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Interesting Is Tougher Than It Sounds
By: Dana Severson
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Interesting is tougher than it sounds. I ran across these words the other day when reading about social media, and couldn’t agree more. It’s tough to create content, and even tougher to create content that’s interesting — let alone relevant or valuable.
But it’s not impossible…and here, you probably thought I was going another way with this.
Existing content is probably the easiest material to source for new content. And I’m not just talking about previous posts — something I’ve recommended in the past. Instead, go offline. Look at white papers, case studies and research reports already written for you, and then boil them down to 400 words or less.
Consider presenting old content in a new way. An infographic is a perfect example of this. Yeah, you may be recycling — or reimagining, really — existing content, but it’s far more palatable and easier for your audience to use and share. Just drag the most interesting points and drop them into a template. Ta-dah!
Pose a question, like “the greatest challenge of X” or “the biggest benefit of Y,” and then compile all the best answers in a post. Twitter is ideal for the ask; responses are limited to 140 characters or less — talk about bite-sized remarks. But to add more visual interest, use an infographic instead of a list.
Tutorials are some of the most shared posts on the Web, and can easily translate into subscribers. But instead of rehashing how to do this, that, or the other thing, use a success — better yet, a failure — to truly teach your audience something. When you tap into the personal, you tell a story, and nothing’s more interesting or relevant or valuable than that.
Block on top of block of text can make the most avid reader blurry-eyed. To keep people coming back, mix the media — a standard blog post one day, an infographic the next and a video the day after that. Plus, varying the format gets those creative juices flowing. But as with everything, keep it short. Five minutes of a talking head holds little interest to anyone.
And above all else...

Question everything you post before you post it. In our rush to create content, we often forget to ask ourselves if what we’re sharing is actually share-worthy. Would you share the content if you didn’t write it yourself? Would your friends or colleagues find it interesting? Would they think it relevant? Or valuable?

If the answer is “No,” rethink your post. 

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About the Author
Dana Severson is a freelance copywriter and marketing consultant in the Twin Cities area. Find him at his website for a little downhome advice. 
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