Estimated reading time: 13 minute(s)
For people who can remember it, life before the Internet is hazy, indistinct. I recall when Internet news articles weren’t socially trustworthy (and now, we still struggle mightily with this). Back then, Google didn’t know much. I still asked Jeeves all of my questions.
The Internet got better. From a strange, little-understood novelty, it’s become a global epicenter of commerce, news, entertainment, and more. For all but the luddites, it’s our everything.
So why does the quality of the content so often suck? Here’s the case for rethinking that—and making your content top-notch.
- The better the content, the higher our collective intellect—and the stronger our collective soul. Content isn’t there to fill space. It ought to make our hearts sing.
Call me old school, but I am one of those rare people in the digital age who always has an actual book close at hand. My books don’t inundate me with pop-ups. Kafka and Dostoyevsky provide satire that isn’t mistaken for sincerity. Paula Hawkins and Caroline Kepnes’ stories bring me inches from plot-twisting, heart-wrenching murders without a drop of blood being spilt. Yet I turn to them again and again for inspiration and the chance to explore of a world beyond my own, if only for a few hours of bliss.
Humans are storytellers. Whether it’s in a public forum online, near the actual water cooler at work, or over a meal, we share our experiences with others. It’s validating, stimulating, and encouraging. When I hear their stories, I can better understand the people in my life.
If new information wants to work its way into my sense of who I am and what I buy, much like a new friend, they will need to “tell me a story.” Tell me my own story. Tell me not only who I am but who I could be. Take me to a world where we are all better because of a deep, relatable story.
- That brings me to my second point: the more transparent and coherent the story, the more readily we can access it, question it, and grow from it. Good content distinguishes itself from the pack, helping us steer clear of all the misinformation.
The words themselves are not enough. It’s how they’re structured that determines the benefit the reader will get from them. Without a clear and concise structure, they become part of the problem–yet more of the incoherent babble that the internet churns out every day.
The best-told stories are like symphonies. Listen to any symphony, and you will hear its music arranged into several movements, each of which carries it harmoniously forward as it builds to a crescendo. Played separately, any of the movements may be pleasant to the ear–but it is as part of a grand, structured whole that the music unlocks its full potential. Play the movements out of order, and you’ll find some of the impact is lost. Play them all at once, and cacophony ensues.
Similarly, even good information becomes meaningless without a structure that supports it. Content that is poorly structured or tries to cram too many ideas in too soon loses all coherence. If your reader struggles to follow your line of logic from Point A to Point B, something has gone terribly wrong.
To keep your content from becoming literary cacophony, establishing a framework of clear information to build upon is vital. The reader will finish your content armed with the sound information they need. By bettering your content, you encourage consumers to demand more of the same and question all the bad, misleading content out there, creating a cycle of ever increasing improvements over time.
- The more connected your company is to this cycle, the better connected people will be to you.
I have never met Ryan Holiday. In the real world, our paths haven’t crossed. Yet I am an avid reader of his blog, rich with philosophical insights and business acumen. On his recommendation, I also purchased—and for weeks, lugged around—a huge book by his mentor, Robert Greene, called 33 Strategies of War. Ryan caused me to trust him. After reading story after story about his life, I learned more about my own. His articles empower me, reaffirm my world view, and buttress my confidence, my friendship choices, my growth. And I perpetuated that by recommending him to friends and friends of friends, and now to you, my reader.
In the internet age, connection has never been easier to achieve. But as every spam folder is testament to, not all connections are meaningful. Your website, blog, and newsletter are a means for you to share something meaningful with your clients and potential customers, establishing you as a source of quality content that they can come back to again and again.
What story are you telling between the widgets? What is the story on your site’s pages? As your company’s go to marketing contact, you know your UI/UX is top notch and had someone meticulously craft that code. Allow us to meticulously design your copy. Connect with us today.
Written by Carli Wright