Time is Priceless – Don’t Steal it With Your Content

Tad Chef
Tad Chef writes for SEO blogs from all over the world including his own one called SEO 2.0. He helps people with blogs, social media and search, both in German and English. You can follow Tad on Twitter @onreact_com to get his latest insights daily.

    The old saying “time is money” is not true anymore. Time is priceless by now. On the Web people hurry up like never before. As a content creator you need to make sure you allow to digest content as fast as possible now. Otherwise

    you just steal time with your content.

    time is priceless

    time is priceless” quote by Harvey Mackay via Just Jennee

    Cat essays vs cat memes

    Have you read the latest essay about how cats influence people? Probably not. I bet you have seen some Grumpy Cat memes as of late though. You have most probably also viewed some other funny cat pictures. Don’t feel guilty! You’re perfectly normal! Even I view such pictures from time to time (of course strictly for business research to report on the latest Internet trends).

    I’m not even referring to the so called content shock here yet.

    It’s been known for over a 15 years that people do not read on the Web. Instead we just scan the content we see for some tidbits that stick out. Despite this some content marketers have pushed hard in the recent years for so called long-form content as the single best option to promote your business.

    Why longer content is better or not

    The longer the content is the better because it gets more shares, better rankings, higher conversions etc. — that’s the idea — but how many people actually read these enormous pieces of content, view these lengthy videos in their entirety or click through presentations with plenty of slides doesn’t get taken into account.

    For the sake of shareability or your 15 minutes of Internet fame you prepare huge resources

    like “100 content marketing tools”. Who has the time to even look up 20 of them? I don’t. I scan such a list as fast as I can to find the few gems in it.

    So I actually need to invest additional time to find the few list items that are actually useful. Why not find the three or five items that matter and just review those instead?

    time-vs-money

    time vs money” quote by Jim Rohn

    The Mashable vs the Social Media Examiner model

    Just compare the two superstars of social media blogging: Mashable and Social Media Examiner.

    Mashable has become the number one destination in social media blogging by providing huge lists of resources a few years back.

    In those days it was the way to go. Smashing Magazine did that too in the web design niche while I did it for the SEO industry. Then some day the market was oversaturated. People were tired of sifting through listicles and turned to deeper resources covering just one item or a few items not dozens.

    The Social Media Examiner started a few years later and did the opposite of Mashable: they cover topics in-depth. They also select tools they review very carefully. Whenever there is a tool review on SME I look it up because I expect that I don’t know the tools introduced there despite trying to be cutting edge.

    Mashable on the other hand turned quick and dirty.They are known for short and often shallow notes on the newest developments on the Web and elsewhere by now. The topics are only slightly relevant to me. I seldom look up Mashable these days. I prefer The Next Web to be honest.

    SME articles are often too long and have so many bold text passages that I get confused easily.

    Quick depth

    Neither of the two blogs introduced above is perfect. Combining Mashable and Social Media Examiner would be best to fulfill the reader’s needs on the current Web. Providing a quick insight or overview but with enough depth (not length!) to be still relevant.

    So what exactly can you do?

    • Keep it short
    • Provide a summary on top of the article
    • Make it readable with bold, italics, short paragraphs, quotes, subheadlines, images
    • Provide a list of key points or techniques
    • Link to external resources
    • Cover one topic at a time
    • Provide a solution

    The only excuse for wasting the time of your audience is when they genuinely enjoy it. Your content has to be not only appealing but also truly entertaining . That won’t work in business oriented niches like for example SEO though.

    enjoy time wasting

    enjoy time wasting” quote by Bertrand Russell. Via Lisa Krowinski on Etsy

    Tad Chef
    Tad Chef writes for SEO blogs from all over the world including his own one called SEO 2.0. He helps people with blogs, social media and search, both in German and English. You can follow Tad on Twitter @onreact_com to get his latest insights daily.

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    • Darren DeMatas

      Another great post, Tad. Where in the world do you get time to keep writing this killer content?

      • onreact

        Thank you for the feedback! In fact I optimize less and write more these days. Also I use some advanced productivity voodoo so that it works. A post on that is coming up on SEO 2.0

    • Hey Tad,
      thanks for sharing this. I would like to suggest to always have a look at how the content is appearing on mobile. There are many websites out there that are read when you are waiting for a bus, or in the metro or something like that, but the website is unreadable on mobile.
      For example: some “italic” font on the mobile screen looks shit. Or the website is not optimized for mobile.
      The topic of your topic is important for sure, but even how you present it to your audience.
      Cheers!

      • onreact

        True, it’s also even more important that the sheer size of your content is not overwhelming on the go but provides a quick solution. Readability is even more important too.