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Wednesday, October 12, 2011 Post By: Grayne Wetzky

How to create valuable content

When I write something on this blog I try to make sure the post covers two criteria: It has to be on topic, which in my case is pretty broad, and it has to deliver value. Creating valuable content is the whole motivation behind starting and maintaining the blog. I find most of my motivation to write in the belief that my posts add value to the internet.

My goal for the work I do here is to provide the most useful content I possibly can. It is definitely a work in progress, but overall I proudly believe that my contributions are meaningful.

There can never be too much valuable content in the world. Producing things of high quality will always find an audience. That is my theory and premise for the work I do. To produce valuable content, this is what I try to do.

No SEO

Everyone who knows anything about internet marketing and driving traffic will call this advice nonsense. After all, driving organic traffic based on keywords is the best way to get people to see your content.

While good SEO is great for placing high on Google I don't do it. When I started freelance writing I did and I got pretty good at it. I was able to write articles that attracted hundreds of thousands of readers. So why don't I do it anymore?

I found that focusing on SEO is focusing on writing for a robot. I ended up carefully finding out what phrases to include in my writing, how often to include them and how to structure the title and intro section to click with Google's search engine.

This way I produced very weak value. My writing became generic and repetitive. Eventually I gave up freelance writing all together. That kind of mechanical writing seemed to be just another job to me. Producing that type of content didn't make me excited to be writing. It didn't make me feel proud of what I had produced.

This is why I no longer give SEO a second thought. Instead I produce content I hope will be of great value and hope that it will find it's way to people if it is good enough.

Solve a problem
Everything I post is written to provide a possible solution to a certain problem or set of problems. The overarching goal of my blog is to help people live life consciously and courageously. That goal requires overcoming a lot of different kinds of problems. My strategy is to give my take on how to move past these issues.

Sometimes my suggestions will not be suitable for everyone, but putting the problem into words and framing it can have value in itself. Many of the things I talk about are issues that we don't really pay much attention to in daily life. I think that just raising awareness about common issues can help people find their own solutions.

Solving problems can take many different forms, from practical explanations on how to make kefir, to exposing hidden causes of common situations that people might not be aware of. This is the reason why I don't post links to funny videos or home made poetry. I love both of these things, but I want my posts to solve problems.

Make something that is yours
There is already massive amounts of amazing content on the internet. I very rarely link to any of it. If I want to create value I need to create my own unique content that can't be found anywhere else. Spreading valuable ideas and cool content is all well and good, but it does not add to the amount of value that is out there.

To increase value, you have to create it yourself. The good news is that everyone has inexhaustible reserves of potential killer content. We have our own habits, tips, clever tricks, old family advice, recipes, profound insights, whimsical observations, etc., etc., etc. Always keep in mind that things you know very well might be a complete mystery to many people. It's common for people to think their knowledge is too trivial to share, but this is never true. No matter how obvious you think something is it can be very valuable content for someone.

Spell better than me
I am a terrible speller. I like to blame the fact that English is not my first language, but that is just a lame excuse. The fact is that I spell poorly and the quality of my posts and blog suffer as a result. I do my best to spell-check everything I post, but I am vulnerable to stupid mistakes.

For example I recently got a comment that pointed out that I had used the word 'heal' instead of 'heel' throughout a post about barefoot walking. I was thankful that someone pointed out the mistake, but also disappointed in myself for the error. Nothing kills your authority when talking about the health of the feet like not knowing how to spell heel. If you have made it to this point of the post, chances are you've seen a few similar mistakes here as well.

This is one of the easiest factors to control. Make sure you always use a spell checker and that you proof read your posts at least once.

Swing for the fences
When creating something, don't stop at making it valuable or useful. Set the goal that whatever you are making will be the best content of it's kind. Write to change peoples lives. Better, write posts that changes the world. For the better. Make it your mission to add so much value to your posts that they are worthy of going viral and touching hundreds of thousands of people.

When you set your sights this high you will produce content of much higher quality. Who wants to stand up in front of the world and deliver something mediocre? Do you get all fired up and motivated about creating something average? Fuel your motivation and creativity by expecting to write things that will set the entire internet abuzz!



  1. I really enjoyed this post, especially the part about why you stopped focusing on SEO writing. Thanks for sharing! :)

  1. I write about my life as an expat in Turkey. It does well because they are enough people out there who are interested in expat life. I don't even think about the whole SEO thing though I seem to rank reasonable highly on Google.

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