3 Questions Content Producers Must Answer

This article was wrtitten by Charlie Gilkey.

Have you ever read a non-fiction book that was so poorly structured that you couldn’t finish it, because you were constantly confused about what you were supposed to be learning?

I know I have. And I know that my not being able to finish it or not learning whatever I was supposed to wasn’t my fault — it was the fault of the author and their editors.

Learning is a journey. Effective teachers help students navigate that journey smoothly. The major difference between learning on your own and learning from a teacher is the fact that the teacher knows where you need to go and how to help you get there.

Content marketing is a form of teaching (among other things), so what’s true of teachers is true of content producers.

Teaching via content marketing requires you (the content producer) to know where your readers are, and to have a plan that will help them get there. If you do it well, your readers learn what you’ve promised and are better off.

If you do it poorly, they’ll end frustrated and dissatisfied with you, for the same reason we’re dissatisfied with those murky authors.

I’ve come up with three simple questions to help make sure your readers are never disappointed in you, and don’t lose track of what you’re trying to impart …

Effective teaching requires planning

Good teachers can show up and wing it; great teachers plan their students’ journey and stay on track.

Why are the latter better? Because they make the content they share subservient to their students’ needs, rather than making their students’ needs a secondary, almost accidental, consideration.

Yet many, many content marketers show up and wing it every day. Their blog posts are persistently the thoughts du jour. Their newsletters are whatever random information they can send out on schedule. Their social media streams are a constant reaction to what’s going on today.

And their audiences are understandably confused or disengaged. If they hang around, it’s because there are occasional glimmers of brilliance amidst the cacophony.

Developing a content plan helps increase the frequency of those glimmers of brilliance. And those glimmers of brilliance are what will get shared, liked, commented on, and purchased.

Developing a content plan also helps avoid the dreaded “but what do I say?” problem that so many creatives end up grappling with from time to time. It’ll be clear what you need to say, because you can follow your own script.

1. Where are you taking your students?

Here’s a paradox that goes back to Socrates: If you don’t know what you don’t know, how do you figure out how to learn what you don’t know?

A good teacher avoids this problem altogether … assuming the teacher knows where they’re taking you.

Answering that deceptively simple question drives your content plan. Remember, simple isn’t easy: to nail that question down, you have to decide who you’ll be talking to.

 

Read the rest of this article here, at http://www.copyblogger.com/3-teaching-questions/

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