When you’re deciding what content to create for your business, the lure of sexy is tempting.
A new “Top 10” post goes viral. Or maybe a controversial blog post gets featured on a top site and catapults you (and your business) into the spotlight.
A sudden influx of views, shares, and attention is appealing …
But sometimes showing peacock feathers can have a fleeting appeal if you want your reader to take you seriously in the long term.
Here are three signs that your content might be too sexy for its own good.
1. It comes out of nowhere
Superheroes are sexy.
They keep you guessing. You never know when they’re going to show up.
They can disappear for months or years and then burst back onto the scene with a climactic display of their impressive powers.
Okay for superheroes, not okay for your content.
It might feel boring and constraining, but publishing consistently brings results.
I can directly correlate my leads, clients, and income to my publishing schedule: The more consistent I am, the better the results I get, and the more growth I see in readers, traffic, and customers.
While you wouldn’t expect Spiderman to be available at a desk from 9-5, you showing up regularly makes your reader feel secure. It builds trust by proving that you’re around for the long term, and trust is one of the key factors you need when turning readers into customers.
You don’t have to publish every day, or update your social media accounts every 15 minutes. Just pick a timetable and do your best to stick to it. Make it something that you can do if your ideal isn’t plausible.
Alternatively, work out how you can show up more without putting in all of the hours yourself. Maybe you ask for guest posts or, if you’re better at holding calls and webinars, hire someone to turn those spoken materials into written posts or newsletters.
2. It tells you how sexy it is
And so there I was when the conference director said to me: ‘That was the most brilliant talk I’ve ever heard.’ I was so embarrassed.
The above quote was overheard at this event one time, somewhere …
There is a fine line between building credibility and bragging your butt off.
Yes, you want people to know why they should love what you do. Yes, you need to share proof of your results. And yes, you should share testimonials to show your reader that you’re the real deal, to persuade your reader that you are qualified and experienced to help them.
But too much of this and suddenly there is no room in your content for your customer.
If you’re using your blog only to update readers on your company’s latest contracts, acquisitions, awards, and successes, your content might be too sexy for its own good.
There is definitely a place for your achievements, as long as you’re also paying attention to the content that you might find less riveting but that is infinitely more useful to your reader:
- Answering basic customer questions
- Including tips and help for regular simple problems your readers face
- Explaining a difficult subject in layman’s terms
- Producing a valuable report based on hours of research so your customer doesn’t have to
And the third sign that your content is too sexy to be taken seriously by your readers …
3. It’s a fashion victim
There are trends, and there are fads.
Standing out from the crowd is a trend that will be around forever. Fortunately, neon legwarmers were just a fad.
I remember listening to an early interview with Brian Clark and Mark McGuinness, discussing trends and fads — and how it was key to understand the trend, but to be wary of the fad.
For example, there will always be an underlying trend for people wanting to connect socially with each other. However, the different platforms that enable us to do so may come and go as people’s tastes change.
Look at the content you produce. Does it address the issues that never go away for your customers? Or does it leap from the latest big thing to the next?
There’s nothing wrong with relating your content to current issues as long as it ties consistently into the themes you want to be known for.
For example, if you are a social media consultant, a good choice of topical content might be:
- Is Google+ Dead? What This Means to Your Social Media Strategy
- How to Increase Social Shares Using the Celebrity Selfie Technique
- How to Avoid the Social Media Mistakes of these Fortune 500 Companies
Although they are based on news stories that may not be relevant in a few months or years, the underlying themes will remain:
- Increasing results
- Avoiding mistakes
Think about monthly magazines.
They write about the same themes each and every issue, but in a way that is fresh and relevant to new readers and regular subscribers. (You might think there are only so many times you can write about achieving the best bikini body and bedroom tips, but Cosmopolitan has managed to do so successfully for decades.)
How sexy is your content?
Have you ever been tempted to publish content just to turn heads?
Do you find it hard to focus on the content you know needs writing but doesn’t feel “hot” enough?
Have you ever had content envy about a site that has rocked the internet with a head-turning piece of content?
I’d love to know. Send me a tweet or join the discussion over on Google+.
Flickr Creative Commons Image via Nathan Rupert
If you enjoyed this article …
Then consider giving this recent post a read: Should Your Site’s Design Be Sexy or Smart?
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