Is there any point writing about content any more?

There isn’t any point in writing about content any more. If you do, you’re writing for other people who also write about it. It’s a cycle of diminishing returns. So what is there left to do instead?
pouring a glass of water

When I went to check in on my company’s blog, I realised that I haven’t published anything there for over a month. Disturbingly, I didn’t much care. I tweeted today that I’ve lost my mojo for writing about content, but it’s for a really good reason.

It’s all boring.

It’s all the same.

I can’t contribute anything new, different, or unusual.

Let’s stop looking at content with rose-coloured glasses

I also suspect that you can’t contribute anything new, different, or unusual, too. Even if you’re a pro, even if you’ve been in this game as long as I have, you’re not doing anything new.

The world of content is really just the world of editing + publishing, splashed with a bit of methodology from design, coloured in with a bit of customer service knowledge. Nearly 90% of it is Business 101. The remaining 10% are the exhortations of writers in software platforms, telling you why you need to do this or that, and how valuable it will be to your business… so that you buy their platforms, or ads in their social networks.

The truth is that most of it is bullshit.

I could write a million pieces on how to write effective copy. Or you could just go to Copyblogger.

I could tell you how to become a thought leader. Or you could just read Dorie Clark.

I could explain to you how to edit a piece of work fast, with panache, and really make a difference in the outcome for the author. Or you could read The Editor’s Handbook.

I could talk about content strategy in companies, but you’d be better off reading anything by just about anyone else.

And as for marketing? Pfft. I’m not a marketer, man.

The entire world has been spinning on content for the last five to seven years, and it’s getting old. It’s getting thin. I don’t know that it’s just that I’ve lost my mojo for it, but it actually doesn’t contribute anything meaningful to the world. It’s a whole lot of people in business telling each other how great they are, and frankly, I don’t care any more.

It’s a superficial activity. Unless you have a mad funnel going on, and you have the strategic workflow to make a meal of everything you write (or have written), most of what you produce will be seen by 10 people, and will fall into a yawning black hole, never to be seen again.

So, should Leticia give up and get a job? Is this where this road goes?

So, I could stop running the business and get a job, right? Well it isn’t quite that simple. True, I have some mad skills. But if I were to go and get a job, my skills aren’t needed by the market. They want young people who know how to cut videos together, take ‘good photographs’, people who are willing to waste time pitching content instead of taking a strategic approach to content.

Because that’s my superpower. I have a set of skills in making publications valuable for other people. It’s knowing how to craft amazing content. It’s writing material that hits you in your heart and makes you wish you could write like this. It’s editing material without needing to think about it. It’s writing emails, messages, and notifications that are natural and engaging. Though, the number of times I get man your emails are always so awesome, without any cognitive understanding that this is what I do for a living, is astonishing.

So, while I moped around for a while about 30 seconds wondering what the fuck to do with myself, I decided to do what is the story of my life.

No! I decided that I am not playing this shitty game any more. Time to break the mold.

There is a little thing that I’ve done for the past five years in business, and that’s do what I apparently should be doing in order to make friends and influence people. Influence I have, yes. But is that what pays the bills? No.

Instead, I should be doing what I fucking want to do and making it work. No more of this trying to bow down to the ridiculous and backwards standards of a conservative city.

The only reason to write content in a business sense is to do what nobody else is doing. I have always advocated for that. Always. So in my situation, what is the thing to do?

To write about why content is a waste of time.

Once I sat down and started thinking about it, I realised that I have enough material to publish an article every fortnight for more than a year. And when I started mapping the value of it, there’s enough in it for a YouTube channel, a podcast, and even a magazine in its own right.

In other words, I answered my own question. The only thing I need to get right is the tone of the pitch for each one. And that, my friends, is easy.

In summary

It seems completely counter-intuitive, to tell people not to do what my business sells. But in this crazy, upside-down, mirror world, it strikes me that it’s the only thing that really makes sense. And that’s where I’ll rediscover my mojo.

After all, the one thing that doesn’t make sense is doing the same shit as everyone else is doing, and expecting it to make any difference for anyone else.

If you are interested in hearing about how this contributes to the journey of my business, mosey on over to The Next Five Years and sign up for weekly instalments. They’re not quite as deep, introspective and brooding as what I here – given this is a personal site, and The Next Five Years is not. But they’re still honest and open, and they shine a light on a side of running a business that few people ever see. Will I see you there?

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