This is a rewritten reposts of an article published in April of 2014. I’ve been listening to the most interesting music lately — monster music! This game is the latest thing among 5th graders — and it has everything to do with coming up with web content ideas that get attention. Let me show you how easy this is…
My Singing Monsters and easy web content creation
I won’t lie to you. At first I hated the dull, repetitive, guttural sounds. Over and over this one-track little cartoon creature assaulted my ears. As my son Henry happily played with his phone, I couldn’t help thinking the end of our culture was near. “What’s the world coming to?” I thought, in the usual way the older generation dumps on the younger one.
And then something weird and wonderful happened. A second monster joined the first monster and started harmonizing. Hmmm, now this was intriguing.
Soon after, what was once painfully tiresome became interesting, and I started listening. As I listened, over the next few days, I found myself humming the monster song and hearing the melody meander through my brain. Henry had created a fabulous song by adding monster after singing monster to his island. The tune was catchy, even more so because I was aware of all the rich undertones the melody was built on. Check it out for yourself…
What’s that have to do with cranking out web content? I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have a tendency to sound like that lonely monster piping out the same note, measure after excruciating measure. (If you always have a drawerful of blog post ideas, then stop reading right now. But if you struggle with this sometimes, like I do, then please keep reading.)
Why is it so easy to gab about the same old thing in your web content? Because it’s your profession, it’s what you know, it’s your area of expertise. I could write every post about copywriting, how to build a compelling story, copywriting apps and “tricks” to write well, etc… but then I might be in a rut.
Remember the singing monsters if you want people to talk back and pay attention to your web content!
You have a rich life full of glittering, fearless, irrepressible, strange and beautiful parts. You’re different from day to day, you have fascinating edges, curves and facets. If you show some of these dimensions in a unique, even slightly quirky way, you will be remembered. But if you beat the drum of your expertise all day, every day, you become somewhat boring.
Patterns add dimension and bring your content to life.
Ever notice how certain characteristics and mannerisms help you make a connection with people? Maybe people smile when they hear your infectious laugh, or they notice your sense of style because you dress yourself impeccably, or you ask just the right question at the moment everyone is thinking it. Those human personality traits aren’t as easy to show online. In the real world you make an impression in an instant, but online you have to do some extra “work” to be the real “YOU.” Wouldn’t it be cool if it were easier?
Add harmony to your single note.
Think about it. If you are constantly telling your blog followers or Facebook fans just one thing, people will get bored and leave. But if you regularly add some flavor — a hobby, some belief that sets you apart from others, or a dream you’re striving to reach — you will stand out.
People remember patterns. Do they remember you?
Most people respond to, and are capable of holding on to patterns because they keep their attention better than an endless drip of one repetitive message. If you need convincing that it’s okay to stir in your personal interests, a sub theme, or a sideline into your expertise, look no further than this article on patterns in branding, which shows that remarkable brands send a fluid message with several distinct points and counterpoints for people to bounce to and fro. The best brands add this pleasing complexity without being confusing. According to Marc Shillum,
Consistency in human behavior is not derived from repetition alone; it is about the formation and recognition of coherent patterns. Patterns are the way our brains perceive actions, thoughts, memory, and behavior to ultimately inform belief. They allow for differences while creating a whole. Patterns are unique in the fact that they create consistency around difference and variation. Creating a believable and consistent brand begins with the creation of coherent patterns.
The good news is that you can show multiple aspects of your life — your business style, leadership philosophy, hobbies, family, values, etc — and people will remember you because you mixed things up, not in spite of it.
Think of the experience you provide your customers. Do you entertain them, give them something to think about, or shock them sometimes? Do they know exactly what they’re going to get when they see your email in their inbox? If they already know (or think they know), they may start to disengage or unsubscribe from your feed or list.
Don’t let that happen. There’s so much juicy stuff to share.
Now, I’m not advising you to display so many different sides of you that you rattle your clients. (I know I’d scare some folks!) And don’t make things up just to seem exotic or interesting, but, here are some things to think about as you add some mixture to your expertise, whether your brand is personally represented by YOU, or you are representing a larger corporate brand:
- Consider hobbies, favorite foods, family, pets, heritage, travel, charities, clubs, locale…how have these influenced or added to your point of view?
- Do people know you for something unique: a fashion statement, hairdo, temperament (curious, inspirational, diplomatic)? Identify that and work it into your personal brand. By the way, you are probably already doing this without being aware of it.
- Pepper your website and social sites with posts about things you genuinely care about. Your enthusiasm will attract like minds.
So…those themes that tie your life together highlight the rare “monster” you are…Don’t be afraid to show them, re-iterate your special patterns, and stand out from the crowd. As a copywriter and experienced interviewer, I can usually find at least a few patterns in a short 30-minute interview with new clients. If you want to use your “patterns” to create remarkable content, start by taking “The Content Quiz.”