10 commandments of content creation
1. Thou shalt respect thy user's time
Only 16% of people read websites word for word - they scan to quickly find what's relevant. Help them out by making your content short and snappy.
2. Honour thy personas and keep them holy
Put your audience personas at the forefront of everything you do. Write for them and for no one else.
3. Thou shalt honour quality above quantity
If you're going to do content, do it right. A well-written piece that speaks to your audience will always be more effective than 10 clumsy blogs that miss the mark.
4. Thou shalt not spam
Keep it relevant and personalised but don't act like an annoying telemarketer.
5. Thou shalt not commit format monogamy
There's nothing worse than a page full of text. Spice it up a little with videos, infographics and podcasts.
6. Thou shalt give the user a reason to listen
People will only read what they want to read, so make sure you give them the right information in the right context.
7. Honour thy social networks
Followers, fans, subscribers, whatever you want to call them, are connecting with your brand for a reason. Keep them engaged with valuable content, but don't overdo it or your fans will start dropping like flies.
8. Thou shalt halve thy word length
Studies have shown that people read more slowly on the web and prefer bite sized chunks of content. So write what you want to say, then cut it in half. If you're really ambitious, cut it in half again!
9. Thou shalt not steal (content, that is)
Not only can you get in a whole lot of legal trouble, you'll lose credibility. You can start 'curating' content instead, giving the authors credit and pageviews but also adding value for your customers.
10. Thou shalt remain relevant at all times
This is the big one, guys. If you're a cereal manufacturer and your latest blog was about mortgage rates, you're going to have to fire someone.