I am among those people who always look at their writing and say, “this is bad; terribly bad, rotten bad, scary bad! This stuff shouldn’t get published. My readers will be annoyed, disappointed, even angry.” Then I review my writing once more, make sure that it is covering all the aspects of being deemed a good enough content, take a courageous puff on my cigarette and publish the stuff anyway. Because a good enough content is often good enough.
What is a Good Enough Content?
There are fundamentally three things to be considered for a content to be good enough. You don’t have to write brilliantly every time. You just need to write it like Hemingway.
Of course you’re writing about something on your blog. Does the content blend in without much trouble?
When you’re writing for someone else as part of a writing gig, you have little chance to deviate from what you’re being asked of. You’re usually provided with all the useful metrics that guide your content from the very first word typed. It is very common that you’ll have a general idea about how long your article is going to be or exactly what pictures and videos are to be used alongside or sometimes even the key points which your article is going to cover.
We’ll need to always keep in mind those metrics when writing our own happy little blog posts too. Yes, they are the outlets of your creative energy. Still unless they’re following a basic pattern, they’ll begin to lose their relevance with respect to your blog.
Write about topics that gel well with the bigger purpose of your blog.
You’re not writing for yourself but for your readers. Will they be interested enough to read your content? Why should they read it? Is the content providing some kind of value to them?
People say to make your blog post titles catchy. Okay, but what happens after someone clicks on the link? You still have to hold their attention longer, ideally for the entire length of your content. That can only happen when that someone finds something valuable in your article. It could be some useful tips, a different perspective to look at a topic or even some motivational boost.
Always try to write something that you yourself can read again and again. Even if you don’t want to admit it, you were always the biggest critic of your own writing. Use that to your advantage. Create something that is very hard to ignore.
That’s where writing like Hemingway comes in. Is your content using short sentences, being to-the-point and absolutely clutter-free? Can anybody reading your content, irrespective of their education or experience, understand what’s being said?
Of course you have a niche for your blog. Everybody does. Of course you have a certain kind of visitors in mind when you’re writing. Everybody does. But what about the rest of them? Can they understand your content too? Because only when they can, you can mark yourself as a successful content marketer.
If understanding whatever you’re writing requires technical knowledge or expertise related to some field, the content created will have a very narrow scope. Try to be as inclusive as you can, while still catering to your niche readers. I can tell from my own experiences that the niche readers themselves don’t mind the simple language at all. In fact, they get excited about showing it to someone they know who can now understand the things they’re excited about. It’s a win-win for all of you.
Good Enough Content: Last Words
- Since we were talking about Hemingway, he once said, “I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.” If you have a blog, you have to be satisfied with “good enough” content as you can not possibly produce stellar blog posts every time you try to put your thoughts on the keyboard. But identifying the ‘shit’ is also important. If you find some content simply not being at par with your expectations, be ruthless at dealing with it. Or even better, try to edit it so it can enjoy its life a bit more.
- That takes us to editing; constant, perpetual editing. However hard your day, your primary focus should always be on producing consistently. Your secondary focus should be on editing your existing blog posts. That takes the ‘shit’ and turns them into acceptable or ‘good enough’ content. Maybe if you continue editing the same piece, someday it’ll be able to show you gratitude. You’ve heard about low-hanging fruits, right? Sometimes a proper nudge will take them to be your top-performing content. That may take days of editing, still we have to keep on trying.
Competition is the norm these days. So many people are fighting for the same thing in this world “red in tooth and claw”. Burnouts are more common today than it was even ten years ago. Acceptance of ‘good enough’ may thus seem like an irrelevant piece of suggestion to you, but you have to remember the key point of this post.
Anything can be refined to be called great one day. Till then, being satisfied with ‘good enough’ is often good enough.