Lets talk about: Quality Content

in #writing6 years ago (edited)


Improving the quality of your posts can be a time-consuming process. But it can be very rewarding and fun. There are many communities that are looking for undervalued quality content. In this post, we give you some guidelines and give you some tips to make it easier.


What is quality content?

We heard that content is king and that everyone who produces content should write high-quality content. But how do we measure the quality of our content? We at XPOSED know that quality is based on opinions and is subjective. This could be interesting if you combine the art of storytelling and an understanding of basic human behaviour. Each person has a different view on quality. Since every one of us has their own values and beliefs, we can only share our thoughts about quality content. We can tell you how we think how quality content should look. We've written out some guidelines that will hopefully give you a better understanding and help you find a way to express yourself and improve the quality of your content.

You can't have it all?

Other than the creation itself (music/painting/woodwork/streaming/sculpting/photography and so on), presentating your content demands other skills as well: writing and graphic design for example. Skills that you can develop on your own or skills that you can rely on others for.

We often see artists and content creators do collaborations. They all have one goal, and that is aiming for the best result possible. When working with one or more partners, you need to trust each other and be open to suggestions. You need to be on the same page making sure that everyone knows their place in the team.

When working with more than two people at the same time on a project, it’s a good idea to define a clear set of rules from the start.


Can we start already?

Hold on, just one more thing before we dive into the guidelines...


When it comes to content that is published anywhere, there are two sides to the story: the author and the readers both have a different perspective. Both of them are worth considering when creating or reading good content.

Author

The author might have spent a tremendous amount of time creating their content.

As readers we sometimes take that for granted. We don't see that the author had to travel a thousand miles to do research. We missed the fact that they had to purchase a new laptop, camera or other tools. Creating content itself can take days or even weeks to finish as well.

Reader

The reader can miss the above points. They didn't ask for it. They simply want to read or see great content.

We can't speak for other readers, but when we read something, we either are trying to find something we can relate to, we would like to know why and how something was created. Maybe we are waiting for an invite, so we can comment on the authors content. Ask questions or give honest feedback, or just simply share our opinion.

While these points of view are fictive, they could give you a second thought whenever you are up-voting or writing content. With that in mind, let's jump straight to our guidelines.


Our guidelines.

They should work for anybody who would like to improve the quality of their content.

  1. Be authentic and genuine.
  2. Original Content.
  3. Why, how and what?
  4. Know what you're talking about.
  5. Stack valuable ideas.
  6. Be accurate with sourcing.
  7. Plan and become consistent.
  8. Offer exclusivity.
  9. Simple versus In-depth.
  10. Interact.
  11. Formatting.

©2018 - @xposed


Be authentic and genuine.

You want to start earning money by bloggin on Steemit. When you've just started, you might have some ideas about what you want to achieve and what you want to post. It can be difficult to show your true self.

You probably write in a way you consider to be appropriate and politically correct. You try to avoid those curse words you normally spit out now and then. But if you hide your true identity, your posts will look generic. Just like everyone else's. Disappear in the crowd, and you'll be treated accordingly: with appropriate, politically correct replies that aren't likely to offend anyone.

Let me share a secret with you: you don't want to be treated like anyone else. You want to be approached by people who know who you are and want to reach out to you for who you are. You have important things to share, things you are passionate about, interesting topics to discuss. Maybe you just want to showcase your creations and their underlying meaning.

You just need to be you.

©2018 - @xposed

We all look for others we can relate to and can identify with. We seek stories we can see ourselves in. We want to get motivated or inspired by a lifestyle we would like to have. We want to feel amused or entertained so we can feel happy. We want to improve ourselves no matter what and we are in search of companions we can talk to, share thoughts, laughter, experiences and opinions with, even if only for a brief moment.


Original Content

You probably heard it more than once: you have to write original content. Why is it so important to write new, unique and original content? Everything you publish on the internet is food for giant search engines. Every phrase, image, title, hyperlink, headline and even GEO locations are collected by Google, Bing, Yahoo or Ask for example. Once it has been indexed the content gets a ranked position in the never-ending list we often scroll through when we are in search for an answer to our question. If the same content has been found, it will mostly always rank lower than the previous source.

Why does it matter to Steemit?

Steemians who have invested in Steem Power are more likely to up-vote original content as it will contribute to the overall ranking of Steemit itself. More original content means more unique content on Steemit for search engines to digest. You can say that original content is highly in demand. A lot of Steemians are trying to earn a quick buck. Most of the time they earn nothing or a few cents. This is where hard work will or should be rewarded.

Why does it matter to you?

Steemit is still in Beta and is small compared to Social Media Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Instagram. This means that there is a lot of potential for growth. You are a pioneer on Steemit that can benefit once you have created a solid foundation. You can become a stepping stone for other new Steemians who contribute to the platform through time and hard work. Inspire to get inspired.

©2018 - @xposed

Got something holding you back?

Be real to yourself: No one really cares what you do, or what you write about. Even the most inspiring stories become stories that are going to be forgotten. Unless you want a monologue, you better start writing something worth reading and remembering.

Noise

There is currently a lot of noise on Steemit: phishing, images plucked from Pixabay without text, copy/pasted articles, plagiarism and identity theft. This noise will slow down the growth of Steemit.


Why, how and what?

We find it more interesting why you did something.What made you create something so awesome? A great photograph, for example, can be great, but there are many great photographers out there. Make a difference and share your intention.

How you did something can be interesting as well. What you write about can easily be simplified when looking at it from a reader’s perspective. Sharing how you created it might contain struggles, challenges to overcome or maybe it was really easy or just a lucky shot.

Even when something isn’t finished yet, there is always a what, whether it be a process or a finished piece of content.

Combining the why, how and what.

What your post is about is subjective, but fundamental. Sharing the why or how you’ve created the what can create a unique story. It will be original, simply because only you can write about that.

Start from the beginning, why did you do it, what thrived you to create it and how did you do it?


Know what you're talking about.

One important rule is know what you talk about. If you don’t, point that out and be transparent. It is basic human behaviour that you will feel more comfortable and confident when you talk about something you know. Confidence attract. Being comfortable can result in in-depth unique content.

Have you found a topic that you want to talk about? You’re uncertain whether you’re right or not? Educate yourself and do research. Become confident and make it your own.


Stack valuable ideas.

Great ideas can come at the most inconvenient times. During conversations, when you're at work, in class or other situations where you are reserved by someone or something else.

Write them down in a few words in a note, your phone, or something that you’re carrying around. You might not have time right now, but forgetting about it later is regrettable. With a "Write about" list, you can work these ideas out at a later, more convenient time.

The more ideas you have, the easier it will be to pick a topic.

Brainstorming

You have absolutely no idea what to write about? Here is a great exercise where you can get tons of ideas in just 5 minutes.

Write down your name on a piece of paper.

  1. Write down everything you like.
  2. Write down the things that interest you.
  3. Write down things that you're passionate about.
  4. Write down your goals.

And voila! There might be some noise in there, but this is a good start where you can categorize the words you have written down. Turn those words into ideas to write about and there should be enough to think about for quite a while.


Be accurate with sourcing.

In our previous post, we dedicated an article to Copyright and showed you how you could give proper credit to an creator of a work you are willing to use. Even though CC0 1.0 International Licenses do not require an attribution, crediting the author will be beneficial in multiple ways.

  1. It looks more professional.
  2. Curators can check on plagiarism faster.
  3. You do not make the impression that you created the work.
  4. In some cases, sourcing is mandatory.
  5. Source your own work.

Saving someone's time can be rewarding, as curators do not have to go through the hassle to find out if the credit has been copy/pasted or has been plagiarised.


Plan and become consistent.

Wondering how planning and consistency can be valuable towards creating higher quality content? It is simple, if you know what to write about before-hand, you will more likely think about your subject unconsciously.

©2018 - @xposed

We asked one of our clients (always in a hurry) the following question. "When is something considered new for your customers?". "Something is new for my customers once they have seen it." He answered correctly, but he didn't understand what we meant with that question. We fired back with "When did you purchased the merchandise?". He purchased the merchandise a few weeks earlier, sometimes he would even buy it an entire season before putting it in the store. We asked him how exactly “new” this merchandise truly was. And that popped the bottle. It is as brand-new, from the moment you have put it out there.

This means you can publish your blog post today, yesterday, but also a week from now. It will still be "brand-new" to the first reader who reads it.

©2018 - @xposed

Planning

Become more productive and efficient by planning when you write your content. One of the techniques we taught our clients is to create content for the entire year. We designed a strategy when to post what. With this roadmap, the content creation required hard work. During this process, they could adjust the content where it was necessary.

With planning, you will have more time to think about your content.

Consistency

Being consistent doesn't only mean good planning and publishing content on the same timestamp every week. It will also keep your credibility. But, consistency can also consist out of repeating the same format, having a recognisable framework, colour use, banners, wording, writing style, and so on. The easiest way to be consistent is to be yourself, with discipline and planning.

©2018 - @xposed

Dutch Mini Pancakes

What would be more productive? Baking Dutch Mini Cakes one by one or baking 10's of them at the same time? Yep, that's right, we saw 48 pieces of content in the first photograph shown above.


Offer exclusivity.

©2018 - @xposed

Another way to improve the quality of your content is to make it exclusive. When your content is original, why not post it only exclusively on one platform you find worthy of your content? Where is your audience? Think about it, is sharing really caring? It all depends on with whom you share it to. Valuing your content is a great start to answer this question for yourself.

If you are an exclusive content provider on any platform, you are considered to be of more value to that platform and if your content is good and picked up by the platform.


Simple versus In-depth.

Whether you dedicate yourself to create a simple or in-depth blog post. All you need to know is how to differentiate them from each other. Ask yourself if this piece of content deserves an in-depth blog post about it, or would it justify it to simply create a shorter post about it. You can overkill a piece of content by giving it "too much" time and effort.

We all have projects we are proud of. And we also have every-day projects we are proud of as well. It's up to you how much time you spent on it.


Interact.

Interacting with your audience is one way to improve the quality of your content. The more people respond to your blog post, the more people might find it interesting. We, humans, love to be in a pack or to be part of something. You might get up-votes from other Steemians, but you see there are no comments on your blog posts. How can you interact? Or maybe we should ask ourselves how we can get a higher chance of interaction.

You can increase the chance of interaction with your blog posts by creating engaging content. Try to involve your audience in your writings. Ask them genuine questions. You can hide them in between your paragraphs to see who is actually reading your content and who is not. Crack a joke, even if it is a bad one.

©2018 - @xposed


Formatting (Appearance).

When you start to grow an engaging audience, you will have less and less time to work on the appearance of your content. To cover this before-hand, you can create a framework where you can do some pre-formatting. Formatting is basically the general physical appearance of your blog post. When you have developed a framework for your blog posts, you can create a look and feel for every theme-based blog post that is universal and easy to recognize for your audience. This comes in handy especially for those who have multiple returning subjects. Same framework, different format.

©2018 - @xposed

Headlines

Creating catchy headlines is a must. The title of your blog post should not only be interested, it should be relevant as well. And not only the title is important, headlines that separate your paragraphs could need a catchy headliner that can cover most of the paragraph in one sentence. Most people scan through a blog post and read the headlines to see if there is something interested going on in your blog post. This is a good opportunity to summarize the paragraph in one catchy headline.

What would your headline be if your paragraph was considered to be tl;dr (too long, didn't read).


*** Don't limit yourself with binding yourself to only our guidelines ***


Avoid the following.

  1. Plagiarism and Copyright infringement.
  2. Having few to no text.
  3. Irrelevant tags.
  4. Irrelevant titles.
  5. Automated comments/replies.
  6. Copy/Paste articles you have written before somewhere else.

©2018 - @xposed

Conclussion

There are many options to improve the quality of your content. However, it can be a time-consuming process if you would apply all the above guidelines to all your content. Your audience might think that you've stopped writing content if it takes too long. It is ok to have posts that are not exclusively on the Steem Blockchain. But these guidelines will give you a great head start once you start writing about something you truly enjoy or are passionate about. Please, do not limit yourself by binding yourself to only our guidelines. Be creative, be smart and Steem on!

@XPOSED

Read our previous article: Let's talk about: Copyright


Let us know what you think in the comments below. If you appreciate and value the content, please consider: Upvoting, Sharing or Resteeming. Follow us for more photography related content, or buy us a steemy and hot .

XPOSED on Steemit

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Good read. Reposting.

Thank you @try3 for resteeming.

Yeah me too!

On the day I read several posts, but undoubtedly yours was the best. You found an excellent way to explain what quality content is, and what better way to explain it than by making quality content?
It has been very pleasant for me to read everything you have published, the way in which you linked the text with the images so as not to make it tedious to the eye is brilliant.
Thank you very much for a post with so much content.
By the way, if it's not too much trouble I wanted to invite you to read my posts. I would greatly appreciate if you take the time to read them, and in case you like them, I would appreciate it if you would give me a vote, a comment, or a resteem.
You have my vote, and I stay attentive to your next publications!

Nice. Great initiative to bring quality into the Steem ecosystem! The formatting and style looks good too!

Following you, see how you will keep this up!

Hi @fitzgibbon, thank you for passing your judgement on the look-and-feel of our blog post. We promise to not let you down with our upcoming article.

You must be part of the content evangelists group, as dubbed by @whatsup

Not sure what you mean with that, but we are no part of a group other than our own.
P.S. Check your Steem.chat

This is a seriously in-depth article about how to do content the right way.

It's fantastic.

I will be using this as a reference for myself in the months (if not years) to come. Even though you stated at the beginning that it's just guidelines, I think that you have a very non-biased view about how to create high-quality content. Some things work and some don't, it's important to try things out and see what works for you.

My favorite line out of the whole post was:

Be real to yourself: No one really cares what you do, or what you write about.

Nobody does care until they do. Find out what works and adapt and evolve over time.

Being able to constantly improve yourself is important and if you can also find some members of Steemit that are interested in what you do, you will not only improve from their feedback, you will also gain massive momentum from their encouragement and support.

Also, great point made here;

There is currently a lot of noise on Steemit: phishing, images plucked from Pixabay without added text, copy pasted articles, plagiarism and identity theft. This will slow down Steemit.

Just thought I'd bring it back up here in the comments for discussion and awareness because it was in small print. Don't fall into detrimental patterns that will not only ruin your reputation; but also Steemits too.

Hey @Calumam, thanks for taking the time while writing your comment. Good to know that our guidelines are valuable to you. Since "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder", everything can be considered as (high)quality. We have found ourselves sometimes delivering adequate quality content in our own opinion, while clients were absolutely thrilled when seeing the results, and this goes the other way around as well.

What we have found out, is that people are trying to connect with one and another. This is because contact is easier made through the internet over the years. Emotionally we are slowly starting to feel alone/misunderstood, while we feel the lack of physical 101 contact. That's why it is normal to see a shifting in human behavior. We are seeking for personal stories we can relate to.

For most of our content we will have to leave that personal drive out, to keep it as transparent to the reader as possible.

The phishing issue is a huge problem for a majority who are clicking on links without checking. While this blog post is not about phishing and there are a lot of communities like @steemcleaners and @guard trying to counter this, we wanted to point out that it is a problem at the current time to raise some awareness to this matter.

Thanks again,
XPOSED

That is a brilliant point actually. Yes, what looks good to you, may look fabulous to someone else. It all comes down to the general baselines that make something easy to read, valuable and ethical (avoiding theft and personal attacks).

That is not unknown to us all. In an ever increasing 'connected world', some of us feel further apart. Personally, I think this is a majority of us have become accustomed to instant gratification and we hold such a high regard for money instead of genuine relations.

When we find a platform that supports human interaction and genuine growth; we will all grow happier as humans. (Not to mention how important this will be when we enter the Age of Abundance).

The problem is, in my opinion, it that everything is now easily attainable. The Internet has given us so many opportunities to educate ourselves, to connect with people, to share our thoughts and wisdom. This is great! But because of this, 'easily' attainable things make us forget about physical/real attention and connection in the real world. We crave for connection in any way possible. In the end, it is all a 'cry' that is simply saying "look at me", "look what I can give/share/do" and if this is getting more attention it is quite a challenge to remain genuine, humble and never forget where you came from. Yes, hard work should be rewarded, but the reward should -never- be taken for granted.

It is good to show support, but be wise to whom you give it to. With these guidelines, I think it is a start that would give you a better picture if someone is genuine or not.

This is what I like most about Steemit: While a 100% up-vote from a minnow is worth less than a 100% up-vote from a whale in dollars, this does not matter at all. If it is the 100% you would like to give, it is a 100% up-vote you are going to give (Should be scaled for responsible whales that is). Period. And with this type of intent, it will eradicate the entire value of someones $ value in influence if this person adds a contributing comment as well. Of course, these giant up-votes will give more exposure, but the smaller votes are no less valuable than the bigger ones, and you know the drill: Go where the people are.

With XPOSED, I have a goal and it will take (is taking) quite the toll of my time and it can be risky for me personally, once I proceed to develop and introduce the project. So, I ask myself, what am I willing to share? What am I willing to give up so others can grow and benefit from that? I have worked, failed, succeed and had the curiosity to learn more my entire life 24 hours a day. That's the investment I did for myself, I've fallen more than once, ate the concrete but saw the sky as well, with my head in the clouds.

But I guess it's time to share since we only have one short life on this planet. All I want to do right now is to make a difference and have something out there that people find valuable and can change their perspective, instead of focusing only on themselves.

Cheers,
Ruben

Really good article!!

Resteemed :-)

If only more articles on here where like this or even just formatted correctly with some decent images.

Here is my tip to add to this - Get the free extension from Grammarly and it will highlight any spelling mistakes or grammar issues in your writing.

Thanks

If only this could become mandatory! Finding good content would become much easier :)

Sparkles!! Always add sparkles!

It would be a great thing if everyone had to read something like this before they joined! I think it's difficult for the newcomers of the platform to get started the right way though...

A little bit of guidance can definitely go a long way :)

We would be more than happy to see this article in the BuddyUP discord channel or other mediums you are using.

Hey @r00sj3, we can only agree on that statement! This article could most definitely also become beneficial for investors and curators once authors decide to take more time into writing quality content.

Your post contained so much quality that you received a very nice amount of upvotes. O wait you partly paid for these upvotes 😂

Sorry, but I just had to make this terrible joke 😀

You know, reading your joke made me think I'm still confused on the economy of Steemit. I know if you have to explain the joke, it isn't funny, but maybe you'd like to help a fellow out? What's your experience with generating upvotes/paying for them?

Thanks bud!

There are ways to increase the visibility of a post, buying a upvote is one of them. For some content this could be beneficial as it will give the content more eyes on the subject at matter.

Well, that was quite the expensive joke @crypto-econom1st ;-). In our opinion the engagement we get during our start-up phase is priceless. The only return we are currently interested in, is seeing you and other Steemians up their game to make Steemit an attractive platform for outsiders and have a little bit more exposure to show you we are here to make a difference. Make @Ned proud, we try to as well.

This is a nice post, but the thing is that I think that it is already deeply inherent in people that they know what quality is. The problem I find is that people already know in that there is no repercussions for their actions within the platform. If something is working for them, how could you blame them really?

Hey @Jameszenartist, we totally agree on that. If there is no to little repercussion, what would you do to get it working for you?

I could imagine that for starters a more elaborate flagging system that would need to be developed might be beneficial?

i have to say, everything in this post are true and I really think you're right about those guides It's really good to know what you're writing about to make you're cotent more credible.

Hey @gvincentjosephm, if you would write about something you know nothing about, you are sooner or later going to regret it. Currently we cannot edit our blog posts after 7 days, so it is something to think about what you post.

In depth analysis... This post is not just interesting but also engaging, is going to help steemians make better choices when blogging....Thanks for sharing @xposed

Hey @nigerian-yogagal, you're welcome and thank you for engaging with us ;-).

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