Today, I spoke to C.C. Chapman, who is the author of Content Rules and the Founder of Digital Dads. In this interview, C.C. talks about why he wrote his book, how to get your content to stand out in the masses, tips of writing good content, and more.
Why does content rule? What made you want to write the book?
I’ve had a life long goal to write a book and after passing on a couple of offers to write books that my heart wouldn’t have been in this opportunity presented itself and I had to jump on it. Content has always ruled our lives. It is why the first televisions were such a big deal and why radio still exists. Since the first human drew on a cave wall, others have been enjoying that content. It will always evolve, but it will never go away.
There are over 145 million blogs, 2 billion tweets each month, and that doesn’t even include the content that mainstream media publishes. How can you make your content stand out and be noticed these days?
And the really crazy thing is those numbers are going up every day. This is one of the big things we lay out in the book is our 11 Content Rules that we believe will help not only make your content stand out, but get a reaction. It isn’t a magical formula, but it also isn’t rocket science. After helping companies of all sizes be successful in doing this I feel confident to share what I’ve learned with others.
What are your top three tips for writing powerful content that people will want to read?
Have an opinion and stick to it. Far to much of the writing today tries to play nice and never really take a stand. Journalists have to remain objective, but the great thing about the online world is that you can and should have an opinion. Instead of writing another list or covering the latest tech news, do that BUT put yourself into the writing. Don’t pull punches or be scared to share your thoughts if they are different than “the norm.” If you want to stand our, you must put yourself into the writing.
What are some things to avoid when writing content and publishing it online?
This depends on your audience. What I can get away with is very different than what a client might be able to. We talk in the book about how every company must truly find it’s voice to be successful. This gets thrown around a lot, but it is very true and will serve as a compass for every piece of content you create moving forward.
Keep in mind that anything you publish online is instantly shareable and anyone can comment on. Be ready for that and have some form of listening dashboard set up so that you are not just throwing the content up and then forgetting about it.
There are many different ways to distribute content, including a webinar, blog, video, etc. How do you know when to use which?
We get this in conjunction with which one you should try first. What I usually ask is what kind of content do they like to create. Ann is really into writing and I prefer photography. Think about what you enjoy doing and then start creating content on that platform. If it doesn’t seem to be getting traction, talk to your customers and see what they are interested in. Never be afraid to ask your community what they’d like to to see, hear or read more of. The answers might surprise you.
C.C. Chapman is a modern day renaissance man who lives every day to inspire others to be their best. He is the author of the book Content Rules (Wiley 2010) and the Founder of Digital Dads, where a Dad can be a Guy. As a consultant, C.C. has helped a variety of clients embrace all forms of new media and online marketing to take their campaigns to the next level. His work has won awards and clients have included HBO, American Eagle Outfitters, Verizon FiOS and The Coca-Cola Company. C.C. has a passion for being on stage and loves nothing more than motivating a room full of people. He was one of the first professional podcasters and continues to share his knowledge and insights on the popular Managing the Gray. He is a graduate of Bentley University and lives outside of Boston with his loving wife and family. Find out more at CC-Chapman.com.