3 Ways Great Content Is Like Turning 21

blog-turning-21When I was younger, having a summer birthday seemed like a gift, in itself. While my friends born in October and March had to contain their excitement through hours of flash cards and spelling tests, I had a guaranteed day off built right into my special day. The possibilities seemed endless — until those same friends hit the big two-one and everything changed. Night clubs, bars, buying spoons in England — doors opened to them that were firmly shut in my face. After months of pressing my nose to the glass, my day finally arrived and, in a shower of rain, wine, and graham cracker crumbs, I turned 21.

Receiving good content from a writer might feel like a present, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg-shaped cake. You might have to wait to drink legally, but there’s no need to leave yourself out in the cold while your fellow websites dance the night away. Hire a writer and get yourself out there — it’s a lot more like turning 21 than you’d think. For example…

You Won’t Be Left Out or Overlooked

It wasn’t until April that I noticed the ebbing of mumbled apologies and Facebook invites to events I couldn’t attend. Eventually, they stopped coming altogether — I had been on the periphery for so long that it just wasn’t worth the effort.

Awkward content, outdated information, or the clumsy use of SEO search terms can keep your website on the periphery too. Readers come to your page for answers, drinking in good content like Don Draper drinks whiskey. If your content is lacking, your new friends will look elsewhere; if it’s engaging, they’ll remember you — and maybe invite you out again. And they’re not the only ones…

You’ll Get to Hang Out with the Cool Kids

Since turning 21, I’m no longer stuck at home on a Friday night with Netflix…well, unless I decide to be. Producing great content prompts engagement which, in turn, prompts attention. Get enough attention and you’re well on your way to the big leagues: not just interacting with visitors, but talking about your interactions at conferences and speaking events. When you sign up for and attend INBOUND, you’ll have some experience to bring up at Happy Hour. Once you’re known for your content, you might even be selected for invitation-only events like iMedia’s Content Summit or to share your expertise as a guest speaker. Netflix nights can be fun — but Doctor Who marathons are even better with invitations piling up between seasons.

Still, it’s important to remember that…

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

I might be 21 and on top of the world, but that doesn’t mean I’m invulnerable. There are plenty of things that can hold me back, like $18 cocktails or that marching band that plays outside my window on Saturday mornings. Being “of age,” more than being legal, means that I am now a responsible adult.

Great content makes you responsible, too. With readers coming back for more, you need to be consistent with quality and timing; you need to hire a writer or group of writers and stick to a schedule that works best for them, you, and your site’s visitors. You want to keep them coming back, just like I want to keep my sanity — and, well, my ID.

Turning 21 can be overwhelming and so can generating useful content. The most important thing is to know your limits: whether that’s one glass of wine or a round of LMFAO-style shots every night, you’ll be most successful when you’re comfortable with the work you take on. You might get a few hangovers at first but, once you figure it out, you’ll be ready to party.

Erin Arata is the summer marketing intern at WA. She has been 21 for a full week now and welcomes any drink suggestions, since there are so many options and she just can’t decide between them.


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