People look to tutorials to solve problems, and it’s no accident that as the front door to all the information about everything, the internet has literally billions of tutorials of one sort or another. (Seriously. Google “how to” and you’ll get “About 3,060,000,000 results”.) So standing out isn’t easy. Fortunately for you, while no one sets out to write a bad tutorial, those three billion ‘how to’ webpages don’t all solve problems equally well, and creating good tutorial content is something you can learn.
To make it through 2017 without getting swamped, you’re going to have to be prepared; here’s what to expect when it comes to the content marketing climate.
When you create how-to content, you must go out of your way to provide context for the user. Remember, if they knew everything you know, they wouldn’t be consuming your content.
The idea of giving away content seems strange, especially if you’re selling content, but there are lots of reasons it’s to your advantage.
Personas are important because they let you know who you’re talking about and what’s important to that person. How are you going to “enter the conversation that’s already in their head” if you don’t know what that conversation is?
If you’re going to write truly useful content, it’s not about you. It’s about your audience.
I’ve been a little disturbed lately by a trend of complaining about the term “content creator”. Usually the complainants are writers who feel like the term sucks the life out of what they do and reduces it to just filler. I think they’re wrong — or at least, they should be.
If you look at things from a distance, you can see story in the general flow of your life. You get a new job, you’re excited about it, you’re enjoying it, and things either go well until some high point victory that you celebrate, or they go south until some climactic event causes you to look for something else.