Core Content Defined and Examined

Many blogs fail because they lack content that is both unique and/or difficult to reproduce. While other bloggers have touched on this subject and have come up with several different names for this kind of content, we here at Art of Blog have taken to calling it “Core Content.”

This guide will examine Core Content and offer solid, practical advice for generating new Core Content for your site(s).  Before exploring these practical concepts, let’s take a look at just what makes Core Content so important.

What is Core Content?

Core Content is impractical to replicate.

Core Content is simply content that is impractical for competitors to replicate.  This could be because the time invested in a project was substantial or perhaps due to the core content itself containing something unique, such as an interview.  Regardless of what form Core Content takes, the essence of core content is well-written content that is  impractical or outright impossible for your competitors to replicate or imitate.

Why is Core Content Important?

Core Content gives you a competitive advantage.

As you might have guessed, content that is unique and hard to replicate is great for attracting new users and building links.  In today’s hyper-competitive environment sites often try to keep their viewers to themselves, especially in cutthroat niches such as Finance, Health, and today even Blogging.

Competition in many of these niches can be so fierce that many sites routinely decide not to link to other sites or allow guest posting.  This type of linking strategy can make many of these uber profitable niches undesirable to compete in, however Core Content gives you a competitive advantage.

Core Content sets your site apart from the crowd.

In short, anyone can write reviews on products or opinions on subjects in any given field. As you might have guessed, generic content is a dime a dozen. This means the chances of one of your competitors linking to this type of content is slim to none. However unique and almost impossible to replicate content is far more likely to earn links and traffic even from competitors.

Look at it this way, if a site fails to acknowledge something very valuable to its viewers on a rival site, the viewers may be more inclined to trust the rival site when they eventually stumble upon it.  In the future, guess which site these visitors are more likely to view from that point forward, the site they trust.

In short, Core Content sets your site apart from the crowd.

It Isn’t Just About Links – It’s About the User

We have established that Core Content is great for building links and attracting new visitors however there is more to Core Content than just links.

When engineering (that’s right engineering) the Core Content you will develop for your site, you need to carefully evaluate the needs of your potential visitors and customers. Let’s face it all, web surfers have needs – most will fall within two categories: entertainment & problem solving.

Remember regardless of how a visitor arrived to your website that they are they came to visit you for a reason. Core Content should pique the interest of your viewers, and keep them wanting to come back for more.

Core Content should: meet the needs, answer questions, explain something that is very complex, and/or teach something useful to the visitor.

Rock hard abs

Ideas for Developing Core Content

Below you will find some tested methods of creating Core Content. Think about these ideas as you develop future content on your website. For even more inspiration check out how other bloggers have created timeless core content.

Leverage Contacts

Do you know any experts that you can call upon to answer specific questions or take part in an interview?  Even paying a relative expert a few dollars to take part in filming a video series might be worth while. Remember “relative expert” is the key phrase to take note of. Most of your visitors aren’t looking for the bleeding edge information. They are looking for information to help them solve their problems.

Go In depth

In-depth guides that answer every question visitors have often leave visitors with a very deep respect for the site. This could be called the “Wikipedia Effect” as Wikipedia has managed to impress so many people with it’s endless volumes of information.

Remember: Don’t just scratch the surface. Go in and look at everything that might possibly interest someone out there; even if nobody ends up caring about some small morsel, they will certainly be impressed by the volume of work and be more willing to trust the site itself. A good example of this an indepth analysis is our Thesis vs Genesis Comparison.

Spread Things Out

It is easy to educate and describe complex things in smaller chunks.  This is one reason why classes in school tend to be relatively short.  Instead of taking a 2 week long intensive course in physics followed by a 2 week long course in calculus, both courses (and others) are taught in a less-intensive manner simultaneously.

This extended education format breaks the information up into easier to remember pieces. If you think one topic may be too much to cover in one post, break it into a series. Breaking content up reduces boredom and helps many ADHD surfers like myself, stay focused.

Teach Something

Teaching is more or less and art form. Outstanding teachers are few and far between. That is why any successful website teaches the user something. Let’s face it, teaching gives people a reason to visit your site. Give people what they want, and they will come back.  Better yet, give them what they want and an affiliate link to buy it and watch the sales start rolling in!  Again, remember that teaching is a skill that will improve over time so when building an audience volume, depth, and/or length are necessary.

A Twist

One thing that has proven very successful for many pundits is to take a strong stance, even if it is a little crazy.  Try picking a strong stance on something and letting that obviously color perception and see what happens.  Finding like minds means keeping viewers, an exercise that news outlets around the world have shown works time and time again regardless of facts or the truth.

Mix and Match

Feel free to add interviews to series or incorporate teaching into guides. Just make sure that the people get what they want. Guides are good, but guides augmented by how-to’s and video interviews with authorities on the subject are far better. Interlinking these different aspects and planning ahead can render it very difficult for the competition to even have a chance at trying to replicate.

Brainstorming Core Content Ideas

Now that you have seen some common ways to create Core Content, here is our “Tried and True” method for creating awesome Core Content. Before you get started you will want to choose one or two people to serve as sounding boards. In the past we have found these sounding boards to be vital. Remember sometimes having people of differing levels of knowledge can be a huge plus.

Once you’ve dragged your friends kicking and screaming to your “sounding boards,” here is a good set of ground rules:

  1. Start with two phases/meetings/planning sessions. The first is a true brainstorming session while the second is dedicated to picking out which ideas should move forward to implementation.
  2. During these brainstorming sessions keep the group focused on answering the “What’s in it for Me?” question. In other words how will what you are creating help the end user.
  3. Make sure everyone is comfortable during these sessions. The ability to speak openly is vital. Negativity and criticism of ideas, especially in the first phase, should definitely be avoided.
  4. An initial brainstorming session should ONLY be positive. All ideas might be useful for sparking other ideas, even if they are not practical or useful in and of themselves.
  5. Once entering the selection phase, remember to keep things positive. This is not a time for new ideas, but do not discount anything that comes up. Treat new ideas with the same respect as in the first phase, but remember that now is the time to determine which ideas are practical.
  6. Write EVERYTHING down. Even if an idea or thought is not going to move forward now, it might be useful sometime in the future. Ideas are little diamonds in the rough, so be sure to review them from time to time to see if an opportunity presents itself or a new idea arises as a consequence.

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Written by Nick Reese

Nick Reese is a multi-passionate entrepreneur who believes anyone can transform their business and life they they've got guts and hustle. He's also the co-founder of Broadband Now which aims to simplify the broadband shopping process.

Comments

  • Recently I’ve decided to overhaul 3 of my websites using this mentality, as well as this copyblogger post from years ago

    http://www.copyblogger.com/blueprint-for-a-brilliant-blog-launch/

    We’ve already gone through the brain storming phases. Today we are actually on to step 2 of figuring out which of those ideas to actually move forward on.

    We’ve also decided to mix it up a good bit. Instead of having a slew of ‘how to this, how to that’ and nothing else, we are going to definitely have the How To’s, but also bring in relevant guest posters regularly, do interviews with people within these organizations that have a wealth of knowledge to share, and even take ideas from our communities and try to implement those.

    In my opinion, I think this post is a pretty solid example of Core Content :)

    Thanks!