Josh and Amber are big fans of reading. Amber reads at last a half hour every day, and she just finished The Testaments, the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood. They talk about literature, and what makes content compelling. That translates into blog writing because you want to write content that keeps people engaged and reading.
Josh says, “It’s hard to become that good of a writer, but you’re practicing every day as a blogger… Write well, and keep people’s eyes moving down the page.”
Amber points to Alas Babylon by Pat Frank. It was assigned reading in high school, and it accomplished the teacher’s goal of inspiring her to love the dystopian genre. She says, “You’ve got to find that stuff for yourself. And, you’ve got to learn how to write that stuff for your audience.”
It doesn’t have to be a Pulitzer-prize winning masterpiece. That’s not what you’re after, but you should shoot for writing compelling content, like Michael Crichton. You’re a writer and you’re writing for a particular audience, but there is a “balancing act,” as Josh says. “Authors have always had this necessity of focusing on the fact that they need to make money as well as the fact that they want to write what they want to write.”
When you start blogging, you can start off with a more conventional blog. As you go, you can start taking risks and making compromises to make the content reflect what you’re passionate about. Amber says, “If you believe in your content, your readers will come.” She talks about her Black Velvet Halloween Trifle recipe, which still ranks.
Write for People
Josh says, “Write for people. Just write… If you need to add SEO, do it after the fact.” When you keyword stuff, you’re not writing for humans. You’re writing what you think Google wants. “You don’t have to write bad content in order to get ranked. You just don’t,” he says. “Google wants you to write good content, and they want people to like reading it. Google’s goal as a company is to get people stuff they want to read.”
Amber talks about the chocolate mayonnaise cake that she’s always loved, and they talk about why deleting content is not a good idea. You start out some way. If you have good content, go with it. If it’s good content, it will rise to the top. “Just because it doesn’t feel relevant right now doesn’t mean that it wasn’t relevant at one time, and it doesn’t mean that it won’t be relevant to someone else.” That’s what it’s all about. Amber says, “Theory of Content is absolutely about why we make content.”