It’s Not About You: Why Sharing Beats Shouting

By Posted in - ALL & Content Creation & Content Strategy on February 26th, 2016 0 Comments

That page isn’t going to fill itself.

You’ve been staring at the computer for a while now. Civilisations have risen and fallen in the time it’s taken you to write a paragraph, and you deleted that long ago.

So what’s so hard about words?

Here’s the stumper, content fans: In a world where (in theory) anyone can be heard by everyone, we reckon that’s the aim. We believe that every post should be eye-opening, incendiary, unique, ground-breaking and just plain smart, and we reckon we should be able to pull it out of our heads like a children’s party clown.

We exhaust ourselves in the largest town square in human history; an amphitheatre of chirpy hashtag gladiators faking-it-until-we-make-it with whatever we can find to swing around. And after all that, we’ve forgotten the most important life lesson; The one we’ve learned from a lifetime of dinner parties, company meetings and quiz shows.

No one likes the smart-arse that knows everything.

So what’s the alternative?

Accept you’re learning. Accept the universe is a vast place full of ancient and emerging knowledge, and that we’re only scraping the surface. Accept that not everything is the final answer, and that you don’t have to be at the end to start writing.

Write about the journey you’re on, not the one you think you’ve finished.

If you’re staring at a blank page right now, willing the end of the universe, try this:

ASK QUESTIONS

Often, when blogging or creating content, we rack our brains thinking about what we know that makes us special, informed and authoritative. And unless you swallowed the Internet recently, you’re going to run out of steam pretty quickly.

So instead of thinking about the answers we know, why not think about what answers we want to know?

Instead of pulling a muscle trying to answer everything ourselves, we can create compelling content by tapping into our contact book. It’s a technique used by everyone from journalists, bloggers, podcasters, and anyone who ever looked for a restaurant tip on TripAdvisor. And you don’t need a socialite’s pocket book to do it.

Struggling for advice? Interview a range of people who have done different things, and spark a debate.

SHARE WHAT YOU’VE FOUND

If you’re interested in mastering your craft, you’re on the hunt for knowledge. So what’s stopping you from sharing it when you’ve got it?

Most of the decent email newsletters in your inbox feature a selection of articles from people who aren’t the sender. That’s because they’ve realised that most subscribers want lessons, not lectures. They want to find out what’s going on, all the things that people are doing out there, and see what works for them.

That’s not to say that your twitter feed should just be a series of links, presented without content. Read widely, react, and invite discussion.

Which leads us to…

WELCOME DISCUSSION

Fear the statement. Embrace the question.

We worry about what lurks in the comments these days. But the right enquiries can open up a world of knowledge. DO NOT ASSUME that your readers know less than you do, or that they’re hanging on every word. You can always learn something, or see something a different way.

The best bloggers and conversationalists are always open to hearing debate, learning about examples, and hearing different approaches.

Invite a conversation, and you’ll always get a better response.

UK-blogger and social technologist Christian Payne talks in a recent Anchor audio clip about the need to “connect with kindness”. It’s a fair point. People react far better to someone if they feel like they respect their view, and both learn more as a result.

Blogging isn’t about knowing everything. It’s about feeling for the answers to interesting questions.

So share your journey. Enjoy the ride. And keep us in the loop.

Want to learn more about creating great content? Get in touch!

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