Thinking Big About Content

The latest Google updates may have seemed overwhelming and confusing, but it basically boiled down to the idea of providing a better quality of content for people to read. Gone are the comments which are nothing more than links, gone are the articles which are thinly veiled, 500 word advertisements and gone is the keyword stuffing. Google is listening to its readers and what its readers want is stronger, more useful content.

Great, but how do you go from the old fashioned means of doing your work to the new style of bigger and better content? The key is the phrase Big Content which refers to the idea of taking a piece of information and exploring it in bigger and better ways. This means putting more effort into your message and breaking the mold of how you present your information. Let’s take a closer look at that.

Putting the time into it

The first thing to keep in mind is that Big Content takes effort and it takes time. You don’t have to invest a ton of money into it, but you do have to put some thought, imagination and work into the content. If it’s easy for you to do, well it’s easy for everyone else to do and that means it will lose impact. However, one you get used to the idea of doing big content, it does get easier. You build a base of resources, you know how to make the work go smoother and you know how to deal with any risks. And if you make mistakes, it’s fine; just keep going.

Breaking the mold

Big content is far more than writing a seven hundred and fifty word article (though writing good content will always be a good idea). Big content means being willing to experiment with how you present knowledge. They can include infographics complete with links to other media such as video for further explanation, interactive buttons that tell you more information and animated graphics. These sorts of things take more effort, but they are also more memorable and thus more effective in the long term. Plus, for the right people, it’s a lot more fun!

Big things, small packages

Big Thing in small package

Big Content refers to how you go about presenting your information; it doesn’t mean you need to have a hundred pages on the concept! Some of the best big content packages are only a page or two long; the point is that the information on that piece of work has tonnes of information, a culmination of experience, and giving one plenty of knowledge in a small space.

What’s interesting about the small places for big content is that it makes it easier to spread that information around which means your work can end up in books, classroom, events, and other blogs. Furthermore, these pieces often have staying power; some of the most popular ones were written years ago but because they remain relevant and powerful, they still attract viewers. It takes a lot of effort for a small piece, but they end up being some of the most popular and useful pieces around.

Ok, so now that you know what big content is and how it’s approached, why would you do it? There is any number of benefits to this way of giving out information and they include:

  • It lasts a long time. Remember that piece of content you wrote (or that tutorial or fiction piece, etc.) two years ago that is still being bandied about today? That’s the benefit of big content; it lasts. This means that you keep getting viewers, you keep your audience and your site enjoys a continual stream of visitors, even as the site itself ages! Big content also endures Google updates better because no matter what, they are useful and that is what search engines like above all.
  • It’s not easy. That means that when you get an impact advantage, you can keep it! You can always raise the bar to make it harder for competitors to follow and keeps you ahead in the game. Of course, there’s the ‘it’s not easy’ part, but the challenge can be a good thing in itself.
  • It creates an environment of innovation. When you have to change the process about how you are imparting information, you have to look at how best to do that and how best to break the mold! This means looking at brand new ways to direct people to information by looking at information in new ways all of which breeds innovation.

Money and Risk?

Big content takes effort… so does it take a lot of money and a lot of risk? Not necessarily. Of course there will be some risk and you’ll have to sink in some money, but you can mitigate some of the potential damage.

A minimum viable product

You won’t know until you try! If you have a great idea, try it out for yourself, test out the kinks for yourself and then bring others in on the job. You won’t have to pay anyone for your experiments and you can build a plan without fear of wasting anyone’s time. Start with an outline, a storyboard, a sketch and then build it up enough to show others and then see where it goes from there. Get people excited about it and the project will build itself.

Lots of eggs in plenty of baskets

Eggs in baskets
Once you have your initial idea, you don’t have to feel so bad about failure. You should always be working on a few ideas, a few experiments and a few projects. That way, if a couple fail, you’re left with the one that worked. Furthermore, the ideas that failed could still give you some ideas for something that will ultimately work somewhere else. There’s no such thing as a bad idea; just not enough of them.

Find someone passionate

People who love this sort of work will really love and will do very well in it. The motivation to see a big project to the end will help to carry that project, help project owners save time and effort and create something better in the end.

At the end of the day, it’s important to stop thinking small and safe and think big, risky and fun! There are some amazing benefits that come out of it, some good longstanding work and plenty of fun times ahead. So enjoy!

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