What UFOs Can Teach You About Content

Unidentified Flying Objects have that name for a reason - you can't define what they are or where they came from. In popular culture, UFOs have been repped as little flying discs in the sky, chartered by alien life forms who have come to either observe our daily lives, or mine us like little batteries for our energy. While I might welcome our (peaceful) alien overloards, I can't stand it when a piece of content - whether it's a blog, video, or otherwise - has no identity. Your website's content isn't about rambling on and on about lunch with Kathy, your kids' new water wings, or where you're traveling to this Summer — unless it has some sort of tie-in to your business. I mean, if you sell travel advice, then by all means, write that 'ish with passion. Otherwise, get focused! You're spending a ton of time in front of that keyboard, so you might as well make it work for you and keep readers (and potential customers) coming back for more. Here, a few things UFOs can teach us about content and content creation. No, really.

  • They're Mysterious — In the movies, mystery can be engaging, but if your reader can't figure out what your blog post is about, you're sunk. Pick a theme or topic, then find a way to connect and thread your business goals throughout. Everything you write on your company's website must have some sort of connection to your products and services. Take this post for example - today is World UFO Day, so I've chosen to write about what UFOs can teach you about content. Still relevant to me, but may also bring in new readers thanks to the subject.
  • They're Only Fictional (For Now...) — Don't make things up. Just because you "think" it's a UFO, doesn't mean it really isn't a weather balloon. The Internet is full of half-truths and sorta-facts, so if you're writing about something technical, please do your research and pass along only the most factual and valuable information.
  • They Take on Many Different Forms — UFOs have come a long way since the flying disc, and your content should be just as dynamic. After you've mastered the basics of blogging, why not try a video or a Podcast? Keep your readers entertained and your content bank rich with possibilities.
  • They Keep Us Wanting More — The thought of other life forms out there in the universe compels us to explore new territory. Keep your readers wanting more by asking questions, challenging beliefs, and really taking a position on a debate or arguement. Don't be wishy-washy. Besides, you either believe that aliens are out there, or you don't.
Bottom line, your content needs to have focus and be easily identifiable for your readers and search engines, allowing more people to find your blog, and eventually, your business.

Source: Flickr user Adam Baker