Why ‘create great content’ advice is annoying

The generic guidance doesn’t explain how to go about it; the author seeks to remedy that ubiquitous shortcoming with some concrete ideas.

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What “experts” mean by “create great content” is that the tricks of gaming search engines and social media no longer work. What was supposed to be common sense—creating something people want to consume—is not what many content producers did. Instead, most flocked to experts and articles that offered tricks to get their content shared and ranked high in search.

Since Google updated its algorithm with Panda, it’s been harder to trick the search engine. What works now is what worked before the Internet and search engines existed: content that delights and/or informs.

Two ways to create great content

If you’re not following one or both of these steps, you’re either an absurdly talented person for whom genius comes at a whim, or you’re generating crap.

How do you create “great content”?

The Internet is filled with absurdly obvious advice about creating “great content.” Let me summarize:

Great content is original, interesting, and engaging.

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