Content as Jewelry – Making it Sparkle

eh-lighting2Confession: I love jewelry that sparkles – preferably a lot. To make stones sparkle, they have to be cut to catch light. To be attractive, they need to be shaped. To be displayed, they have to be set. Stones come in many colors, sizes, cuts and shapes. But, they all start out as a rough piece of rock.

Content is the same way: rough at first, then shaped, cut, colored, polished and set. Here’s an update on an article about how to take a content relevancy test that will help you polish your content and make it more appealing, effective and attractive.

Is Your Content Full of Junk or Jewels?

Take the Content Relevancy Test [CRT] and Find Out

To request permission to reproduce or republish this article, contact connect AT corywestmedia DOT com.

Instructions: Read through the CRT. Print out. Read again. Jot down actions to take to make your content more relevant. Take action. Test results. Refine approach with every post.

You Content is Related to the Outfit – how?

Being related to someone or something conveys a connection that goes beyond temporary interactions. Who are you in a relationship with? List new, building, mature along with healthy, in need of healing and on the way out. Consider all avenues: client, computer, family, social, spiritual, etc. You’re starting to build your ideal reader/client profile.

Experiential – process?

What happens in your relationship? Do you learn, teach, mentor, report, commentate, advise, give? Every action you take produces some kind of interaction. Making it mutually beneficial increases the likelihood that you’ll both benefit and that the relationship will continue to grow.

Life Application – when it happens

Where did you meet? How often do you get together? What do you expect to happen when someone gets your message or hears from you? Setting intentions to shape the relationship and follow a long-term vision helps you both stay committed. Continually updating your contacts, readers or clients with news and ideas keeps the relationship fresh and vibrant.

Education – help them understand

Not everybody gets what you do right away. Confirming understanding is a thoughtful step, if you can do it without being condescending. Often the most uncertain time is at the beginning of a relationship. Make your connections feel comfortable by offering levels of information. Don’t be surprised if beginners turn out to be your biggest audience.

Voyage – tell stories that give them a passport

Case studies [solution, approach, result] walk your reader through how the relationship will work. If they can see themselves in the story, they’ll be more likely to relate to working with you. Come up with a half dozen or so of your best results stories that each portray a different angle of your expertise. Then, get an audio or video [best] testimonial to use on your site or blog. If you have a process, map it out for them.

Alignment – veering back from being off-topic

Sometimes you want to comment on something that’s seemingly completely irrelevant. Start out with the story and twist it back to tie into your topic. Build a frame you can overlay into any subject and you’ll convert interest from hot topics over to your message.

Nuances – how you’re different

Everyone has a thumbprint, now make a brand print that sets your content apart. And, stick to it. Writing in the same voice every time keeps your readers engaged and comfortable. When you change tone or nuances, you’ll confuse them and lose them. Develop a style that’s comfortable for you – because it is you. Don’t try to be someone else. Admitting your failures humanizes your content and your relationships.

Convince – persuade with passion

Being passionate about what you write comes through. If you’re faking it, your readers will know. Rather than persuade them, you’ll reroute their interests elsewhere. Remember English 101? Start with a thesis statement and then write three paragraphs that support your argument. Outline what you’ll write about and then fill in the blanks. One more thing – write your headline first. Crunch the feel of the content down into seven words or less and then get going.

Yellow – glow in the relationship

After you pass the relevancy test, stay focused and keep glowing. Accept that some readers will leave. Reward those that stay with a steady stream of relevant content – from you and from them. Communication is [at least] a two way channel. Ask them what they want and they’ll tell you what to write.

What makes content sparkle for you?

Image credit: Barbara Rozgonyi for from the lighting series

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