Title: Doing Content Right
Author: Steph Smith
Doing Content Right is a guide for writers wanting to be successful writing to an online readership. Both new and experienced writers can take something away from the book as it covers all areas needed to be successful, and as the author notes, this isn’t always just about writing.
Here’s a breakdown from the author: The Internet has created an age of infinite leverage. But with easy access comes competition. So how do you build a successful blog in a world where millions of other people are trying to do the same thing? This resource has the answers.
- 270 page book that comes in PDF, EPUB, and MOBI (Kindle) formats
- Recorded lessons to digest your knowledge
- 22 printable exercises to cement your knowledge
- A community of 500 creators to help you execute
- 25-question quiz to test your knowledge
- A bonus audio section
I really liked how Steph talked about the importance of balancing creation with promotion. As she says, “People think that if it’s good, “they” will come. Quite the opposite—without intentional distribution, the content ends up sitting there, just taking up memory online.”
Another area that is important, especially to newer content creators is to differentiate yourself. It’s easy to create online these days which is great, but that’s means there’s more people than ever doing it…you have to stand out and not only rise above the noise, but aim for the very top:
…you need to be in the top 5%. – If you’re below this threshold, you no longer get the benefit of the Internet’s infinite leverage, because even 0 x14B eyeballs is still 0. Once you have earned the right for people to care about you, you have outsized gains because that right extends to people all over the globe. It’s like having the superpower.
Steph also emphasized quality over quantity while aiming for consistency and gives some direction on how to do this – I think it’s important to be consistent while realizing every piece you publish isn’t going to be a smash hit, especially if you’re newer to it or new to the area you’re writing about…but you need to publish in order to find your voice and audience!
As I just mentioned above, there’s directions on how to take action in each area. Steph includes exercises at the end of each section to help work through the book and come up with implementable take aways. I skipped around and did the ones that I thought would be useful and found them to be very helpful.
One note about these – I was reading on my Kindle and had to switch to my computer to grab some exercises, it might be better to read through the book on an iPad or laptop if you’re going to be doing a lot of these exercises.
Steph goes into detail on SEO basics for a writer, and as anyone familiar with SEO knows it’s tough for recommendations and content to stay up to date after more than a couple of years. I would urge anyone new to publishing online to certainly read through the SEO sections but to then seek out a recent guide from content-centric SEO for more up to date tool recommendations and best practices. I don’t have any big issues with this section, it’s just tough to be totally current when the book was published about 4 years ago.
I’m glad I took the time to read through Steph’s book and had many takeaways that I think will help me improve not only my writing, but my processes and outlook.
I would recommend Doing Content Right to anyone who is regularly writing online and wants to see an improvement in results in terms of readership, engagement, and conversions. Also, anyone new to publishing online will find this to be a goldmine of information, especially with the exercises included.