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Struggling to Come up with Content Ideas? Try Controversy. | The Blogsmith #101

Hey Listies, Yesterday, I served as a mentor for The Commons on Champa's Power Hours series of events
Struggling to Come up with Content Ideas? Try Controversy. | The Blogsmith #101
By Maddy Osman • Issue #101 • View online
Hey Listies,
Yesterday, I served as a mentor for The Commons on Champa’s Power Hours series of events.
The topic? Content marketing, of course. 😉
Each of my mentees represented a completely different industry and they all had great questions about how to find success with content marketing.
One of the biggest takeaways I tried to leave them with was that content for content’s sake doesn’t serve anyone: not you for writing it and certainly not your readers for having more stuff to sift through in their search for answers.
Fleshing out this line of thinking, I love quoting Mark Schaefer’s concept of “content shock”.
In a nutshell, content shock calls attention to the fact that people are creating increasingly more content but we only have a finite amount of time in the day to consume it. We can only increase our consumption of content up to a certain point, then it starts to bleed into time that should be otherwise spent on things like eating, sleeping, showering, and so on.
With this in mind, we talked about strategies for creating content that’s worth consuming.
This is important: your content can’t be like what’s already out there. It has to be unique. It has to provide something distinctly different than what other content creators have already covered.
Think about it this way: why would you waste your time adding to the mountain of content that might never get read due to the perception that the topic has been covered before?
One way to add a sense of uniqueness is by taking a controversial stance.
It should come as no surprise that there’s an entire category on my blog dedicated to my #unpopularopinions. What may surprise you is that these articles get the most social shares and engagement.
Of course, taking on controversy means opening yourself up to negative feedback. Some readers will wholeheartedly agree with your stance, adding to the discussion with their own stories. Others will attempt to take you down over their disagreement with your opinion.
If you pursue a controversial stance, make sure your skin is thick enough to handle some backlash.
But it’s probably more important now than ever to call out the things that don’t sit right with you: whether you’re referring to something that’s happening in your industry or the larger world around you.
To be sure, you must carefully toe the line of controversy — but don’t let a fear of negative feedback stop you from sharing your opinion.
Chances are good that you’re not the only one who thinks this way.
xoxo,
Maddy Osman, The Blogsmith
P.S. Looking for a good example of #unpopularopinions that sparked a conversation? Check out this Twitter thread.

Book a free 30-minute mentoring slot during my Thursday Office Hours for help with content marketing, SEO, or freelancing!
⌨️ From the Keyboard of The Blogsmith ⌨️
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18 Expert Digital Marketers Reveal How to Deal with Client Objections and Pricing Issues | Flying V Group
🌎 Around the World Wide Web 🌎
SEO writing guide: From keyword to content brief | Search Engine Watch
Why and How to Create a Content Style Guide for Your WordPress Blog | Torque
6 Product Management Practices to Apply to Your Content Marketing | HubSpot
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Don't Repeat Yourself: Get More Done with the DRY Principle | Zapier
Parents are spending thousands on YouTube camps that teach kids how to be famous (updated) | Daily Dot
You Can Now Be Diagnosed With Burnout | The Cut
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