Will Your Content Ever Really Be Great Without This?

You have to create great content – it’s what every blogger on every inbound marketing, SEO, and social media blog is telling you.

Create great content. Heard it 1,849,207 times. Got it. Thanks.

Two questions for the Create Great Content Mantraists who won’t follow that statement up with an action step, tactical plan, or case study to provide context and clarity:

  1. Explain what filter you run your content through before you hit the publish button to determine it’s truly great?
  2. Explain what metrics you use to determine that the consumers of your content truly thought it was great?

I don’t pretend to have the answers to those questions but I will bring context, clarity, and a case study to this need for creating great content.

Hundreds of content fails led to discovery about what can make content great

After creating hundreds of pieces of content that failed miserably to earn social shares, get prime real estate in the SERPs, draw comments, or get links from other content creators, a discovery was made:

The content was not personality-rich – the lack of personality-rich content meant there was no story being told – without personality and a story there was no reason for the reader to decide it was great and share it with others.

Consider this: whatever content you’re creating has already been created before in one form or fashion. Whatever you're writing about has already been written about before. Unless you’re somebody like Bill Slawski, the information has already been covered and people can find that information in seconds, from dozens of authors, who have probably covered it better than you (and me).

Your personality can make your content be classified as great. The energy you put in to ensure your content is adding value should be matched with as much energy to ensure your content is personality-rich so that it tells a story your readers can relate to.

A case study about the value of personality-rich content

What happens when you infuse your content with personality? Let me tell you a story and share a case study about personality-rich content.

I wrote a post on my company’s blog that got more Facebook shares than any blog post ever written. It ranks #1 in the SERPs for some keywords despite 50+ other bloggers creating similar content and despite the fact it never got a single Google +1, never got more than 3 retweets, never got shared on Reddit, and it never got more than 3 links.

davidmcohen.com-page1-serps-never-complain-post

The motivation behind writing that post was from a meeting I had with a marketing executive who told me it was, “probably best you didn’t put too much of your personality into content posted on a company blog” and that, “just because people share a post on Facebook doesn’t mean it’s actually good or that they like it.”

Oh how I love a challenge. Here’s the post:

davidmcohen.com-page1-blog-post-personality

How to Never Complain About Anything Ever Again

That post didn’t get 953 Facebook shares and a page 1 ranking in the SERPs because there’s anything spectacular or life-changing about the content. I believe the personality-rich told a story the readers wanted to tell others – this made it good which earned the shares and the ranking.

Because the content you’re creating has likely already been created before it’s essentially duplicate content, so let your personality differentiate your content and make it great. Be appreciated for who you really are and not liked for who people think you are.

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  • David Angotti

    Great post David. I think two good examples of authors that manage to build a following through personality rich storytelling are James Altucher (jamesaltucher.com) and Geraldine Fishkin (everywherist.com) both of which do a phenomenal job sucking readers in. 

    • http://www.davidmcohen.com/ David Cohen

      Awesome examples of personality-rich content. I read both of those blogs and it’s definitely their personality that keeps me coming back for more. I also like Jon Acuff’s blog - 
      http://www.jonacuff.com/blog/. He does a really good job of infusing his content with personality.

  • David Angotti

    Great post David. I think two good examples of authors that manage to build a following through personality rich storytelling are James Altucher (jamesaltucher.com) and Geraldine Fishkin (everywherist.com) both of which do a phenomenal job sucking readers in. 

    • http://www.davidmcohen.com/ David Cohen

      Awesome examples of personality-rich content. I read both of those blogs and it’s definitely their personality that keeps me coming back for more. I also like Jon Acuff’s blog - 
      http://www.jonacuff.com/blog/. He does a really good job of infusing his content with personality.

  • David Angotti

    Great post David. I think two good examples of authors that manage to build a following through personality rich storytelling are James Altucher (jamesaltucher.com) and Geraldine Fishkin (everywherist.com) both of which do a phenomenal job sucking readers in. 

    • http://www.davidmcohen.com/ David Cohen

      Awesome examples of personality-rich content. I read both of those blogs and it’s definitely their personality that keeps me coming back for more. I also like Jon Acuff’s blog - 
      http://www.jonacuff.com/blog/. He does a really good job of infusing his content with personality.

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