how to produce great content

How to produce great content [PMP #251]

We are spoilt for choice when it comes to online experts and brands that share content. It’s now easier than ever to start a blog, record and host a podcast or create videos for YouTube. This makes it harder to stand out amongst all the noise on the internet.

Since starting my blog back in 2013 I’ve produced 694 blog posts, over 200 Youtube videos and 251 podcast episodes. When it comes to standing out and how to produce good quality content, there are a few things that have helped me along the way.

Don’t want to read this post? Listen to the podcast instead:


Embrace your personal voice and style

A lot of new content creators look at their industry or niche and don’t feel like they can stand out as their topic has already been covered in detail by other creators or brands.

But this is not the case because your target audience has never heard from YOU. They’ve never heard your opinion or approach and that’s how you can stand out.

Look at Apple product videos. There are probably thousands, maybe tens of thousands of creators on YouTube, podcast creators or writers who talk about Apple products and share tips. I follow a couple of them not because I’ve watched all the content creators and I’ve concluded that these two or three are the best. I watch their videos and listen to their shows because I like their style, their voice and the personality they bring to the content.

YOU are the point of difference.

I hear this all the time as well. Leads approach me for help with Asana and tell me they liked my videos because of the way I explain things.

It doesn't matter if you’re producing videos, podcasts, blog posts, webinars or some other type of content. Experiment with and embrace your personal voice and style. Bring personality to your content. A good place to start is by talking to your friends and asking them what they like about you or what makes you different. They might say that you’re funny, or you’re good at identifying points of view that other people miss. Embrace these points of difference.

Produce content that you enjoy consuming

This is the guiding philosophy that I’ve followed for years whether I’m making a video, blog post or recording a podcast.

This may not even be the best advice. I’m sure you’ll find evidence online as to why blog posts longer than 2,000 words are better because they rank higher on Google. Or why videos of a certain length or format are better for audience retention and engagement on YouTube.

To be honest, I don’t worry about any of this. Rather than trying to create content that satisfies an algorithm, I simply produce content that I personally like to consume:

  • I like blog posts that aren’t too long and just get to the point.
  • It’s the same with video. Often when choosing what video to watch on a topic, I’ll look at the duration and opt for something shorter more often than not.
  • If I’m learning about a topic, I enjoy short podcast episodes that deliver value in 10-15 minutes and don't require me to listen for 2+ hours. Interviews are different, but for consuming advice, I appreciate bite-sized, easy to consume content.
  • With all forms of content, I like it to be as practical as possible with no extra fluff or unnecessary explanations.

As mentioned above, you should embrace your personal voice and style. A good way to do this is to produce content you enjoy in order to appeal to like-minded people. Following this approach means whenever I produce something, I can ask myself: ‘Would I find this useful?’ or ‘Would I enjoy this?’ as a test of its quality.

Use channels that align with your target customer

In terms of what channels to use or types of content to produce, you can follow my previous tip and publish on mediums that you enjoy consuming (podcast, written word or video). But I’d add one more condition; make sure the medium you’re using aligns with your target customer.

For example, I’m looking to attract people who need help with Asana and Pipedrive. Most people looking for help with these tools go to YouTube to find tutorials and tips. So it makes sense for me to produce videos where I can share my screen and show myself using the tool. I can make the best podcast in the world and it wouldn’t be as effective as a video for this particular target market or type of content.

Whereas if I was more of a business consultant who shares advice around strategy, maybe I would rely more on podcasts or blog posts to share advice.

The same goes for marketing yourself and which social channels to use. My target market isn’t browsing Facebook or Instagram to learn about Asana. They’re searching on Google and YouTube, so this is where I spend money on ads.

Be generous when giving advice

Content creators who are selling a consulting or coaching service (like me) are often nervous about giving away too much free advice. And I get it, you don’t want to make amazing content that makes paying for your services unnecessary.

What I find though is that by being really generous, you build credibility and this results in more people reaching out to you as there’s one thing your content can’t deliver; it’s not specific advice.

The reason people still want to work with me, even after watching hours of my free videos, is that they want access to an expert who can help them to apply the advice to their business. They want someone to look at their account and give specific feedback and recommendations that they may have missed (even after watching my videos).

Obviously don't share all your best tips and tricks but don’t be stingy either. Be generous with your advice and this makes selling your services easier as you’ve already developed credibility and rapport.

Solve problems for your audience

And finally, as much as possible you want to create content that solves problems for your target audience.

When coming up with ideas for content, I like sharing general tips and best practices as well. But when you focus on pain points and problems this is where you can really make an impact and deliver value to your target audience.

In my case, when someone finds one of my videos and it helps them to solve a problem they’re having, this is going to leave a mark. Now you’re going to be remembered as someone who helped them to make their life easier. You’ve delivered real value and this is going to help you stick in their mind or reach out to learn more.

People often care more about reducing paint than they do about any ambitions that they have. And what gets people to take action is if you can solve problems or reduce pain. Not always, but I think this is a good general rule to keep in mind.

Thoughts, comments, feedback? Please leave me a comment below!