for is our readers. To serve them. But we can’t serve them unless we know them. And the more we know them, the better we can create content and products that pull them in. That’s why I love your idea of feedback loops. I had a blog post in the works for this week, but I think I’ll put it on hold now. I feel a thirst for feedback. :)

  19. Ferb says:

    I also had an idea to Poll readers biggest goals in our Blog. However, poll is too straight forward to the point and using the method you mentioned above is more valuable which is to connecting friend on social networking sites likes on Facebook.

  20. It’s also important to keep authenticity in mind. No matter what you do, be true to yourself and let that self shine through your posts. That is what keeps people coming back. You might be writing on what a million other people have written about, but your personal take on it, influenced by your personal experience or the way your mind works is what makes you different and unique.

    Thanks for this post. Really motivating.

  21. Vern at AFA says:

    Some rather successful bloggers are saying that in order to have Google really notice you – 3+ posts per day at your site is what you should aim for. That’s three 600+ word posts per day. Many (most?) of the sites I notice that are doing exceptionally well have either a team of writers, or the blog owner is writing like mad to create tons of content. Some is unmissable. Some just important or relevant, mildly interesting… Most are writing heaps of content per day.

    Are you saying that the only thing a blog owner should write is something unmissable? I don’t really see that working in many niches. Most bloggers wreck their brains trying to do ten or twenty awesome posts. Is that enough to make a living rom?

    Seems like G likes the giant sites and that anyone with less than 1,000 articles isn’t getting loved any longer.

    How many people can come up with unmissable articles time after time in whatever niche they are in?

    • Nikoya says:

      I agree with this to an extent. We know that Google loves credible, freshly published articles from mega sites- but I disagree with the 3-4 posts per day and a pass on fluffy writing.

      Its true from my experience with certain niches like music, it’s best to publish multiple times daily. But for other blog sites, like the type I believe the writer is referring to, it’s best to reach for something you can’t not say. Content tends to shine when your heart is in it.

  22. Sarah says:

    What an inspiring post — a refreshing new way to look at the act of maintaining a blog. In a deadline-driven world, sometimes it’s hard to stay inspired, but the importance of trying is unmistakable. I’m going to check out Trailblazer right now — Mr. Mead is a very enjoyable writer!

  23. Jonathan,

    Excellent post and great advice. I especially like when you said, “Stop creating content for the sake of creating content.” So true, but a reminder always helps!

    -Deborah

  24. Grea tips

  25. I love the idea of a question form in the sidebar. Thanks! Gonna use that.

  26. This all makes common sense when it comes to creating useful and meaningful content. College of Content deals with this issue often, when E value waiting articles from its authors before approving a majority of article publications. The thing a lot of people do just to keep their site content fresh is create content on the fly which is meaningless. College of Content, just like yourself on ProBlogger, discourages people from just creating content just to make content. In other words, if a person is going to create content, create content meaningfully, and always write from the heart. This way, people can connect with the writer’s emotions while reading the published blog post or article. Thank you so much for this thought-provoking blog post on “three keys to creating unmissable content.”

  27. Ken A says:

    This was a truly inspiring read, and one of the rare blog posts that I printed out to read again later.

    Knowing your customer and going the extra mile are two things that every successful blogger should focus on.

  28. Jonathan,
    This is a great post. I really, really like it!
    This article is really an eye-opener. Publish what we love – that’s it. We give love, then we get love and be loved in return. People love something new just like they love surprises. So, do what others have not done before and be brave enough to take the necessary risks.