It doesn’t matter if you post to your blog or Facebook page hourly or weekly. Successful posts can be short or long. What does matter, from a reader’s perspective, is that whatever you post adds value. If it does, readers will look forward to your posts and are likely to recommend your site; if it doesn’t, readers will “un-follow” you in a hurry.
What Makes Content “Valuable”
- Authenticity. Nothing alienates readers faster than finding out that the person they’re interacting with is not actually that person. Marketing consultants may write your blogs or monitor your Facebook page and nobody will object — until the writer tries to impersonate the “concerned company owner personally taking care of a problem” or a “clever lead carpenter telling a funny jobsite story.”
- Useful information, not thinly veiled advertising. What would you think of someone running around a cocktail party forcing business cards on everyone or leading with, “We offer extraordinary service at competitive prices … .” You’d quickly find a way to find somebody more interesting to talk to. Instead, add useful information to the conversation and readers will find your website or project album on their own.
- Relevance. Tweeting “GR8 DAY 2DAY — found a way 4 RenderPlan Pro 2 X-port the BLUESURF layer in-sync, w/o defining a central datum point!” might be just what your “3D CAD” list wanted to hear, but to a typical homeowner you’ll come across as an uber-geek or a crazy person.
- Fresh and new, not “Been there done that.” Your content is only valuable if it’s new information. “Getting Your Home Ready for Summer/Fall/Winter/Spring” or “How to Carve a Turkey” might seem like good topics, but only if you provide something that’s faster/better/cheaper than common knowledge or, better yet, debunks current thinking.
- True value (i.e., think before you post). Although your content is “free,” there’s still an important cost to the reader: their time. The longer it takes someone to process the information you “give” them, the more valuable that information must be.
And remember, “value” doesn’t just mean “instructional.” Brightening someone’s day with a funny picture could be valuable to them, as could something thought-provoking. Bottom line: If every remodeler would simply ask, “Is what I’m about to do going to provide real value to my readers?” they would get much better results from their Web presence.
—Joe Stoddard is an industry consultant helping remodelers be successful with their technology. Reach him at Twitter, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.