Tim Urban, founder of WaitButWhy.com, spoke at the Inbound 2016 conference this year. He talked about how well content resonates with the audience is everything. But your content can’t just resonate, it needs to really strike a chord with the audience.
He says that one of the most important metrics to measure as a blogger is how much people love it when you are in their brain. While you are in their brain (i.e. consuming your stuff), you have to really do something extraordinary because you don’t get that chance often, if ever more than once. By creating content, you have to do a good job while you’re in their brain for that small amount of time when they are consuming it.
Most of the stuff on Facebook nowadays is mildly cool, but it’s not amazing. He wanted to get people laughing hysterically, or really resonating with it to the point where they follow your stuff and subscribe. The obsessed stage.
Great things like subscribing and sharing your stuff doesn’t happen with mildly positive emotions. But in the obsessed stage, they absolutely do.
10x Your Way Into Pleasing Their Brain
Tim started off as a blogger spending around 5 hours on a specific post. But after a while he wondered what would happen if he went “all in” – what if he spent 60 hours on it and produce the best content he could? So that’s what he did.
Tim does extensive research and then writes a post on the topic he’s interested in. This is his version of “10x content”, a term coined by the Wizard of Moz, Rand Fishkin.
The idea is quite simple – come up with a topic based on something you want to learn about, research the hell out of it, and create content that is 10 times better than anything else that’s out there on the subject.
It’s this exact kind of content that gets people into that “obsessed” stage in Tim’s chart – he even calls this “100x”.
Finding Your “People”
There are 7 billion people on this planet, so even if 0.01% of those people are similar to you in what you like, that’s a 700,000 person audience that’s interested in the same things you are.
So talk to your audience as if you’re talking to yourself. Tim is a naturally curious creature, and likes to get super deep with content, but he also wants it explained like he is a child, because, well internally he really is.
What would you really like to know and how would you like it explained to you? There are more people out there that are so similar to you than you might think. If you are building content on behalf of a brand or larger company, the same logic applies because you should be addressing ‘one person’ instead of an entire demographic.
Think of one person who is your customer and speak to them.That way you aren’t trying to appeal to the average of your audience, but one specific person in your audience. It’s a concept we hear so often in the blogging space, but rarely take advantage of.
“Find your avatar.”
“Focus on one person.”
“Don’t be everything to everyone.”
And then we do the opposite. We try to “widen the net” so we can reach as many people as possible. It’s a load of crap and Tim tries to get that across by even titling his talk “How Not To Be Shitty On The Internet.”
I think it’s time we finally listened.