How Do You Define Great Content?

Today I’d kind of like to open it up and talk about how you define “great content.” After all, that’s one of the popular buzzwords these days, along with “killer content,” “unique content,” and “engaging content.” They all pretty much go hand-in-hand, but they all mean different things to different people, and their meanings can vary from blog to blog.

How Do I Define Great Content?

1 – It’s Unique

No matter what niche you’re reading there are other blogs in that same niche, and each niche has a limited amount of information. In my mind, a great blogger is someone who can present that same information that’s found on dozens of other blogs and make it unique. He can present a fact or an idea and give it his own angle, his own twist, and tell me why that fact or idea should be interesting to me, his reader.

For example, look at political blogs. There was only one vice-presidential debate last year so they all had the same limited amount of information to cover. Yet some blogs presented it from a Republican woman’s viewpoint, some from a Democratic woman’s viewpoint, some from a liberal Democrat viewpoint, some from a conservative Democrat viewpoint, and so on. And each blogger made the information relevant for his audience.

2 – It’s Fresh

A great blogger keeps it fresh. There are millions of bloggers out there in the Make Money Blogging niche and they all talk about the same tired old topics.

For example, how many years have bloggers been using Twitter to promote their blogs? Yet, we still have bloggers out there regurgitating the same old Twitter tips to get more traffic. What about some new ideas for using Twitter to promote your blog, like Twitter chats and Twitter parties? That’s a fresh idea and it’s something that hasn’t already been covered two or three times over by every blogger on the planet.

Every niche has basic information you have to share with your readers. But a great blogger can also make it fresh.

3 – It Answers A Need

When I visit a book review blog I might be looking for a review of a book, information about an author, or a character or plot analysis. When I visit a cooking blog I might be looking for a recipe, a technique or a recommendation for cookware. People have many “needs” and a great blogger understands what his readers are looking for.

4 – It Evokes An Emotional Response

Great content makes you feel something or sit back and think. A blog post that makes you sit back in your chair and say, “Wow! I never thought of that before. What a unique way to look at it.” (Did you notice? There’s that word “unique,” again.) Or it makes you literally ROF and LYBO, or it makes you laugh, cry, happy, angry, fearful, or question the meaning of life.

5 – It’s Well-Written And Concise

Great content doesn’t have to follow all the grammar rules, but it does have to be well-written and concise. No off-topic ramblings about what the blogger had for breakfast. Be yourself and use a conversational tone, but please follow a straight line and get to the point.

6 – It’s Not Self-Serving

I don’t mind it when bloggers link to relevant content in their archives, but great bloggers tell me why they’re linking and why it’s relevant. Lately I’ve seen too many blog posts that say, “Hey, I wrote this really cool post last year and I think it’s still relevant today. Here’s the link. Check it out.” What?! Or they create this really long post and every other paragraph starts with a link and the sentence, “In a previous post I wrote…

7 – It’s Easy To Read

It boggles my mind that so many bloggers don’t use any formatting at all. They just type everything out in one long, never-ending paragraph and hit publish. It may truly be “great content” but if nobody can read it, how will they ever know?

Just my opinion, but those are seven of the key ingredients that I think make up “great content.” You probably read just as many blogs as I do. So let’s hear your opinion. How do YOU define a great content?

Stéphane Kerwer
Article written by Stéphane Kerwer (1995 Posts)
Bonjour from a french guy. My name is Sté Kerwer and Dukeo is my blog. I do most of the heavy lifting in here but from time to time, you may see some guest posts. To receive updates from Dukeo, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.
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2 Comments (Add one)

  1. Eric Wittlake

    Hi Ste,

    Good points. I would just make a couple tweaks to this personally:

    Fresh? Personally, I’m ok with old too, my key is relevant. Michael Porter’s HBR article “What is Strategy” is still relevant today, almost 20 years after it was written.

    I would also say it needs to be a pleasure to read, listen to or watch. You really hit this already with layout and writing style, but the experience with audio, video, slides, etc is also key.

    Everything else you wrote… Exactly. Nice list!

  2. Tom De Baere (@tomdebaere)

    Hi Ste,

    I agree with Eric. I guess that you can only really understand what’s behind you are saying if you are “into content”.

    You are touching what’s at the heart of content.

    I would like to add the following : human. You need to feel that it’s written by a human, preferably by one of your peers, because those you trust.

    Thanks for this. I’ll share it.

    Warm regards,

    Tom De Baere