Ok. Some background.
Mail Order as a business model was practiced by early retailers, like Sears Roebuck in the 1800′s. However, the model wasn’t really seen as an entrepreneurial path until the 50′s and 60′s, as epitomized by a slew of books that hit the stands around that time. These books captured the principles of drop-shipping and how “anyone” could become rich by doing this.
Other, larger companies obviously took greater advantage of direct mail pieces to the home until, by the late 1990′s, the average American could probably build a house made from the catalogs, postcards, and letters they were getting EVERY DAY!
At first, this really was brilliant marketing. No one (or few) had done it before. There was far less junk mail (the term was only codified in the 1950’s) in those days. If you got a special offer in the mail from a business, it really stood out.
Not any more though, right? Even now in the Internet age, our physical mailboxes are still being stuffed full of …stuff — so much so, that we don’t even pause before throwing it all into (we hope) the recycling bin.
Ok… now that we have that baseline set…
Grant McDonald on flickr
Content is King… Or is it?
You’ve heard for years now that content is King. But is it?
Inbound marketing strategists still swear by content, content, content… it’s all about the content. You produce meaningful content, you hit it up with some keywords, and your prospects will come running…download your stuff… be impressed…and ask for more and become customers. Easy, right?
The problem isn’t that you don’t have good content. The challenge is that because this was (and is) good advice – everyone has content (ok, not “everyone” — but lots and lots). The market is now saturated with content. It doesn’t matter how well researched, worded, or promoted your content is — just having content doesn’t make it King.
You have to cut through the content noise.
Make Your Content Stand Out
How do you do that?
I have bad news: it’s not easy.
I have even worse news: there’s no one formula.
To make your content stand out, you actually have to make it different.
You have to start producing content that no one else is producing.
- Start Reading: Make a point to read the top blogs in your industry every single day. To really get a handle of what you’re reading, try to comment on at least three. This will help you see what’s actually out there — and what isn’t.
- Keep Writing: Don’t wait for the creative spark before writing. Just start — a little bit each week — or each day if you can manage it. The more you write, the more you will develop your voice. There’s only one you — and if you can develop your editorial style, then you’re one step ahead of standing out in the crowd.
- Try Different Things: If your posts aren’t getting readers, then try something new. Don’t resign yourself to writing one type of post before you know what your readers/customers want. Once you find out what posts get the most clicks, produce more. But now is not the time to get stuck in the box.
Yes, it will take time. But anything worth doing takes time and practice.
And if you want your content to be King, you need to stand out.
How else can we cut through the content noise?
What has worked for your business/blog?