It's come up in several other blogs, tweets and other grapevines but I'll say it here too. Creative online content is slowly becoming few and far between. Why is that? Certainly people haven't all of a sudden become less creative...
In this day of rapid innovations, I doubt very seriously this is the case. However, in the Web 2.0 world, it seems that blog posters (in general) are not developing new ways of thinking. A large majority of blogs are about "5 Ways To Gain More Followers" or "Why You Should Blog" or "X Steps To Help Your Blog Make Money."
I'm not trying to knock these type of blog posts. When my ideals and learning about social media marketing were taking shape, these type of blogs did have a lot of initial influence on me. Some of the bloggers that I respect the most out there have posts like these. They are great for helping people get started and provide useful tips. However, I sometimes doubt the authenticity of these posts. Not authentic in the sense of plaguerism but authentic in the sense that I wonder: Are these authors genuinely trying to lend their advice to help me and other readers?
Or are they just trying to drive blog traffic?
According to several suggestions via blog posts and other web analytic reports, there are certain key words that have been statistically proven to drive more traffic on blogs. There are even reports on the top Twitter keywords that receive the most ever-coveted retweets. So writing on certain topics is most definitely going to drive more traffic one way or another. Whether it be for page impressions for advertising revenue or the vain stomach butterflies we get when our website stats page explodes, we are all looking to improve our traffic and have our voices heard.
When creating content, whether it's your blog or Twitter or some other platform, you should ask yourself: are you posting something that you are genuinely passionate about? Or are you just trying to drive traffic at the expense of your reader?
As a digital community, social media is not new. The concept of marketing a company (or yourself) via social channels has long left the realm of the innovative. Everyday it moves away from the shiny new tool and closer to mainstream. Even among the social media elite, the conversation has shifted. A year ago, the conversation was "Your Daily Twitter Checklist" or "Top 10 Ways to Drive More Blog Traffic." Now the conversation is not on how to use the platforms but more on how to integrate these platforms with our other marketing and communication efforts. If you are a newbie to the Web 2.0 world, most of these topics shouldn't be new to you.
The "How To" period of social media is over. Eventually these short term boosts in our personal traffic, following and retweets will taper off. It's time to shift our thinking to newer and better ways to deliver content. The thought leaders in social media has moved on and I believe we should too.
Are you with me?