I’ve been reading a lot of blog articles lately – averaging around 25 a week (5 per day each weekday) for the last 4 months. It’s just become part of my morning routine. Many of these articles are amazing and some fall short. These blogs range in topics from photography, productivity, science, technology, and history.
The content that resonates with me the most all have three things in common.
Whether inherent or extrinsic, great authors write with authority. That doesn’t mean the author has to be the “end all be all” expert of the content, but the articles that typically add the most value have an air of authority. The writer whether or not an expert, will have solid arguements, vetted references, and personal experience. I find that most articles that I’m drawn to are pretty confident in what they are writing. In other words the content I’m drawn to won’t make me doubt it’s credibility.
I look for an authentic voice when reading articles. Sometimes content can be boring, because people keep regurgitating the same thing over and over again. I like to read articles with a unique and authentic voice, something different.
Out of the 400+ articles I’ve read recently, I’m put off the most with articles that intentionally try to sell me some product that I’m not particularly interested in. The title may be intriguing, captures my attention, but the content is inauthentic and almost deceptive. There’s a massive difference when you read something written from a perspective of a writer who’s persuading the reader of an arguement, vs a writer persuading the reader to buy something.
All great content gives you something to do. Next steps, take-aways, whatever you want to call it, great content demands you to do something after you consume it. Whether it’s defined actions or even food for thought, everytime I read a great article I’m left with the feeling that I must take action.
Authority, Authenticity, and Actionability may not be the only elements to a great article, but it’s something I see time and time again after reading something of significant value. It’s a frame work in which I employ when I’m making a decision whether or not to read an article. Does the writer have authority over the subject? Is he writing from an authetic perspective? What value can I gain from reading the article and how can I apply it?
What do you look for when searching for great content?