How to screw up great content

On Friday, a fellow blogger sent me his most recent post suggesting that I might like it. He was half right. It was a great topic. Right in my sweet spot. The problem was that the article was 639 words and 38 of them were “I”, “me” and “my”. He took a great topic and turned it into how wonderful he was. He’s a great guy, but it wrecked the article for me and I wouldn’t forward it.

Yesterday, a member of the Inbound Networkers Group on LinkedIn posted a link to a landing page on his website. You should know that this particular group is about engaging, not just connecting, following, lurking, stalking or spamming. We meet on-line on Thursdays at noon and the world is invited. We’ve had some great meetings.
So, anyway, back to the member and his landing page. We have 17 rules that start with “Do”. We have for that begin with “Don’t”.
  • DON’T – spam!
  • DON’T – be salesy when you have a conversation.
  • DON’T – post YOUR content, events, stuff in the discussion area no matter how brilliant you are.
  • DON’T – get upset when it gets deleted. See if you can get someone else to say that you’re wonderful or that your event is worth going to.
His content was useful, but I deleted it anyway and I hope that he doesn’t get upset because he’ll be breaking another rule!
So, how do you screw up great content? Make it all about you or post it in the wrong place.

4 thoughts on “How to screw up great content

  1. Rick – OK it was me!For the record however I have written over 300 posts and last week was the first time I posted one that was all about me. I did that for a simple reason, it was about my experience and my feelings and I felt that in this case it should show through. In making judgements about the where and the what regarding content I believe it is important to look at the body of work as a whole, is it a trend? Is it a pattern? Or could it be a one time thing with a purpose?I was not looking for a forward or a push – I simply thought you would enjoy the article and I apologize if my decision this time to use my own experience and perspective rubbed you wrong.

  2. Thanks, Frank! There are so many lessons here.

    I doubt that the other blogger that I mentioned will be commenting because he’s way smarter than me, but your comment allows us both to use the lesson. As most readers know, Frank is a good friend, a consummate professional and he and I have done a lot together. That doesn’t mean that we agree on everything. We have different ideas regarding international and domestic, large clients and small, donkeys and race horses, the masses vs. the rock stars, but we learned a lot about Inbound and Social Media together and, unlike some of our other friends, can agree to disagree on some stuff and still be friends.

    So, let’s do this. Go read Frank’s post and comment here or comment there, but tell us what you think. Is it too me, me, me? Is it justified? Is it a once in a career horn toot? Am I just a heckler looking to ride his coat tails? Could the post have been written differently and been more effective?

    It’s OK to be honest and blunt.

    BTW, if you’re looking for your people to be awesome in 2013, get him to evaluate your team. If YOU are looking to be awesome in 2013, get on my calendar.

  3. Interesting point, Rick, but methinks you had your cranky pants on when you wrote this.

    Stories go a long way to making a point. You taught me that. In fact, you used a lot of stories that started, “when I was a bill collector for 20 years, I…..” and then went on to make some point I was too thick to get without being wrapped in a story.

    Sometimes we tell stories about how other people do things to illustrate our points. If we have become an expert in our field, sometimes we tell stories about how we do things to illustrate our points. I think Frank’s post was spot on because the story he told actually illustrated the point he was making. I thought his excitement and passion for Hubspot was palpable in the post – and that was exactly the point he was trying to make.

    If someone is salesy and promotional all the time, they become one-dimensional and uninteresting – not great if you’re trying to engage readers. I think if Frank’s got one post out of 300 (and even if he had a dozen posts) that are written from an “I” perspective, it shows the reader a range, rather than pounding a single note over and over.

    Oh, and creating a controversy where there is none is one way to get RTs on Twitter.

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