Improving the quality of your posts can be a time-consuming process. But it can be very rewarding and fun. There are many communities that are looking for undervalued quality content. In this post, we give you some guidelines and give you some tips to make it easier.
What is quality content?
We heard that content is king and that everyone who produces content should write high-quality content. But how do we measure the quality of our content? We at XPOSED know that quality is based on opinions and is subjective. This could be interesting if you combine the art of storytelling and an understanding of basic human behaviour. Each person has a different view on quality. Since every one of us has their own values and beliefs, we can only share our thoughts about quality content. We can tell you how we think how quality content should look. We've written out some guidelines that will hopefully give you a better understanding and help you find a way to express yourself and improve the quality of your content.
You can't have it all?
Other than the creation itself (music/painting/woodwork/streaming/sculpting/photography and so on), presentating your content demands other skills as well: writing and graphic design for example. Skills that you can develop on your own or skills that you can rely on others for.
We often see artists and content creators do collaborations. They all have one goal, and that is aiming for the best result possible. When working with one or more partners, you need to trust each other and be open to suggestions. You need to be on the same page making sure that everyone knows their place in the team.
When working with more than two people at the same time on a project, it’s a good idea to define a clear set of rules from the start.
Can we start already?
Hold on, just one more thing before we dive into the guidelines...
When it comes to content that is published anywhere, there are two sides to the story: the author and the readers both have a different perspective. Both of them are worth considering when creating or reading good content.
The author might have spent a tremendous amount of time creating their content.
As readers we sometimes take that for granted. We don't see that the author had to travel a thousand miles to do research. We missed the fact that they had to purchase a new laptop, camera or other tools. Creating content itself can take days or even weeks to finish as well.
The reader can miss the above points. They didn't ask for it. They simply want to read or see great content.
We can't speak for other readers, but when we read something, we either are trying to find something we can relate to, we would like to know why and how something was created. Maybe we are waiting for an invite, so we can comment on the authors content. Ask questions or give honest feedback, or just simply share our opinion.
While these points of view are fictive, they could give you a second thought whenever you are up-voting or writing content. With that in mind, let's jump straight to our guidelines.
They should work for anybody who would like to improve the quality of their content.
- Be authentic and genuine.
- Original Content.
- Why, how and what?
- Know what you're talking about.
- Stack valuable ideas.
- Be accurate with sourcing.
- Plan and become consistent.
- Offer exclusivity.
- Simple versus In-depth.
©2018 - @xposed
Be authentic and genuine.
You want to start earning money by bloggin on Steemit. When you've just started, you might have some ideas about what you want to achieve and what you want to post. It can be difficult to show your true self.
You probably write in a way you consider to be appropriate and politically correct. You try to avoid those curse words you normally spit out now and then. But if you hide your true identity, your posts will look generic. Just like everyone else's. Disappear in the crowd, and you'll be treated accordingly: with appropriate, politically correct replies that aren't likely to offend anyone.
Let me share a secret with you: you don't want to be treated like anyone else. You want to be approached by people who know who you are and want to reach out to you for who you are. You have important things to share, things you are passionate about, interesting topics to discuss. Maybe you just want to showcase your creations and their underlying meaning.
You just need to be you.
©2018 - @xposed
We all look for others we can relate to and can identify with. We seek stories we can see ourselves in. We want to get motivated or inspired by a lifestyle we would like to have. We want to feel amused or entertained so we can feel happy. We want to improve ourselves no matter what and we are in search of companions we can talk to, share thoughts, laughter, experiences and opinions with, even if only for a brief moment.
You probably heard it more than once: you have to write original content. Why is it so important to write new, unique and original content? Everything you publish on the internet is food for giant search engines. Every phrase, image, title, hyperlink, headline and even GEO locations are collected by Google, Bing, Yahoo or Ask for example. Once it has been indexed the content gets a ranked position in the never-ending list we often scroll through when we are in search for an answer to our question. If the same content has been found, it will mostly always rank lower than the previous source.
Why does it matter to Steemit?
Steemians who have invested in Steem Power are more likely to up-vote original content as it will contribute to the overall ranking of Steemit itself. More original content means more unique content on Steemit for search engines to digest. You can say that original content is highly in demand. A lot of Steemians are trying to earn a quick buck. Most of the time they earn nothing or a few cents. This is where hard work will or should be rewarded.
Why does it matter to you?
Steemit is still in Beta and is small compared to Social Media Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Instagram. This means that there is a lot of potential for growth. You are a pioneer on Steemit that can benefit once you have created a solid foundation. You can become a stepping stone for other new Steemians who contribute to the platform through time and hard work. Inspire to get inspired.
©2018 - @xposed
Got something holding you back?
Be real to yourself: No one really cares what you do, or what you write about. Even the most inspiring stories become stories that are going to be forgotten. Unless you want a monologue, you better start writing something worth reading and remembering.
There is currently a lot of noise on Steemit: phishing, images plucked from Pixabay without text, copy/pasted articles, plagiarism and identity theft. This noise will slow down the growth of Steemit.
Why, how and what?
We find it more interesting why you did something.What made you create something so awesome? A great photograph, for example, can be great, but there are many great photographers out there. Make a difference and share your intention.
How you did something can be interesting as well. What you write about can easily be simplified when looking at it from a reader’s perspective. Sharing how you created it might contain struggles, challenges to overcome or maybe it was really easy or just a lucky shot.
Even when something isn’t finished yet, there is always a what, whether it be a process or a finished piece of content.
Combining the why, how and what.
What your post is about is subjective, but fundamental. Sharing the why or how you’ve created the what can create a unique story. It will be original, simply because only you can write about that.
Start from the beginning, why did you do it, what thrived you to create it and how did you do it?
Know what you're talking about.
One important rule is know what you talk about. If you don’t, point that out and be transparent. It is basic human behaviour that you will feel more comfortable and confident when you talk about something you know. Confidence attract. Being comfortable can result in in-depth unique content.
Have you found a topic that you want to talk about? You’re uncertain whether you’re right or not? Educate yourself and do research. Become confident and make it your own.
Stack valuable ideas.
Great ideas can come at the most inconvenient times. During conversations, when you're at work, in class or other situations where you are reserved by someone or something else.
Write them down in a few words in a note, your phone, or something that you’re carrying around. You might not have time right now, but forgetting about it later is regrettable. With a "Write about" list, you can work these ideas out at a later, more convenient time.
The more ideas you have, the easier it will be to pick a topic.
You have absolutely no idea what to write about? Here is a great exercise where you can get tons of ideas in just 5 minutes.
Write down your name on a piece of paper.
- Write down everything you like.
- Write down the things that interest you.
- Write down things that you're passionate about.
- Write down your goals.
And voila! There might be some noise in there, but this is a good start where you can categorize the words you have written down. Turn those words into ideas to write about and there should be enough to think about for quite a while.
Be accurate with sourcing.
In our previous post, we dedicated an article to Copyright and showed you how you could give proper credit to an creator of a work you are willing to use. Even though CC0 1.0 International Licenses do not require an attribution, crediting the author will be beneficial in multiple ways.
- It looks more professional.
- Curators can check on plagiarism faster.
- You do not make the impression that you created the work.
- In some cases, sourcing is mandatory.
- Source your own work.
Saving someone's time can be rewarding, as curators do not have to go through the hassle to find out if the credit has been copy/pasted or has been plagiarised.
Plan and become consistent.
Wondering how planning and consistency can be valuable towards creating higher quality content? It is simple, if you know what to write about before-hand, you will more likely think about your subject unconsciously.
©2018 - @xposed
We asked one of our clients (always in a hurry) the following question. "When is something considered new for your customers?". "Something is new for my customers once they have seen it." He answered correctly, but he didn't understand what we meant with that question. We fired back with "When did you purchased the merchandise?". He purchased the merchandise a few weeks earlier, sometimes he would even buy it an entire season before putting it in the store. We asked him how exactly “new” this merchandise truly was. And that popped the bottle. It is as brand-new, from the moment you have put it out there.
This means you can publish your blog post today, yesterday, but also a week from now. It will still be "brand-new" to the first reader who reads it.
©2018 - @xposed
Become more productive and efficient by planning when you write your content. One of the techniques we taught our clients is to create content for the entire year. We designed a strategy when to post what. With this roadmap, the content creation required hard work. During this process, they could adjust the content where it was necessary.
With planning, you will have more time to think about your content.
Being consistent doesn't only mean good planning and publishing content on the same timestamp every week. It will also keep your credibility. But, consistency can also consist out of repeating the same format, having a recognisable framework, colour use, banners, wording, writing style, and so on. The easiest way to be consistent is to be yourself, with discipline and planning.
©2018 - @xposed
Dutch Mini Pancakes
What would be more productive? Baking Dutch Mini Cakes one by one or baking 10's of them at the same time? Yep, that's right, we saw 48 pieces of content in the first photograph shown above.
©2018 - @xposed
Another way to improve the quality of your content is to make it exclusive. When your content is original, why not post it only exclusively on one platform you find worthy of your content? Where is your audience? Think about it, is sharing really caring? It all depends on with whom you share it to. Valuing your content is a great start to answer this question for yourself.
If you are an exclusive content provider on any platform, you are considered to be of more value to that platform and if your content is good and picked up by the platform.
Simple versus In-depth.
Whether you dedicate yourself to create a simple or in-depth blog post. All you need to know is how to differentiate them from each other. Ask yourself if this piece of content deserves an in-depth blog post about it, or would it justify it to simply create a shorter post about it. You can overkill a piece of content by giving it "too much" time and effort.
We all have projects we are proud of. And we also have every-day projects we are proud of as well. It's up to you how much time you spent on it.
Interacting with your audience is one way to improve the quality of your content. The more people respond to your blog post, the more people might find it interesting. We, humans, love to be in a pack or to be part of something. You might get up-votes from other Steemians, but you see there are no comments on your blog posts. How can you interact? Or maybe we should ask ourselves how we can get a higher chance of interaction.
You can increase the chance of interaction with your blog posts by creating engaging content. Try to involve your audience in your writings. Ask them genuine questions. You can hide them in between your paragraphs to see who is actually reading your content and who is not. Crack a joke, even if it is a bad one.
©2018 - @xposed
When you start to grow an engaging audience, you will have less and less time to work on the appearance of your content. To cover this before-hand, you can create a framework where you can do some pre-formatting. Formatting is basically the general physical appearance of your blog post. When you have developed a framework for your blog posts, you can create a look and feel for every theme-based blog post that is universal and easy to recognize for your audience. This comes in handy especially for those who have multiple returning subjects. Same framework, different format.
©2018 - @xposed
Creating catchy headlines is a must. The title of your blog post should not only be interested, it should be relevant as well. And not only the title is important, headlines that separate your paragraphs could need a catchy headliner that can cover most of the paragraph in one sentence. Most people scan through a blog post and read the headlines to see if there is something interested going on in your blog post. This is a good opportunity to summarize the paragraph in one catchy headline.
What would your headline be if your paragraph was considered to be tl;dr (too long, didn't read).
*** Don't limit yourself with binding yourself to only our guidelines ***
Avoid the following.
- Plagiarism and Copyright infringement.
- Having few to no text.
- Irrelevant tags.
- Irrelevant titles.
- Automated comments/replies.
- Copy/Paste articles you have written before somewhere else.
©2018 - @xposed
There are many options to improve the quality of your content. However, it can be a time-consuming process if you would apply all the above guidelines to all your content. Your audience might think that you've stopped writing content if it takes too long. It is ok to have posts that are not exclusively on the Steem Blockchain. But these guidelines will give you a great head start once you start writing about something you truly enjoy or are passionate about. Please, do not limit yourself by binding yourself to only our guidelines. Be creative, be smart and Steem on!
Read our previous article: Let's talk about: Copyright