Rand Fishkin of Moz talks about 10x content; content so good and superior to its rivals in terms of quality, quantity or – most of the time – both, that it’s destined to achieve high rankings within Google and reap the rewards that comes with it. In essence, it’s 10 times better than the second best thing out there.
He also talks about why ‘good’ unique content needs to die: in short, be great rather than good. Strong words, but not strong enough to stop most sites churning out the same old crap time and time again.
Crap may be a little harsh, but ‘good’ is overly-complimentary most of the time. What is good?
The scale for defining content has evolved over the last five years, and it looks a little like this:
Writing a [guest] post that was unique – used in the loosest possible sense of the word – and included exact-match anchor text links was beyond ‘good’ 5-6 years ago; it was virtually perfect. It did exactly what it needed to.
Whilst these tactics are now outdated, they aren’t dead. They just aren’t enough on their own anymore. Sticking to previous definitions of ‘good content’ falls short of acceptable in 2016.
Sadly, a lot haven’t moved with the times.
Unique no longer means ‘rewording content you’ve found elsewhere’. Unique means insight or information that you can’t read anywhere else, or displayed in a completely original way.
If you can read exactly the same tips on another website but in different words, your content isn’t ‘good’ – even if you’ve got a modern-day Shakespeare fronting up your article spinning campaign.
I’ve put this helpful guide together to help you improve upon absolutely nothing in your day-to-day marketing life, so you too can create content just as bad as everyone else’s.
However, before I get into the nitty-gritty of teaching you how to make the stereotypical, boring blog post – which I’m sure you can’t wait to get stuck into – here are some great examples of 10x content that
I’ve found all by myself Wayne found, and I also stole some from this post on Inbound:
- Appliance City’s Scoville Scale
- Froont’s Basic Principles of Responsive Web Design
- Built Visible’s Messages in the Deep
- Snow Fall from the NY Times
- A Hobbit’s Journey Through Middle Earth
- Map of the Dead’s Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide
- Swissotel’s Ultimate Guide to Worldwide Etiquette
- Superfi’s Hipster Album Generator
- Evo Energy’s UK Energy Consumption Guide
- Leeds Building Society’s Kick My Habits
A great big pat on the back and a patronising rub of the head to those sites and their marketing agencies for such amazing content. Disclaimer: we actually made a couple of those, yay for us.
Why I don’t agree with 10x content
Wayne told me he doesn’t agree with 10x content so I don’t either.
When it’s a client’s money at stake rather than just your own time, creating 10x content may not always be achievable.
Creating something ten times better than everything already out there isn’t easy – especially when people already know they have to create some pretty epic stuff to rank well.
If it isn’t easy, it means it will take time (and money) to work on. If you decide to invest, you had better be damn confident that it will resonate to a level that justifies the significantly increased spend.
So, what is possible to achieve regularly at mid-budget-agency level? 2x content is probably achievable, 3x content might be pushing it depending on how saturated your niche is.
Besides, there’s nothing wrong with being twice as good as the best thing out there. Just look at Lionel Messi AKA Cristiano Ronaldo v2.0 [/footiebants].
What is essential is that you make the best content you can for the money available. It’s better to write a smaller number of high quality posts than it is to churn out posts that no-one will read on a daily basis.
Anyway, enough about great content, you’re here to learn about how to be truly awful – how else are you going to blend into obscurity with everyone else?
You aren’t going to make anything as good as the examples included above, right? So why even bother trying…
Top tips for producing shit blog posts
The absolute best ways you can ensure your content is 10x shitter than what ranks #1 in Google
Make sure you’ve got meaningless targets to hit and that the HiPPO has chosen them
Rather than targeting something useful like how many views your post has received, or how many leads it’s helped capture, why not base your targets solely around how many posts you should write in a given month?
I recommend writing a minimum of five blog posts a month for no reason other than the fact I like the number five at this exact moment in time. Ensure to raise this target if you want your posts to be even less inspiring.
Re-use listicles from other sites, but reduce them in size. Who even has time to write that much anyway?
Top 50s or top 20 lists can be great, but do you know what really isn’t? Top FOURS.
Be sure to scout around the internet for a popular post, or simply pop a subject area into BuzzSumo to make this process even easier. Once you’ve found something that’s been successful enough, go on to trim the fat. By “fat” I mean the things that other people might find useful, but you don’t really understand.
Nothing says “don’t come back to my site ever again” quite like four quality tips that you can read on literally any other site in your niche.
I’ll award bonus points if you can create a listicle with less than four tips in it, with absolutely no unique insight, of course.
Post exactly the same industry news as everyone else, but late. “Better late than later,” my grandpa used to say. What happens if you leave things too late in the fast moving online world? You die. Damn it, grandpa.
If your main aim is to never stand out and grow your traffic and business at a rate of approximately 0% a year, then this is one of the best things you can do.
No growth + no additional earnings + countless hours spent writing the same stuff as everyone else…but worse. Profit?
Ensure to always be be around a week late to post your ‘news’, and put exactly the same ‘how this can affect your business’ spin on it that everyone else has done before you. You definitely won’t stand out doing this, which means it’s one of the most effective ways there is to write a perfectly shit post.
If you’re in a niche so tiny that you actually have a reasonable chance of becoming a go-to source for news, I’d give this one a miss. Coping with unwanted attention and the revenue that would come alongside it can be a real pain for some. This tip is strictly for those that want to waste their business’s time and resources.
Aim for 0.1x content. Aiming high is for schoolkids and sober people.
Like I mentioned earlier in this post, 10x content is unachievable for a lot of businesses the majority of the time. And besides, why would you want to be ten times better than what’s out there when the end goal for so many is seemingly boring, meaningless content?
For those reasons, you shouldn’t even bother trying to make good content. In fact, I recommend aiming for content significantly worse than what’s already out there. That’s what a lot of other sites seem to be doing, so it must work.
It’s with these high standards that you can guarantee you’ll make absolutely no additional revenue.
Answer questions that have already been answered. Because they need answering again, but this time by you – someone way less qualified than the last person who said it.
Some questions are asked time and time again online. 9,900 people in the UK search for the exact phrase “how many calories should I eat?” every month.
I know what you’re thinking, wouldn’t it be great to have a tiny piece of that pie?
33,000,000 results? Let’s make that 33 million and ONE with a post nowhere near as good as those at the top of the SERPs.
With the low domain authority your site has compared to the likes of the NHS and BuzzFeed, you should easily be able to achieve a ranking of around the 185 mark. This will be good for approximately 1 visit a month, if you’re lucky.
There’s a big difference between aiming for a small piece of the pie and scrapping for the crumbs.
Infographic because infographic. Because infographic.
You absolutely have to include an infographic in your blog post, because you’ve read that infographics work really well, right?
Who CARES if your blog post is about the top 10 products on your crappy website? INFOGRAPHIC.
Meaningless local awards you’ve
paid for won? INFOGRAPHIC!
Who will link to your infographic? No-one.
Who will share your infographic? A few people. All of which work for your company. No-one else.
How much time will it take to create your infographic? How amateur will the end result be?
These are two very important questions for determining whether or not your god awful post needs an infographic.
If it will take you way too long of a time that you can possibly justify: infographic.
If it will make your company look more-than-slightly embarrassing: infographic.
Publish an industry report that inadvertently criticises your own business’s ability rather than the industry itself
If you really hate having customers, there’s a really great way to end up with none: indirectly tell the world you’re not very good at what you do in the form of a 2,000 word analysis.
But no-one would be that stupid. Right?
Blatant targeting of keywords for the purpose of ranking your SEO Nottingham Best Nottingham SEO Agency SEO Company Nottingham website
It doesn’t read well for anyone browsing your Cheap SEO Best SEO company Nottingham UK More Keywords Here website and Google won’t like it either.
Even people outside of the SEO industry know exactly what you’re doing…which is what makes it so damn effective for being shit.
Be sure to utilise your blog to spam the keywords of your target clientele; you’ll win all the short-term clients that end up making your life a misery.
Poor garmmar, mxied with a dry, enungaging style. Simple. Boring. Best. Win.
First draft? Second draft? Tenth draft?
DRAFTS? What are these inefficient numpties playing at?!
There’s no such thing as a draft if you want crap content.
First run goes straight to print.
Don’t bother proofreading, just hit publish and don’t worry about any embarrassing typos. You probably didn’t make any anyway.
A really good post would round-up all of the helpful tips and summarise them in an easy-to-digest tidbit, perhaps making the most of a ‘TL;DR’ (too long; didn’t read).
Shit posts don’t have a conclusion.