Why most content sucks

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Think. Write. Lead.
Why most content sucks
By Diego Pineda • Issue #27 • View online
Hello, there! Welcome to this week’s Think.Write.Lead. where I talk about cookies, content creation, rant about the popular templates everyone and their cousins are using lately. Plus some practical advice on creating thought leadership content.

I learned about an interesting concept the other day:
Machine-friendly crops.
These are crops that are easily harvested with machines, so farmers prefer to plant them as opposed to some food that requires manual harvesting.
The result?
We end up eating the same foods and miss out on others.
This is happening in marketing and content creation as well.
There are some content creators out there, who I respect a lot, that are advocating for templates and systems to write more content fast.
The result?
A lot of cookie-cutter content on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Actual footage of a LinkedIn user consuming content (Courtesy of Sesame Street)
Actual footage of a LinkedIn user consuming content (Courtesy of Sesame Street)
So here’s my question for you….
Do you want to be a prolific writer or a prolific thinker?
You could certainly try to be both, but creating thought leadership content requires more than nice quick templates.
It requires:
  • Deep thinking
  • A lot of reading and researching
  • Validating your findings
  • Creating frameworks
  • Going against the grain
Being a prolific writer is easy when you plug in obvious concepts and ideas into pre-made templates.
You get a lot of likes, comments, and gain lots of followers.
Because people are lazy and don’t want to think.
And your borrowed template is designed to avoid any kind of thinking.
If that is your goal, that’s okay. No problem with that.
Keep on cruisin’.
But if you want to write like a thought leader, you have to ditch the templates and do some real work.
A prolific thinker, in my opinion, comes up with one fresh framework every year, one or two disruptive ideas every month, and then expands and communicates those ideas daily.
  • Have you built a thought leadership framework?
  • If so, are you developing disruptive content around it?
  • Are you thinking about new frameworks every so often?
For example, last year I created the Solo Thought Leadership framework and I’m already working on the concept of the intra thought leader and the Brand Evangelism Framework (name subject to change, BTW).
THINK.
If you have not built a framework, read this article.
Now, here’s a simple way to get started…
  • Pick a best practice or accepted truth in your industry (something that everyone repeats over and over as a mantra).
  • Then ask yourself, is this always true? What if it’s not? Can I find a case or scenario where it isn’t?
  • Once you find it, keep thinking and reading about it for a few days or weeks and take notes of your discoveries.
  • Think about the counter arguments you may find and how to respond to them.
WRITE.
  • Write a long blog post or article explaining your position, using examples and citing stats or authoritative authors to support your views.
  • Write a few social media posts with the main ideas of the article.
  • Find someone on LinkedIn or Twitter parroting the “truth” you just refuted and engage in the comments in amicable disagreement (this is how you test and validate your ideas).
  • Refine your article with any insights and feedback you receive.
LEAD.
Thought leaders set the standard, they don’t just copy others.
Thought leaders innovate and are not afraid of controversy.
Thought leaders write provocative pieces, not just fill-in the blanks templates.
Thought leaders invest good time in thinking, they don’t just optimize their schedule to fit in more work.
So find your big idea and chew on it for a while.
There’s no rush, don’t publish it prematurely (nobody likes half-baked cookies anyway).
Build the habits to become a prolific thinker.
Your big idea should be like a big cookie, it should make people's jaws drop.
Your big idea should be like a big cookie, it should make people's jaws drop.
Recommended Resource
Solo Thought Leader - The Solo Thought Leader
Did you enjoy this issue?
Diego Pineda

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