If you’ve struggled with success when it comes to blogging, newsletters or even social media, it may be because you’re missing the essential ingredient – value. There are many things you can do right or wrong but, if you aren’t giving value, the rest won’t matter much.
Another thing I know for a fact is that giving value is work and requires commitment. If you’re OK with a little hard work, let’s get back to the part about giving value and look at ways to do that, along with some examples.
Content that is in short supply or in high demand
This is content that can’t be found anywhere else.
- Insider information is a prime example. Or perhaps it’s time-sensitive and can’t be gotten as fast anywhere else. An example is Mari Smith and her exclusive Facebook content. If you are the single source for information that people want, you’ve got it made.
- Once you build your reputation, your opinions could also be included in this category. Many of you will already be familiar with Seth Godin’s daily blog. Your opinions can also garner a high level of interaction from many people. For example, check out the Ethics Alarms blog by Jack Marshall.
Content that is unique, creative, useful, and interesting
I’ve grouped these attributes together because, when I tried to come up with examples for each, there was a lot of overlap.
- Slightly different than sharing your opinion is sharing your expertise. This would include things like teaching, giving advice, and shortening a learning curve. One of my own most popular articles is How to Write the Introduction to Your First Newsletter.
- Curation involves gathering information from a variety of sources and presenting it like a collection with a common theme. A great example of this is the social media update section in Twirp Communication’s monthly newsletter. Even our own Halifax Small Biz event listing qualifies here.
- You can research to create content, or you can create content from what you’ve researched for another reason – the results might be useful to others. Recently I needed to acquaint myself with how the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation applies to charities. It made sense for me to share my findings on my blog.
- Your experiences are unique, as well as your interpretations of them. This content might also include aspects of research. A brilliant piece by Halifax blogger Laurie Dolhan caught my eye recently – extremely useful to crafty Haligonians. Even if you aren’t one, you can still appreciate its value.
- Original work, such as skillful and entertaining writing, can be unique, creative and interesting in its own right. Beyond the written word, think video, audio and photographic. Rebecca Clarke’s photography blog may not be particularly useful (to me) but it sure has entertainment value.
Your newsletter (or blog) doesn’t necessarily have to be about you or what you do but it does have to be valuable to be successful.